Happy birthday to Manuel Quinziato

Manuel Quinziato (courtesy of BMC)

Buon 33 ° compleanno Happy 33rd birthday

If we were to ask our female readership to vote for the top ten best looking riders, I wouldn’t mind betting that Manuel Quinziato would make that illustrious list. [Isn’t he another of Miss Kitty’s favourites? – Ed. Yes he is – Kitty] With that engaging smile, smoldering eyes and a jaw line fit for a Mills & Boon romantic novel, a great sense of humour – just follow him on Twitter – and impeccable taste in music I ask you, what’s not to like?

But don’t write him off as just a pretty face. According to the BMC team website, he’s studying part-time for a law degree at Trento University and, like many professional cyclists, is a polyglot. Here he is talking about being part of Cadel Evan’s winning Tour de France team in 2011 in German.

He also strikes me as being a great guy to have on any squad as he’s very much a team player, someone who can strike a positive note and keep things on an even keel. He also has a favourite song for every occasion and I would guess BMC have put him in charge of their playlist. Here’s his list of favourite songs for any and every occasion.

So Manuel, here’s one of your favourites to celebrate your birthday.

Like a lot of Italian riders, Manuel started on the track before moving across to the road. He’s a fine exponent of the art of time-trialling as witnessed by his U23 European championship win in 2001 while riding for Zalf-Euromobil-Fior. He turned professional in 2002 with Lampre-Daikin and rode with them for two years before spending a year with Saunier Duval-Prodir. He joined Liquigas in 2006 where he enjoyed his maiden professional win in stage two of the Eneco Tour. As a consequence, the following season he concentrated on the northern Classics and semi-Classics and has enjoyed his best results in Paris-Roubaix  (a race not for the faint-hearted) and Gent-Wevelgem plus, of course, team time-trials. For the last two years he’s ridden at BMC, was a vital cog in their Tour de France 2011 winning team and continues to be a key player in their one-day Classic’s team, a key domestique in Grand Tours and a member of their silver-medal winning team at the World Championships in Limburg this year.

Manuel, like many of the riders, is enjoying his few precious weeks of off-season before shortly returning to training. Here he is enjoying the sunshine and a local beverage with a few friends in the Czech Republic for Roman Kreuziger’s wedding.

Manuel and a few of his friends enjoying the off-season (image courtesy of Manuel Quinziato)

Sorry ladies but I suspect that the gorgeous brunette to Manuel’s left is his girlfriend who said he looked like Santa Claus with his beard. [Please no stocking jokes – Ed] . Mmm, don’t know about you but all the Santa’s I’ve ever met were fat old blokes with white beards. Perhaps I’ve been going to the wrong Grotto?

Manuel also found time to join the debate about the state of cycling and inadvertently started a few rumours of his own.

Well, now that’s cleared up.

I understand Manuel will be celebrating his birthday in Thailand – enjoy!

I’m going to leave you with a little Manuel tribute from when he was still at Liquigas.

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