The Italian squadra arrived in Denmark for the UCI World Championships on Monday night and got their first taste of Danish weather and the local roads on Tuesday as they trained together for the first time.
With the Italian azzurro blue replacing the rider's usual trade team colours it is hard to recognize some of the riders but national men's national coach Paolo Bettini and women's coach Edoardo Salvoldi have carefully selected the riders with the aim of winning on the flat but technical course, north of Copenhagen.
Wrapped up against the cold with gloves and neck warmers, the men and women's road race squads set off together for a steady ride near their base in Skodsborg. Some rode for close to 100km, covering the race circuit twice, others opted for a shorter distance and more recovery time. With the road races just a few days away, the real training and racing has been done and now it is about building team spirit and finalizing team tactics.
The Italian women's team will be lead by 2010 world champion Giorgia Bronzini. Sprinter Daniele Bennati has been designated the team leader for Sunday's elite men's race but the young Italian team also includes the likes of Sacha Modolo, Giovanni Visconti and double USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage winner Elia Viviani.
Older riders such as Luca Paolini, Manuel Quinziato and Matteo Tosatto bring their experience as Italy tries to take on Philippe Gilbert, Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and defending champion Thor Hushovd.