Giovanni Visconti, the other Sicilian
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Giovanni Visconti, the other Sicilian

by Samuel Morrison at 7:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Luxembourg
Fresh off success in Luxembourg

Giovanni ViscontiVincenzo Nibali won a stage, spent three days in the leader's jersey and helped his team-mate Ivan Basso win the Giro d'Italia last month. At 25 years old, he's Italy's brightest star and best hope of a Tour de France win in the coming years.

There is another rider, only a year and a half older and from the same Sicily region: Giovanni Visconti. Visconti won the Italian championship three years ago in 2007 and held the leader's jersey at the Giro d'Italia for eight days in 2008.

"Even if you do not talk much about me, I have already brought home five wins this year and I am the European circuit leader," Visconti told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Liquigas-Doimo team-mate Francesco Chicchi ties Visconti for the most number of wins by an Italian this season. He was unable to have a chance to collect more during the Giro d'Italia because the organisers left home his ISD-Neri team.

ISD-Neri came lost to against rival second division teams Acqua & Sapone and Androni in the battle for the few available spots.

"It was the organiser’s decision not to give us an invitation, I can't complain because I respect them. I was only disappointed because this year I saw so many escapes survive, whereas last year, when I raced, they never made it to the line," continued Visconti.

"I was happy for Nibali. After he won in Asolo, I sent him an SMS and we exchanged a few words. We are different riders and he has shown more than me up to this point. I could not win a stage like that anyway: I am not like him on the climbs or descents.

"I still need to develop and then maybe we can go head to head in a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège."

Visconti is developing and took a stage win of the Tour de Luxembourg Thursday, passing in the sprint seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

"I had felt pretty well in the opening time trial [12th - ed] Wednesday. Thursday's stage was completely up and down. My intention was to lead out the sprint for Oscar Gatto, but in the end, Armstrong made a surge for 500 meters and broke the group with four kilometres to race. We were in 30, I started the sprint long but I saw that others were fading..."

Visconti hopes for similar success June 26 in Treviso, Italy, when he battles for his second Italian title.

"Between Luxembourg and the Tour of Slovenia, I will finish my training. I want to win the jersey again."


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