Dare 2b’s The Brotherhood: Angelo Furlan – interview
"Cycling is almost like a religion. Follow the rules, and do things the right way.”
“It is almost like a religion,” Angelo Furlan says, as he ponders how he made it to the top in cycling. “Follow the rules, and do things the right way.”
Now 38, Italian rider Furlan won stages of the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of Poland and Criterium du Dauphine during his career, having previously been a European BMX champion.
A sprinter by nature, Furlan started 13 Grand Tours in all and, since climbing out of the saddle for the last time as a professional, is hoping to inspire the next generation.
And in order to reach the top, he says there is no big secret involved – just hard work, and full commitment.
“It is a way of life, you must stay focused,” he says. “Diet, dedication and training are extremely important in cycling.
“You just need to follow a healthy and balanced diet. There is no secret, you just have to take care of yourself, be dedicated and determined.”
Furlan is one of four riders brought together by Dare 2b to promote The Brotherhood, but has a very different background to that of Stephen Roche, Oscar Pereiro and Tim Harris.
And Furlan believes that background – the BMX riding, adrenaline junkie in him – is what made him follow the path into becoming a road racing sprinter.
“I love danger,” he confesses. “I come from BMX, where you go fast and jump high. This [risk] is what cycling had in common with BMX, and it helped me a lot.
“I took up cycling almost by chance. After a high jump on the BMX I broke my collarbone. I started cycling and I decided that I would make it my everyday job. I started to win and I felt that thrill that only cycling can give you. It became my job. The best in the world.
“As a sprinter I saw many accidents. It is something you need to take into account. A sprinter gets used to falls. The very first thing you have to learn is how to fall.
“You don’t have to be scared. A racer is like an animal. He gets up and wins. This is what makes the difference.
“Of course it hurts, but the next day you are back on your bike going for victory. This is the spirit of cycling.
“It is very dangerous, but this is why it is also fascinating. I have always been a sprinter and I like the fact that you get up to 75-80km/h. This is what I like about the sport, what gives me an adrenaline rush.”
And, in a feeling many cyclists can relate too, once the cycling bug had bitten, Furlan has found it impossible to shake.
“Cycling is still a big part of my life,” he concludes. “I own a coaching centre to help young athletes become professionals and I work with the Italian Cycling Federation.
“I train 4-5 hours during the weekends, and 1-2 hours during the week days. Once you’re a professional, cycling is what keeps you alive. You have it in you. You can’t stop doing it. You just need to keep going.”
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