Maurizio Fondriest. The successes, the values, the dreams.

World Champion in Renaix in 1988, Maurizio Fondriest talks about his love for cycling and his projects.

Words by Miriam | Styling by Beatrice

24 August 2021

Maurizio Fondriest started cycling at the age of nine thanks to his sports director and his father who was a race judge. He did not choose cycling, but rather the opposite. He used to go to the races with his brother and at some point he got tired of being on the other side of the barrier and started racing himself.  Let’s say it went pretty well, as Maurizio won a Milano-Sanremo, two World Cups and a World Championship, as well as a Tirreno-Adriatico and a Fleche Wallonne in his career.

The best memory of my professional career is undoubtedly the World Championship in Renaix in 1988. The world title is something that truly marks your palmares forever, a unique emotion that all athletes dream of experiencing.”

Maurizio’s passion for cycling has continued even after his professional career. Today, he builds the latest generation of frames and collaborates with Gazzetta dello Sport and Moving Events in the organisation of cycling trips that help people discover the beauty of Italian regions, combining sport and fun on a single route. 

Travelling can change your life and your worldview, especially when you do it by bike and you can be in close contact with all facets of reality. I like when traveling has a meaning, when it is not just tourism but emotions.”

Among the most intense experiences in this respect are those to Santiago de Compostela – organised on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his world victory – and the one in Rome, with the Pope, where with Marco Cavorso and Paola Gianotti they began to develop the idea of the association ‘Io rispetto il ciclista’ (I respect the cyclist) to raise awareness about road safety and pass laws on this issue. Today, thousands of Italian municipalities are joining the campaign, installing signs urging motorists to drive carefully and to overtake cyclists at a distance of one and a half metres. One of the most important goals is to make the one-and-a-half metres an effective law.

“For me it is important to leave a positive mark, not only necessarily in sport. I would like my children to always have a sense of honesty and humility, beyond the competitive spirit – these are the values that matter most in life.”

Talking about competitions, Fondriest has never really left the racing world, since today, together with Paolo Alberati, he also works as a procurer, an activity that he carries on with the awareness that today’s youngsters do not need a manager but rather someone who involves and guides them towards a sport-life balance. 

“The transition to professionalism should not be an illusion but a goal to be pursued with sacrifice and commitment. We need to work with the youngsters and motivate them to grow as people and then as sportsmen.”