01/04/2016, CANYON CANYON//SRAM Racing

Barbara Guarischi: Dreams of Flanders

For Barbara Guarisci, races don't come much bigger than the Tour of Flanders. As CANYON//SRAM Racing gear up for the Big One this Saturday, we sat down with the Italian to find out what this race means to her. Check out the interview...

You’ve been injured. What are your feelings about returning to racing with the team?

I'm really happy to come back on board CANYON//SRAM Racing. I followed my Team's races in this last month and I was a bit sad that I wasn't a part of it.

What do you think about coming back in such a big race for your first race back?

Honestly I know it will be really hard for me. This is what I already know but if I can help my Team just a bit I will be happy to suffer for it. It's my first race back but I'm ready to be back with this group. I am ready to suffer for my team mates.

 How many times have you raced Flanders?

This year will be the fifth time.

 You missed the course recon, does that bother you?

I think for me it's more about not having race legs than not knowing the road. The walls and the cobbled sections are the same like usual. It is a kind of mix of having good ability on the bike and strong legs. Simply just having strong legs does not  always mean the win.

What can you tell the 'normal person' about Flanders - what is so special about it? Why does everyone want to win it?

Honestly I think that Flanders is bigger than the World Championships. It is the best race that we have in a season for what this race can give to you. It's about emotions, heart, determination.. This time is not just a bike race, for someone is kind of mirror of one's life. When you are at the start you already know that in this day your pain will be a lot and you know how hard will be arrive at the finish but when you are in cobbles sections or in the middle of the walls and you can see so much people scream your name and cheer you is something special, you can feel the chills on your skin. I'm sure there is no one rider that at the start line of this race don't dream to win. (excluding the Team tactics) 

What are your ambitions for the race?

I'm really happy to come back with the Team, we have had some sad and hard time in last month, so if I can come back and give a little smile to the amazing people on this team I will do and then I think about the race. It will be hard for me come back on Sunday, is a particular (because of Rio Olympics) and hard year, there are a lot of riders that want to show their strength and if you think maybe we have 20 riders more or less that can win this hard race. The level now in women's cycling is super high. From my side I'm really happy to come back so quick to racing. My shoulder is okay, sure it is not quite 100% but I'm ready. But it is important for me and especially for my head to be back racing and back with the Team. I will try to support my Team as long as possible on Sunday and than we will see km after km.