Nibali with ambitions to Tour
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nibali with ambitions to Tour

by Bjorn Haake at 12:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali has settled on his race program for 2010 and the Tour de France will be the absolute highlight for the young rider from Sicily. He hopes to improve on his seventh place from this year. Nibali will skip the Giro d'Italia and instead ride the Vuelta a España as the second Grand Tour of the season.

His program was determined at the Liquigas-Doimo training camp in San Pellegrino. "I will do Tirreno-Adriatico, then Milano-Sanremo, Amstel, Flèche Wallonne, Liège; then the Tour and the Vuelta," he said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Nibali sees that he can play his cards at the Tour, despite Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti and Roman Kreuziger in the team. "The approach will be the same as in 2009. I have great ambitions for the Tour, I want to do even better. But I know the competition has even improved. It will be difficult, but the race is also wide open, with so many champions."

Nibali has a plan B if things should not work out at the Tour. "In Spain I will be captain together with Kreuziger. This is a scenario that I like."

No Giro this year

He won't be racing his home race, the Giro d'Italia, but trusts that Pellizotti is up for the task. "The last week is really hard. It is for the climbers, for the light riders and those who have a good jump. In that regard, Franco has an advantage."

Nibali is still very young, at only 25-years-old, and some celebrity riders from Italy are very impressed with the Italian. Paolo Bettini said to the Gazzetta that "2010 will be the year of Nibali and Visconti."

Maurizio Fondriest was a little more cautious. "Nibali is strong, but I don't know if he can be a leader for the Grand Tours." Nibali agreed that he still has to prove himself. "I never had to lead a team to fight for victory in a Grand Tour. I will test that by trying it out."


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