Ahead of the Giro d’Italia Donne and Tour de France Femmes, Campagnolo catch up with the legendary UAE Team ADQ rider.
Marta Bastianelli is an icon of women’s cycling.
The UAE Team ADQ rider is 35 but age has proven just a number as the Italian has already won six stages this season plus grabbed one overall title and two points classifications.
She uses Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Bora Ultra WTO wheels and is the perfect ambassador, representing Campagnolo’s desire for cyclists of all levels to dream bigger and ride stronger.
Recently, we caught up with Bastianelli to talk all things elite cycling. But before our one-on-one, a recap of Basitianelli’s season, starting with her 2022 race-opener at Vuelta CV Feminas in early February, which she won in glorious style to kickstart her retirement season
There was more Spanish success later in the month at Setmana Valenciana-Volta Comunitat Valenciana Fémines where the Campagnolo star sprinted to stage victory on the final day.
The former world champion carried that form over to Belgium where she won Omloop van het Hageland, proving the strongest sprinter from a 10-woman group who’d formed around 35km from the finish in Tielt-Winge. In the process, Bastianelli became the first woman to win the race on three occasions.
A further six top-10s in six races followed, including 10th at the women’s Tour of Flanders, before Bastianelli won again, this time stage one of the two-stage Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg. Second a day later secured the overall crown.
Bastianelli’s next race saw the Italian win the first two stages of the Bretagne Ladies’ Tour Ceratizit, which delivered her the points classification title. And at her last race, Ride London Classic, she finished sixth overall.
All in all it’s been a memorable first half of 2022 for Bastianelli, leaving the Italian in buoyant mood for our recent chat.
Marta, what are your goals for the rest of the season?
I’m aiming to win a couple of stages at the Giro d’Italia Donne [30 June to 10 July] and stages of the Tour de France Femmes [24 to 31 July], although my priority this year it to challenge myself in the road race at the World Championships in Australia [24 September].
You won the World Championships in 2007 in Stuttgart, Germany. Is that the proudest moment of your illustrious career?
Winning the Worlds was certainly one of my most memorable race but I like to take pride in all the great races I’ve won. Saying this, I’d have to say that my participation at the Tokyo Olympics last year really was one of my most special races. That has to be at the top of my list. [where Marta finished 44th].
How do you reflect on your career?
Sometimes I think donw more than i could have ever imagine and achieved everything possible; other times I think that I haven’t won enough races. I could list the races that I’d like to win but, sadly, at my age and with the incredible competition in today’s racing, it would be extremely difficult.
You’re in a team whose youngest rider is 18 and oldest 38. How are the dynamics across such a wide spectrum of ages?
This year’s team is a similar make-up to 2021 meaning it's really good as we already have strong bonds and know each other well. Of course, like all teams, we still have room for growth and improvement.
If you had to describe the team in three words, what would they be?
Family, determination and passion.
Do you have pre-competition rituals?
I always make sure I call my husband and my little girl.
When not racing, what’s your favourite thing to do?
I love spending time at home, relaxing and making sure everything is clean and tidy - Weekends and rest days are devoted for long walks.
Finally, where’s your favourite place to ride?
I like to ride in the mountains in the hills overlooking the sea.
Marta, thank you for your time. From all at Campagnolo, we wish you the best for the rest of the season.