After an admirable first year as a professional in 2016, Gianni Moscon really bounced out of our TV screens in 2017.
As an Under 23, Moscon was a man of all trades - he could climb with Rob Power (most of the time) and could win bunch gallops, making the young Italian an attractive prospect to World Tour teams. He was inevitably picked up and signed on the dotted line with the mythical Team Sky.
This year he has demonstrated the multifaceted rider he is. Riding the classics, winning the National TT, riding in support of Chris Froome at the Vuelta and gaining some personal results along the way. For me though, it was Paris Roubaix where he really showed his ability - Moscon was busy early, attacking, following moves and recovering after a mechanical and washing out on a corner. Before he took the bull by the horns and put himself into the winning move. A bold display and finishing fifth in the cobble classic is a result riders take years to achieve.
From the Stanley Street Social living Moscon looked to seamlessly transition into the professional ranks. The cycling world is highly intrigued as to how Team Sky operates and personally I am too, especially in regard to how neo pros are developed. The team is positioned that they have an "edge" over other squads through an unknown algorithm, but could it be they just work hard?
"My preparation didn’t change too much: it is just the volume of training that increased, with 3/4 day training blocks instead of 2 days blocks as I did in the Under 23s. The efforts are also similar just they are more specific and structured".
His relaxed demeanour is an asset of Moscon's and this trait combined with his physical ability has enabled the young Italian to become a genuine professional in a very short period of time.
"When I turned pro, everything was new and I didn’t know what was waiting for me, so I didn't have any specific expectations, so I gave it my best and just see what happens".
In today's cycling world there is a key trait that can't be measured on Training Peaks, the will to win and a passion for racing.
"I just love racing, one of the most exciting things in this world is the adrenaline you get while you are racing and all the support of fans along the roads is amazing. Race by race I got more and more confident and I began to realise I could maybe get a result".
It's not always an easy task establishing a coaching relationship heading into the professional ranks as the majority of neo pros are given a new coach. But again, a "1 percenter" that Moscon credited Sky for.
"Team Sky assisted me really well through my transition; my coach has been really helpful and open to my opinion and feedback from training."
The World Tour is a saturated pool of talent, thus to cut it as a professional you have to be at the elite of your speciality - for example, the common misconception that sprinters can't climb.
"I started my first season with a camp in Mallorca: the first day wasn’t bad because the training was mainly flattish. The second day though was a shock! It was a hilly day, with 3-4 km climbs and the final was a race, before the downhill and a sprint along the sea. We were climbing really hard and all the sprinters were still there; in my head I was used to sprinters not being able to climb so well, but at the professional level of the sport I soon learnt that the fast men can climb really well."
Moscon has the cycling world ahead of him and there is defiantly an opportunity to spread his prowess across the many disciplines of cycling.
"I'm not 100% as to what type of rider I am, but in the near future I will focus more on the one day classics. I like grand tours also so hopefully in the near future I will have the opportunity to go for the grand tour."
We will have to hold on a little longer until we can see Moscon race in Australia but hopefully it's not too far around the corner.
"I don’t think I will start my season in Australia as it will make it very long but I hope to race there one day soon."
See you back at the social club,