Without Tour of China, probably not a lot of people would have noticed Kevin Rivera. However, when a large number of young riders facing closed door of turning into pro by the age of 23 , the 19 years climber achieved his first pro contract with the famous Italian ProContinental team Androni Giocattoli, with length of four years.
Talking about the Tour of China victory last year, Rivera still thought that it was a dreamlike victory. “The stage when I won the Tour of China was more suitable for me. The climb there was quite long. I perform best on that kind of climb.” Rivera became a professional rider only a few months when arriving the Chinese race course. “Today we will face a completely different situation. I am not so good at this kind of short steep climb. There is high possibility that I will be caught even if I do an early attack . We will still have some try of course, since I have legs today. I will definitely do something if there is good chance.” Although maybe not today, people will see soon the young climber achieving more impressive result with Team Androni Giocattoli.
“Androni Giocattoli is a big family for me. I’m thousands of kilometers away from home to a foreign country for competition. This is my job. It requires me to do so, and it’s not easy. The atmosphere of the team is very important to me because cycling is not a easy sport, you need teammates to support each other and share the endurance to reach the end of the stage. This is a team like home and school, and I can learn a lot every day.”
Team Androni Giocattoli provided everything for Rivera. In a comfortable environment, there is no excessive stress on getting result. “Like in other races, accumulating experience is priority for me here in Langkawi. It is important for me to learn soon as possible how to stay in a safe place in the peloton. Anything can happen anytime during a cycling race, you don’t want to be involved when some bad luck happens, which will easily make you lose the chance of the real competition in the last several kilometers.”