Peloton Watch
  Martina Alzini turns professional in 2016 with Ale Cipollini Galassia  
  November 12th 2015  
  Photo: Kazakhstan Cycling Federation/UCI Junior World Championships 2015
  Promising Italian junior Martina Alzini will turn professional with Alé Cipollini Galassia in 2016. One of a number of Italy's junior talents to find a spot in the professional peloton.

A talented rider on both the track and road but it has been the track where Alzini has found the most success on the world stage. Part of the Italian team pursuit squad that claimed silver behind Australia at the 2014 Junior World Championships.

Alzini was again denied a rainbow jersey in the omnium and had to settle for silver in a close battle with Macey Stewart. Heading in to the final sprint in the points race Alzini had a two point lead but a third place finish for Stewart gave her two points and the gold on count back.

Undeterred Alzini returned to the Junior World Championships in 2015 again chasing gold in both the team pursuit and omnium. As World Record holders from the European Championships Italy was highly favoured to take gold in the team pursuit. Disaster struck as they were disqualified after two false starts.

Disappointment aside Alzini then lined up in the omnium with consistent performances in the first five rounds she was in bronze medal position ahead of the points race. A strong points race saw Alzini consolidate her bronze medal. Making Alzini one of only three people to earn medals in the omnium in both years as a junior.

As she turns professional in 2016 Alzini will continue to split her time between the track and the road. Having raced the Ladies Tour of Qatar and Giro dell'Emilia Internazionale Donne this year, Alzini has had a taste of the professional peloton but realises the challenge of stepping up to the elite level.

PelotonWatch: How did you first take up cycling and how old were you?

Martina Alzini: I started to ride my little bike without the little wheels at 3 years old and at 6 I started to compete. I remember very well my first race; it was in 2004 on April the 4th and I won with the boys.

PW: Italy was disqualified in team pursuit qualifying at Junior Worlds after two false starts. It was a controversial decision what happened?

MA: I don't think that anyone really knows what and how really happened. Nobody will ever know 100 percent.

The judges shot the gun twice for false start, and then a few minutes later changed their decision; so we would have a second opportunity to qualify. But while we were warming up, a few of the teams and judges didn't agree with it and the decision was reversed. The last official decision was that we were not allowed to re-start.

PW: As world record holders how disappointing was it to miss out on competing for the medals?

MA: In that moment all the team and I were shocked. Staff and athletes worked so hard for this race, no one knows how the final result would have been, but we had a really high expectation for a medal.

PW: How much of a challenge was it to overcome and refocus for the omnium?

MA: All the track followers know that track competition changes every day. For instance if one day was good it isn't certain that the following day is the same and vice versa. That's why I love the track! Every day is a new day and a new challenge. Of course crossing that nasty moment was difficult for me, but every athlete must be able to overcome these kinds of moments.

PW: You claimed the silver medal in the omnium last year and 5th at European Championships this year. What was your target at Worlds?

MA: My target at Worlds was of course to do well in the team pursuit and also to take a medal in the omnium. I thought that in this World Championships the riders' quality was so high, so to reaffirm myself in the omnium, with the bronze medal made me very happy!

PW: Happy with how your two years as a junior has gone?

MA: Yes, these two years represent for me lots of things, both positive and negative emotions, pain and satisfactions, good moments with my club team and also with the Italian National Team.

PW: You have signed a contract with Alé Cipollini Galassia. What made you want to sign with the team?

MA: I signed with the Alé Cipollini Galassia because I think they represent one of the most important team in my country. They made to a good impression on me and I already know most of the girls.

PW: What are you most looking forward to about turning professional and what do you think the biggest challenge will be?

MA: I'm glad to be part of Alé Cipollini Galassia team for the next season and became a professional rider. I have already had some experience within the elite ranks. I competed in the Ladies Tour of Qatar this year, where I was the youngest rider. Of course it will be hard, but reaching the elite category represents a dream that comes true, obviously now I have to work harder.

PW: What are your goals for 2016?

MA: For this coming season my goals are to gain a lot of experience, grow and improve myself and my skills on the road and on the track as well. So I hope to do that in my first pro season, but without school! I also want to do well on my final exams.
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