When the winner of the 2007 Giro d’Italia opened his first store in Pescara, it was almost as if his entire home town turned out for the occasion – Check out the pictures of the opening and an exclusive interview with the man himself below.

Can you tell us about your partnership with Velobici and what it means to you?

Di Luca: Chris and I met three years ago, I was visiting the shop at Market Bosworth and knew then we were going to get along very well! VB produce the finest roadwear i’ve ridden in and the attention to detail is second to none. Over time we decided to collaborate, I made a personalised bike for Vélobici (the Continental) and Chris asked me if I could help develop a collection of clothing. Together we have created the DL Killer collection, a new brand that produces road shoes that are handmade in Italy, and roadwear that is made by Vélobici, plus we have a lot of plans in the future to expand the collection! I believe in a very short time we will be recognised worldwide because we are able to create more and more exclusive, cutting-edge, technically superior products. These are some reasons why Vélobici means a lot to me, as well as my personal friendship with Chris.

What lessons do you feel cycling has taught you about the importance of teamwork?

Di Luca: Cycling can seem like an individual sport, but it is actually a team sport. It is true that you are the only one riding your bike and you have to face all the difficulties to reach the finish line, but the team is fundamental in any individual riders success. Their help and support gives you protection and confidence in your own ability to succeed. If you are a good captain you do everything to create a team around you that is motivated and you try to get the best from them. The beauty of cycling is that you have to think for yourself, and as a team.

What does success at the top of your sport feel like? Can you tell us about the feeling of winning the Giro?

Di Luca: For me one of the most difficult thing as a professional cyclist was being away from your home and family for at least 200 days a year. On the road, It can be punishing when you face a Spring Classic or a Dolomiti stage in the heat, cold, wind, rain or snow! But as cyclists, we’re used to riding 330 days the year in all conditions – it’s all part of our job. A victory makes you forget about all the sacrifices you have to make…

What has cycling taught you about your own body, fitness and nutrition? What advice would you pass on to readers in terms of good health for cycling?

Di Luca: Cycling focuses hugely on nutrition these days. My personal experience and one which I still adopt today even though riding now is only for fun. I always have two main meals, lunch and dinner. I try not to mix carbohydrates and proteins. I have carbohydrates for lunch and protein for dinner or in reverse – of course eating healthy is essential. Fried foods, gassy drinks, alcohol etc… should be avoided as much as possible, but when you are professional athlete they are absolutely prohibited. For amateur or just social riders it’s important to always try and eat a balanced varied diet and not always focus on the same food.

Danilo di Luca’s DL killer store is now open for business – Don’t worry if you’re not planning to head to the wonderful Italian coastal town anytime soon, because you can shop the entire DL Killer collection here.

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