The 1999 Giro’s Fauniera descent marked your career and bequeathed you a nickname: the Hawk. After around 20 years, what do you remember about the time when you decided to attack?
I remember everything very well about that stage. The day before was of rest, and I used it to go and see the descent, and I figured out that it really suited my features: there were many hairpin turns and especially many semi-turns from which it was possible to go out very fast. I had a team mate located 500 meters far from the peak, so as he could pass me the helmet, which wasn’t mandatory at that time. I wore it and I dived down so hard that for three times I felt like both the wheels were slipping away from me, which is something that happens when you enter turns too fast. I reached Pantani, who on the peak was 2 minutes ahead of me, and I braced myself for the three hairpin turns which I remembered most in the whole slope. I had to take the lead and go down all the way, and, if I wanted to take a further advantage, that was the time. I did great, and on the following straight I thought: “Nobody could have caught up with my wheels” I won the fear of turning back, so I did it and actually there wasn’t anyone behind me».
How would you describe, in the easiest way possible, your downhill technique?
«In a single adjective, I was balanced. I moved the bottom backwards, and I was hunching on my bike, with shoulders and body close to the handlebars, but not too forward to throw the weight off balance. My secret was to draw lines without fixing them: if during a turn I was 3 centimeters far from the roadside, that happened not because I made a mistake, but rather because I chose to do that turn exactly like that».