Visconti recovered from Tour of Qatar tumble

Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri) reported no serious ill effects from his crash on stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar. The Italian champion was part of the stage-long breakaway that was swallowed up in the finale.

"Certainly I was feeling better yesterday morning but these things happen," Visconti told Cyclingnews in Al Wakra ahead of stage two. "It's the kind of fall that could compromise your season, but fortunately it was ok."

Visconti explained that his fall came just as the peloton was breathing down the necks of the escapees. "I turned when I heard one of breakaway companions call me from behind to say that the break was finished, and I hit a bump and came down," he said.

Like many of his peers, Visconti is in Qatar to prepare for objectives later in the spring, and the Sicilian is pleased with his progress to date.

"Every day I'm here, it's with the objective of getting good training in," he said. "I'm not a rider suited to these kinds of races. The main objective is to do a lot of work and in spite of the fall, I'm able to do that."

Visconti has finished top of the UCI Europe Tour rankings for the past two seasons as his Farnese Vini-Neri squad has been reliant on invitations to the world's biggest races. Last year the team was disappointed to miss out on a Giro d'Italia place, but this time around, Luca Scinto's team has earned berths in the corsa rosa and a number of other high profile races in the first half of the season.

"The aim is to honour all the races we've been invited to," Visconti said. "As for the Giro, I'll go there with the general objective of winning stages, although it's a pity the one to Sicily [which finishes atop Mount Etna] is probably too difficult for me."

Visconti has ridden at Pro Continental level since leaving Quick Step at the end of 2008. The Italian admitted that he had no shortage of ProTeam suitors ahead of the 2011 campaign, but ultimately he opted to remain at the Farnese Vini-Neri outfit for a third season.

"I had various offers but in the end destiny willed that I stay here," he said. "There wasn't a particular reason for it, but it was what I decided and I'm happy. Up to now the results and the invitations are showing that I've made the right choice."

Visconti declined to comment on the recent news regarding Riccardo Riccò's health problems and their possible link to blood doping.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.