Interview with Filippo Colombo

3. May 2023

Foto: © Nick Muzik

Alongside Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger, Switzerland has another talented rider, Filippo Colombo from Ticino, who is consistently in the top positions. This year, the 25-year-old wanted to take off on the street, until a fall at Paris-Roubaix slowed him down.

This year you are not only racing on the mountain bike, but also on the road for the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. You've experienced highlights like riding in the front group at the Tour of Flanders and downs like the catastrophic crash at Paris-Roubaix. Can you share some of your experiences and feelings with us?

Yes, I had several great moments this year. The Tour of Flanders as part of the leading group was an unbelievable experience. There is a fantastic cycling culture in Belgium, the roads were packed with fans. At the end of the race, I felt really glad that I had the chance to experience such a thing. I also wanted to enjoy Paris-Roubaix to the fullest, but unfortunately the fall in the Arenberg Forest definitely ruined my overall experience and the whole initial part of the season.

You got seriously injured at Paris-Roubaix: from where do you get the strength to overcome this tough moment and get back to your best shape?

At the moment I am still in a pure rehabilitation phase. I can only partially move my elbow and it is not yet certain when I will be able to get back on my bike. What motivates me most is the thought that sooner or later I will get back to my old shape. It favours me that the mountain bike season this year runs until the end of October, which should give me sufficient time to still experience a sense of achievement.

As a mountain bike professional you are used to riding at the limit for a solid hour. On the roads, the requirements are totally different. Which advice would you give to amateurs who will take part in a mountain bike or road race this year?

In mountain bike races, technique is essential. You always have to practice it and it can really make a difference to achieve the best result in the race. For both disciplines, constant training is essential, and on race day it is also very important to eat properly. Lastly, for optimal performance in this sport, it is essential to have fun, both in training and in competition.

Do you have any rituals or habits before a race that help you prepare mentally and physically?

No, I don't have any particular rituals; I make sure that I optimise everything that can be optimised without letting myself be affected by what you can't control, for example the weather conditions.

I believe that competition performances are only the result of the work done in training. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the work done in preparation in order to remain calm on the day of the competition.

Is there a secret tip you would like to share with us?

If you follow the " fundamentals ", I would say that there are no secrets in terms of nutrition, training and recovery. The most important thing is the determination and the desire to accomplish your goal.