Cannondale to debut Elia Viviani at Tour of Qatar
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Cannondale to debut Elia Viviani at Tour of Qatar

by Kyle Moore at 10:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
Italian sprinter assumes leadership in new early season program

Elia VivianiCannondale Pro Cycling sends eight riders who will all be making their season debuts to the Tour of Qatar, and the squad is to be led by sprinter Elia Viviani. Beginning his fourth full season as a professional, the Italian should be able to mix it up with the main sprinters in the race.

Cannondale also sends a variety of youthful and experienced riders who should be able to remain attentive in the at-times unpredictable and action-packed racing in Qatar.

Viviani is making his first ever appearance in Qatar, in his first race of the season, after beginning previous campaigns in the Tour de San Luis, the Tour Down Under, and the Vuelta a Cuba. The 23-year-old won a stage in San Luis last year, and took a handful of smaller victories after that, but endured a series of frustrating second places in his biggest races, including twice in the Tour of Poland and twice more in the Vuelta a España. Viviani then capped off his season with a victory in stage one of the Tour of Beijing.

Having grabbed early season wins in the past, Viviani is confident that he can do it again, this time in Qatar.

“I’m going to face my first race of the season, but I think I can do well,” the Italian elaborated. “I’m satisfied with my preparation. It’s a kind of new addition to my winter plans, more in depth training than I’ve had in the past. I feel I’ll be immediately competitive, thanks to my team’s support. I aim for a win, but if not, it’s just as important to do my best and improve day by day.”

Viviani will have his fair share of competition in the bunch kicks, with Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), and Daniele Bennati (Saxo-Tinkoff) amongst it. Though Viviani’s team director Alberto Volpi believes in his squad’s competitiveness.

“We are ready to take our chances in every stage. We have a competitive and well-equipped team,” Volpi stated. “Due to his characteristics, Viviani will be key focus and will have the full support of the team. Do not rule out [Guillaume] Boivin, though. He showed a great attitude and good condition during team camps. The Tour of Qatar is a race to focus on day by day, with the wind as a factor that will create surprises.”

Cannondale Pro Cycling for the Tour of Qatar:
Maciej Bodnar, Guillaume Boivin, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Alessandro De Marchi, Kristijan Koren, Daniele Ratto, Fabio Sabatini, Elia Viviani


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