Elia Viviani ended his road season on Sunday with victory in the final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour but instead enjoying a holiday he immediately switched to chasing qualification for the Omnium at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Team Sky sprinter enjoyed a few hours at home on Monday before heading to Grenchen in Switzerland for the European Track Championships. He was part of the Italian team pursuit that made it through the qualification round on Wednesday and will ride the Omnium events on Friday and Saturday before also targeting the Madison with Simone Consonni.
Viviani will end his 2015 season after the first round of the track World Cup in Cali, Colombia at the end of the month but first he wants to use his form to win a second consecutive European Omnium title and score vital points to ensure ha can focus on the road in early 2016 before returning to the track for the World Championships and then Rio in August.
"It's time to get serious, I've only really got three Omniums to ride before the Olympics. I'm thinking about qualification points but I also want to win because my form is good," Viviani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I'm riding the Omnium here at the European championships at Cali at the end of the month and then at the World Championships in London. I won't be in New Zealand in December, or in Hong Kong in January. The best eight European countries qualify for the Olympic Games and Italy is currently third. That's pretty good but it's not the moment to make calculations. I'll ride to win because I want to be pretty much qualified for Rio by the time we get to the World Championships. I want to try to win the world title without the stress of going for points.”
Viviani finished sixth in the Omnium in the 2012 London Olympics after leading the standings for much of the two days of racing. As endurance sprinter, the kilometre time trial is Viviani's weak point but the new event order and extra points available in the final points race, plays into his favour.
"The order is now Scratch, individual pursuit and elimination on day one; kilometre, flying lap and points race on the second day. The kilo is my Achilles heel and is the least suited to my road racing and training," Viviani explained.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.