Rubens Bertogliati Interview: Team Type 1 rider psyched by Tour de Suisse invite
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Friday, April 08, 2011

Rubens Bertogliati Interview: Team Type 1 rider psyched by Tour de Suisse invite

by Shane Stokes at 4:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de Suisse
 
Swiss national time trial champion ready to show off jersey in his hometown

Rubens BertogliatiThis week was a very important one for the American Team Type 1 squad, which received an invite to the prestigious Tour de Suisse event. The squad has set the goal of riding the Tour de France in the next couple of seasons, and after being passed over for a Giro d’Italia invite, getting into the Swiss event allows it to show what it can do.

Many of the ProTeams will be using the race to prepare for the Tour, and their riders will consequently be in very good shape. If the Team Type 1 riders can clock up a big result or two, it will underline the worth of the squad, and help its candidature for Grand Tours in the future.

Swiss rider Rubens Bertogliati is one of the most important and experienced riders on the team, having taken past results such as a stage win in the Tour de France, first in the GP Chiasso, second on a stage of the 2010 Giro d’Italia and two national time trial crowns. The 31 year old VeloNation blogger transferred to the squad prior to the start of the season, putting his confidence in the team after two years with the Diquigiovanni Androni setup.

His past results and recognised strength mean that he is an important addition to the roster. He is yet to reach his peak, but has put in some solid performances this season. He was eighth in the time trial in the recent Settimana Coppi e Bartali, sixteenth in the GP Regio Insubrica, eighteenth in the GP di Lugano and 20th in the Montespaschi Strade Bianche. Those performances may not seem spectacular, but he is confident that his form is on the up and that some strong results lie ahead.

VeloNation spoke to the 31 year old about the invite to the Tour de Suisse, what it means to him to be able to compete as Swiss TT champion there, and his goals for the race, as well as his impression of Team Type 1 and how the squad is coping after the recent theft of a large number of bikes, wheels and equipment. He explains that he is happy being part of the growing formation, and looks forward to helping it grow and develop.

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Rubens BertogliatiVeloNation: Rubens, you had the team have received some very important news with the invitation to the Tour de Suisse. It has a chance now to go to the race, compete against the top squads in cycling and aim for a big result. How do you feel about the invite?

Rubens Bertogliati: I think it is really important for me, but more important for the team to be at the start of the Tour de Suisse. It is a real opportunity for the team to show up in a world calendar race. Everybody knows that the Tour de Suisse is a big race in preparation for the Tour de France, and I think it will be a big experience for our riders.

From my side, I can say it will start in Lugano with a time trial, and so I will for once wear the Swiss champion’s jersey in my home town…it will be really fantastic.

VN:
What do you think is possible for you in that time trial?

RB:
It depends, as it is a strange time trial for a prologue. There is a climb at the end…it is the same climb we do in the Lugano race early season. It is reversed, though - we do the descent climbing and we do the climb as a descent.

It is hard, because there is a climb but it is also technical going down. You have to be really, really good in the decent to be in the first ten. I think it is good for me, because there is a climb and I really know the roads very well…I have trained a lot on that road, so I know it really, really well.

But it is normal that for a prologue you have to be really, really strong for a short test. Normally I prefer longer time trials, maybe ones of 20 or 25 minutes are more for me than maybe a ten minute effort. So it will be hard.

VN: Have you ridden the race many times before?

RB:
Yes, I did it seven times in the past. This will be my eighth Tour de Suisse, and it will be really amazing for me. Returning after three years will be fantastic for me.

VN:
What was your best result in the past?

RB: I was sixth on one stage, fifth in the time trial. In the GC, perhaps my best result was in 2008 when I was 35th or something like that. But I always try to go in the breakaway and to try to win the stages, I never really concentrated on the GC.

Rubens BertogliatiVN:
Getting into the race is important for Team Type 1, it shows it is progressing and growing…

RB: Yes. There was a little bit of disappointment after the Giro d’Italia was not in our programme, although we can understand the organisers’ decision. So it was important for our team to show up in Europe in a big race. I think the Tour de Suisse will be a good possibility; there are long climbs, it is really like a small big stage race.

We have sprint stages, small climb stages, and long climbing stages. And obviously a time trial. It is a nine day race, so it is really big and hard race. In my opinion, it is one of the best races if you want to get experience and want to move towards the bigger competitions like the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de France.

VN: The team had hundreds of thousands of euros worth of bikes and equipment stolen recently…how is it coming back from that?

RB: Yes, we have to recover…I think the team has already some spare bikes in the headquarters but we slowly have to recover. The big problem was they took away all the wheels and these are much more a problem. You can get frames and bikes quite early, but the wheels are something special and it takes time to build them up. It will take time.

For the moment, we are racing on our spare bikes and we hope to get back the bikes back as soon as possible.

VN: Are you happy with how things have gone for you this year?

RB: Yes, I am happy because I have had some good races. It is also true that my good period is normally April and May, and this year I hope to also do well in June in the Tour de Suisse. But in general for our team, we always show up in the first places of almost every race we did. So we can say it has been a good start to the season.

We know have to get a big win, and then I think everything will be easier after that.

VN: Do you know your racing programme between now and the Tour de Suisse?

RB: Normally, I should do the Tour of Turkey at the end of April, and then in May there will be a big race in America, which is important for the team…the Tour of California. Then there will be the one day race in Philadelphia.

I think these three appointments – California, Philadelphia and the Tour de Suisse - are the biggest moments for the team, and also for me.

VN:
Finally, what made you change teams?

RB:
For me, it was a big decision last year to move from Androni to Team Type I. With this team, I saw the real chance and opportunity to come back and do the Tour de Suisse. This was the big interest thing for me with Team Type 1. My objective is now clear. To be in the Tour de Suisse is really a good thing for me, and also for the team in this moment.

Next year, if the team wants to grow more, the Tour de Suisse will be an important race, but just one of them. At the moment, we can say it is the most important race [of the season]. So it will be special to be there, and to learn to ride a big race like the Tour de Suisse.


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Check out Rubens' most recent blog here....what a pro has playing on his iPod during the race season

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