After a season best described as an annus horribilis things are finally going in the right direction for Giacomo Nizzolo.
The 2016 Italian Champion has seen limited race action this year and is still questionable to whether he will be able to line up at some of the last events of the season, but when we caught up with him this week, he was relieved and rather jubilant.
Giacomo's troubles began late in 2016 with tendonitis in the knee, an injury that kept him off the bike and prevented him from racing for three months. He missed out on the complete Classics season but was back to training in time to prepare for the Tour of Croatia, where he raced his first kilometers of the season. After that, he headed to the Giro d'Italia where misfortune hit again, and he had to abandon before the start of stage 11 due to serious respiratory problems and allergies.
Giacomo recovered and came back in the Hammer Series in Sittard in early June where the team won the Hammer Sprint on the second day of racing.
Nizzolo: “Did you know I took my last victory as a reigning Italian champion there? To be honest, that weekend was one of mixed feelings. Physically I felt extremely bad, but the atmosphere within the team was really good, and it was just great to share the victory with the boys.”
The Hammer Series was followed by another battery of medical and physical testing at the Mapei Sport Training Center in Milan, tests whose results pointed to symptoms of overtraining. So that was that: Giacomo was off the bike again.
Now, after nearly nine months of troubles, Giacomo can see the light at the end of the tunnel: “Since a few weeks I can feel my body is changing and that is confirmed by my blood values which have gone back to normal. I have to say that I am still very cautious and I barely dare to say this out loud, but finally, I start to feel like a rider again! I did a training of four hours today, and I could even do some specific efforts. That was unimaginable just a few weeks ago.”
2017 has been such a tough year, both physically and mentally, I just want it to be over and to start 2018 with a clean slate.
“It’s still a question mark if I will still race this season. There is a slight chance I could go to one of the last races of the season, but first, we will have to see how I improve over the next weeks and how I recover from the training sessions. It's tricky; we don't want to over rush this and go too deep too fast.”
“But with or without a race to finish the season, I got my mind set on 2018 already. 2017 has been such a tough year, both physically and mentally, I just want it to be over and to start 2018 with a clean slate, and I will do my very best to have the best preparation I can during winter time.”
It's been almost a year of turmoil for a rider who wants nothing more than to be with his team racing again. After digging his way out of this deep hole, Giacomo is finally feeling good sensations in training, and with the tests confirming that he is back to ground zero, the only way for Giacomo is up.