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Giovanni Visconti (ISD)
Consistent Italian rider leads Ricco
Giovanni Visconti of the ISD-Neri team continues to dominate the UCI's Europe Tour rankings after increasing his lead with further strong performances in August.
The 27-year-old won the ranking last year and has led this year's rankings since winning the overall title in the Presidential Tour of Turkey. His successes include the Italian national road championship title. He will ride the Giro della Romagna one-day race on Sunday and hopes to secure a leading role in the Italian national team at the World Championships in Melbourne.
Visconti pulled in more points in August to pad his lead with top ten finishes in the Trofeo Matteotti, GP Citta di Camaiore, Tre Valli Varesine and Trofeo Melinda.
He currently has 687 points, ahead of second-ranked Riccardo Riccò who has 424 points. Riccò, who only returned to racing in March after serving a doping suspension, still has the mathematical possibility to win the rankings. He started the season with Ceramica Flaminia, but left the team last month and signed a two-year contract with Dutch team Vacansoleil. He will make his debut with the Dutch team as of this Sunday at the Giro della Romagna.
Steven Van Dijk (Willems Verandas) is in third place, only one point behind Riccò. He moved up from fourth place after winning the GP Stadt Zottegen.
Vacansoleil took over first place in the team rankings, a position it can expect to hold on to due to Ricco's presence. Cofidis is second and CarmioOro-NGC is third. Italy leads the nations standings, ahead of France and Spain.