Elia Viviani has said he won’t line up for the World Championships in Yorkshire this September, with the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider saying the course will be too hard for him to compete for the victory.
The 30-year-old says he completed a reconnaissance of the course in April with his Italian team-mates, which showed him he wouldn’t be able to challenge for the win and resulted in him drawing up other plans for the end of his 2019 season.
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At the European Championship road race, Viviani was one of the favourites to win yet took his victory in an unexpected manner.
Rather than a bunch sprint finish, the Italian rode off the front of the peloton alongside Germany’s Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and his Belgian Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Yves Lampaert.
After Lampaert attacked with 3km to go, not wanting to drag the two sprinters to the line with him, Viviani then counter-attacked Ackermann, jumping across to the Belgian’s wheel and then sprinting past him in the finishing straight.
Alongside his RideLondon-Surrey classic win, Viviani has said he’s had good legs since finishing the Tour de France, where he picked up a stage win and came third in the points classification.
However, after 72 days of road racing so far in 2019, the Italian says Yorkshire is a step too far for him as he turns his attention towards the track.
Viviani told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I’m not Superman. It’s sort of, ‘I’d like to, but I can’t’. It would be stupid to think that I could get there physically in top condition.”
Instead, Viviani will race the EuroEyes Cyclassics in Hamburg on August 25 followed by the Bretagne Classic on September 1.
These will be his final two road races of the season before preparing for the track, with the Italian scheduled to race the European Track Championships in October and then the World Cup in Belarus in November.
“I’ll try to keep going until Hamburg and Plouay, which I can win again,” Viviani said. “Then in October and November, I have the European Track Championships and the first round of the World Cup in preparation for Tokyo 2020.”
According to Viviani, the leader of the Italian road team in Yorkshire will be Matteo Trentin, who did a lot of work at the front of the peloton to help Viviani to secure the European road race title, which the Mitchelton-Scott rider had taken in 2018.