Nibali, Visconti and Aru confirmed for Italian team for World Championships

Cassani leaves Pozzato at home, Zardini secures final place in 11-rider squad

Italian national coach Davide Cassani has confirmed the 11 riders selected for the Elite Men's road race at the World Championships, opting to select Edoardo Zardini instead of Filippo Pozzato despite the Lampre-Merida rider impressing with a series of placings in two of the Trittico Lombardo races in northern Italy.

Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali is the designated team captain of the Italian team. He only returned to action at the Trittico Lombardo but showed some flashes of form and is expected to be a protected rider in the world championships if the climbs of the final laps on the rolling Ponferrada course cause a selection.

Also in the team and expected to have a leadership role are Fabio Aru and Giovanni Visconti, while Daniele Bennati is the road captain for the team. Completing the squad are Damiano Caruso, Giampaolo Caruso, Sonny Colbrelli, Alessandro De Marchi, Davide Formolo and Manuel Quinziato.

Climber and Tour of Britain stage winner Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) secured the final place after helping teammate Colbrelli finish second in the Tre Vale Varesine race. Pozzato was third in the sprint, and was left to accept that he had done too little too late to secure one of the sought-after Italian azzurra jerseys for the road road race.

Cassani announced a 16-rider long-list last week, with Alessandro Vanotti, Enrico Gasparotto, Giacomo Nizzolo and Matteo Trentin also missing the cut. The 11 riders will attend a short training camp in Alba, Italy before travelling to Spain next Wednesday.

The final nine riders who will start the race on Sunday September 28 will be named just before the road race.

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