Attilio Viviani sprinted to his first professional victory at Belgian one-day race Schaal Sels on Sunday, while riding as a stagiaire for Pro Continental team Cofidis. Meanwhile, some 500 kilometres away, his older and more well-known brother, European road race champion Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep), was busy winning the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg for the third year in a row.
It's unusual for stagiaires to be afforded the opportunity to race to win, as they're normally put to work fetching bottles and generally learning the ropes of life as a professional rider. The fact that the team rode to set up their young sprinter for the finish of the UCI 1.1-ranked race demonstrated considerable confidence in 22-year-old Attilio's abilities.
"The team worked brilliantly for me at the end of the race," Viviani said on the Cofidis website. "I really appreciate everything they did for me. I also want to thank [team manager] Cedric Vasseur very much for having taken me on as a stagiaire at Cofidis. I hope I've paid him back with this win today."
The fact that Attilio is enjoying a stage with Cofidis when his older brother has signed with the French squad for 2020 could well point to a permanent contract with the team for the younger Viviani next year, too.
"When you win like this, you can say that you've had a fantastic day," said directeur sportif Alain Deloeuil. "The team worked really hard – Hugo Hofstetter, in particular – to bring back the day's breakaway, and we then knew we had a chance at the finish if we were in a good position.
"The whole team went to work and Bert Van Lerberghe worked especially hard to get Attilio Viviani to the front, who then got the better of everyone to win. It's an amazing achievement when he's only just started riding in the professional ranks," he said.
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