By Gregor Brown
Marco Pinotti released his autobiography, The Cycling Professor, in digital format on Thursday. In the book, he details his on-the-road knowledge and years racing alongside the likes of Mark Cavendish and Philippe Gilbert.
"This is for the fans and those who know cycling," Pinotti told Cycling Weekly. "I get people asking me, 'Ah, you're in the off-season now?' I tell them yes and they ask me out to a party or something. I explain in the book that cyclists are cyclists 365 days a year. To be ready to race in February you have to start training in December."
The 36-year-old Italian from Bergamo polished off the book this December before heading off to training camp with BMC Racing. The book was released in digital format on December 20 (http://amzn.com/B00ARMQ4LK) to follow up the Italian version, Il Mestiere del Ciclista, released on September 20.
In 100 pages, the digital version takes the reader from his beginnings, his early memories watching the 1984 Olympics to racing to fifth in the London Olympics in 2012.
"The reason for the late start was because nobody, in my family, was by any means directly connected to the world of the bicycle," Pinotti wrote in an advance copy given to Cycling Weekly.
Pinotti continued to win the Italian time trial title five times, win the Tour of Ireland and shine in his home tour, the Giro d'Italia. He won the final time trial stage twice and in two editions, wore the famous pink jersey.
"The Giro d'Italia is the moment when all the newspapers and national media in Italy have an eye on cycling and for us it is the best showcase," Pinotti wrote. "A breakaway during an intermediate stage gives us more popularity than any victory gained abroad. Winning a stage or a few days in the pink jersey turns any rider into a celebrity even among non-fans."
The English version updates the reader on Pinotti's ride from the London Olympics to the 2012 World Championships in The Netherlands. His season ended there, when he crashed in a corner and broke his collarbone while on a medal-winning ride.
"I had no idea of the amount of people who would be cheering on the [London] course... After having had the honour to shake hands with Prince Charles, we departed from Buckingham Palace: along the roads was the type of crowds that I had only seen on Alpe d'Huez in the Tour de France," Pinotti wrote.
Of the Worlds, he added, "When I got home I didn't have the medal around my neck but my arm in a sling. I knew how to react: to forget as soon as possible, starting from the satisfaction of having had a good performance. All I could do was to look ahead."
While looking ahead and preparing for 2013, he added a book to his list of honours.
"It's been harder to write a book," Pinotti told Cycling Weekly when asked to compare the experience to a Grand Tour. "It's time consuming. If you only have to write a book, OK, but trying to be a professional cyclist at the same time. In fact, it's taken me two years to do it!"
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