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Riders series: Meet Giacomo Fantoni

The Riders Series takes a look beyond the bike and introduces the winners from all the qualifiers, we go to Verona, Italy as we catch up with Giacomo Fantoni on astronomy, a mom that raced DH, injuries and Arnold Schwarzenegger motivational videos

What is your name, how old are you and where are you from?

Giacomo Fantoni, 28 from Verona, Italy.

Tell us about where you live. What is your favourite thing about living there? 

You probably know my city from Romeo and Juliet story, but of course, it’s pretty much full of classic old European monuments most of them from the Roman age. Besides that, it’s also a prolific sports city with a lot of events during the year, so basically, my perfect kind of city, not too big, not too busy. It is perfectly placed between beautiful mountains and Lake Garda and the sea is at 1-hour drive so what more can I ask for?!

What is your favourite thing to do where you live? Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

I’m actually training full time to try make my Olympic dream come true, then I’m a coach and trainer so I don’t have much spare time in my days but yes I’ve got hobbies, first one is snowboarding. Probably started it at 4 or 5 thank to my mom and it has always been part of my winter. I’m planning to race a bit of snowboardcross after I’m done with BMX racing.

Other hobbies are MTB, I love dogs but you can say all animals in general and basketball.

Tell us about where you’ve travelled to and what is your favourite place to visit?

BMX brought me to a lot of places in all these years of racing, but definitely Vancouver, Canada has been a place I truly loved but I really do love travelling in general.

What should we know about you?

The classic super competitive guy who doesn’t like to lose in anything. Then I love space, rockets, black holes and all that stuff, I even considered to go to an Astronomy University, then came back to Earth lol.

Tell us about your riding.

Have to be fair and say that I also love riding enduro and DH but of course mainly BMX and I don’t think MTB can beat BMX in a pump track race if that’s the question ahah.

Do you remember the first time you got on a bike?

I don’t remember my first time but I’ve always been attracted to bikes – thanks to my mom again – who was racing DH in the early pioneering years (narrow bars, no suspensions…) and mountain biking. Then my parents brought me to a BMX track close to home and from that moment I never stopped. I’ve been pedalling my whole life but if we’re talking about racing it’s about 21 years.

What has been the biggest challenge on your journey?

Of course, the biggest is injuries. My main injuries are limited to my left hand as I broke it 3 times in different ways and I’m actually recovering from the last one now. Yes, other broken bones are on the list but nothing serious.

Tell us about your worst crash and nd your best moment.

Well, the worst looking crash must have been during the Manchester World Cup in 2016 when I head-dived into the first turn full speed form the top of the second jump. Worst in terms of a mental setback has to be this year World Cup, again in Manchester. Best victory moment, I have to say winning my first Italian Champs last year on my home track as I think it was the turning point of my career.

What keeps you going?

I’ve never really felt like giving up, I have down moments as everyone does, but I never stopped dreaming about going to the Olympics and other goals that I’ve set for my career and that’s all I need to strive for to keep moving forward. I’m not an easy quitter.

What routine do you have when it comes to training? Do you have any tips?

Routine? I love routine, the more my days stay close to my usual habits the easier it is to train. I’m a really hard worker and I hate it when something stops me from doing what’s in the training plan, I’ve had to learn to deal with it and not get mad.

What keeps you motivated?

I love watching Arnold Schwarzenegger motivational videos hahaha.

Do you have any role models that inspire you to carry on?

Had some when I was a kid but I’m trying to define my own role model on myself.

What made you decide to compete in the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship?

As I said I’m really competitive and I really like the format and racing from last year, it has been a lot of fun.

What would you do to celebrate if you win?

Night out with friends at home or maybe a holiday with my girlfriend, that would be awesome.