We like talking to riders, coaches and those who have been involved in the history of Italian cycling. Daniele Pontoni was a two-time world cyclocross champion, having taken part in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and he is now a highly respected team manager. He is conscientious and competent, a real motivator for the DP66 Giant Selle SMP Rigoni di Asiago Paolo Leonardi Investimenti cyclocross team, which he manages with exceptional results. This is what he told us.
‘When I stopped being a rider, initially it was not easy for me to find a place in the cycling world. I had some expectations as a result of the many promises that had been made to me. Unfortunately, when you get off the pedestal, everyone forgets you...
I rolled up my sleeves and did various jobs, but not one was in the cycling world. In 2010, I opened a cycling school called Mont di Bike, connected with managing a holiday home. I then collaborated as the School Manager for Trentino Cross. In 2018, I started to form a cyclocross team that bears my initials and my year of birth. Excellent results were achieved right from the start: three titles in the Master Cross Selle SMP, two titles in the Italian Championship and one title in the Italian Team Championship. Davide Toneatti and Sara Casasola are two youngsters for whom I have high hopes. In a few years’ time, we will hear a great deal about Davide Toneatti. He will not only take part in cyclocross races and will become a great rider.
Today, cyclocross is becoming more popular, especially among youngsters. Parents prefer to send their children to tracks where there is no vehicular traffic. We only have to consider the rise in popularity of gravel bikes and MTB bikes. People shift from main roads to cycle paths, tracks and minor roads.’