Viviani questions Gaviria and Cavendish's tactics in Worlds omnium
Italian disappointed to slip to fourth in final sprint
Elia Viviani (Italy) has questioned the tactics of Fernando Gaviria (Colombia) and Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) after the Italian missed out on a medal at the UCI Track World Championships in the omnium.
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Viviani came into the points race, the final event of the omnium, with a 14-point lead over Gaviria but the Colombian's tactics and his better sprinting saw him claw back enough points to retain his rainbow jersey. Viviani dropped from the gold medal position to fourth and was unwilling to talk to the media after the race.
The Team Sky rider saw his medal hopes evaporate on the final lap of the race when Cavendish, who had sixth place secure, won the sprint for the line. Viviani finished second, leaving him two points down the three medal winners, Gaviria, Roger Kluge and Glen O'Shea, who all tied on 191 points in the overall. If Viviani had won the sprint ahead of Cavendish, gold would have gone to Italy.
Viviani told Cyclingnews that he was disappointed with Cavendish's eagerness to sprint against him, despite the British rider being well down on the medals.
"I think everyone in the velodrome here saw what happened," Viviani told Cyclingnews twenty-four hours after the Omnium had finished.
"Gaviria maybe used a good tactic but perhaps it's not the way a world champion should race. He raced only on my wheel. I think he's really lucky to win again this year because if Cav didn't do the last sprint then Gaviria would have lost the title. I had really bad luck. For sure my consideration of Cav changed after yesterday.
"I don't know why he did that. Maybe he spoke with Gaviria, I don't know, but sure my consideration of Cav completely changed. He absolutely saw me in the sprint and he did the sprint for the line. He was 20 points from fifth place and many points from seventh place. I don't understand that."
Viviani ran a packed schedule at this years Worlds but the omnium was his key target. He explained that while he and Gaviria had been locked in a tight tactical battle throughout the points race, his only objective had been gold.
"I'm happy with my place. I raced only for the jersey. I didn't go for other medals because I had a bronze from last year. Of course at the Olympics I'll race for all the medals but yesterday we decided before the points race that we would only race for the jersey. We lost it when Cav did the sprint. That's cycling. I've not spoken to him since."
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.