Nibali in disagreement with Liquigas-Cannondale over pre-worlds programme
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nibali in disagreement with Liquigas-Cannondale over pre-worlds programme

by VeloNation Press at 5:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Italian wants to do Vuelta, but team sending him to US races

Vincenzo NibaliAlready known to be leaving Liquigas-Cannondale at the end of the year, Vincenzo Nibali and the team are currently at loggerheads over his post-Tour race programme.

The Italian wants to compete in the Vuelta a Espana in order to prepare for the world road race championships, while his team prefers that he targets success in the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Italian national team selector Paolo Bettini is siding with Nibali, hoping that the rider follows his example when he won the worlds.

"I advised him to ride the Vuelta as I did, without thinking about the overall," said Bettini to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He has to go to Spain, forget the general classification immediately and focus two or three stages. Then arrive flying [going very well – ed.] in the Netherlands. Very often those who win the world championships come from the Vuelta."

Nibali believes that his wishes are not being respected. "I want to go to the Vuelta," said Nibali in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "What I never liked in Liquigas is that the view the rider has of his programme never counts for much.”

However Liquigas states that its sponsor interests in the US means that those races are preferable than the Vuelta. It also argues that its proposal will be better for Nibali. “Vincenzo should not complain. He will be in the United States for month at high altitude and will then return in excellent shape. Don’t forget that we pay him. We decide so what he races. We have to think of our sponsors and Cannondale has an important market in the U.S.”

One complicating factor with riders who will leave teams is that those squads need world ranking points to ensure they have a WorldTour licence for 2013. As a result Liquigas-Cannondale may prefer to send big riders to the Vuelta who are willing to chase overall success. Nibali won the race in 2010.

The current UCI points system has been faulted as setting things up for disagreement, as teams retain none of the points gained by riders if they move on to other squads. This has led to suggestions that teams don’t give opportunities to riders that will not be renewing their contracts. One proposed suggestion is that teams should also share the points, even if a rider moves elsewhere.

Team manager Roberto Amadio stated at the beginning of May that the Liquigas-Cannondale had offered Nibali €1.8 milllion per year to continue with the team, but didn’t receive a response. “For us the matter is closed,” he told Tuttobiciweb then.

“It won’t be easy to be without Vincenzo. We always considered that he’s a true product of Liquigas-Cannondale, but it is also true that there are several proposals and there really is a lot of money.”

He said that both Astana and the BMC Racing Team are offering €2.5 million.


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