Viviani: Becoming European road race champion gives me immense joy
12 August 2019 04:53
Elia Viviani was thrilled to take the European road race champion's title at the UEC Road European Championships on Sunday, winning from a three-man breakaway as opposed to the bunch sprints the Italian's used to winning from. Belgium's Yves Lampaert took the silver medal, with Germany's Pascal Ackermann completing the podium. "It's absolutely amazing," said Viviani via his Deceuninck-QuickStep trade team's website. "I can't find the words to tell you what this means to me. I came out of the Tour de France with good condition, and was hoping to be in contention for the gold medal. To finally get it, two years after I finished runner-up, gives me immense joy." In 2017, when the championships were held in Herning, Denmark, Viviani finished second to Norway's Alexander Kristoff in a bunch sprint. On Sunday, however, Viviani soon found himself as part of a 13-rider breakaway on the flat and windy course in Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, which also included his Italian teammate and defending champion Matteo Trentin. With around 25km to go, Viviani, Lampaert and Ackermann escaped off the front, and the trio built up an unassailable lead over the rest to ensure that the medals would be divided up between them.ADVERTISEMENT Lampaert attacked with 3.5km to go, and Viviani was content to let Ackermann try to reel him in. However, once it was clear that the German was unable to close the gap, Viviani jumped after Lampaert, leaving Ackermann behind with 3km to race. In the closing stages of the race, Viviani sat on Lampaerts wheel, and then launched his sprint with 150 metres to go, easily dispatching Lampaert to take the title. "We watched all the other races here in Alkmaar and we knew that we had to change our tactic, because the wind was to play a big part in the outcome, as it did the entire week. I had really strong legs, and took a lot of risks today, and it all paid off. Being there at the front together with Yves, who is my [Deceuninck-QuickStep] teammate and a good friend, was really nice and special. I am extremely happy, and proud of this win – one of the finest of my entire career, as it didn't come from a bunch sprint."
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