No cyclocross this winter for Silvia Persico as she eyes up road goals in 2024

Silvia Persico

Silvia Persico, the current Italian cyclocross champion, has decided not to participate in cyclocross races this winter. Instead, she is concentrating on preparing for the upcoming road season. Last season, Persico was a regular on the cyclocross circuit, competing in eleven races, including two World Cups, two Superprestige events, and the World Championships in Hoogerheide. She clinched victory in six of these events, earned the title of Italian champion, and finished fourth at the World Championships.

However, Persico is now fully focused on the road season ahead with her team, UAE Team ADQ. She has yet to finalise her schedule but has already identified key goals, including qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics. She also aims to perform well in the Giro d’Italia Women and the Tour de France Femmes, prioritising stage victories over the general classification. “I might be capable of a good overall position in the Giro d’Italia, but I’m leaning more towards winning stages,” she explained.

Persico elaborated on her approach for the next year, stating, “The main goal is to secure a spot for the Olympics, then tailor a more targeted calendar. I’m leaning more towards Flanders than the Ardennes classics to achieve a result. While I’m interested in the Giro d’Italia Women, I’m particularly keen on targeting stages in the Tour de France Femmes, as the route makes a high overall ranking nearly impossible for me. I also plan to participate in lower-level races for a mental break.”

She mentioned the need for improvements based on this year’s experiences, believing a quieter winter could be beneficial in terms of overall energy. Persico emphasised that cyclocross is not in her current plans. She plans to increase her training hours, with more focus on nutrition and stretching, and work on the psychological aspect. Since August, she has been working with Manuela Ansaldo, a mental coach from Rome, to develop both personally and as an athlete. Additionally, Persico has changed coaches as part of her renewed focus.