Further details of Vicenza's bid to host the 2020 World Championships were revealed during the Giro d'Italia's visit to the Veneto region this week, with Piazza San Marco in Venice slated as the site of the start of the men's road race.
The UCI will decide on the host of the 2020 Worlds during next year's World Championships in Bergen, and Vicenza has been particularly active in promoting its candidacy over the past two years.
"We are optimistic and confident; by now Vicenza 2020 is something more than a dream, the project is already in the advanced stages," said Claudio Pasqualin, head of the bid committee. "Through the World Championship project, we aim to promote the Veneto Region as a territory with a strong cycling vocation."
The men's road race is projected to start on Piazza San Marco and the neutralised zone will wind through the canals of Venice, before reaching kilometre zero on the Ponte della Libertà, the four-kilometre-long bridge that links Venice with the mainland.
After crossing the Veneto region, the peloton will tackle the Worlds circuit around Vicenza. Full details of the planned course are yet to be finalised, but it is expected that it would include the tough climb of Monte Berico, where Philippe Gilbert claimed stage victory at last year's Giro d'Italia.
"We have compiled a considerable dossier, complete with the support of all the authorities involved. We've been meeting a lot with the UCI and we have already reached an agreement with the Italian Cycling Federation," Pasqualin said.
The peloton approaches the Santuario di Monte in Vicenza during stage 12 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia (TDW Sports)
Mads Pedersen wins first race of professional career
"It's such a nice feeling to get this win, it feels amazing, and it's great for the team to get our first win of the year as well - it's a win for the team," said the 20-year-old who won the U23 edition of Gent-Wevelgem in the spring.
Pedersen finished three seconds ahead of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA's Luis Mas Bonet having launched his stage winning attack in the final few hundres metres as he explained.
"On the final climb when I was behind I just decided to keep my own speed and try to push all the way to the finish and hope that he had gone too deep too early. With 200m I finally got back to him and then with 150m I went and that was it. It's nice to have the climber’s jersey too but I will see how the stages ahead are and what we do," he added.
The Tour of Norway concludes Sunday with a 163km stage from Drøbak to Sarpsborg. Roompot-Oranje Peloton's Pieter Weening currently leads Sondre Holst Enger by 45 seconds and Edvald Boasson Hagen by 53 seconds on the general classification.
Primoz Roglic to race Tour de Pologne
Stage 10 Giro d'Italia time trial winner Primoz Roglic has confirmed his attendance at July's Tour de Pologne. The Slovenian is in his first year of racing at WorldTour level with LottoNL-Jumbo and explained he is looking forward to the seven stage race which concludes with a time trial in Kraków.
"It will be the first time I’ve ever participated in the Tour de Pologne, but I’ve heard that the race is really well organized," said Roglic. "My team mates have told me lots of good things about the race organization and also the food and hospitality at the hotels. I've seen the route and, at least on paper, I'd say I like what I see. I think it's suited to my skills and I think I will set out as leader of the team.
"The stages in the second part of the competition cater particularly to my strengths. I'm pretty good on climbs and I think I'll be able to keep pace with the best, and then the final time trial in Krakow will be to my advantage. The goal at the Tour de Pologne will be to jostle for the top positions in the general classification. After the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de Pologne will be my main objective on the road to Rio 2016. I'm going to be at the start of the Olympic Games and I'm sure that Poland will give me the perfect boost, all the better to prepare for this exceptionally important event."
Roglic was a ski jumper before switching to road racing and competed in Poland on several occasions. However, it will be a new experience for the 26-year-old to see the country from his bike as he added.
"I know Poland well, because before cycling I was a ski jumper," he said. "I've often seen the Polish ski jumping champion Adam Malysz, who is a giant in this sport. I've competed with the Pole Kamil Stoch. On the other hand, among the cyclists in the pack here at the Giro, I've met Rafal Majka, a great rider and a really nice guy. One of the stages in the Tour de Pologne is in Zakopane; I know this town quite well, it's famous for its ski jump. I've been there several times for World Cup competitions and training. I'm happy that the stage will wrap up right under the launch ramp, which is still an important symbol for me."
Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) enjoying his moment on the podium (Bettini Photo)
Yukiya Arashiro returns from broken leg at Tour of Japan with Lampre-Merida
Having joined Lampre-Merida from Team Europcar at the end of 2015, Yukiya Arashiro's career with the Italian team got off to a bad start as he broke his leg on the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar back in February.
The former Japanese national champion has slowly recovered over the last three months and has reached the level required to race again with his comeback to take place on home soil at the Tour of Japan later this month.
Lampre-Merida will also line up with Taiwanese national champion Chun Kai Feng and Chinese rider Xu Gang in what is an important race for its sponsors as sports director Bruno Vicino explained.
"In the past edition, we achieve many important goals, which were two stages victories, many podiums, the youth classification and the climbers ranking - sports director Vicino explained - This year, we'll hunt for stages: in our line-up there won't be climbers, however we're a very fast team, considering the presence of Cimolai, Kump and Zurlo," Vicino said. "The Asian athletes Feng and Xu will have high motivations and they'll give their important contribution to the team.
"For what concerns Arashiro, it's very important that his fans could understand that Yukiya achieve a very important goal by being at the start of the Tour of Japan and we won't put any pressure on him.
"We thank all the Japanese company which will support us: Miyata, which is Merida distributor, Champion System Japan and Shukoh, whose logos will be on our team as it happened in the past".
Lampre-Merida for the Tour of Japan: Yukiya Arashiro, Davide Cimolai, Chun Kai Feng, Marko Kump, Xu Gang and Federico Zurlo.