Elia Viviani has unveiled his special edition national jersey for the Giro d’Italia.
The reigning Italian champion will be returning to his home Grand Tour after taking four stage victories there last season.
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But Viviani’s return is even more prestigious, as he will be fighting for victory with the Italian tricolour on his back.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider will be racing in a newly-designed, striking version of the national flag.
Viviani said: “The tricolour jersey is the main reason that I want to be at the Giro, because I want to respect Italian cycling and repeat my success from last year.
“The Giro d’Italia is my last big race in the jersey, and as the national championships this year do not suit me, we wanted to do something special with the jersey to mark what has been a very special 12 months for me.”
Quick-Step’s clothing provider Vermarc has altered the design of Viviani’s jersey, adjusting the green, white and red stripes from horizontal to vertical to match the pattern of the Italian flag.
Viviani has taken eight wins in the jersey, including four this year.
The 30-year-old added: “I have had some very special wins in the jersey, but the one that stands out to me is the one in Madrid at the end of the Vuelta a España.
“I can remember the feeling from the way that we rode as a team and the way I won, capping off an unbelievable season.”
After taking 18 wins last year Viviani is now looking to his home race for more success, as the Giro starts in Bologna on Saturday (May 11).
Viviani added: “The design of this high-quality jersey is the Italian flag in a horizontal pattern, like on the flag, and we have tried to be creative with the white sleeves in order to make the stripes stand out.
“This will make it even easier for the fans to spot me.”