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"I have done one or two long rides on the road too, because Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is a big focus for me after finishing third there last year."









26.02.2016 @ 17:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Five days after Elia Viviani clambers off his bike following Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, he'll be sat on an altogether different bike in the middle of London's velodrome, about to race the omnium in cycling's Track World Championships.


The Italian is in for a busy week, but when caught up with the 27-year-old, fresh from his final track session of a two-week training block, Viviani was in a buoyant mood.


Keen to improve upon his third place in last year's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and excited to get back out on Belgium's iconic cobbled roads at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, he's as focused on the start of the Classics season as he is on the prospect of winning a gold medal in London next week.



"After Dubai I flew straight to Italy and have put in a hard two-week block of training on the track," he said "I have done one or two long rides on the road too, because Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is a big focus for me after finishing third there last year. I don't know exactly what my shape is after two weeks on the track though - sure, I am really explosive, but I need to see if I also have the legs to get good results this weekend. Maybe Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a little too hard for me - but I think I can perform well at Kuurne.



"I love the Belgian Classics - they're a big focus for me. It will be good to be back on the cobbles then hopefully I can do good work on the track at the Worlds, and after I've raced Tirreno-Adriatico I will be ready for Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem and the rest of the Classics. It's a great month of racing, starting from this weekend."


Last tear Viviani was third.



"We knew that the second time we climbed Kwaremont would be the crucial point, when maybe the peloton would split," he said. "Me and Ian Stannard were at the front of the group and we went in a 19-man break, but it was a long way from there to the finish with a lot of flat road. So the bunch came back together with 20km to go and we had to reorganise ourselves for the sprint. I finished behind Cavendish and Kristoff, two really strong sprinters, but I think after last year I have better legs and more confidence. I hope to take a good result - better for sure than third place!



"I have done a lot of really short but really quality work but I have had a good first part of the season on the road - I did the Tour de San Luis and the Dubai Tour, where I won a stage. It's really important for me to be explosive in the final stages and for sure I am really explosive at the moment. Over the last two weeks I have worked on a lot of sprints and my technique on the track. Because of that maybe I have a little less resistance in my legs, but we will see on Saturday and Sunday. I think I have the legs for the road."


After the weekend, Viviani will turn his attention to the track.



"In 2015 after the Dubai Tour I went directly to the Worlds without any specific track work and I earned a bronze medal in the omnium and a silver medal in the madison. This year, my build-up is very different, with the two-week training spell on the track - I am more prepared. But we are in Olympic year so all the riders are ready, and it's the last big test before Rio. Every rider wants to see the level of other riders. My condition is good, the time in my legs is good - I think I am ready."



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