By Kirsten Robbins in Italy
The former Italian Cyclo-cross Champion Enrico Franzoi was benched from defending his title in yesterday's Italian Championships in Scorzè (Venice). The rider who recently transferred from Lampre to Liquigas was forced to sit out of his prized event because of an injury to his ankle that caused him pain two weeks ago during the World Cup in Hofstade. The problem worsened, and he and his specialist made the decision to take a time out.
"My specialist told me that the injury in my heel will take approximately fifteen days to heal," the 25 year-old told Cyclingnews on the eve of the Italian Championships held near his hometown.
"The nationals was really important to me because it's an event that I always want to do well in but worst of all, it is in my home town and I would have liked to compete there even if it wasn't a national championship – just because I grew up there for twenty-three years."
He has redesigned his training program to be prepared for the World Championships held in Treviso on January 27. The cyclo-cross rider has been training on the road as regular but due to his injury has been forced to skip all cyclo-cross specific workouts where running is involved.
"I am still in very good condition and I am prepared to compete well in the World Championships," said Franzoi, who last year earned himself a bronze medal. "I am not going to the Worlds with the goal of just participating, I am going to race hard and with the goal of getting another good result there."