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Podium Cafe Weekly Pro-File: Fabio Baldato

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The PC Weekly Pro-File is a forum to pay tribute to those members of the pro peleton who make significant contributions to the sport. Not necessarily domestiques, but not headliners either. I invite all members to share their own Pro-Files on weekly basis. The rider than comes to mind for my first Pro-File is Fabio Baldato.

I was pleased during the VS coverage of the Paris Nice prologue to see Fabio Baldato who turns 39 (!!) in June donning the Lampre Kit as he embarks on his 17th season as a professional.

My first recollection of Fabio was during Stage 1 of the 1995 TDF. A typical flat stage for the sprinters, and of course the commentators were talking about a clash of the big guns of the day, Cipo, Jaja and Abdu. As the race neared the finish, a young MG Technogym rider emerged out of the pack on the slight uphill sprint to power away from the favorites.

Fabio Baldato has 44 victories to his credit, most notably, stages in all three grand Tours. Baldato has also finished twice runner up in the Tour of Flanders.  In more recent years he has been the leadout specialist for Alessandro Petacchi and most recently Danielle Bennati.  He relishes the roll of elder statement or as he says "trainer on the road".

If you have the good fortune of watching the Pro Tour this year in person, give a loud "Bravissimo" to Fabio. He is a pure professional.