There is always an air of celebration when a new face is welcomed into the family: a group that grows, a project that becomes bigger and bigger, a step forward on the road taken and never abandoned. That is why, today, it is right to be happy: the EOLO KOMETA family welcomes Giovanni Ellena, who will join the group of sports directors.
Fifty-six years old, born in Cuorgnè and raised in a small town in Canavese where the hills begin to show and prepare to become mountains, “Giò” began to love cycling as a boy and by chance: “Well, in my small town there was a team of cyclists and I began to pedal with them: I liked it and I got to be a racer even if I soon realized that it would not be my job. However, by then cycling was in my blood and I liked the idea of being a sports director: I have to thank Marco Bellini who wanted me with him and allowed me to start writing my story.” A story made up of young people to scout, to grow and to launch: one name out of all? Egan Bernal: “Being with young people, accompanying them and following them: here, I think that’s what made me fall in love with this profession. Egan and other kids like him were practically at my house, and it’s normal that such a situation involves you totally because it means living with them every moment: the first successes, the mistakes, the insecurities. There is an anecdote about Bernal that I like to remember: from where I live to Val d’Isere there will be 20 kilometers as the crow flies and Bernal used to train on these climbs. One day I told him that he was going to win a big race, right on these mountains: well, in 2019 on the Col de l’Iseran he took the yellow jersey. And on the evening of that incredible day, it was nice to remember together that … we predicted everything.”
And now, the EOLO KOMETA: “An honor. I had already had the opportunity on several occasions to compliment Ivan Basso on what he had created: a serious project capable of focusing on young people and growing with the right timing. Now this opportunity has presented itself and I am proud of the trust that the Contador brothers and Ivan have given me, and then there is Stefano Zanatta. He is a man of few words and I have always held him in very high esteem, knowing that somehow that esteem was reciprocated gives me immense pleasure.” What does Ellena expect from his new adventure? “I will enter on tiptoe, in silence, because I want to know and understand. There are many very capable and good people on the team from whom I want to learn, and then I am delighted to find two riders I know: Mattia Bais and Francesco Gavazzi. Here, “Here, “Gava” is one of those key runners on a team: huge charisma”.