Fixed Gear Crit

Rider in spotlight Q&A: Giovanni Longo “I was pretty much surprised about everything, especially about winning the super pole.”

Giovanni’s track CV is a pretty impressive one. He raced the 2010 Six Days of Ghent, the 2010 World Championships in Montichiari, Verona, the 2011 Worlds in Moscow and the European Championships in Anadia, Portugal. He also won the Italian Team Pursuit Championship in 2010 and 2011, and the Italian Team Sprint Championship in 2013 before deciding he wanted to be a doctor rather than a professional cyclist. This hasn’t changed his passion for cycling by any means and as a newcomer to the crit scene, which he discovered this year, he has one objective: enjoying it.

Text: Michele Colucci from Dead Cyclists Society
Photography: Tornanti.cc

Your pole position in Brooklyn No.10 was pretty impressive considering it was your debut in a Red Hook Criterium. Had you ever raced crits before?
I started out this year thanks to my friend Alvise who introduced me to Giacomo Preo of Team Bahumer. Before NY I had only raced two crits, taking 2nd in Misano and 5th in Lissone. As an under 23 I used to love the speed and excitement of road crits in cities but obviously fixed gears are way different.

Were you surprised making the super pole session and then taking the pole position as well?
I was pretty much surprised about everything, especially about winning the super pole. I had never thought I would start from the pole position in Red Hook Crit Brooklyn. Up until a few months ago it was a dream race I was following on Instagram while studying for College.

Did you feel tired for the race after such an effort in the super pole session?
I must say I was’t that tired after the super pole session, no.

There was this moment in Brooklyn, only seconds before the race started, when you turned around towards your teammate Filippo Fortin and said “centoquindici”, 115. What was that?
I felt pretty tense. It had been years since starting an international, high level race of this kind and all eyes were on me. I felt pretty much like I did at the World Track Pursuit Championships, with that endless countdown…I simply told Filippo my BPMs. I tell you, the adrenaline was real high!

You were solidly in the top ten up until the crash, can you tell us what happened?
To be honest, I went over the top. I hadn’t been racing constantly at 180 BPMs in years, I had no intention to quit but one must learn to handle effort, particularly when you’re pushing so hard. A lack of concentration in the first hairpin got me bending too much, my pedal touched the tarmac and that was it, I just bounced and crashed.

Velodrome, road race, crit. In order of preference, what do you prefer racing?
Crits are awesome and exciting but risks are sometimes way too high. So they’re my favourite! 🙂 But if I think about the atmosphere at the Six Days of Ghent and my results on track, I have to put crits and track racing on the same level. Third comes road racing, though I honestly love having brakes on my bike every once in a while…

What are your expectations for RHC London No.3?
I believe I will have a better condition compared to NY, I hope I will still be able to fight for the super pole at least.