Podia is very excited to introduce our very first guest writer Diego Caccia.
Diego retired from professional racing in 2012 when he ended his career with Farnese Vini – Selle Italia, an Italian UCI Professional Continental team, who have since been known as Vini Fantini and now Neri Sottoli.

Caccia turned pro in 2006 with ‘Barloworld’ where he rode with the likes of Gerraint Thomas, Daryl Impey and Chris Froome. After three years with the team he moved to ‘ISD – Neri’ (an earlier incarnation of ‘Vini – Selle Italia’). Here, Diego was a domestique for Giovanni Visconti, who he describes as ‘the best captain he has ridden with’. Visconti is now riding with ‘Movistar’.

Diego has featured in some of the most famous races in the world and has a reputation as a breakaway specialist. He showed it during the 2006 monument; Giro di Lombardia. After spending the majority of the race in the break he was caught with around 50km to go. Diego featured at the Tour de Pologne in 2012 where he managed a solo breakaway in stage 2, eventually being caught on the last lap of Opole by the sprint teams.

In 2009 Diego finished the Giro d’Italia as well as an impressive showing at the Presidential Tour of Turkey, but he is quick to point out that his favorite race was the spring classic – Amstel Gold. ‘The crowds at that race are like nothing I have ever experienced, such an atmosphere, just amazing’.

We have asked Diego to recall some of the memories he has as a professional bike racer. We are interested in the moments that we don’t normally hear about; what it’s like to sit on a team bus after your team has won a big race, what it’s like to return home after a three week Grand Tour or how you feel when training isn’t going well.

Before Diego’s first post, he recounted to us a memory of when he first got into cycling.

‘My father was a semi-professional racer so he knew how hard the life was. He encouraged me to try other sports like swimming, basketball, football. One day I came home with my first racing bike, it was an old red one that was about two sizes too big and from that moment I knew I wanted to race. I think my father was also the happiest man in the world because he didn’t push me to it, but I wanted to follow in his steps’.

Keep visiting podia.cc for Diego’s ‘Memories from the Peloton’, which will be a regular feature on the blog.

Images courtesy of altadefinizione.sirotti.it