Nibali hoping TT improvement will boost chances of second consecutive Tirreno title
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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Nibali hoping TT improvement will boost chances of second consecutive Tirreno title

by Shane Stokes at 7:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico
 
Astana team states it has worked hard to improve his time trials

Vincenzo NibaliHaving already shown good form in the Tour de San Luis, the Tour of Oman and last weekend’s Roma Maxima, Vincenzo Nibali will start Tirreno-Adriatico tomorrow as the defending champion. The Italian, pictured in last year's event, is determined to fight to try to take his second successive title in the race.

“So many great riders are coming to Tirreno-Adriatico this year. My goal will be to race well against them and look to the competition that awaits us,” he said. “I have enormous respect for my competitors, but I am not afraid of them, and to start Tirreno-Adriatico for me with the number one on my back has a significance that I fully recognize.”

Nibali is in his first season with the Astana team and has a new responsibility this year. He shared the limelight with several others on the Liquigas Cannondale team but this season is in a more prominent role, and is targeting victory in the Giro d’Italia.

He’s now 28 years of age and knows that it is time to take another Grand Tour, three seasons on from his victory in the Vuelta a España.

According to the Astana Pro Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli, the team has worked hard to boost the rider’s chances in races against the clock. Tirreno-Adriatico features both a team time trial and an individual test, and so strong performances in both will help his overall prospects.

“Our focus in the early season has been to create advantages for Vincenzo in the time trial where once there were drawbacks,” he said. “We have worked with our clothing manufacturer NOA to get the right skinsuit fit, we have worked with our physiotherapists to get Vincenzo more flexible in the time trial position, and we have worked extensively with our partners at Specialized on a whole host of issues pertaining to the time trial.

“The team at Specialized Racing has the best minds in aerodynamics, bike fit and ergonomics, and all of this will contribute to VIncenzo's performance this week at Tirreno-Adriatico.”

Nibali will be backed by compatriots Paolo Tiralongo, Alessandro Vanotti and Valerio Agnoli, the strong Slovenian Janez Brajkovic, Swedish rider Fredrik Kessiakoff, and the Kazakh duo of Dmitriy Gruzdev and Dmitry Muravyev.

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