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Viviani keeps Milan-San Remo, Tour de France and Giro d'Italia as targets in revised calendar

Elia Viviani made his Cofidis debut at the 2020 Schwalbe Classic
Elia Viviani made his Cofidis debut at the 2020 Schwalbe Classic in Australia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Elia Viviani will target Milan-San Remo, the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia on the revised calendar of racing scheduled to get underway in August after the coronavirus pandemic forced the interruption of the season.

The three races had featured on the Italian’s original 2020 schedule and he told Il Corriere della Sera that he aims to be competitive in each event despite their new positions on the calendar.

Milan-San Remo is currently fixed for August 8, though it may yet be put back to August 22. The Tour de France is scheduled for August 29-September 20, while the Giro d’Italia is slated for October 3-25.

“I’ve redone my programme several times while the calendar was changing but the objective remains the finish line on Via Roma,” Viviani told Il Corriere

“I’m sceptical at the idea of going there on August 8 without races and with twenty days to go to the Tour. It would be better to race it on August 22. We’re waiting for confirmation.”

Viviani has yet to win a race in his debut season at Cofidis, having joined from Deceuninck-QuickStep. Cofidis will hope that Viviani can end the French squad’s long drought at the Tour de France. The team’s last stage victory at the race came in 2008, when Sylvain Chavanel won in Montluçon.

“This year I’m leader of Cofidis, a French team, so the priority is the Tour,” explained Viviani. “But I want to return to the Giro with the spirit of 2018: at full throttle from start to finish with the maglia ciclamino on my shoulders.”

The Italian won four stages on the 2018 Corsa Rosa, including the opening two road stages in Israel, and he claimed victory in the points classification in Rome.

Viviani’s 2020 season was originally built around the defence of his omnium title at the Tokyo Olympics, and he competed at the Track World Championships in Berlin in February with that objective in mind. The Tokyo Olympics have since been postponed until 2021 and Viviani pointed out that the build-up to the Games could be very different due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cycling calendar.

“The track is a project that has had to slow down in the circumstances but soon I would like to start training again at the Montichiari velodrome,” Viviani said.

“The Olympics are a strange objective. Without World Cups this winter, we risk getting there with only the European Championships in our legs… It will be an absurd sensation not to have had competition against the rest of the world before Tokyo.”

A number of WorldTour teams have enacted salary cuts and laid off staff following the suspension of the season in March, but Viviani said Cofidis riders will receive their salaries in full for 2020 provided the season resumes in August as currently planned.

“I’m fortunate because up to now I’ve received my full salary,” Viviani said. 

“There are reductions of 15-20% planned only if the season doesn’t restart at all. But I know of colleagues who have been left without a salary and sponsor. If football, which seemed untouchable, has gone into crisis, then we couldn’t expect different for cycling…”