Nibali looks to continued improvement for 2010
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nibali looks to continued improvement for 2010

by Steve Jones at 10:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Italian Vincenzo Nibali, one of cycling's rising talents, is looking forward to the 2010 season after this year's campaign ended with an unfortunate crash in the Eneco Tour. But the broken left clavicle that caused him to miss a start in the Vuelta a Espana didn't damper the enthusiasm of the 24-year-old telling, "I'm still happy with my 2009 season."

Each year the Italian has shown improvement, and this year's seventh place finish in the Tour de France has the man they call "The Shark" confident that his upward trajectory will continue.

Nibali explained, "At the age of 24 and a half Ivan Basso, who is a great champion, came in eleventh place at the Tour de France. I finished better [than Basso] this year: I think that is significant."

Currently he rides alongside Basso, Franco Pellizotti, and Roman Kreuziger on the Italian Liquigas team. Nibali understands the advantage of having a strong GC team, but the Sicilian would have preferred to make a switch to the British Team Sky in 2010 for a more defined role as leader.

"The project that Maximilian Sciandri and the other leaders of the Sky team is very important," explained Nibali to the Italian website. The new British team would have guaranteed the rider leadership in key races. "I've always dreamed of becoming the leader of a team, at least for a series of races, so I asked Liquigas if they would release me a year early. Since my contract with Liquigas ends in December 2010 and has no get out clause, it was not possible to sign an agreement with Sky."

Despite being denied the opportunity to ride for Team Sky, Nibali remains positive about his situation on Liquigas adding, "At least for another season I will try to give my best for Liquigas," acknowledging the support the team gives to the riders.

As for next season, Nibali isn't sure what his schedule will be, "I do not know yet if I will only ride the Giro, only the Tour, or both."

He hopes to focus his Spring campaign on the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and would also like to see reigning World Champion Cadel Evans convince organizers to make next year's World Championships more selective. The road course is expected to suit the sprinters, which gives the Australian virtually no chance to defend the rainbow jersey on home soil.

Nibali would like cap off his season by riding the Giro di Lombardia saying, "I hope to get to the end of the season and still be motivated and in shape, so I can try my chances in the Tour of Lombardy. It's race for me."


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