She might not be stuck with everyone due to the arrival of Ilan Van Wilder, but one of the most eye-catching transfers in Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl this winter was by Mauro Schmid. The 22-year-old Swiss made his first year as a WorldTour professional in 2021 at Qhubeka NextHash and immediately won a stage at the Giro d’Italia. Since Qhubeka could not find a sponsor, Schmid was suddenly free to go, and so it is possible that in 2022 he will drive for the team that has always been on the lookout for little Mauro. In the leader’s shirt I told him about a fairy tale that came true.
Mauro Schmid isn’t a big name in the cycling world, but he’s an amazing talent. He rides hard, he has substance and he proved in the eleventh stage of the Giro – on Tuscany gravel – that he can read and finish the race. The fact that he started out as a mountain biker, did cyclocross as a teenager, and now shines on the track also helps create an interesting palette of traits. He won medals in the Swiss cycling, cycling and road championships. There were years when he combined four majors …
In recent years, the focus has shifted more and more to road cycling. Schmid has proven himself to be a veteran, as attested by the many places of honor he has been awarded in various trial tournaments in Switzerland. So Italy’s Team Monti dared to take over from the Swiss Racing Academy in 2020. After one year in Italy, Qhubeka NextHash was already on our doorstep. These stories can be quickly written by the fact that in 2022 he will already lead one of the biggest teams in the peloton.
The interview begins under the photo
Hi Mauro! You’ve won a stage in the Giro, and you still have a contract going… Who would have thought a few months ago that you’d be riding in Quick Step now?
‘Yes, correct. We realized towards the end of the year that it would be difficult for the team. They searched for a long time for sponsors, but in September we were told we were free to leave. If a sponsor is found, we can stay, but we’re also free to look for a new team. I sat down with my management and it soon became clear that Quick Step was interested. I didn’t have to think twice about it, it was the place for me to go.
Were there more teams that called in September?
“I think there were five or six teams that were really interested, but once the talks started, the decision was made quickly for me.”
Not crazy, because you let in press release You already know during the transfer that you used to sit in front of the TV as a little boy to encourage the quick step…
‘Yes! Quick Step has always been special to me, it was a dream to ride there someday. I’ve followed the team’s growth and it’s very special that I can now wear the blue jersey.
What if I told you a few months ago that you’d be riding with this team now?
“Four months ago, everything looked different. I had a good season, but it is difficult when a whole team is gone. After that, many boys are released and a team is looking for. So I am glad that I was given this opportunity and that I can prove myself here.
You still have a one year contract with Qhubeka, how weak is that for you?
“Yes, I came in last year as NewPro and then the minimum contract term is two years. It also looked good at the start of the season, and everyone was confident that we would continue in 2022. During the season that changed and I think the coronavirus also contributed to that. Not from It is never easy to find sponsors in such a period…”
How did you get the news that Qhubeka won’t be around in 2022?
“It is very sad, I have built a relationship with the team and the staff there. It is also a strange feeling for me to leave after one year, because you look a little bit at first and you still have to get to know everyone. On the other hand, this transfer turned out to be a safe option for me. me, or else I might still be without a team. My sympathies are with the boys and the staff who haven’t found a new place and who can’t keep going.
The interview continues under the photo
I already said the first weeks are always tough with a new team; How was your first period in Quick Step like?
This is going well. We had a great training camp and I feel very welcome here. It was such a wonderful experience to meet the guys I’ve followed since I was a kid. This is special.
Did you have to sing another song at dinner?
Haha, unfortunately I was isolated during the first days of boot camp, because my results were positive. But I’m afraid I won’t get out of it next year or later this season.
With all these stars on the team, what will your role be this season?
“I’ll have to find out, I guess. In Qhubeka, I also had to find my place in the peloton, find out my qualities and my weaknesses. I’m still not quite behind, so I’m still very integrated. I’m good in all areas, but I’d like to know Where can I really excel and where can I get results.However, the main goal in my first year is to get stronger and continue to help others.
At the moment you have no idea whether you prefer the classics or, say, the grand tours?
“No, I really haven’t tried that yet. The more experience I gain, the more I discover my place in this team and where I can be at my best.
With your pasts in mountain biking, biking, and track cycling, the comparisons are moving quickly toward riders like Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Are your traits in that alley?
Phew, it’s a little early to compare myself to them, but it pays to feel good in every area. I was able to get something out of all of these disciplines and I’m glad I tried them all. Thanks to cyclocross, I am technically well versed and the track has helped with my strength and content. I’ve done a lot of things at once so far and I’ve ridden the track in Tokyo. It’s been a tough year for me in that regard, as a first-year pro, so I’m glad I can now focus more on the road. I will definitely continue to ride on the track, especially during training, because that helps me out on the road. This is where the focus lies.
In search of what kind of knight you are and what qualities and weaknesses you have; What are your big dreams about cycling?
“Obviously the dream is to win races, that is the goal. In my first year I will do everything I can to help the team, but in the future I will undoubtedly get my chances. My personal goals will come after that.
However, in recent years we have seen more Quick Step riders who have come in and started winning right away. Isn’t there really a race in this regard where you see opportunities for yourself?
“Oh, but I’m sure if you’re strong and in good shape, you’ll get your chances. It’s open in that regard: If you’re good, we’ll drive for you. However, I’m not afraid to work for others, I’m fine with that too My chance will come, I suppose.
Let’s take a look at the program So, where will we see you again in 2022?
The program is already fixed until the national championship in the summer. I’ll start on the Tour de la Provence and then ride the Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Strade Bianche. My big target in the first part of the season will again be the Giro d’Italia, with the Tour de Romande before that and the Tour of Switzerland after the Giro.
There is no real rating guy on paper yet on the Giro d’Italia, so I guess this gives you a point?
‘Yes that’s right. We will have freedom there, although there will also be hostility, I think. We want to win the stages and it doesn’t matter who wins. This is the big goal.
And if you have the legs on the Strade Bianche, we’ll undoubtedly see you there after you win a stage in the Giro…
“That would be perfect, haha!”
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