Stefano is a young Italian athlete with his sights set on an Ironman triathlon. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I have practised sports since I was little. I started with swimming and I started competing at 6 years old. For a while I played football but realized it wasn't for me so I tried mountain biking. In addition to triathlon, I like skiing and free diving.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I started doing triathlon 3 years ago after breaking my left elbow in a fall while doing BMX. I was looking for a challenge that could match my passions, especially swimming and cycling, so I said to myself: "why not triathlon? " and here we are on the road to Ironman.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race is the Olympic triathlon of Endine in Italy as all three disciplines take place in a breathtaking landscape. You swim in very clean waters, the bike route consists of two very beautiful and challenging climbs and to conclude the race is a multiple tour around the lake with many fans. An incredible race.
What is your proudest achievement?
Every time I cross the finish line of a race it is an indescribable feeling, but the result I am most proud of is achieving first place in my age group at the Milano super sprint triathlon and thirteenth place overall.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
During my first Olympic triathlon, the international triathlon of Bardolino, I broke my water bottle after only 5km of the bike leg and I had to do the whole leg without liquids except for a beer thrown by the fans along the way.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Don’t make failure an option and keep pushing!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Advice that I would give myself is to pay more attention to nutrition, as in triathlons proper nutrition can be a determining factor as well as a source of competitive advantage.
What are your goals?
In 2021 I will take part in the Ironman full distance on the island of Elba, probably as the youngest athlete in the competition. I think crossing the finish line of an IM at the age of 21 will be immense!
Who inspires you?
I believe that Alex Zanardi is the person who can teach us the most on a sporting level but not only that, he is a symbol of perseverance and tenacity that everyone, not just sportsmen and enthusiasts, should take as an example.
“I want to do something with this life of mine. I want to take my life as a great opportunity that I can’t waste.” - Alex Zanardi
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried is a young, dynamic and above all environmentally conscious company with their Ecotech fabric made entirely of recycled material. The environmental issue is very important in the world we live in, so I am very proud to be able to represent the company.