By Mike Rowbottom

pinocchio Mascotte_26-10-12October 26 - The International Cycling Union (UCI), which has come under such sustained pressure in recent weeks to demonstrate that it had nothing to hide over the doping scandal involving Lance Armstrong and his US Postal Services team, has unveiled what some might regard as an unfortunate logo for next year's Road World Championships in Tuscany – featuring Pinocchio.

The children's story character from a small Italian village whose nose grew when he told a lie also appears, unfortunately, to have a markedly extended proboscis.

The Italian race website describes "A puppet without the tufts of hair (which are drawn on wood) and elaborate clothes of Disney's Pinocchio".

It adds: "Our Pinocchio is proud that his land, Tuscany, has been chosen as the venue for hosting the World Championships.

"The silhouette is athletic and slender like a true racer."

The Pinocchio is a character who does not forget the social message: under his left arm carries a helmet to "communicate", both adults and children, that security is a prerequisite.

It goes on: "Ours is a Pinocchio attached to his land, proud, sports and attentive.

"His attention is fixed on the horizon, expressing an optimistic attitude, projected into the future.

"The expression of the face is smiling, happy, positive, and at the same time almost amazed/surprised.

"Amazed by the beauty he sees in front of him (because there are lands and places that never cease to amaze).

"This type of expression is also intended as an invitation to the public to come and discover the beauty of this land."

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