European Track Championships without Filippo Ganna

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European Track to Start

The Track European Championships will begin Wednesday, Jan. 10, in Apeldoorn, the first event for the national team in a competitive season that promises to be long and demanding, with the Olympics in August and the World Championships in October. A total of 292 athletes, 123 women and 169 men, from 25 countries, are expected on the Dutch center’s track; up for grabs are 22 titles (11 of each gender) from Wednesdayì until Sunday 14.

The event è one of the last opportunities to gain points for Olympic ranking purposes, which will close after the World Cup trials in mid-April. In this perspective, Italy è well positioned in the endurance, in the first positions with the respective foursomes. As for the sprint sector, the 12th° place in the Men’s Team Sprint ranking currently sees us out (the top 8 pass) but, as the specialty technician himself mentioned; Ivan Quaranta “at the world championships we did the tenth time one tenth away from the eighth. There are still four more tests to go. We have to believe it all the way.”

What to expect from these European Championships Marco Villa tells us: “I expect good tests. It should be considered that we are in January, I see around us Nations coming from National Championships and domestic races, we are coming as the first race of the year and the condition of the group è still to be evaluated. We had a good road fund and good training in Montichiari, we will try to be at the top or close to a good competitiveness;. On the men’s side there are important absences, such as those of Ganna, Viviani and Moro Manlio, who are in training camp with their own teams. In the women’s, on the other hand, we are full, despite Balsamo’s fall last week, but I am confident of recovering her almost fully. We are working in function of the Olympics and it is not è easy to rush the preparation in view of August. I ask the boys and girls for peace of mind, considering that the lineup that will line up at these European Championships is only a starting point and not a point of arrival: someone may not run but it is not certain that they will no longer be taken into consideration.”

Last year in Grenchen, Switzerland, the Azzurri brought home 3 golds, 3 silvers and 1 bronze, with titles in team pursuit, points race with Simone Consonni and individual pursuit with Jonathan Milan. Both will also feature in the Netherlands. Consonni returns to the track after an unlucky world championship, the one in Glasgow, which saw him stop due to injury. Along with Milan, he will lead a quartet lacking Filippo Ganna and Manlio Moro but strong with the third 'hero' of Tokyo, Francesco Lamon. Also part of the endurance group are the very young Niccolò Galli (21) and Matteo Fiorin (19), veterans of an exciting 2023 in their respective categories (U23 and Juniores) as well as veteran Michele Scartezzini.

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