I’m from Albosaggia in Lombardia and started skiing at the age of six. My father, Graziano, was a professional so naturally I followed in his tracks. He used to pull me along by a rope for practice. I really inherited his passion for the mountains and skiing early on, going to watch him race, enthralled by the landscapes, the atmosphere and the racing. I took part in my first races at the age of 14, which led to being selected to race for Italy, in 2008, a year after my father retired from the national team. Dad still trains with me and races now and then. He is very much central to my coaching, advising me as a professional skimo racer.
Skimo (or ski mountaineering) will become an Olympic event in 2026, and it’s taking place here in Italy. Of course, this is something I’m very focussed towards, but I’m perhaps a little too old for the sprint discipline which this will be. For the explosive power you need, the younger guys are usually better, but we shall see. I’m just happy to be competing in the beautiful mountains.
Of course, winning is a special feeling, but as long as the vibe is right and I’m enjoying it, that’s all I need. 2022 has been a good year for me, winning at Pierra Menta for the third time, and becoming world champion. It was also fantastic to see Alba [Michele’s wife and fellow Caravan athlete] win Patrouille des Glaciers this year. Especially as I finished in second place there in my race!
Alongside skiing, my other passion has been MTB and now road riding. Again, my father brought me into this sport during the summer months when we cannot ski. I use riding my bike as pre-season training, and some summers would only ride my mountain bike. No running or anything else… Now I mix running and riding with high intensity workouts. I won a vertical running event recently, but I will leave the Ultra Marathon events for now. But the bike is the most fun, of course. I’m going to compete in some hill races in the Dolomites as I usually do quite well. I also train with Alba a lot on the bike; it allows us to spend time together and have fun whilst still ‘working’ at our own pace. We also run a farm together, including 23 cows and a bee colony.
The Dolomites is where I enjoy riding and sometimes racing uphill, such as the Stelvio or Gavia passes. For downhill MTB too the Dolomites is a beautiful playground.
WHAT I RIDE?
I grew up riding MTB, but now compete for training and fun on the road. I also train with Alba a lot on the bike; it allows us to spend time together and have fun whilst still ‘working’ at our own pace.
WHY I RIDE?
Alongside skiing, my other passion has been MTB and now road riding. Again, my father brought me into this sport during the summer months when we cannot ski. I use riding my bike as pre-season training, and some summers would only ride my bike.
BIKE TO SKI
At 1600m up, deep within the Mercantour National Park, surrounded by snow-covered peaks, the pick-up truck is being loaded two by two.