Viviani's thoughts turn to world road race championships after Olympic gold

Italian hoping to target the rainbow jersey in Doha

Elia Viviani has returned to Italy after winning the gold medal in the men's omnium at the Rio Olympics and is already thinking about a return to road racing and the world road race championships in Qatar in mid-October.

The flat road race course in Doha suits the sprinters and Viviani is hoping to secure a place in the nine-ride Italian team. He will face competition for a protected leadership role from the likes of Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo), Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Southeast), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep).

Before the world championships Viviani will return to racing with Team Sky, riding a series of one-day races and minor stage races. He is on the provisional start list for Sunday's EuroEyes Classic in Hamburg but Team Sky has yet to confirm its line-up for the German WorldTour race.

Viviani is expected to spend a few days at home with his family near Verona before pinning on a race number but has quickly set Qatar as a final goal of his 2016 season.

"It's a busy time in the cycling season and I'll soon be back racing with my team and I'll be focused on my next goals," Viviani told the Italian news agency ANSA at Rome's Fiumicino airport before travelling on to his home in Verona.

"I know I need to hold onto my form for two more months. The worlds are in mid-October and they're a huge occasion for the sprinters. I'm a road sprinter and so I don't want to miss out on a chance of further success. I think we'll have a strong team and I'm sure we'll be up there with a chance."

Reflecting on Rio

Viviani celebrated his gold medal at the Casa Italia in Rio before travelling home overnight. His long flight gave him a chance to reflect on the omnium and especially the final points race that saw him crash early on but get back up to defend his lead and win the gold medal.

"It was testing race. We had a good first day of racing and in the timed events on the second day. Then everything came down to the points race that had escaped our grasp in the past," Viviani explained.

"I was worried when I crashed. I initially thought everything was over but then when I got up I felt okay. I never lost control of things and only wanted to get racing again and defend my lead. I was focused on the gold medal, knowing that was the important thing."

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