Pozzato left off team as Italian Olympic squad announced
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pozzato left off team as Italian Olympic squad announced

by Shane Stokes at 10:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Nibali and Modolo likely leaders, Pinotti to do both road race and time trial

London 2012Previously tipped as one to watch in the Olympic Games, Filippo Pozzato will not now take part in the event, with the Italian confirmed as being left off the team for London 2012.

Italian national selector Paolo Bettini had little chance of picking the Classic specialist after he admitted working with the controversial doctor Michele Ferrari. The anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee CONI is looking to ban him for a year, and today it confirmed that the rider must attend a disciplinary hearing at 10.45 on September 11th.

Bettii and the Italian federation FCI have announced the five man team for the Olympic road race, as well as the time trial pick.

Former Vuelta a España winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas Cannondale) is present, as expected, getting the nod after performances this year such as first in Tirreno-Adriatico and second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Bettini said the selection was made with a number of factors in mind. Aside from the riders’ ability, their experience and the participation of some in the Olympic test event was also take into consideration.

“I chose these guys because I believe they can be the right mix for this type of race, both for their technical characteristics as well as their group spirit,” he said. “We can count on two experts like Paolini and Pinotti, who have already worn blue several times, together with a rider who is at his fullest like Nibali and younger elements who however have already proven their skills and talents, like Modolo and Trentin.

“Everyone has shown commitment, seriousness, a fondness for the blue jersey and dedication to the project. For the Olympics we can only line up five riders, this is a mini team, and previous experiences at Athens and Beijing have shown how good results are basically obtained through team work and the ability to serve and sacrifice for your team mates."

Pinotti has won the Italian national time trial championships five times and this year took the final TT in the Giro d’Italia. While had to be satisfied with third in the recent Italian national TT, he has shown good form in the Tour of Austria, where he was ninth on yesterday’s mountain stage to Kitzbüheler Horn and sits ninth overall.

The BMC Racing Team rider will also do the time trial in London, thus getting the green light for what had been one of his big ambitions for the season.

Paolini rode the Games in Athens 2004, and has ridden the world championship eight times for the Italian squad. He was a bronze medallist in the 2004 worlds. The team is completed by neo pro Matteo Trentin, who has ridden well with Omega Pharma Quick Step and was second on a stage of the Volta ao Algarve.

Track rider Elia Viviani is the reserve, and will step in if any of the other five can’t ride. He’ll also compete in the omnium event on the track, and is looking for a medal after the disappointment of crashing out of this year’s worlds with a fractured pelvis.

“This year Elia managed to garner fantastic results both on the road and on the track, adopting and developing the new concept of multi-disciplines," said track technical commissioner Marco Villa. “[After his crash] Viviani continued working with commitment in this direction, matching his track training activities at Montichiari with on-road activities with his club team. Hee is undergoing athletic preparation that should bring him to London in top shape both for the road race on July 28 as well as the track races a week later, August 4-5."

Bettini will guide the team. He was Olympic road race champion in 2004 and also won two editions of the world championships.


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