Spanish Formula One pilot and future team owner Fernando Alonso was at the start of the road race in Lucca, getting to know the world of cycling and the best riders in the world as he begins to build his team to debut in the 2015 season.
Alonso visited the Spanish team but also made a point of stopping by to say hello to Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
Speaking briefly to Cyclingnews and Slovakian state television, Alonso confirmed that he will create his own team for the 2015 season, hinting that he was at the world championships to study the riders and to get to know the world of cycling.
"I love cycling and for 2015, my own team will be on the road for sure. We want to win races and have the best riders in our team. I'll be watching and studying all riders today," he said after spending a few minutes with Peter Sagan on his team bus.
Alonso will base his team in his home region of Asturias in northern Spain. He confirmed he is hoping for a Spanish victory in Florence.
"I hope Spain can do a good job. We'll see. But I think Sagan is the best cyclist in the world at the moment and he's the favourite. I'm sure everybody will be watching him."
Alonso rides a lot and so understands the difficulties of riding in the rain.
"I wish everyone all the best because they're all heroes today for racing for so long in the rain," he said.