After a short but very successful debut as an U23, Edoardo Zambanini has started 2021 in terrific form. The young Italian has raced five times on the UCI circuit, and is yet to finish lower than 17th.
I caught up with the young Zalf rider after he took home 10th overall at the Giro di Romagna, and now you too can get to know him better.
“My first season as an under 23 was short but intense. Due to the Corona Virus, the racing program was not full. After a long break, I started to race again in July, where I found a good condition. During the lockdown, I continued to train as well as to concentrate with school because I also like to study. Even though it was a short season I got some small satisfaction.”
Edoardo had his first taste of WorldTour action when he raced against the top teams at the new Per Sempre Alfredo pro race, and he took home a very impressive 12th place.
“In this season until now, thanks to the team I have participated in competitions with professionals, such as “Per sempre Alfredo”, but also international competitions such as Piva and Belvedere, lately I have also participated in the Giro di Romagna.”
Perhaps surprisingly for a man who was 10th overall at the last U23 Giro, Edoardo had designs on becoming a sprinter and had a track background. He developed his climbing legs relatively late, as he tells me.
“When I started cycling, I would have liked to become a sprinter, up to juniors I also did track and participated in the European and World Championships, but then I saw that I also liked the uphill races a lot and so I tried to improve as a climber.”
Speaking of that Giro, he started the race without pressure, and ended with a jersey and a great position on the final GC. Zambanini talked me through what was a terrific race for himself.
“The Giro d’Italia was one of the most beautiful experiences. I initially participated to gain experience, but then I felt good and was able to recover between one stage and another. I didn’t have so much pressure on me and maybe this was what helped me a lot. I ran day by day without thinking about the classifications. At the third stage when I took the white jersey, I started to believe in it more, and in the end, I finished in tenth position and won the white jersey.”
Despite last year’s success, and his hot form so far in 2021, Zambanini is keeping his targets for this season open, with no goal races in his mind, although another crack at the Giro is planned.
“This season I don’t have a particular goal, I’d like to do well in the Giro d’Italia and maybe win some races that are important for morale.”
Like many Italians, a stage win in the Corsa Rosa is Edo’s big dream, but he admits winning any race would be terrific.
“I think winning a race as a professional is everyone’s dream and I hope this dream comes true. If I had to choose a particular race, a stage in the Giro d’Italia…this would be my dream!”
Edoardo Zambanini is a really consistent rider, and I think he can make it as a pro in the coming seasons. Keep a watchful eye on him as the mountains become more of a feature later this year, and then we will see how he has progressed.
U23 Cycling Zone wishes to thank Edoardo for taking the time to answer my questions, and I wish him all the best for the rest of 2021 and beyond. You can follow his Instagram here.