Since first placing it around his neck in Rio, Elia Viviani has not wanted to take off the gold medal he won last summer in the Brazilian velodrome. Not being able to take the medal with him while riding, he has decided to add a golden touch to many of the things he uses daily – from helmet to shoes to glasses, and even the earphone cord for listening to music during solo training sessions.
“I really pursued this gold, and the fact that I achieved my most important goal changes everything,”
says the 27-year-old sprinter born in Isola della Scala in the Veneto region, who is the reigning Olympic champion in the omnium event on the track.
“From an athletic perspective, you understand that you really can attain the greatest results, and you’re not afraid to aim higher and higher, and it’s also nice to be stopped on the street and recognized for that medal.”
When he’s not at training camps around the world with his Team Sky teammates, Viviani enjoys riding on his home roads: “My training ride always begins the same way, with the Torricelle area of Verona, which I always include, and then the options branch out from there – toward Lake Garda, for example, if I need to do a long ride, or Valpolicella, if I want to stay closer in. In the winter I usually do long rides of four or five hours, but never at too hard of a pace – with a small group, and often with my girlfriend, Elena Cecchini (Italian road champion for the last three year in a row).
But when I need to do a specific workout I ride alone, with my music to provide the rhythm and keep me company.” Viviani was already very familiar with Castelli products, thanks to the Italian national team, and he took the blue jersey with the red and white scorpion to the top step of the Olympic podium in Brazil.
Beginning in 2017, Castelli will be with him throughout the entire season as the technical partner of Team Sky. “In the winter I prefer to dress a bit warmer rather than suffer from the cold,” he says, “since today’s advanced technologies mean you’re not likely to sweat too much like you did in the past. I always choose the heaviest base layer, like the Flanders Warm, with a Perfetto Long-Sleeve or Alpha Jersey over it, and I always keep a jacket in my pocket for the descents or in case of rain, so I don’t get cold. Then I wear the Estremo or Scalda gloves, and wool socks on my feet, along with toe covers or Narcisista shoecovers. Plus always a neckwarmer and a thermal cap. And I can’t forget hot tea in my water bottle.” Elia has no doubts about his favorite piece of winter clothing in the collection:
“The Sanremo Thermosuit. I didn’t choose the name at random, because Milan–San Remo is my big goal for 2017, maybe along with some stages in the 100th Giro d’Italia.” Thanks to Viviani, the Castelli scorpion is ready to win again.
Photos: Edoardo Civiero, Bettiniphoto, Russ Ellis, Team Sky