Sciandri on a mission

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Max Sciandri takes on the best in world cycling in Lugano tomorrow, vowing not to repeat the mistakes of Atlanta and Leeds. Although his bronze gave Britain their first Olympic road race medal for 40 years, Sciandri admits that he spoiled his victory chances because he worked too hard earlier.

Three weeks later he missed victory in the Leeds Classic World Cup race when he left it late to respond to the final sprint of his lone rival, Andrea Ferrigato. "I am concerned about those slips, and I intend to hold back a little more and save something for the finish," Sciandri said after training with the British team over the 16.8-kilometre circuit where 177 riders will battle out Sunday's world road race championship.

With two challenging climbs on each of the 15 laps, Sciandri's rivals include the title-holder, Spain's Abraham Olano, and the winners of the major Tours, the Dane Bjarne Riis (Tour de France), the Russian Pavel Tonkov (Italy), and the Swiss Alex Zulle (Spain) who on Thursday beat Chris Boardman for the world time trial gold.

Sciandri, Derby-born and Italian bred, is riding for the last time with his Motorola teammate Sean Yates who is retiring.

Today Britain's women race over 100km of the same circuit where Olympic road race champion Jeannie Longo, of France, is pursuing her 12th world title.