Trans-Siberian: Paola Gianotti and Paolo Aste won the fifth stage!

The Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme goes on without a break. Sport plus Health is always by Italian team side, which won the fifth stage and prepares to travel across the (hot) Siberia. Paola Gianotti tells us how it is going with her contagious enthusiasm.

 What is the difference between riding solo and riding in a team concerning the race regulations? Does it reckon with the fact that riding in a team is easier than doing it solo?

 The timing for finishing the stage are different from regulations’ point of view, as a matter of fact there are regulations for the team and others for the singles. Obviously it does reckon with the fact that riding in a team is easier, but in this race there is a lot of cooperation and so that the teams ride aiding the singles. Virtually we stay ahead and pull so that singles have fewer struggles. This is until the middle of the competition, from there forward teams ride together till possible and singles continue their race on their own. Until now it occurred more or less in this way.

 Which are the advantages and the drawbacks of riding in a team regarding the psychological, physical point of view for the competition aims?

 The advantage of riding in a team is the fact that psychologically is easier since you know you are going to take turns every certain number of kilometres. We decided to alternate every 35-40km; at the beginning we thought about the two hours, then we saw that it was too long, also because the rhythms of this race are very rapid precisely because of riding in a team. From the physical point of view, when you get into the van you try to take some rest and then to start again. The drawbacks are these: riding in a team you break the rhythm a lot and when you get into the van you are not always able to sleep since the adrenaline is too high. Even mentally riding in a team is more stressful since the rhythms are higher: we keep more elevated averages than the single riders and it leads up to stress more the body. It is like doing a so much faster stage, but shorter.

You won a stage: do you tell us how it went?

We won a stage! We won the fifth stage. Virtually Paolo started during the last 40 km by setting up a run, compared to the others, and we alternated each other quickly enough until the end. Obviously Paolo was doing longer stretches than me, keeping a very high speed, 40 km per hour, I was at 10 km keeping high averages in any case and so we managed to outdistance the others and to get first by a few minutes.

Where are you now? What awaits you?

We are now in Novosibirsk, Siberia. Two really long stages are waiting us to be faced. They both are 800 km long with a difference in altitude of over 8000 metres, which means a lot, a lot of climbs. Among other things, the temperature changed, because it is higher and it is so much moister, now I think thing are going towards higher temperatures, so four intense days await us, with long stages and two nights outside.

Who do you fear the most among other competitors?

The pair we fear the most is the Russian one because they are very strong. They are two formers professional, one did the Tour of Italy for five times, the Tour de France and the Vuelta once and so obviously they are very strong. The level of this competition is really high, anyway among all of them, certainly we fear them the most.

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Image credit: photo by iRRegular by Raffaella Rivarolo follow at