In this week’s episode of The Cycling Podcast, Lionel Birnie travels to Bicester Village retail outlet, not to do his Christmas shopping but to meet former Italian pro rider Flavio Zappi.
After a calamitously clumsy introduction at the Rapha cafe (sorry again, chaps!), Lionel talks to Flavio about his career as a rider in the early 1980s when he finished second in the king of the mountains competition at the 1984 Giro d’Italia - a race he acknowledges as one of the flattest grand tours in modern history.
In the second half the conversation turns to why he moved to Oxfordshire 25 years ago, rediscovered his love of cycling to help kick a smoking habit and how he established a development team to set young riders on the path to the World Tour.
The best known graduate from Zappi’s team so far is James Knox who went via Team Wiggins to Quick Step and had a stunning breakthrough performance at the Vuelta a España this year.
We are also joined by Paul Quarterman, who is heavily involved in Zappi’s team and whose son Charlie will ride for Trek-Segafredo with Vincenzo Nibali and new world champion Mads Pedersen next year.
The YouTube clip of the 1984 Milan-Sanremo Flavio referenced can be viewed here (Italian commentary).
The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science In Sport. If you would like to get 25% off all your Science In Sport products fill your basket with energy bars, gels, drinks and other goodies at scienceinsport.com and use the code SISCP25 at checkout.
This week’s episode sponsor is Procycling magazine, the top quality monthly magazine that takes readers inside the world’s toughest sport. Now in its 20th year, Daniel, Richard and Lionel have all written for the magazine. Pick up a subscription today and get 3 issues for £1 with your special offer code TCP19 at myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/tcp19 or call 0344 848 2852 and quote code TCP19. PLUS receive a FREE the Heroes of Procycling ebook worth £10.
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