Nibali, Ulissi lead Italian long-list for World Championships

Bronzini, Checchini and Longo Borghini head women's team

Italian national selector Davide Cassani has named a 14-rider long list for the men’s road race at the World Championships. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep) are among the riders who have made the cut. Sprinters Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka) are also on the list published by Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Only 11 riders – nine starters and two reserves – will make the trip to Richmond. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Cassani said that the final selection will not be made until after the Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi races on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Nibali will make his return to racing at the two Italian races after his disqualification from the Vuelta a Espana.

Cassani has seemingly covered all bases with a mixture of climbers, sprinters, classics riders and strong domestiques. It is expected that Ulissi will be the team’s protected rider but the likes of Viviani and Trentin, who have been performing well in recent weeks could provide options for the team. Viviani came home with three stage wins at a very challenging Tour of Britain, while Trentin took an impressive solo win.

Sbaragli has also been on form with a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana. Earlier this month he told Gazzetta that he was not in consideration but his win seems to have changed Cassani’s mind. BMC’s Manuel Quinziato and Daniel Oss are also on the list and expected to form the core of the team. Quinziato is set to be road captain while Oss will perform as a domestique. Completing the 14 names are lead-out man Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha), Fabio Feline (Trek Factory Racing), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF), Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky) and Alessandro de Marchi (BMC).

Triple Italian national time trial champion Adriano Malori (Movistar) will lead their time trial effort and will be joined by Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin). Malori finished sixth at last year’s World Championships and this lumpy course should suit him.

In the women’s road race, double World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda), Italian national champion Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) lead the longlist. Italy have disappointed at recent World Championships and it is the women’s team that have delivered a large portion of the success with eight medals in the last ten championships, including four gold medals.

Longo Borghini, who has enjoyed a very strong season, is likely to be the team’s leader in Richmond. Also on the list are Marta Bastianelli (Aromitalia - Vaiano), Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Alé Cipollini), Tatiana Guderzo (Team Hitech), Rossella Ratto (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi), Valentina Scandolara (Orica-Ais) and Silvia Valsecchi (Bepink Laclassica), who has also been named for the time trial. 

Italian team for the World Championships

Men’s Road Race (14 riders): Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing), Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka), Manuel Quinziato and Daniel Oss and Alessandro de Marchi (all BMC), Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha), Fabio Feline (Trek Factory Racing), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF), Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky).

Men’s time trial: Adriano Malori (Movistar) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin).

Men’s U23: Simone Consonni (Team Colpack) and Gianni Moscon (Fior Zalf).

Women’s Road Race (nine riders): Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda), Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda), Marta Bastianelli (Aromitalia - Vaiano), Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Alé Cipollini), Tatiana Guderzo (Team Hitech), Rossella Ratto (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi), Valentina Scandolara (Orica-Ais) and Silvia Valsecchi (Bepink Laclassica).

Women's time trial: Silvia Valsecchi (Bepink Laclassica).

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