Italian cyclo-cross champion Enrico Franzoi (Lampre-Caffita) will be one of the outside favourites for this Sunday's Elite Men's cyclo-cross World Championships in St. Wendel, Germany. Altogether, it will be Franzoi's sixth World's, taking into account his participation in the Road World's in Zolder in 2002.
Franzoi already has an U23 World Championship to his name after winning in Monopoli in 2003. "I remember the joy and the emotions at this particular race," he recalled. "Only once I got onto the podium did I really start to realise what I had achieved, winning the World Champ's is an unbelievable satisfaction, which seems to repay all the sacrifices paid in the past."
Last year in France, Franzoi managed only 8th in the U23 race, but he has come on strongly during the last season and will enter his first Elite World's with high hopes. "After the victory in Rovato [Italian Championships] my morale is high and I am feeling good for the race," he said. "I have good condition at the moment and I am looking at a podium finish. I know this year's circuit well, where we raced last year in the World Cup. It is a very technical circuit with a lot of steep climbs and technical descents which are found more or less half way through the circuit. The Belgium and Dutch riders will be the riders to look out for - I will be looking at these riders in particular, which will hopefully take me to a podium finish."
The rest of the Italian elite team is made up of Simone Masciarelli, Marco Bianco, Stefano Toffoletti and Daniele Pontoni.