By Chris Marshall-Bell published
Gianni Moscon has said that the social media criticism that is levied against him doesn't have any effect.
The Italian is an unpopular figure within cycling fandom due to a number of past demeanours including a racial slur he used against French rider Kevin Reza. He has also been sanctioned for acts of aggression.
During October's rearranged Paris-Roubaix, when Moscon was on course to win his maiden Monument, Twitter raged at the prospect of the 27-year-old triumphing.
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Moscon rebuffed the comments that have come his away.
"It's perhaps natural due to my past," he said. "But I'm not interested what people write on social media about me.
"I don't feel offended by them. I prefer to feel good with the people I love, those who know me as I really am.
"On social media I just look at tractors, that's what I'm really passionate about."
Moscon joined Team Sky in 2016 but is leaving this winter to team up with Astana Qazaqstan.
A few weeks after Roubaix, he suffered a heart scare which may require minor surgery. But he said that it was under control and shouldn't affect him.
"I was diagnosed with an extra electrical connection, a kind of short circuit," Moscon said.
"I was a little worried. But when I realised it wasn't life-threatening and knew I could keep racing, it was a relief.
"They've implanted a loop recorder under my skin to register everything, so that the next time it happens, they'll know where to intervene."
At Astana Moscon is expecting to receive more opportunities to win for himself, a prospect that helped make his decision to relocate.
He added: "I feel it's a new start. I've often worked for the team in the last few years but they keep telling me that they want me to be the captain of the Classics squad.
"I'll never say that these last few years were wasted. I gained a lot of experience and had some good moments: I raced four Grand Tours and we won them all
"I know I didn't win much but if that's too little or not, we'll find out in the next few seasons.
"There are some moments when you lose the pleasure of riding your bike, but I enjoyed myself this year.
"I think I can be even more carefree at Astana and when you race like that, you get your best results."
Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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