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"I know that it's a big chance, and maybe I won't get this chance again in my career. You never know when the next World Championships for the sprinters will come round. I want to try."

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DAL ZENNARO

ELIA VIVIANI

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15.10.2016 @ 15:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Elia Viviani knows that Sunday's World Championship road race could be the last chance he has to battle for the rainbow jersey in his career.

 

A sprinter-friendly course in Doha has the world's best sprinters licking their lips and Viviani is no different - although he warns that the weather could drastically alter the profile of the race.

 

The Italian concedes that the much-discussed heat will be a factor, but believes that crosswinds could see favourites distanced in the desert on the flat 257 kilometre course.

 

He told TeamSky.com: "It's a really strange World Championships. For sure it is really hot, but also the wind… one day it's very windy here, then the next day there is no wind. It could go one of two ways. With wind the 150 kilometres in the desert before the circuits around the city could be a disaster [laughs]. That stretch could see people dropped.

 

"The circuit itself is fast, and we saw in the Under 23 race that it's a sprinters' race. We just have that question about the wind, but at the moment we don't think it will be too windy and I hope that it will be a classic sprint.

 

"I know that it's a big chance, and maybe I won't get this chance again in my career. You never know when the next World Championships for the sprinters will come round. I want to try."

 

Fresh from the Olympics, Viviani raced at the Tour of Britain in September, where a crash on the opening day disrupted his week of racing.

 

Fifth was the best result he could manage over the week, on the race's final stage in London, and his last race before the Worlds was the 252km Paris-Tours, where he finished 23rd.

 

But the 27 year old isn't too despondent and believes his road legs are coming back to him just in time.

 

He added: "I didn't feel good on the bike at the Tour of Britain but ever since then I've been feeling better. I feel good on the bike and although I've not had a big result in the last few weeks I'm feeling good. A lot of people will be really tired after a long season and I will try to do my best sprint."

 

Viviani will be racing in Italian colours and he'll be backed up by a strong squad of his compatriots.

 

"For sure we have a very strong team," he continued, "and a strong lead-out which is good for me. I don't always have a lead-out train like I do here in Doha so hopefully that will be very good for me."

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