Massimo Podenzana

La Spezia


Sport Director

Sports Director Massimo Podenzana brings nearly 30 years of cycling experience to Team Novo Nordisk, including a storied racing career decorated by stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Born in La Spezia, Italy, Podenzana began his professional career in 1987, after winning a bronze and silver medal as an amateur in the 100 km team trial at the UCI Road World Championships (1985 and 1986). In 1988, he won a stage at the Giro d’Italia and wore the leader’s jersey for nine consecutive days. A two-time Italian national road champion (1993 and 1994), he also won a stage at the Tour de France in 1996 by launching a solo attack four kilometers from the finish line.

During his 14-year professional cycling career, Podenzana often rode as a super domestique. He assisted Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani to several major victories, including the 1998 Giro d’Italia. Even while riding in support of others, Podenzana attained significant personal results, including wins at the Trofeo Melinda (1994), Giro di Toscana (1995) and GP Industria & Artigianato di Larciano (1999), and seventh overall at the 1994 Giro d’Italia.

By the early 2000’s, Podenzana switched his attention from racing to directing. He joined Team Novo Nordisk in 2011.

Get to Know Massimo Podenzana

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness for me is being able to complete all the projects that I have in mind. 


What is your greatest fear?

Failing to complete those projects.


Which living person do you most admire?

All the athletes on my team. 


What is your greatest extravagance?

I agreed to have my hair dyed in blonde platinum after winning the Tour de France in 1998. 


What is your current state of mind?

I feel sad because I miss the races. 


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?



What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family. 


When and where are you happiest?

At home when we are all together with the family. 


Which talent would you most like to have?



What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having achieved the goals and dreams I had since I was a boy. 


If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Probably myself! 


Where would you most like to live?

On a beautiful island. 


What is your most treasured possession?

My family. 


What do you most value in your friends?



Who are your favorite writers?

I don’t have one in particular. 


Who are your heroes in real life?

My guys, the cyclists of Team Novo Nordisk. 


What is it that you most dislike?

The indifference. 


What is your motto?

Unity is strength. 


What is your favorite word?

I have already told you this … it’s ”fenomeno!’ 


What is your least favorite word?



What excites you creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Being able to help my riders to achieve good results. 


What sound or noise do you love?

Soft music. 


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I’d like to be a Chef. 


What profession would you not like to do?

I wouldn’t like to work in a factory.