25 Riders to Watch in 2014 – Edoardo Zardini

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Edoardo Zardini

This talented 24 year old Italian has had a good, solid season.

His main role for Bardiani CSF, has been to work for the team and Manuel Bongiorno. They link-up very well together and Zardini led him out well on stage 3 of the Tour of Denmark, this helped him to finish 4th overall(1 place ahead of his teammate) thanks to a better time-trial.

His best race of the season was the Giro dell’Emilia, where he tested the strength of Diego Ulissi, on the final climb into San Luca. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to break Ulissi, but did hold on for 6th.

He will hope for more chances in 2014, as he has demonstrated his climbing abilities and will look to take part in his 2nd Giro.

Here is an interview I did with Edoardo:-

This was your first season racing in elite races, how do you think you did?

I’m very happy about my first pro season, in several races (especially in the second part), I was able to ride on the same level as strong riders. 

You had a good solid season,with 2 stand out performances in the tour of Denmark and Giro dell’Emilia. What race was your best?

I think Giro d’Emilia was the race where I did the best performance, I tried until the end to win but Ulissi was too strong. Anyway I don’t have regrets about my result. Also I’m satisfied about Coppa Agostoni, where I was in the leading group until 1km to go. While the placement at the Tour of Denmark was a surprise, I felt good in the first days but I didn’t expect to be so strong, also I did a very good time trial.

It was brilliant to see you racing up into San Luca, with Bongiorno in tow. It really seemed that you were going to break Ulissi, but he was super strong. How much confidence does it give you to be challenging such a great athlete?
Some good performances in the second part of season gave me a lot of confidence that I’m on the right way. But I know that I have to grow up a lot and gain experience. 
You seem to work very well with Bongiorno, and he has a lot to thank you for. What is he like to work for? 
Manuel is a very strong rider, good friend and he’s very smart. When he says that he feels good, it’s sure that he’ll achieve a good result. So I know my limits and skills and when required I work for the team without any problems. 

You raced your first grand tour in 2013, the Giro, are you excited about the prospect of riding it again in 2014?
To take part in the Giro as a neopro was incredible, a really amazing experience. Very exciting! I hope to repeat next year where I aim to be at the start with a really good condition and have the possibility to make good performances in the mountains. 
Will you be given more opportunities in races in 2014?
In our team we are young so everybody has the space, when he’s in good shape, “to make the race”. My goal is to be ready in the events suitable for my skills as a climber.
What races do you like the best?
I would like to take part to some big classics like Milan-Sanremo or Lombardia, especially to test my body under long distance. We hope that RCS Sport will invite us to both of these races. 
It’s clear that you go very well on short, steep climbs but what are you like on longer climbs?
This year I think I was very strong on short and steep climbs but with our training coach we are starting to work on the longer climbs. 
What races will you be riding in the early part of 2014?
In the middle of December we’ll have a training camp and we’ll plan the first part of season. I guess we’ll divide the team into two squads in February.
What are your goals for 2014?
Make a really good season, improve my result from 2013 and payback the confidence of the team maybe with a win! 
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