Tokyo Olympics: Italy for biking occasions

Tokyo Olympics: Italy for biking occasions

Italy is among the many most profitable nations in Olympic Video games historical past, having taken 207 gold medals throughout 27 participations. Their latest excessive watermark in biking, although, was 5 medals – together with 4 golds – in Atlanta in 1996. Since then, success has been extra sparse, although. There have been 4 golds – two again in 2000 – together with Elia Viviani’s Omnium victory in Rio, whereas between 2004 and 2012 the nation solely took residence three medals on the bike.This time round there’s extra hope for achievement, with sturdy street squads and stars like Viviani and Filippo Ganna primed to medal. It could be a disappointment if Italy’s biking group left Tokyo and not using a gold.Meet the athletes who’re representing Italy within the biking occasions beneath. Verify right here for full begin lists on the street, observe and mountain bike.Italy for the street race and time trialFilippo Ganna, reigning world champion within the ITT, is a favorite within the time trial and within the Workforce Pursuit on the observe at Tokyo (Picture credit score: Bettini Picture)Vincenzo Nibali is the veteran of the Italian males’s street squad and likewise the chief who represents one of the best likelihood of a medal on the Fuji Worldwide Speedway. The 36-year-old has huge climbing pedigree – evidenced by his 4 Grand Tour victories – in addition to one-day racing capacity, having gained Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia (twice) previously. Larger questions centre on his present capacity, although, along with his powers clearly in decline over the previous couple of years. His Giro d’Italia bid this 12 months was hindered by a damaged wrist three weeks earlier than the race, whereas his two weeks on the Tour de France handed largely anonymously.Damiano Caruso is within the midst of a career-best season on the age of 33. He completed prime 10 on the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico earlier than taking a shock second place on the Giro d’Italia, successful the ultimate mountain stage alongside the best way. He was presupposed to be a super-domestique for Mikel Landa there earlier than the Spaniard crashed out, and he’ll take an identical function in Tokyo. He completed tenth on the Imola Worlds final 12 months and has completed prime 5 on the Italian Championships thrice so he is not a stranger to performing in one-day races.Giulio Ciccone is one other rider who can thrive on a mountainous course such because the one the peloton will face on Saturday. He was among the many strongest climbers within the race on the Giro d’Italia, ending among the many entrance teams on the early mountain phases earlier than crashing out on stage 17. He is a stable performer on one-off days, too, having taken two Giro stage wins in addition to the Trofeo Laigueglia and Giro dell’Appennino throughout his profession. Not a top-tier contender however it would not be a shock if he had been to finish up as Italy’s prime finisher.Alberto Bettiol (Street race and time trial) is the pure one-day racer in Italy’s squad, having gained the Tour of Flanders in 2019 and brought top-five finishes in a bunch of different Classics, together with Strade Bianche, the GP Quebec, Gent-Wevelgem, and the E3 BinckBank Basic. He has the power and the tactical nous to excel in one-days, final proven on stage 18 of this 12 months’s Giro the place he gained from the break. The climbing – and climbers – in Tokyo, nevertheless, ought to stop him from bidding for glory. Anticipate him to be chasing strikes and dealing on the entrance for his group leaders.Gianni Moscon will likely be making his Olympics debut together with Ciccone and Bettiol. The 27-year-old is one other rider who can excel in one-day races, although has endured a few lean years in latest seasons. Moscon hadn’t taken a win for the reason that 2018 Tour of Guangxi earlier than he picked off two robust hilly phases on the Tour of the Alps in April. Since then, his fourth place on the Italian Championships, a win on the GP Città di Lugano, and a stellar job working for Giro winner Egan Bernal all counsel that he’ll be a key participant if Italy are to have success within the street race.Filippo Ganna (Time trial) has emerged because the world’s preeminent time triallist within the  previous two seasons, sweeping virtually all earlier than him since racing started after the mid-season lockdown final 12 months. He’s 10/13 in TTs since then – together with 5 Giro phases and a Worlds title – and would be the overwhelming favorite in Tokyo. On the observe he’ll be a part of a Workforce Pursuit squad which has taken Worlds bronze in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini gained nationwide titles within the street race and time trial thrice in previous 4 years (Picture credit score: Bettini Photograph)Elisa Longo Borghini (Street race and time trial) is the prime contender for a medal on the ladies’s group. The 29-year-old has been a stable prime 10 rider within the girls’s peloton for nearing a decade now and has all of the instruments to contend in Tokyo. Again in Rio 5 years in the past she missed out within the closing dash and needed to accept bronze. Since then she’s racked up one-day victories, together with Strade Bianche, the Trofeo Binda, the Giro dell’Emilia, and three nationwide titles. She’s not within the type of her life, going by her 14th place on the latest Giro Donne, however then once more she solely completed eleventh earlier than heading to Brazil in 2016.Marta Bastianelli is 34 and probably the most skilled rider on the Italy group, regardless of Longo Borghini being the one girl with Olympic expertise among the many 4. She has gained nearly each one-day race within the sport, together with Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Ronde van Drenthe and the World and European Championships. Longo Borghini is the undisputed chief, although, so it is going to be all fingers on deck for the remainder of the Italy group.Soraya Paladin will likely be working for Longo Borghini in Tokyo. She hasn’t had one of the best couple of seasons after her breakout in 2019 however has nonetheless taken prime 5 placings on the Trofeo Binda and Amstel Gold Race and was seventh at La Course in June.Marta Cavalli is the youngest rider of the quartet at 23, and is having fun with a powerful 2021 season. She appears to be in one of the best type of the group after taking sixth total at Giro Donne, together with a fourth place on the 2 huge summit finishes. That outcome adopted a string of prime 10 placings although the spring, displaying she know what she’s doing in one-day races. It would not be a shock to see her do properly in Tokyo.Italy for mountain bike XCOEva Lechner will likely be a well-known title to followers of mountain biking and cyclo-cross. The 36-year-old – Italy’s sole feminine mountain biker in Tokyo – is an everyday close to the entrance of ‘cross races by way of the winter and completed second ultimately 12 months’s cross-country mountain bike Worlds, albeit three minutes behind winner Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Lechner completed seventeenth on this race in Rio, and Tokyo appears to be her final likelihood for a outcome.Luca Braidot completed seventh on the cross-country race in 2016, and since then has taken silver on the 2018 European Championships. Final 12 months he was fourth within the cross-country races on the Worlds and Euros, whereas in 2021 his finest outcome within the UCI World Cup got here final month in Les Will get with fourth place within the brief circuit race.Nadir Colledani is the reigning Italian cross-country champion, having overwhelmed Braidot in July. The 26-year-old was eighth in final 12 months’s Worlds, and this will likely be his first Olympic participation.Gerhard Kerschbaumer is using his second Olympics, having completed thirteenth on this occasion again in London 2012. The 29-year-old completed sixth on the 2020 Euros and was second on the 2018 Worlds.Italy for observe cyclingWomen’s group pursuit squad for ladies may have similar lineup from the 2020 Monitor Worlds – Paternoster, Alzini, Balsamo, Guazzini  (Picture credit score: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Pictures)Letizia Paternoster (Omnium, Madison) is a professional with Trek-Segafredo on the street, however the 21-year-old will likely be racing on the observe in Tokyo. Paternoster is a multi-time European and World champion in a spread of disciplines, together with each Omnium and Madison in 2017.Elisa Balsamo (Workforce Pursuit, Madison) will experience the Madison with Paternoster in addition to being a part of the four-woman Workforce Pursuit squad. The 23-year-old was a part of silver and bronze medal-winning Workforce Pursuit efforts on the 2018 European and World Championships.Martina Alzini (Workforce Pursuit) is Balsamo’s street teammate at Valcar. She has been a part of gold medal-winning U23 Workforce Pursuit efforts at each the 2017 and 2018 European Championships.Rachele Barbieri (Workforce Pursuit) was a 2017 World champion within the Scratch Race in Hong Kong. The 24-year outdated not too long ago completed second on a dash stage of the Baloise Girls Tour, so appears to be in good kind.Vittoria Guazzini (Workforce Pursuit) is one other Valcar rider within the girls’s observe group. The 20-year-old was fourth on the Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier this 12 months, indicating a liking for the tough stuff in addition to the sleek observe. She was a part of Italy’s European Championships-winning Workforce Pursuit squad in 2020.Elia Viviani (Omnium, Madison) is a star on the street having gained 9 Grand Tour phases and a European title throughout his profession and can be a Nationwide, European and World champion on the observe, too. In 2016 he gained gold within the Omnium – beating Mark Cavendish – and can look to repeat right here. He is additionally participating within the Madison, which returns for the 2021 Video games. In 2015 he took Worlds silver in that self-discipline.Simone Consonni (Workforce Pursuit, Madison) is Viviani’s teammate on the street for Cofidis and also will associate him within the Madison. The 26-year-old, who’s racing at his first Olympics, has European silver medals within the Elimination Race and Workforce Pursuit to his title, in addition to a Worlds silver within the Scratch Race final 12 months.Filippo Ganna (Workforce Pursuit) – see aboveFrancesco Lamon (Workforce Pursuit), 27, is the third member of Italy’s Workforce Pursuit squad. He has been a part of the group which has taken silver medals on the European Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2020. In 2017 they took bronze within the World Championships.Jonathan Milan (Workforce Pursuit) is the second-youngest member of Italy’s observe squad at 20. The Bahrain Victorious neo-pro has solely 23 race days underneath his belt as far as he focusses on Olympic gold. His finest outcome on the street to date was second in a dash stage of the latest Settimana Italiana, whereas he was a part of the silver medal-winning Workforce Pursuit squad on the 2020 European Monitor Championships.Italy for BMXGiacomo Fantoni: Double Italian BMX champion

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