Remo Madella is one of the most respected personalities in the world of the TrailO. Although seemingly insignificant, his performance as course setter of PreO stage of the Portugal O' Meeting 2012 turned out to be decisive in the evolution of this discipline in our country. Within days, the Italian will be again in Portugal to compete in the ETOC and we heard today his opinions.
This is not your first time in Portugal this year. I would like to know some opinions about your victory at the Portugal O' Meeting's PreO stage?
Remo Madella (R. M.) - My presence at the POM wasn't actually meant as a preparation for ETOC... I was just in the middle of a fantastic foot-orienteering + bike holiday and I had the chance to enjoy a day of Trail-O... so, I did it. At the POM I had no worries about studying terrain, mapper or course-setter for ETOC, as in Palmela everything will be very different... so I just tried to enjoy myself.
Being the responsible for the course setting of the first stage of the first Portugal Cup, you're an “historic” of TrailO in this country. Can you note some differences between Viseu, in 2012, and the event in Gouveia?
R. M. - It's difficult to point out the differences, as I was involved in very different ways (organizer in 2012 and competitor in 2014) but I try to say something: the terrain was much better in 2014 (with those big rocks and some interesting detailed areas), the pre-race info was better in 2012 :-) . But there was surely a similar thing in the two competitions: a very good map, that I could trust deeply, by the same mapmakers Tiago Aires & Raquel Costa.
What did you felt when you knew that Portugal would be the organizer of ETOC 2014?
R. M. - I thought that it was a big challenge for Portugal, not having any experience in high-level Trail-O... but, with commitment, anything is possible.
How did you prepare yourself for the competition?
R. M. - I attended all the competitions I could in this very short beginning of the season (POM, two times Lipica, two times Milano) and I will try to use my experience and daily use of maps, but most of all I hope to have learned 'mentally' from past mistakes. I also have a new attitude (I understood something :-) and I hope this can help me during the competitions.
What kind of event do you expect?
R. M. - I expect a very tactic competition. We don't have any knowledge about the course-setter's style and about the mapmaker; so everyone is looking forward to the Model Event to understand something.
Can you point the best candidates to the European titles?
R. M. - I think it's very clear who are the strongest candidates and I'm a big fan of the Nordic competitors. For TempO: Pinja, Antti, Lauri, Marit, MartinJ. For PreO: the same as TempO plus all the other Swedes (Stig, Jens, Martin, Lennhart, William, Erik), Finns (Marko, Martti, Jari) and Norwegians (Lars Jacob, Geir).
PreO or TempO?
R. M. - I have lost interest in PreO, TempO is the only way. 90% of the PreO course-setters (and sadly even Event Advisors) fail to provide fair courses, so PreO is losing value as a competitive sport, anything can happen in the results. There is a way to provide fair courses but course-setters seem to ignore it. In Italy, we use to say: “TempO never lies”. So, definitely, TempO!
In your case, what should be the perfect result?
R. M. - The perfect result would be to be satisfied with my answers and to enjoy the competitions. Usually, when I'm satisfied, a good result comes together. Anyway, I'd like to be in the best 15 in TempO (the terrain should suit me, but I know it's not easy, last ETOC I couldn't even qualify for the final, and the first 15 spots could be easily filled by Finland, Sweden and Norway only).
What is your main goal for the season? To be the World Champion in your home country?
R. M. - Not at all. I don't even know if I will be in Italy 2014 or Croatia 2015. My only big goal, now, is Sweden 2016, when the Relay medal should be introduced. After years of massive preparation for big events attending to highest number of competitions and strong efforts to explain to course-setters how must be a fair course, I think that I've failed. No big results for me, and still so many unfair courses in PreO, especially at WTOC. So I am stepping back now, just trying to relax and enjoy my Trail-O now and then. I will try to get the most out of the competitions, without worrying too much about the results and keeping low expectations.
Would you like to make a wish for the European Championships?
R. M. - I wish, as always, that ETOC will provide fair courses where luck is not involved in the answers. I also wish Good Luck to the amazing boys and girls of TempO who will fight for Gold with their crazy speed, I'd love to be part of the game in the final to follow them close (as I managed to do in Vuokatti and Selkie last year) and, of course, try to grab the highest place I can.