Italian sprinter Elia Viviani has re-signed with Team Sky and will return his focus to road results after winning gold on the track at the Rio Olympics, according to an announcement today on the British squad's website.
The 27-year-old, who joined Team Sky in 2015, hinted at a new two-year deal, but the official team announcement did not specify the length of the new contract.
In a statement released by the team, Viviani said he feels at home with the British WorldTour outfit.
"This feels like my team. That's the most important thing," Viviani said. "I feel really, really good with my teammates, the staff, and this makes a big difference. When I think of the last two years with Team Sky, I completed my dream, winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia, and this year I won Olympic Gold."
Viviani joined the team from Cannondale in 2015 and quickly accomplished his goal of winning a Giro d'Italia stage, taking stage 2 from a bunch sprint. He took eight wins in all that year, including three stages at the Tour of Britain.
Viviani's win tally on the road slowed in 2016, however, as he focused on winning Olympic gold on the track in Rio. His season culminated with a gold medal in the omnium, a result he was quick to praise his trade team for supporting.
"When I came here, my focus was to start winning bigger races - my dream was to win a stage of the Giro d'Italia, and then in my first Giro with Team Sky I did that," he said.
"This year it was all about the Olympics for me, and the team allowed me to prepare in the best way possible for that. They knew I would need to sacrifice a lot of the road season to focus and this made a big difference to my preparations. I never had any pressure from the team to take a result on the road and they knew what my goal was.
"Not all teams have this mentality," Viviani said. "They wouldn't know how much time I needed to prepare for the track work. We had a lot of collaboration with the Italian Federation and I need to say thank you to Team Sky."
With his Olympic medal and a new contract in hand, Viviani said he will refocus on road results as he looks toward the next two seasons.
"When we talked about my new contract we also spoke about my biggest goals for the next two years, and I want to try and win my dream race, Milan-San Remo. That's on the top of my list, and I'd also like to go back to the Giro d'Italia after what happened this year. I had a bad time at the Giro, and I'd like to be a protagonist of the race in 2017. The red jersey will be a big focus."
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