Vincenzo Nibali: “Today it was too difficult to gain any time.”
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vincenzo Nibali: “Today it was too difficult to gain any time.”

by Ben Atkins at 4:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Maglia Rosa marks his rivals on Galibier finish but doesn’t manage to escape

vincenzo nibaliVincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished today’s 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia with his overall lead intact, as none of the overall contenders was able to escape the others on the tough finish at the Marco Pantani Memorial at Les Granges du Galibier. Few of the Sicilian’s rivals tried to attack him as the rain turned to snow in the final kilometres of the climb, with arguably the biggest attack coming from Nibali himself.

The Maglia Rosa finished safely in amongst a group of his rivals, 49 seconds behind stage winner Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) with only Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rafal Majka (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) from the top ten able to take seven seconds from their rivals.

“A lot of riders didn’t have the legs to try to get away today,” Nibali explained after the stage. “The group split at the bottom of the climb, with 80 riders sitting up. We’ve all been through a very hard week, not so much because of the climbs but because of the rain. People were afraid of the cold and the rain, so everyone was hesitant.”

After having sat in the wheels of his teammates for the entire stage, Nibali was finally alone with two kilometres to go but, rather than look vulnerable, ‘the Shark’ decided to attack himself.

“Trying to attack and do something beautiful is part of my nature,” he explained. “I’m wearing the Maglia Rosa and I wanted to build a good advantage over my direct rivals. Today it was too difficult to gain any time. The Galibier is very long and the gradient increased towards the end.  I tried, but it was too difficult, so I stayed in the group, marking my rivals.”

With his lead over Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Rigoberto Urán (Team Sky) intact as he heads into the rest day, Nibali is now just a week away from winning his first Giro d’Italia, to add to the Vuelta a España he won in 2010. Despite having barely faltered in this Giro to date, however, he doesn’t feel that his condition is any better than it has been before.

“I think I have the same form as I had last year at the Tour [where he finished third - ed] but the Tour is different from the Giro,” he said. “At the Tour there were fewer possibilities. The finishes were the bottom of hills, there were two time trials totalling 110km. Here the race suits my style.”

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