Viviani doubts Cavendish will appear at Tokyo
Elia Viviani explains why Mark Cavendish is not expected to return to the track for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Viviani, partnered by Simone Consonni, won the recent Six Day London event ahead of sprint and track rivals Owain Doull and Cavendish.
And Viviani, the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist who will ride in this weekend’s Track World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, say it is unlikely his rival Cavendish will play a part in Japan next summer.
"I don’t think the Olympics are part of his programme,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
" But I didn’t think that four years ago and he became my number one rival. But with only five places available."
“If Great Britain select him, they wouldn't have a reserve for the team pursuit. I can't see that happening," Viviani explained.
Viviani will move from Deceuninck-QuickStep to Cofidis for the 2020 season, leading the French team in the sprints as they move up to WorldTour level.
But the 30-year-old is expected to represent Italy in Tokyo, with the winter events are vital to secure qualification points for the world’s biggest sporting event.
He added: "I'm going to ride the Omnium on Saturday and the Madison on Sunday. I could also ride the team pursuit because it's been a while but will see how I feel.
"My goal is to improve my result in the Omnium at the European Championships. I was at the level of fifth or sixth but now I want to aim for a podium spot."