Italian sprinter Elia Viviani won the European points race and Madison titles on the Apeldoorn track in the Netherlands, adding further track success to his six victories on the road during the 2013 season that included the opening stage at the Tour of Britain and overall success at the Tour of Elk Grove in the USA.
The Cannondale sprinter has raced around the world this season, having recently ridden the Tour of Beijing. He likes to mix his track and road racing and will ride the Italian national track championship this week and then target the Manchester World Cup (November 1-3). He is still only 24 but has increased the quality of his sprint victories on the road as Cannondale’s protected sprinter and alternative to Peter Sagan.
“I didn’t win a lot but I was aiming more quality this year and improve my world ranking. I’m the seventh best Italian in the world now and that proves I’ve improved. I’m ready for another step upwards too,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Viviani only won his first sprint at the Criterium du Dauphine in June after missing several chances and taking several placings, including on the opening stage at the Giro d’Italia in Naples, which would have given him the first pink jersey of the race.
“I’m not happy about that. A sprinter is like a soccer striker; I kept going close but didn’t score. Something always went wrong,” he said.
“Cavendish was in great form at the Giro but I regret not winning in Naples. I was about to win and pull on the pink jersey, I was as good as Cav that day but then I hesitated for a second and he got away.”
The 2014 season
Viviani will finally get to enjoy a holiday after the Manchester World Cup but will then soon begin to plan his 2014 season. He’s convinced his goals, ambitions and race programme do not clash with that of Peter Sagan.
“First of all let’s see what happens to the team (with the possible arrival of Tinkoff as a sponsor and team owner). Then I will meet (team manager) Roberto Amadio and put down some plans considering Peter’s goals first, because he’s our team leader,” Viviani said.
“I’d like to do the track world championships (in Cali, Colombia between Feb. 26-March 2) because I think it’s a great opportunity to win the points race world title. I think the world championships can fit in with my sprint programme. I’d also like to target the sprints at the Giro d’Italia. “
“I don’t think my goals clash with Peter's. He’s going to focus on the Tour de France and I can do the Giro d’Italia. He can win all the Spring Classics, while the only one that suits me is Ghent-Wevelgem. Milan-San Remo is no longer a goal for me because the new route will be too much for me.”