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Nibali, Vanotti, Paolini, Nocentini, Santaromita, Scarponi, Pozzato, Ulissi, Visconti, Ponzi and Caruso selected for the road race while Pinotti and Malori will ride the time trial

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ADRIANO MALORI

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ALESSANDRO VANOTTI

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DIEGO ULISSI

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FILIPPO POZZATO

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GIAMPAOLO CARUSO

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GIOVANNI VISCONTI

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IVAN SANTAROMITA

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LUCA PAOLINI

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MARCO PINOTTI

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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RINALDO NOCENTINI

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SIMONE PONZI

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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16.09.2013 @ 13:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

National coach Paolo Bettini has finalized the selection of the Italian roster for the world championships. As expected, Vincenzo Nibali will lead the team and he will be supported by a host of very strong climbers.

 

Prior to the world championships, few teams have gained more attention than the Italian whose status as home nation has put national coach Paolo Bettini under increased pressure. On the back of some below-par showings, expectations are that the home country will play an important role on the hilly course in Florence later this month.

 

Bettini has himself admitted that it had been tough to select this year's roster with numerous riders showing good form but now he has made up his mind. The roster consists of 11 riders of which 9 will ride while 2 will serve as reserves. Bettini hasn't yet determined which two riders will fill the latter role.

 

As expected, Vincenzo Nibali will headline the roster. The Italian has made the home race the centrepiece of the second part of his season and even though he didn't manage to win the Vuelta, he showed that he is ready to lead the home country.

 

His trusted domestique Alessandro Vanotti has also made it onto the roster, the reliable Italian being Nibali's guard on the flat stages in his major races. Luca Paolini is set to play the role as road captain and will be an important rider in a race where radio communication is not allowed.

 

Bettini has expressed public doubt over the selection of Filippo Pozzato. On paper, the course may be too hard for the Lampre rider but he recently showed good form by winning the GP Ouest France-Plouay and the Coppa Agostoni. He didn't show his best form in the GP de Quebec on Friday but yesterday he proved his strength by finishing 5th in the even harder GP de Montreal.

 

Apart from those three riders, the roster is dominated by climbers who will all excel on the hilly course. Rinaldo Nocentini, Giampaolo Caruso, Diego Ulissi, Michele Scarponi, Giovanni Visconti and Ivan Santaromita are all selected for what shapes up as a formidable roster.

 

Yesterday Gazzetta dello Sport published a list of 11 riders that they believed would make up the team. Compared to that list, Bettini has made one change by replacing Damiano Caruso with Simone Ponzi. Both have been racing in Canada this week and while the former didn't show his best condition, the latter raced splendidly and finished 2nd in Montreal yesterday. That may have convinced Bettini to include the Astana rider on the roster.

 

There was no room for Ivan Basso who was riding splendidly in the Vuelta a Espana until he was forced to abandon the race due to hypothermia.

 

While there has been much doubt over the roster for the road race, the two spots for the time trial have been awarded to the obvious choices of Adriano Malori and Marco Pinotti.

 

The road race takes place on September 29 while the time trial will be held four days earlier.

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