Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) abandoned the Tour de Romandie ahead of stage 4 due to the effects of influenza but the Italian champion has confirmed that he will line out as planned at the Giro d’Italia, which gets underway in Bologna next Saturday.
The Tour de Romandie was Viviani’s first race in over a month, as he had not pinned on a race number since bringing the curtain down on his early-season campaign at Gent-Wevelgem. Viviani betrayed signs of suffering on the first road stage but was keen to rack up racing miles in Switzerland ahead of the Giro.
“I carried on for a few days because it was important to do a good block of work,” Viviani told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m on antibiotics. My nose is blocked but the coughing has passed.”
Saturday’s stage 4 was shortened by 70km due to the threat of snow in the Prealps and Viviani was one of six riders who opted not to start the stage, reasoning that the conditions would not help his recovery from illness.
“Given the weather, it was best not to exaggerate,” Viviani said. “Now I’ll have a couple of quiet days and I hope that everything will be resolved by Saturday. I picked up the flu these past few days. The immune system was low after weeks of training, but we should be ready in time for the Giro.”
Viviani won four stages and the points classification at the 2018 Giro and he will headline the rollcall of sprinters at this year’s race. The 30-year-old has landed four victories so far this season and should have his first chance to add to that tally on stage 2 to Fucecchio.
Viviani’s former QuickStep teammate Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) will be among his sprint rivals at the corsa rosa, together with Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).