Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

California Dreamin' - The Paolo Bettini Diary 2004

Click for larger image
In action
Photo: © Quick-Step Davitamon

He's from California, down near the beach, but this guy's no surfer dude. Paolo Bettini is from La California, near Cecina on the Tuscan coast in Italy. The Quick.Step-Davitamon rider had a fantastic 2003 season, winning his second consecutive World Cup, this time with three wins in one season - a feat unequalled by any other rider - plus an Italian championship and the world number one ranking. Bettini is back on Cyclingnews in 2004 with his exclusive English-language diary.

Italy, August 31, 2004

Ready for Verona

Hi all my friends on Cyclingnews,

Let me tell you, the last month has been really fantastic... with my Olympic gold medal, three consecutive second places in the World Cup and moving back into the top spot in the UCI ranking. I could almost go crazy from all of this!

Paolo in Zurich
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

If we want to sweat the details, all I am missing is a World Cup win. At Zurich, I was close, but once again, it was a Spanish rider, after Perdiguero in San Sebastian, who ruined my party! Besides the joking, Flecha was really great in Zurich and totally deserved to win. Sure, I would have loved to win, but it was still really nice to be able to climb on the podium and celebrate with my Olympic jersey. But it will be really hard to race again in this special jersey. But from what I understand, the UCI may find a way so that I can wear some kind of Olympic logo on my team jersey.

After Zurich, I took a complete break for a few days to recover and restore some of the physical and above all mental energy you always leave on the road from racing. It's not easy to stay focused on racing for more than two months. So I stayed at home with my family Monica and Veronica, and only wanted to rest. Well you know by now that my season isn't over yet after the Olympics; I'll give it my all to win another World Cup until the last kilometer of the Giro di Lombardia in the challenge with Rebellin.

Above all, there's the World Championship in Verona. From today on until Sunday, October 3rd, my program will be to prepare for this race so I can be in top form in Verona. On Friday, I'm racing in Holland in a couple of smaller races and then next weekend, it's Parigi Bruxelles and the G.P. Fourmies. In Italy, I'll be racing the Giro del Lazio in Rome and probably a race in Prato. Then I'll go up to Belgium for the final preparation in the Circuit Franco Belge. Those final four days of racing ought to give me the right form and rhythm to be ready for the World Championships. I really want this one. So look out for me!