The very promising Italian suffered a slowdown in his career but now seems to be back on top!
He is now 28 years old but in 2012 he spent a year riding his mountain bike and not on the road. Before that he had some impressive performances:-
4th – Tre Valli Varesine
3rd – Trofeo Melinda
3rd – Coppa Placci
9th – Giro di Romagna
5th – Memorial Cimurri
8th – Giro del Lazio
4th – Coppa Sabatini
6th – Giro di Lombardia
1st – Hel van het Mergelland
1st – stage 1 of the Tour of Turkey
After that he lost his way a bit but after his stint off-road he was back to his brilliant best in late 2013. His results included:-
5th – stage 1 of Lombarda
2nd – stage 3 of Lombarda and 9th overall
8th – GP Costa Degli Etruschi
7th – Milano-Torino
5th – Coppa Sabatini
7th – Giro dell’Emilia
He will be one of the team leaders for Yellow Fluo and should look to continue his good form on the climbs. He is a quick finisher and does well in sprints when the pure sprinters are no longer there.
Here is an interview I did with Mauro:-
You had a very successful end to the 2013 season, with 9 top 10 placings. How do you rate your 2013 season?
Yes, we say that in the season finale I was able to give the best, but I would say that I did very well throughout the second half of the season with the Italian championship (end of June) onwards have always been the heart of the racing. Truly a shame not to be able to win. The beginning of the season instead was plagued with several health problems, but with the arrival of warm weather I enjoyed many races; races are won or lost, but always be in front of the action is fundamental for me.
You did MTB in 2012, how hard was it to get back on the road bike?
I would say that it was not very difficult, a year passes quickly and the bike I kept active both physically and mentally; certainly at some point I had a handicap.
You were very unlucky to lose to Tsatevitch in Lombarda, how disappointed were you not to win?
That day I really wanted to win, I had left home for the week of Lombarda with that stage in my head, unfortunately I finished second, it would have been really nice to get back to winning but Tsatevich and his team were stronger.
Your climbing skills were very impressive in Milano-Torino and Giro dell’Emilia, which type of race suits you best?
In those races I’ve had some good performances, I would say that these are the kind of races for me, even better if it was after the arrival of the hill, in the valley, in order to sprint against the pure climbers. Or even cobblestones.
You will be one of the main leaders for Yellow Fluo in 2014, how much confidence does this give you?
My job will not be much different from what I had this year from mid-season onwards, although starting from the beginning of the season without too many leaders will allow me to better focus on my objectives.
What races will you be targeting in 2014?
We’re a pro-continental team so we have to wait for the calls so it’s hard to score with the red pen races months in advance, but let’s say I want to participate in more classic races throughout the season, it would be nice if we got a few invitations to Belgium, where I want to redeem (Gent-Wevelgem with bronchitis, dysentery in De Panne and finally Flanders with a fever) and of course the Giro(always a wild card permitting).
You finished 2nd in the KOTM jersey at the Tour of Turkey, how hard was it to win this jersey?
I’ll be honest, it is not for the weak! I wanted to take home that shirt, but the team Torku at that time was really fit and their whole team ran for this purpose alone and I was not able to do much.
What is Luca Scinto like as a DS?
I like him, with him you have a direct relationship. He’s a real motivator and he really lives for this sport.
How hard was it for the you and your teammates when Di Luca and Santambrogio tested positive, at the Giro?
Very, I personally had to give up Lombardia, where in all probability it would have been the best race for me. The team was one step away from closing and still not sailing in calm waters, but thanks to the efforts of some of the sponsors of the team and the Team Manager Angel Citracca, the Yellow Fluo this year will be on track.
What are your goals for 2014?
I want to start on the right foot, get some good results in Belgium (invitations to races permitting) and then continue in the footsteps of this season but return to raising my arms in victory!