Viviani: The Tour de France will decide my future

Italian confirms Cofidis interest for 2020

Elia Viviani has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Cofidis are among his suitors for the 2020 season though he has not ruled out the prospect of remaining at Deceuninck-QuickStep when his contract expires at the end of this year.

A report in L'Equipe on Monday linked Viviani with a move to Cofidis, who are set to step up to an expanded WorldTour in 2020. Cedric Vasseur's team are in the market for a sprinter due to the impending departure of Nacer Bouhanni, who was left out of the Tour selection for the second year in succession.

Viviani feels that his market value was boosted by his fine debut season at QuickStep in 2018, though he acknowledged that his performance at the Tour de France would ultimately determine his destination for next season. Viviani is riding La Grande Boucle for the first time since 2014.

"We haven't signed with anyone. My desire, like I've always said, is to stay here," Viviani told Cyclingnews in Binche ahead of stage 3 of the Tour. "All the results that I've achieved here have been a demonstration, so we'll see. We're at the Tour now and I want to win at the Tour. This Tour will probably decide where I go next year but nothing has been decided yet."

Viviani landed 18 victories in 2018, including four stages on the Giro d'Italia and three at the Vuelta a España. He has won six races so far in 2019. After coming away empty-handed from this year's Giro, Viviani won two stages at the Tour de Suisse in the build-up to the Tour de France.

Deceuninck-QuickStep have recently signed Julian Alaphilippe to a long-term deal, but Viviani, Philippe Gilbert and Enric Mas are all out of contract at the end of the season. It is unclear if Patrick Lefevere will be able to match Viviani's contract expectations.

"I think I deserve it after the season I had last year so now we'll see who gives me a big contract," Viviani said.

L'Équipe suggested that Viviani's lead-out Fabio Sabatini would join him at Cofidis in the event of a transfer as the team bids to build a nucleus around the Italian. The Cofidis management team includes Viviani's fellow countryman Roberto Damiani, while Filippo Fortin, already at the team, would likely form part of his sprint train.

"They're very interested in me and that's a good thing, it certainly makes me proud. We'll see how it evolves in the coming weeks," Viviani said. "In any case, I'm certain I can do well in the coming years, whether it's with Deceuninck or with Cofidis."

If Viviani ultimately leaves Deceuninck-QuickStep, L'Équipe reports that his berth might be taken by Sam Bennett, who is currently at Bora-Hansgrohe but missed out on selection for the Giro to Pascal Ackermann and the Tour to Peter Sagan.

Bennett has racked up eight wins in 2019 and was recently linked with a switch to Movistar, though Cyclingnews understands that Bora-Hansgrohe have not given up on retaining the Irish champion's services in 2020.

Young fastmen Fabio Jakobsen and Alvaro Hodeg will remain at Deceuninck-QuickStep in 2020, but lead-out man Max Richeze might also be on the way out. The Argentinian champion, part of Viviani's lead-out on this Tour, has been linked with a move to UAE Team Emirates to re-join former QuickStep teammate Fernando Gaviria.

 

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