Diary of a Young Wolf - part 5

An exciting season thanks to my first participation in the Tour de France.

Words by Miriam | Photography by Quick-Step Alpha Vnyl | Styling by Beatrice

24 November 2022 

Lugano is quiet these days. I just got back from vacation and I liked staying home and enjoying my days with Letizia, taking long walks in the mountains and going out in the evening with friends, so relaxing. 

The season has been challenging and at the same time exciting, it seems impossible to me that 2022 was my first time participating in the Tour de France. When they confirmed my place, I was at a retreat in the mountains with the team, I felt super happy and at the same time determined to do my best to arrive more than ready. Guys, we are talking about the most important race in the world, with a very high level of media attention! I think participating in this competition is every cyclist’s dream. 

As a kid, I remember  passionately following the battles between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck , and now, knowing that I have raced on the roads of France makes me proud and happy. It was a real challenge, the Lausanne stage was the hardest for me because I was not been very well and I thought I would be forced to retire. But I tried to hold on, the desire to get to Paris was stronger than anything. When I reached the Champs Elysees it was crazy, an indescribable feeling. The Tour is a tough race and mentally stressful, but it is definitely a trial by fire for the future. 

One thing I will always remember? The Alpe d’Huez stage. There were so many fans that you couldn’t even see the road. Cycling is really something unique.

The season didn’t go quite as I had hoped, but there was certainly no shortage of excitement. When they told me I was going to the World Cup in Australia, I had just returned from Canada. I did not even time to recover from jet lag and I was already thinking about leaving again, this time for a place I had never been. Well, I didn’t actually get to see much as we were in a fairly isolated hotel, but being on the national team is always a wonderful experience, I more or less knew all my colleagues, and we always had a great time at the table. Unfortunately, on race day my morale was low, I wasn’t feeling my best, and the course was very challenging, fast and nerve-racking. In short, a day to forget. 

Now I have just enough time to take a quick shower, my friends are waiting for me, I have half an hour, and I am trying to fully enjoy my off-season, unplugging my mind and preparing to face new challenges. In December, we will be on retreat in Calpe and I am looking forward to meeting the newcomers. Of all of them, I am particularly intrigued by Tim Merlier, I like the way he runs and who knows what he will be able to do in the Wolfpack.

Now I’m off, but first… returning to the Tour de France is on the back burner for now.