From the Giro d'Italia to Luna Rossa


23/05/2024 - 16:31

Unlike his Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's Power Team “colleagues”, who between rowing, sailing and windsurfing all have a sporting past related to the water, Paolo Simion had never had anything to do with the sea, and the first boat he set foot on was Luna Rossa herself. A former professional cyclist (he raced in the Giro d'Italia three times, twice in the Milano-Sanremo, competed in the Tour Colombia and the Tour of Xingtai, and won the last leg of the Tour of Croatia), Paolo has been cycling since childhood, first for fun and then for work. In 2021, due to the pandemic, he saw the opportunity to be part of a new team fade away, but that renunciation marked the beginning of a new challenge. «A friend had informed me that at Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli they were looking for cyclists for the America's Cup, so I tested and joined the team», he says.

One of the main differences between a road cyclist and a Cup cyclor lies in the body weight: the latter must weigh around 100 kg, explains Simion: «My life has changed completely and I have become accustomed to so many new things, starting with the weight, which I have already increased by 13 kg. Also, I have learned to appreciate a new way of doing sports. For sure in cycling the team is important because if you don't have your partner to help you it isn't easy to make the result, even though  at the end when turning the pedals you are alone. Here instead the team concept is really strong because the more like-minded you are, the more you can understand how things work and anticipate the demands of the helmsmen and trimmers».

His job on the boat, like that of all Power Team members, is to generate power through the bikes to drive the hydraulic systems that in turn move the aero parts of the AC75 (mast and sails). On shore, Paolo provides the other cyclors with his experience as a professional cyclist in the training sessions to increase performance and control fatigue. «Optimizing strength on the bike and managing effort are things I've done for years and are the ones you have to learn if you want to finish races. I am very happy to be able to contribute to the team».

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