Monday, May 18, 2015

EMTBOC 2015: Meet Luca Dallavalle (Italy)

Name: Luca Dallavalle
Age: 27
Home location: Croviana, Italy
Profession and educational background: Surveyor.
Years in sport of any kind: I started in FootO in 2001 and then in MTBO from 2008, but I practiced from the early childhood a lot of other sports in a non-competitive way like skiing and mountaineering.
Years in MTBO: 7 years.
What got you started: I started Foot-o at the age of 14 just to stay with some of my friends. Then I liked the sport so I continued seriously. In 2008 I switched occasionally into MTBO because I had some injuries (ankle and knee) and the bike was important for recover. I understood that I liked more to train with the bike than running so I decided to train seriously MTBO only and I stopped with FootO in 2010.
IOF World Ranking: 13th position
MTBO World Cup 2015: 11th position

What is your best moment in MTB Orienteering so far?
- My bronze medal at the WMTBOC Middle Distance in Montalegre, Portugal 2010. It was my first WMTBOC participation and the result was totally unexpected for me. It was also the first WMTBOC medal ever for Italy, an incredible feeling also for everybody in the team.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
- From the top riders, they have always inspired me a lot. I try every day to learn something from their top performances. During the last two years, I had the opportunity to train some weeks with Ruslan Gritsan - he is one of the most successful mountain bikers - and I learned a lot of things from him.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
- I think the most important thing in the high level sport is to recover well after a hard session or a hard period of trainings, physically and also mentally.

What are your goals for the European Championships, in Portugal?
- Well, this year I'm a little bit late with my preparation because of an injury to a finger. Anyway I really like the Portuguese terrain and I hope to get some top 6 results.

What is your biggest challenge in the competition, and how do you intend to manage it?
- During competition, my biggest challenge is to get confident with the map in the first part of the course. I usually start quite slow to manage it but I can still improve that. My biggest challenge for the whole season is to find the motivation to train hard for a long period. To manage it, I focus seriously only in one or two big events during the year and I try to train and race with fun and without pressure during the rest of the season. It is not always easy to do that.

What would be your ultimate achievement for the season?
- My biggest goals this year are the WMTBOC in Czech Republic. I really like the Czech terrain and last year I had the opportunity to train a lot on it. I hope to be in the best shape in August.

[Photo credits: Piero Turra]

Joaquim Margarido  

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