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"We’ll only know the exact conditions a few days before the race but if the wind is strong it could split up the race and we could reach the circuit in a small group."

Photo: DCU / Mads Hansen




07.10.2016 @ 15:59 Posted by Renaud Breban

Italy will race with a strong team at the 2016 UCI World Championships. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) will lead the Italian selection but with the presence of all best sprinters, it will be difficult. Hence, the Italians hope for strong winds and echelons to avoid a bunch sprint.


"We’ll only know the exact conditions a few days before the race but if the wind is strong it could split up the race and we could reach the circuit in a small group,” Bennati said according to Cyclingnews. "For sure it’ll be a unusual World Championships, not only for the wind but for the heat too. Racing for so long in high temperatures will not suit everyone. I’ll be a factor and shape the race.


“If it’s windy I think a strong, well-organised team will be vital and can make a difference. I’ve ridden the Tour of Qatar a lot of times and the direction we race on the early section to al Kohr in the north is exposed to the wind. If it’s strong I don’t think the Belgian and Dutch teams will wait until the finishing circuits before attacking. If it’s windy, the race will be on from the start and there will be echelons and splits in the peloton. Then when we reach the finishing circuits everyone will assess the situation and decide their tactics for the finale.”


The road race starts near the Khalifa International Stadium, while the finish is at the Pearl Boulevard on the artifical island The Pearl.


Between the start and finish the riders face 257.5 flat kilometres. Following a 151.1 kilometres lap through the desert, a 15.2 kilometres circuit in Doha is to be raced seven times. The local circuit which is marked by nine shap turns, is located on The Pearl-Qatar.


Bennati hopes for echelons to split the peloton before the final circuit.


"I don’t know if really hoping for wind because it will make for a much harder race but I’m convinced that if there’s a front group of 40 riders instead of 140, then that’s better for everyone in the move and for Italy’s chances,” he added. "I think the strongest teams are all hoping that it’s windy to shake out the race and get rid of some rivals. A smaller group makes it easier to get organised and also to take fewer risks. 120 riders on that twisting circuit will make things more difficult.


“For example Cavendish has a strong team but how many of them will be up therein the finale if there are echelons. Our sprinters might not have as much power as the big guys but we’ve got the riders to protect and lead out the sprinters. Sabatini is Kittel’s trusted lead out man and Guarnieri has been vital to Kristoff’s success in recent seasons. I hope that give the sprinters the trust and confidence to fight for victory.”



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