Committed to riding Tour rather than defending Giro title, Nibali starts in Tour de San Luis
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Committed to riding Tour rather than defending Giro title, Nibali starts in Tour de San Luis

by VeloNation Press at 7:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Rider will be joined in ‘remarkable race’ by Astana team-mates Scarponi and Kessiakoff

Vincenzo NibaliHaving made a definitive decision not to defend his Giro d’Italia title but rather to target the Tour de France, Vincenzo Nibali will nonetheless debut in the same race he rode in twelve months ago.

The Italian rider and his Astana team have confirmed that he will line out in the Tour de San Luis in nine days’ time, squaring up against some of the top names in the sport.

“The start of our 2014 calendar begins at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina,” he said. “It’s a remarkable race in January. The weather is dry and sunny, the fans are friendly and the level of competition is among the best in the world.

“We came last year to prepare for the Giro d'Italia and found success, and we are coming this year to prepare for the Tour de France with the same ambitions.”

Nibali’s Giro d’Italia title was the second Grand Tour success of his career. He missed the Tour de France but built back up again for the Vuelta a España, where he finished second overall to Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard).

He also won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino, was third in the Vuelta a Burgos and fourth in the world road race championships.

Now 29 years of age, it is time for him to see if he can win the Tour de France. He finished third overall in 2012 and believes that he can now challenge Chris Froome plus the other contenders for the final yellow jersey.

Because of that, the team’s general manager Alexander Vinokourov has explained that they will stake everything on the Tour rather than disputing the Giro.

“The objective of the Tour de France is too important for us,” he said. “But at the Giro we will line up an ambitious team, with Michele Scarponi, who is determined to capture the final podium, and Fabio Aru, who could take the white jersey for the best young rider as he gains some important experience for the future.”

The team’s directeur sportif for the race, Gorazd Stangelj, has said that team will put a strong lineup into the Tour de San Luis. “Nibali, Scarponi, Landa, Kangert, Kessiakoff, Vanotti - these are our riders for the Tour de San Luis and each one is a great champion.

“When they take the start in Argentina they begin 2014 in the best possible fashion, because the organizers have built a race that is challenging, exciting and among the most fan-friendly in the world.”

There will be a total of eleven other WorldTour teams in the event, namely AG2R-La Mondiale (France), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cannondale Pro Cycling (Italy), Garmin - Sharp (USA), Katusha (Russia), Lampre-Merida (Italy), Lotto-Belisol (Belgium), Movistar Team (Spain), Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Belgium), Orica Greenedge (Australia) and Trek Factory Racing (USA).

The race begins on January 20th with a 164 kilometre stage running from San Luis to Villa Mercedes. This will be followed by finishes in Mirador del Potrero, Juana Koslay and the Altor del Amago, a 19.2 kilometre time trial in San Luis, plus two further road race stages to Merlo/Mirador del Sol and Terrazas del PorteZuelo.

In all there will be 1,030.8 kilometres of racing, including three summit finishes.

Astana team for Tour de San Luis (2.1):

Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Frederik Kessiakoff (SWE), Tanel Kangert (EST), Mikel Landa (ESP), Michele Scarponi (ITA), Alessandro Vanotti (ITA).

Race details:

Stage 1, January 20: San Luis to Villa Mercedes, 164 km
Stage 2, January 21: La Punta to Mirador del Potrero, 170.6 km
Stage 3, January 22: Tilisarao to Juana Koslay, 175.8 km
Stage 4, January 23: El Potrero de los Funes to Alto del Amago, 168.7 km
Stage 5, January 24: Sal Luis to San Luis CRI, 19.2 km
Stage 6, January 25: Las Chacras to Merlo (Mirador del Sol) 184.4 km
Stage 7, January 26: San Luis to Terrazas del Portezuelo, 148.1 km


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