Nibali previews Giro's Bergamo stage
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nibali previews Giro's Bergamo stage

by Samuel Morrison at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
'A very beautiful and special stage'

Days after blowing apart Milano-Sanremo, Italian Vincenzo Nibali returned to concentrate on the Giro d'Italia. He wants to win the Grand Tour this season after winning the Vuelta a España last year. To prepare, he is previewing the race's key stages, yesterday looking at the 18th stage through Bergamo.

"It's a very beautiful and special stage," Nibali told Italian newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport. "You have the views from Bergamo Alto and the climb up Ganda."

The stage, May 26, starts in Morbegno and ends in San Pellegrino Terme. The 1100-metre Passo di Ganda leaves only a challenging descent to the finish – perfect for attackers like Nibali. Last year, he won the stage to Asolo by attacking over the Monte Grapa.

"Passo Ganda is a demanding climb. The central part of it is not so much, but the last three kilometres are tough," added Nibali. "The descent is not a true downhill, there are many sharp rises.

"It might be a day where you see two races, one for the stage victory and one for the general classification. It seems to be a perfect stage for cyclists like [Giovanni] Visconti and [Stefano] Garzelli."

Two-time Giro winner, Ivan Gotti joined Nibali for the reconnaissance. He knows the area well, born in the town of the stage finish, San Pellegrino.

"It was 34 years ago when the Giro last finished here," Gotti explained. "In 1977, Renato Laghi won. The big one was 1955, [Fausto] Coppi won and [Fiorenzo] Magni took over the pink jersey.

"It looks like an easy stage on paper, but it's complicated. Ganda can make the difference, who has courage can make an impression. I agree with Nibali, it suits Garzelli and Visconti."

The Giro d'Italia starts in Turin on May 7 and ends in Milan on May 29. The race will likely be decided in the seven high-mountain stages, three after the second rest day in the final week.


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