'My head was filled with doubts and insecurities but I'm ready to win sprints again': says Elia Viviani as he re-joins Ineos in 2022

The former Italian champion and Olympic gold medallist is confident he can get back to the top of sprinting

Elia Viviani
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elia Viviani has said his "insecurities are gone" and he's "ready to win sprints again" as he prepares to join Ineos Grenadiers.

The Italian sprinter has said he is "back in an environment that I know and where I feel comfortable." 

Viviani was announced to be re-signing for the British squad on November 1 this year and is at the forefront of Ineos' campaign to target success outside of general classifications in 2022.

However, he struggled over the past two years with Cofidis after he left Quick-Step where he was consistently taking high-profile victories.

>>> 'I had thoughts of just packing it all in': Gabriel Cullaigh's lonely experience and rejection with Movistar

Speaking in a piece by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Viviani said: "I am back in an environment that I know and where I feel comfortable. I want to return to [being one of] the best sprinters in the world.

"I admit my head was filled with doubts and insecurities. I imagine the same thing happens to a striker in football when he can no longer score. But now my doubts and insecurities are gone. I swept them away."

Viviani won seven times this season, which isn't a bad total, but they were in smaller races like the Cholet - Pays de la Loire rather than the Grand Tours which dominate his other 85 career wins. 

In 2018, for example, he won 18 times while at Quick-Step, including four Giro d'Italia stages and three Vuelta a España stages.

Viviani is confident he can get back to that level, saying that there is not one stand-out sprinter at the moment.

"The riders with the most wins are not sprinters. There is no dominant winner, there are dozens of sprinters competing for the marbles. Because no one stands out, you are never beaten as a sprinter - I'm ready to win important sprints again."

The 32-year-old has joined his new, and in some cases old, team-mates at a training camp as he returns to the team he raced for over three years between 2015 and 2017. He is contracted to stay with Ineos until 2024, where the Paris Olympic Games will take place.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1