Visconti in running for spot on Italy's worlds team

Italian's Coppa Agostoni win adds strength to worlds selection

Italian Giovanni Visconti is a strong candidate for the Italian worlds team after his win in yesterday's Coppa Agostoni in Lissone, Italy. It was only his second win of the year, but three weeks before the team is selected, Visconti could be set for his first ride with the Azzurri.

"I don't win often, but I'm always trying," Visconti (ISD) told La Gazzetta dello Sport. There is not a race that starts without a dream of arriving with your hands in the air."

Visconti, who has never featured in the worlds, formed part of a six-man escape group on the fifth time up the Lissolo climb. The group survived until the end, where Visconti marked the winner of Tuesday's Tre Valli Varesine, Mauro Santambrogio.

The Italian has only a few more races to further impress national director Franco Ballerini: today's Coppa Bernocchi, Melinda, Veneto and Romagna, with the championships on September 27 in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

"At the worlds I will put myself at the disposition of the national team. I can try to enter escape groups," said Visconti.

Visconti took the race leader's maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia last year thanks to an escape in stage six to Peschici. He wore the jersey, instead of his national champion jersey, for eight more days.

Ballerini will make his final selection of nine riders and two reserves on September 14. Damiano Cunego, current champion Alessandro Ballan, Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali are the most likely leaders.

Mendrisio's course will be one of the hardest championships since Hamilton, Canada, in 2003. Italy has won the World Championships for the last three years (Salzburg, Stuttgart and Varese), but never has a country won the race four consecutive years.

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