They are one of the most talked about couples in the Italian gossip columns and on the web. We're talking about Andrea Iannone and Belen Rodriguez of course, who recently took the opportunity to carry out an exclusive interview with Riders magazine. The couple talk about their love but also about bikes, a world about which the Argentinian showgirl knew nothing up until a year ago: “Andrea explains it to me, and because I'm so nervous about the racing, to the extent that I have to take a pill to calm me down, I try to be as informed as possible so I know what he'll face and how certain things happen”.
The Maniac's approach to racing stood out to Rodriguez: “He has a strange mental balance. If he's too calm it's no good, he's an adrenaline junkie. If he's not going nuts for something, he gives less”. 2017 brought more than its fair share of difficulties for the Italian rider: “He never gave up, ever - reveals the South American - when we began our relationship I was experiencing a difficult time and he had the balls to come into my life and know when to be there and when to wait. More than once I thought he'd go. But ever since meeting me he's been there”.
Iannone talks about how their relationship came about: “Her brother invited me to his birthday, we had friends in common, I didn't go looking for her – reveals The Maniac- but I fell for her the first time I saw her and spoke to her, struck by her fragility, her humanity”. And a love story was born: “One evening in 2014, I was at the Principe di Savoia hotel with my friend - recalls Andrea - an interview had come out in Chi magazine that said I liked Belen more than bikes. That evening a friend of a friend saw me and said, oh, did you know I have Belen's number? I told him not to give it to me, that I didn't want it. In the end we went to my house and this guy starts shouting about the number. At that point I wrote it down. The next morning I woke up and thought - do I send her a message or not? Do I send it or not?”
At that point, Belen was still married: “I thought he was the usual admirer – she recalls - I was married, I thanked him and it ended there. Two, three years later, my brother gave him my new number and I met him for myself. When he sent me a first message, that previous message from 2014 showed up again. The amazing thing was that I remembered that message, and I never remember anything”.
In Iannone's mind and heart there is only her: “I saw only her– he admits – in Ibiza I'd get up early to train, because I knew she got up at 1, so when I finished I could go and see her. And if I had to go somewhere I'd do it in one day. Because I'd worry if I had to leave her. And not out of jealousy, she's more jealous than me».
One thing is sure - there are three things at the centre of Iannone's life: “My bike is life, my family is life and there's her - indicating Belen - a truly wonderful thing for me”.