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Italian Championships - CN

Bergamo, Italy, June 21-June 29, 2008

National Champs summary     2007 results     The program     Preview

The program

  • Day 1 - June 21: Time Trials Beginners/Junior women/Junior men, 11.1/20/23.2km
  • Day 2 - June 22: Time Trials Elite women/Under 23/Open, 23.2/33.1/33.1km
  • Day 3 - June 25: Junior men road race, 125.1km
  • Day 4 - June 26: Junior/Elite women road race, 79.6km/119.4km
  • Day 5 - June 27: U23 men road race, 163.1km
  • Day 6 - June 28: Elite without contract road race, 180km
  • Day 7 - June 29: Elite men road race, 254km

Top guns battle in Bergamo

Ten years after Tafi Bergamo returns as nationals host

By Gregor Brown

Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) may find a repeat at Nationals pretty tough
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

Top Italian guns will battle for the rights to wear the national championship jersey this Sunday in Bergamo. The fight of riders such as Damiano Cunego, Riccardo Riccò and Enrico Gasparotto promises to be legendary on the 18.7-kilometre circuit parcours, which includes the Colle Aperto climb.

The city, ten years on from Andrea Tafi's win, returns to host a 254.8-kilometre men's road race as part of the Settimana Tricolore. The 375-metre Colle Aperto, coming just two kilometres before the arrival and repeated 13 times, should produce a difficult day out. Expect to see those riders that excel in the Ardennes Classics rise to the front.

Damiano Cunego is a name that many people are touting as he won the Amstel Gold Race earlier this year and is back on form heading into the Tour de France. The 26 year-old will have strong Lampre support from the likes of Alessandro Ballan and Paolo Bossoni.

Enrico Gasparotto just came off a successful run in the Ster Elektrotoer, winning a stage and the overall, and should be there at the end of the day. Since the Barloworld rider concluded his Giro d'Italia he has been solely concentrating on the nationals which he won three years ago in Abruzzo as a neo-professional.

Riccardo Riccò could really surprise us as he has not been racing since finishing second in the Giro d'Italia, but the Saunier Duval rider has confirmed he has been training long hours and seems to be rejuvenated as evident by his recent self-selection for the Tour de France. Riccò, like Cunego and Gasparotto, showed well in the Spring Classics and should perform well on what is expected to be a hot day out.

Defending champion Giovanni Visconti of Team Quick Step will have his hands full and will likely not repeat his win. The Siciliano, coming off of a successful Giro d'Italia, will definitely enjoy himself. Look for him to help maestro and two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini.

Other favourites include Filippo Pozzato and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Luca Mazzanti (Tinkoff Credit Systems).

The women will complete a course of 119.4 kilometres in Forcola (Sondrio). Top favourites include Fabiana Luperini, recent winner of Trentino, big gun Noemi Cantele, World Champion Marta Bastianelli and, if there is a sprint, Giorgia Bronzini.