Vincenzo Nibali: “The racing was pretty tranquil today.”
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vincenzo Nibali: “The racing was pretty tranquil today.”

by Ben Atkins at 3:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Maglia Rosa happy with general classification truce on stage eleven

vincenzo nibaliVincenzo Nibali (Astana) passed a “tranquil” day in the peloton in today’s eleventh stage of the Giro d’Italia, between Tarvisio and Vajont, as his team was happy to let a breakaway ride away to take the spoils. After a fast start, as the first half of the stage route took a predominantly downhill course, a 20-rider group got clear and, as it contained nobody of any overall threat, Nibali was happy to let it go.

Astana rode a steady, but not too tough tempo on the head of the peloton for the remainder of the stage. While he enjoyed a relatively easy day on the bike however, the significance of the stage finish - at the site of the 1963 dam disaster that saw 2000 people killed when a massive landslide caused the lake to overflow into the valley below - was not lost on him.

“The racing was pretty tranquil today,” Nibali said after the stage. “A breakaway got away and we controlled it from behind. As for the history behind today’s stage, the Maglia Rosa and the Giro always embrace the history of every stage start and finish, so it was certainly in the back of our minds.”

Nibali took the Maglia Rosa after stage eight’s time trial, which is a little early for a rider that still wants to be wearing it in Brescia at the end of the race. While he might have wanted to pass it on to a lesser rider to allow another team to defend it for a few days, the Sicilian ‘Shark’ is not afraid to carry the jersey for the remainder of the race.

“It isn’t the first time I’ve done this,” he said. “When I won the Vuelta [in 2010], it was very difficult and I had to fight to the end to win it. Here, I’m taking it day by day. The road is long, and there is stiff opposition. [Team Sky’s Rigoberto] Urán looks strong, and [Lampre-Merida’s Michele] Scarponi tested himself a bit on the final climb, although the gradient wasn’t really enough to thin out the group.”

To defend the jersey Nibali will need to be able to count on his team, however, and Astana has not been among the strongest so far. On the wet ninth stage to Firenze Nibali had just Estonian champion Tanel Kangert at his side in the second half, while only Valerio Agnoli was able to deal with the pace set by Team Sky on yesterday’s steep climb to Altopiano del Montasio.

Some members of the Kazakh team have been suffering with illness though, and Nibali is confident that they are recovering.

“The team worked very well all stage,” he said. “We had everything under control. [Paolo] Tiralongo has recovered from his bronchitis, although [Fabio] Aru is still very young and will need more time.”

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