Visconti ruled out of Italian championships

Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) has ruled himself out of the Italian road race championships as a result of the injuries he picked up in a crash at the Tour de Suisse last week.

Visconti sustained several abrasions and required stitches for a wound to his left thigh after he crashed out of the race on stage five last week. After three days off the bike, the Sicilian attempted to return to training over the weekend but quickly realised that he would be unable to line up at the Italian championships in Trentino next Saturday.

“The abrasions are still driving me mad. I’m on antibiotics, I have pains in both my legs and arms, and, frankly, it’s unthinkable that I could ride as a protagonist in a race as important as the Italian championships,” Visconti told Tuttobici.

Already winner of the tricolour jersey in 2007, 2010 and 2011, Visconti was among the favourites for this year’s race, particularly given his form at the recent Giro d’Italia, where he claimed two stage wins, atop the Galibier and in Vicenza. The elite road race at this year’s Italian championships also incorporates the Trofeo Melinda, a race Visconti won in 2009.

“I’m tremendously sorry but I couldn’t risk compromising the entire second part of the season,” Visconti said. “I have a deep wound on my left leg and a nasty abrasion on my right, while my left hand has a cut which doesn’t allow me to hold the handlebars properly.”

After a troubled winter that saw him serve a three-month suspension for his links to Dr. Michele Ferrari, Visconti had a slow start to the 2013 campaing before hitting form at the Giro. His primary target in the second half of the season will be earning an important role in the Italian team for the world championships on home roads in Florence. Beyond that, Visconti said that he is close to re-signing with Movistar for 2014. Prior to the Giro, reports in Italy had linked him with a return to the Vini Fantini squad, where he raced from 2009 to 2011.

“I’ve received a good pair of offers but I’m close to renewing,” Visconti said. “I just have to be patient for a moment. [Movistar manager Eusebio] Unzue is putting the final things in place with the various sponsors, and once it’s finalised, we’ll put black on white.”

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