“The pure sprinter is going to disappear” Elia Viviani warns

Elia Viviani has sent a warning to the cycling world that the days of pure, out-and-out sprinters could be numbered. "Sprinters are struggling more and more"

The 33-year-old Italian who currently rides for INEOS Grenadiers is regarded as one of the fastest men of his generation having won stages at all 3 Grand Tours. His fear though is that “The pure sprinter is going to disappear,” Viviani told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Routes are getting harder and these days a sprint finish can come after 2,000 metres of altitude gain."

As mentioned Viviani is no stranger to Grand Tour success, however since his return to the INEOS set up he has not been selected in a 3-week race. As Viviani points out himself though, even the sprinters who have been selected haven't had the same support as they would have expected in the past. “In a sprint you can count on the help of two or three teammates at most, and not even that in a Grand Tour," he says. "In a team of eight, the GC man has three riders for the mountains, two more to get through the first week and then there are two places left, one of which goes to the sprinter.”

When asked who he thought was the current fastest man on two wheels, Viviani opted for his former teammate at QuickStep, Fabio Jakobsen. “In a flat sprint, Jakobsen is unbeatable in the last 200 metres,” he said. “For the future, the most complete is Olav Kooij: he already has real consistency, and he’s only going to improve.”

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