Special guest on the new episode of Bikeitalia LIVE è Baby SaruniThe cycling legend and Italian sports manager at the highest levels, who spoke with him Paolo Benzotti, CEO of Bikenomist and Editorial Director of Bikeitalia, shares insights and offers ideas on how to revive Italian cycling. And above all about how to encourage young people to practice this sport that shapes the body and character and which in the past has provided us with great champions at an absolute level, starting with the question: “Why are today’s cyclists so strong?”.
past vs. The present: an impossible comparison
Saroni spoke about the past, present and future of cycling, stressing how difficult – if not impossible – it is to make direct comparisons between riders of the past like himself and riders of today. Not only because of the difference in means available (yesterday’s heavy steel bikes, today’s ultra-performance carbon bikes) and proportions – “In my time we had 6-7 gears, the lightest was 42/23: cycling was based on muscular strength, not speed.”But also and above all for a completely different approach, because today’s cycling has changed dramatically, says Bikeitalia.
Technological innovations have characterized cycling in recent years: today everything is controlled, weighted and dosed to optimize performance down to the second and the millimeter, so much so that Saronni speaks of “today’s athletes build and train differently”. Training methodologies and a scientific approach to the subject characterize modern cycling: A topic that will be covered in depth during the Campus Bike Conference, The event organized by Bikenomist takes place on 2 and 3 December 2023 in Bologna In which Saruni will also intervene with one A report on the past and future of Italian cycling.
How to revive cycling in Italy
During the interview, Saroni touched on many topics – including doping – and focused on how to revive cycling in Italy, giving his recipe for doing so: Firstly “Copies” of countries that have done well in the rest of the worldAs is the case in the United Kingdom and Slovenia, but also by making targeted investments in the youth sector – which today in Italy has declined to a minimum – in order to create a pool from which the champions of tomorrow will emerge.
Vingegaard is Danish and grew up on bread and bikes: “Those who have been lucky enough to stay there know what cycling and traveling in Denmark is like: it produces strong cyclists and that is also something that has been built over time, and we are light years away from them. There, families allow their children to ride bikes on the streets and to schools because they know that It’s safe to do so.”.
The role of institutions
In this process of promoting cycling, institutions must play their part Supporting youth sectors, of course, but also promoting physical activity as good practice starting in schools – where physical education lessons today are seen as a nuisance – and improving road safety for those using bicycles.
In all this, according to Saroni, the Italian Cycling Federation must also develop targeted strategies and projects to achieve this result. Clearly, Even individuals who care about the fate of Italian cycling can decide to invest in this cause To return this sport to the highest levels. Even without necessarily having to go back. Because without synergistic action it brings together forces It is difficult to develop new talents, but the results appear after 7-8 yearsAs Saruni confirms.
Meanwhile, Beppe Saronni is implementing a project, together with other cyclists and former professionals, to do something concrete for the future of Italian cycling: we will hear about it soon.
Watch Beppe Saronni’s full interview with Bikeitalia LIVE
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