Viviani wins men's European Champion's title

11 August 2019 02:15
Elia Viviani (Italy) earned himself the title of European road race champion with a victory at the 2019 Champsionships that he recognised as "totally different" to his usual diet of bunch sprints, and indeed to his and his team's plans at the start of the day. Viviani, who finished a frustrated second place two years ago, beat his trade teammate Yves Lampaert (Belgium) in a two-up sprint in Alkmaar, with Pascal Ackermann (Germany) taking the bronze medal several seconds further back. As a sprinter, Viviani was among the pre-race favourites on the pan-flat course in northern Holland, but the race was more open and chaotic than anyone expected. The 45-kilometre opening loop out into the exposed countryside saw the peloton split to pieces in the crosswinds, while the 11.5km town-centre finishing circuit – covered 11 times – gave the finale the feel of a Kermesse.ADVERTISEMENT Viviani's victory was just reward for the way the Italians took the race by the scruff of the neck. They were well represented in the front echelon, and when the race regrouped on the opening local laps, they set about shredding the 60-strong peloton. After a couple of laps of pace setting, they accelerated fiercely en masse with six laps to go, with 2018 champion Matteo Trentin instrumental in forcing a 13-rider selection in which the Azzuri had no fewer than four representatives. With the Dutch and Norwegians leading the chase behind, a second selection came about with just over two laps to go as one of the many tight bends caused a natural split. Viviani was on the front and suddenly found himself with Lampaert and Ackermann, and the trio improvised and cracked on, while their former companions fell back to the chase group. The trio collaborated until 3.5km to go, whereupon Lampaert – needing to come up with something against two of the world's leading bunch sprinters – went on the attack. Viviani initially sat behind Ackermann but soon sensed weakness and attacked to spring clear and link up with Lampaert. How it unfolded You can read more at . read full article

Source: Cycling News