Birthplace: Durtol (France)
Profession: Sidi Sport Cycling Promoter
Shoes are some of the most important details for every rider. Antonio Rossetto knows this very well. For more than 20 years he has been Sidi’s Man on field, a direct line between riders and the company. From the classics to the great stage races, Antonio has become a right proper point of reference for all the riders in the pack who use Sidi footwear.
“I started to work for Sidi in 1995; for me this is Giro d’Italia number 25. Every year I follow all three major stage races: the Giro, the Tour and the Vuelta, in addition, obviously, to all the other important races on the international calendar,” explains Antonio Rossetto, who enjoyed discreet success riding among the amateurs until 1982.
“I arrived in Belfast three days before the start of the Giro. There is always so much to do, the riders are very demanding. This is normal, the Giro is a really important event, and for many of them it will define their entire season. Usually before the start of the race I drop in on our riders to deliver new materials they’ve requested (shoes, shoe covers, socks, etc.), or to intervene where there are technical problems.”
“The shoe is the fulcrum that joins the rider to the bike, the link between performance and the mechanical means. For riders it’s a fundamental aspect; if the shoes and feet aren’t right, the entire balance of the bike might be compromised. Often riders let the mechanics take care of their bikes, but the shoe is something they take personally: from the position of the pedal clips to cleaning and attention to detail before and after the race.”
“Clearly, shoes should fit perfectly because they are often custom made and fit specifically for our athletes; at the company we have a veritable foot bank, with the sizes and foot forms of all our champions who have particular demands. The riders always have plenty of requests and Sidi does what it can to make them all happy. For example, I brought Rigoberto Uran the new Wire models he ordered before the Giro. They’re a special edition pair for him all in white, with black closures and detailing that perfectly match the colours on his Omega Pharma – Quick-Step jersey. Then for Samuel Sanchez from Team BMC we made an entirely gold coloured pair of Wire shoes (it really means a lot to him to remember his Olympic title) along with the pink pair of Vortice Sidi made in honour of the Giro. Then there’s Dutchman Wilko Kelderman from Team Belkin who wanted a pair of all-white Wires with the tip of the tongue in green, always so he could be colour-coordinated with his jersey. Or there are even those like Dani Moreno from Katusha or Przemyslaw Niemiec from Lampre-Merida who have very thin feet so I have shoes with a tighter fit made to measure for them.”
Of the 198 riders who took off from Belfast for the adventure of the 97th Giro d’Italia, about 50 of them (including the Cannondale Pro Cycling and all of Lampre-Merida), who make up a fourth of the group, use Sidi Wire shoes, the top-of-the-line models from our road collection.
“Then every day during the race, unforeseen surprises come up and you need to be ready to intervene. In falls shoes might be damaged and so you need to bring spare parts. It’s very unlikely that a rider would choose to change shoes during a major Giro; they prefer to always use the same shoe. The right compromise between comfort, lightness, performance; this is what a rider wants, while also obviously always conscious about his look.”