Italian champion Giovanni Visconti signs for Team Movistar
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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Italian champion Giovanni Visconti signs for Team Movistar

by Shane Stokes at 6:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Move could see Italian make Tour de France debut in 2012

Giovanni ViscontiTriple Italian road race champion Giovanni Visconti looks set to make the step up to a UCI WorldTour team next year following confirmation that he will sign for the Spanish squad.

The 28 year old has had a fine career thus far, taking the Italian title in 2007, 2010 and again this year, as well as winning the UCI Europe Tour annual ranking in 2009 and 2010.

His other victories include the overall classification of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, stages in a variety of races such as the Settimana Coppi Bartali, the Vuelta a Andalucia, the Tours of Slovenia and Luxembourg, plus one-day event success in the GP Fourmies, the Coppa Agostini, the GP dell Insubria and others.

His signing will bolster the Spanish squad, which is also expected to sign up Alexandro Valverde when he returns from a lengthy suspension in January.

Both Valverde and Visconti have similarities as riders, with both being good on hilly terrain and in sprints from small to medium sized groups.

Movistar took over from Caisse d’Epargne as title sponsor of the squad. It has had a solid rather than a spectacular season, due in part to two sad accidents befalling the team. In May its chief GC rider Xavier Tondo was tragically killed in a domestic accident, and then one month later Colombian climber Mauricio Soler had a bad crash while sitting second overall in the Tour de Suisse.

Soler suffered head injuries in the fall and was in a coma for some time afterwards. He is currently in rehabilitation, and it is unknown if he will be able to return to cycling.

Visconti will relish the chance to chase success with the team in the sport’s biggest events. He is currently part of the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli squad. It received an invite to the Giro d’Italia, but as a Pro Continental team it doesn’t get automatic access to other top races such as the Tour de France.

Providing Movistar retains its WorldTour status, the way could be clear in 2012 for Visconti to make his debut in cycling’s biggest event.

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