Tour de San Luis: Viviani proud to ride for Italy

Italian focusing on road in opening half of the season

Elia Viviani (Team Sky) says that opening his season at the Tour de San Luis with the Italian national team was an easy decision to make. Viviani said that there was no conflict of interest in his decision and that the seven-day race is the best possible start to his season as he focusses on the road in the opening part of the season.

The Italian team are targeting stage victories with a strong team that includes Viviani, new Southeast signing Filippo Pozzato and up and coming sprinter Jakub Mareczko. Viviani himself has a good record at the race, after winning a stage on his debut in 2012 when riding for Cannondale, and he is looking forward to making his second appearance in the blue of Italy.

“When we plan things we want the best, and this is not only the best for the national team but for Team Sky also,” Viviani told the press in San Luis ahead of the race.

“When you are in the national jersey it is always an honour because you are representing your country. I do some races on the track also in the national jersey but for me it is important to start here in San Luis.”

“It’s one more week’s racing in the legs before the classics and before the track Worlds and when the federation asked me to come and race I was really happy to come here. We will try to win some stages, but we have a young team, half of it is from the under 23 Italian team and they will use this as an occasion to improve and to learn what is a pro race.”

Viviani is targeting a medal on the track at the Olympic Games later this year and he has been busy in the Velodrome earning points to ensure he qualifies. He is set to make one brief track appearance at the Worlds in March. However, he will put the track on the back burner in the opening five months of the year as he sets his sights on the Giro d’Italia in May.

“For 2016 my first focus is towards the Olympic Games but I have a big focus also on the road with Team Sky, and I think for that the Giro d’Italia will be my main focus,” said Viviani. “From now until the Giro d’Italia, I will go only to the track World Championships to get some more points for the Olympics. I will try to take a medal, but I won’t be in 100 per cent condition. From now, the Giro d’Italia is the main focus so I will be doing a lot of races on the road.”

The Tour de San Luis will start with a team time trial on Monday, January 18 and finish on Sunday, January 24.

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