In order to be by your side in these days spent waiting for the 25th edition of the “Maratona dles Dolomites”, Carvico has decided to collect the feelings, impressions, advice and words of a passionate sportsman who took part in the previous editions of the marathon and who knows very well both the passion you have to deploy to compete in the breathtaking scenario of the Dolomites mountains, and the commitment needed to produce techno-fabrics, meant to be the real market leaders, the best allies for the natural born winners.
1. Giorgio Cavallini, as a modern superhero, during the week works as a European Sales Manager for Carvico whereas, at the weekend, turns into a motivated sportsman. How was his passion for sport born? How old were you when you started cycling and which was your first real competition?
It was fast, it struck light lightning, when I was already “ quite old”.
I first approached endurance sports when I was on my thirties, partly because I was after a new challenge, partly because I wanted to test my mental and physical conditions at such a turning point in my life, and thanks to my job in Carvico, too: having to deal with techno fabrics every single day, I couldn’t help getting fond of the world of sport!
The very first day of my career in sport, was actually my first “Memorial Calissoni” (2008) that turned a hobby into a real passion with a more professional approach.
From footraces I moved on to learn new things about bicycles: I started as an amateur, as the classic “Sunday rider”, and then started setting more challenging objectives, riding more kilometers, climbing higher mountains, steep ascents … until I decided to run the Maratona dles Dolomites in 2010 and achieved the best, and most surprising result in my “career”! 2. We know that this year, due to your job, you will not be able to take part in the 25° edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites; however, can you tell us what are your feelings about that competition, what are your memories about last year? Is it a competition you would recommend to other athletes? I have amazing memories of that experience, it was a great party and everybody was there, first of all, in the spirit of solidarity, sport and effort. It was one of the very few competitions in which I could also enjoy the breathtaking landscape. Obviously enough, you cannot behave as a tourist due to the effort required to compete in the race, but the kind of consideration that people have for cyclists in that area and the attention, the enthusiasm and expectations linked to the marathon, are really unforgettable.
Experienced athletes from all over the world ride side by side with amateurs with no sponsor whatsoever, who are equipped with a lot of passion and who are just willing to say “I was there, too”! At the Maratona dles Dolomites I saw what you normally don’t see in any other granfondo events: the real spirit of cycling, the willingness to spend five, eight, ten hours to get to the finish line, sharing water and efforts, co-operating and enjoying the fact of taking part in the competition more than the idea of winning. I have run other races but, very often, several nuisances, such as the streets being open to traffic just fifteen minutes after the first riders had gone past, have made the competitions tough and dangerous; at the Maratona, instead, everything is special, starting from the audience to the organizers ( see Michil Costa’s diary on the official website), the intensity of his words, his strength, his commitment… it is really thrilling). It is also to be said that the Dolomites mountains are one of the few places in Italy where cycling “has won over football”, and therefore, people cheering along the streets are true supporters and also extremely correct. 3. Thanks to sport, you have just gone through another important experience in a very special location, Abu Dhabi: can you tell us something about it?
Sure, I took part in a Triathlon competition – Abu Dhabi International Triathlon – born in March 2010 and repeated on March 12 , 2011. Abu Dhabi is actually an amazing city that looks like a movie set; despite this the event was so well organized that you couldn’t help feeling like a real professional even though you might be there just to test your endurance and live an unusual experience; definitely something to do more than once ! In order to be ready for the competition I had to practice a lot before on shorter distances on the National territory, and during winter (when, differently from running and swimming, riding might be dangerous due to icy or wet surfaces) I spent hours and hours in my garage on a trainer in order to keep fit. 4. What are the best periods for training ? And how important is it to wear the right techno-garments while training?
Sport, at any level, is to be practiced with the correct approach and the most suitable clothes : for instance you cannot put yourself on a stand-by all through winter and then start riding in spring because, believe it or not, the impact on your knees and spine will be really strong, and the wrong approach matched with an unsuitable training might lead to the risk of muscle strain and pains, and might make you lose the long-term benefits brought about by persistence, sacrifice and intelligence. 5. What do you usually think of during competition? We are talking about a really hard sport, so do you only look forward to reaching the finish line and stop thinking about anything else or can enjoy the landscape that surrounds you ?
I can’t really say what I think of while riding, but at the Maratona dles Dolomites I really managed to focus on what I was living; in the average, it takes me six hours to get to the end of a competition and I would say that I usually concentrate on my heart beat, the movements of my legs, my pace, possible pains here and there … everything I need to keep focused and keep on fighting till the end. No, I really can’t look around and enjoy the landscape, not even in cities such as Florence; anyway, what I can always feel in each race, and especially at the Maratona dles Dolomites is the “sporting spirit”, the co-operation, the support and empathy shared with the other athletes that make you feel as a member of a big, enlarged family. 6. Are food, life style and talent as important as training and equipment/clothing in terms of performances in cycling and sport in general?
Food is really important for sport at any level, and eating well means achieving better results; I am not speaking about drastic diets or serious restrictions, since, especially for riders, what you need is rich breakfasts (cereals, bread, butter, jam and yogurt), many proteins, the right ratio of carbohydrates and fats … but in the balanced quantities and paying attention to dressings. It is the same kind of rapport that exists between cars and fuel: if you don’t fill up the tank up to the right level or if you choose the wrong fuel the car breaks down.
Furthermore I have a pretty quiet life style, I don’t stay up late and this helps me to keep fit but when you are an amateur you just have to avoid excesses, eat well and be committed. 7. How do you train when the weather conditions don’t allow you to regularly train outdoor ? (running, skiing, fitness, swimming?)
I do practice Triathlon and I go jogging, and in winter, when you cannot ride since streets are not safe, I focus more on running and swimming; I usually train at the weekend or in the early morning before going to work or during my lunch break and, finally, after work. It might seem hard, but I am really fond of it and I find it funny and relaxing. 8. Do garments made with Carvico fabrics help you performing ?
Carvico fabrics are precious allies, both during races and while training since they allow you to make the most of your energies without worrying about hot or cold weather, and they always fit you properly ensuring the maximum freedom of movement. In addition to this, having the chance of personally testing the fabrics I sell, makes me more aware of their real value and gives me an extra advantage all along the sales process. And I have to admit that, despite being an amateur, I am pretty demanding as an athlete. 9. What are instead the main disadvantages or risks you might run in case you don’t train properly or you don’t have the right gear?
Personally, I had the bad experience of wearing the wrong clothes, that were not breathable and moisture wicking and therefore gave me the unpleasant feeling of being stuck into a plastic bag; this happens mostly in winter: you go riding when the temperature outside is close to zero, your body gets cold quite fast, then you start pedaling and sweating, your sweat cools down on your skin (especially on your chest) and really serious problems might ensue. You should chose the most suitable garments for each temperature and each competition, and Carvico offers the best fabrics for every season.
10. Muscle compression, thermoregulation, breathability … Carvico fabrics feature all these characteristics and many more: have you been able to test them during competitions? What are, in your experience, the best ones, the ones you would recommend to amateur riders?
Since I started taking part in competitions more often, I have had the chance of testing several, different fabrics by Carvico along with their main features, and more specifically the Revolutional® family : Revolutional® 404 is exceptional for triathlon and ensures a full cover even in pales (while you are riding water can actually cause a really embarrassing see-through effect , but Revolutional® prevents this completely ); Revolutional Energy and Vuelta are suitable for cycling, while Darwin is the best for swimming, since it fits you perfectly, it is reliable and easy care. 11. What would you suggest to a young guy who wishes to take up cycling today or more generally approach sport?
I would like to see more young people taking up these kinds of “minor” sports instead of football; in the UK and Germany, for instance, Triathlon is much more common than here and therefore in Italy we have fewer young talents, and they are hidden and not supported at all.
Whereas when it comes to cycling, also thanks to the Giro d’Italia, supporters are many and there are thousands of young athletes that take part in International competition even though they don’t make it to the headlines unless there is a scandal connected to doping and drug abuse; it would be great to see their prestigious results celebrated by the media since they are achieved through their commitment and serious efforts. 12. Are you planning to take part in other competitions?
I am going to take part in a triathlon competition in Venezia on May 1st – the“Venice Chrono Triathlon” – it is a short and funny competition, in the form of a time trial, so it is everybody against everybody; and then on May 15 there is a half ironman in Turin – the “Triathlon Candia” – a hard test after Abu Dhabi, one of the greatest challenges I have ever faced since I will be swimming for 1,9km, riding for 90km and running a half marathon (20km) (in Abu Dhabi the marathon was just 10Km long),but you shall consider that, in the average, when you are competing your performance increase by 20% (as in 2010 Maratona!) so I expect to achieve a good result. I would like to close this interview quoting Lance Armstrong, a man who taught us that you should not think of sport as a simple physical activity to be practiced when you are 20 or 30, but a 360° life experience that can stay with us for a long, long time: “Anything is possible. You can be told that you have 90% of chance or 50% of chance or 1% of chance of making it, but you have to believe and you have to fight.”