Katusha’s midfield general, Luca Paolini is now as famous for his facial hair as his almost unparalleled ability to organise and drive the peloton.
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“It just takes two to three weeks to let it grow from clean-shaven to how it is now. I started to grow the beard after the 2013 Giro d’Italia. I took the pink jersey in that Giro. After the race I was so fatigued that I was too tired to shave, and I let my beard grow. After a while I really started to like it because my wrinkles were not so visible any more.”
Is it here to stay?
“In spring 2014 I said to myself the only time I’d get rid of it was when I won a Classic — oops I’ve won one now haven’t I? Help! — so, it is still there for the time being but I’m keeping it shorter now.”
“I do have a daily grooming regime to keep it in good shape. I keep it in good form, wash it and apply balsam. All it takes is just one good minute.”
Tips for fellow beardies?
“A good tip is to make up a cream of carrots, potato and beetroot and let it stay on the beard for the whole night…”
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Cycle Sport magazine
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