Despite previous assertions that he would skip the Giro d'Italia in 2020, Elia Viviani will indeed ride the Corsa Rosa, while also tackling the Tour de France before a switch to the track for the Olympic Games.
Viviani's new team, Cofidis, held a team presentation near Roubaix on Friday evening, as they prepare to begin life in the WorldTour. Race programmes for the team's leading riders – Viviani, Guillaume Martin, and Christophe Laporte, were unveiled.
Viviani, who has ridden six of the past seven editions of the Giro, had, in November, said he'd be skipping the race in 2020. However, on Friday, the Giro was included on his provisional schedule.
The European road race champion will begin his campaign later this month at the Tour Down Under, and will stay in Australia for the Towards Zero Race Torquay, and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. He will then head for the Tour of Oman before hitting Europe for Tirreno-Adriatico and one of his major targets for the season, Milan-San Remo.
From there, he'll head to Belgium for the cobbled Classics, including De Panne, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the Tour of Flanders. After a break, he'll race Eschborn-Frankfurt at the start of May before heading to Budapest for the start of the Giro on May 9. After that, he'll race the Tour de Suisse en route to the Tour de France, where it's hoped he can land Cofidis' first stage win in more than a decade.
Viviani will then switch to the track in a bid to defend the Olympic Omnium title he won in Rio four years ago. It is doubtful Viviani will finish both the Giro and Tour, with the Giro featuring nothing for the sprinters in a mountainous final week. As for the Tour, the final stage takes place on July 19, two and a half weeks before the first Omnium event in Tokyo on August 6.
"We’re embarking on this season with great enthusiasm. Cofidis are one of the most prestigious teams and we'll give everything to raise the colours high," Viviani said in a statement from the team.
"We know from experience the importance of starting the season well, of preforming straight away in order to build confidence for the following objectives. We must not have priorities and must treat each race as an objective in its own right. We need to instill a winning mentality each time we go to the start of a race."
The wait is over.Introducing my De Rosa SK Pininfarina for the 2020 season 🚀📸 @tornanti_cc x @fulcrumwheels pic.twitter.com/qsKCHkubNgJanuary 9, 2020
Cofidis are back in cycling's top tier in 2020, with Viviani set to help the team win races at the highest level. He has brought Fabio Sabatini with him from Deceuninck-QuickStep and Simone Consonni from UAE Team Emirates to form his lead-out, while the team have also signed French climber Guillaume Martin from Wanty-Gobert and Belgian Julien Vermote from Dimension Data.
Staying with the team are their two leading riders from 2019 – sprinter Christophe Laporte, who won nine races last year, and Jesús Herrada, who won the Tour of Luxembourg, Mont Ventoux Challenge, and a stage of the Vuelta a España.
"Our team looks strong" said team manager Cedric Vasseur. "It's composed of big talents who will enable us to target victories. Everyone is ready to take on this great challenge and honour the jersey."
While Viviani targets the sprints at the Tour de France, Martin will lead the line in the general classification contest, having placed 12th this year. The 26-year-old will begin his season at the Vuelta a San Juan later this month, before riding Paris-Nice, Itzulia Basque Country, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Critérium du Dauphiné will be his preparation race for the Tour.
"It's a dream for all the riders to progress to the WorldTour, a level that I'm going to have to get used to," Martin said. "I'm going to do everything to continue to progress and to look for victories, in stage races or one-day races."
Laporte will also be at the Tour de France, after the Tour de Suisse and a full Spring Classics programme, but Herrada will focus on the Giro and Vuelta after doing the Tour of Oman, UAE Tour, Basque Country, and the Ardennes Classics.
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.