Fassa Bortolo, Quickstep, Liquigas, Omega Pharma, Vini Fantini…one only needs to go through the list of road teams Francesco Chicchi has been in to understand that his is no ordinary cycling career. A professional cyclist from 2003 to 2016, he has countless wins under his belt including a gold medal at the Under-23 World Championships in 2002, stages of Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour Down Under and Tour of Qatar as well as wins on the track like his gold medal in the men’s scratch at the 2010 Italian Track Championships. Fixed Gear criteriums are yet another challenge in his career. We have talked with him about career highs, who got him into fixed crits and what his goals are in this world.
Your road cycling career is beyond any doubt highly impressive. Looking back, what’s your most special memory to date, the unforgettable emotion?
I had quite a good career in road racing, all of the wins were special and they all had an important meaning to me, but winning the last stage in Qatar in 2010 on the day of Franco Ballerini’s funeral was by far the most special and emotional.
When did you hear about fixed gear crits for the first time, and who or what made you want to try?
I must admit I knew nothing about fixed crits, road racing drains every drop of your concentration and time. When Bike Channel called me to collaborate I met with Danilo Borroni who began telling me about this awesome movement, and I took the challenge. When I got back home I looked for riders training in my area and discovered there was an old friend of mine, with whom I train now.
What’s the most exciting aspect of fixed gear crits in your opinion? And the least?
Crits are amazing, it’s like a huge party with friends, a mix of wonderful elements. Doing your best is at the core of everything and I would like to win a Red Hook Crit race in the future, but I feel it’s going to be hard. The only negative side I found…is being without brakes.
What are your goals in this field?
As I said above, I would love to win a stage of the Red Hook Crit championship, but what the feelings I experience at every race thanks to my teammates is a victory in itself.
What advice would you give to those stepping into this world?
I don’t feel like giving advice since I myself am quote a rookie in this sport. Indeed, it’s terribly fun, so the only thing I’s say is to enjoy it.
Can you picture yourself not as a cyclist? Did you have other dreams as a kid?
I actually believe my life without a bicycle doesn’t exist. It was my dream as a kid, I achieved it, I am happy about everything I’ve done and wouldn’t change a thing.
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