uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Paolo Bettini questions Nibali’s form, motivation and change in crank length.







26.05.2016 @ 09:47 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali started this year’s Giro d’Italia as the favourite to win his home country’s grand tour but so far, his numerous fans have had no reason to celebrate. Apart from a few ill-timed and unsuccessful attacks, the Sicilian has been in the limelight only when he has been dropped and lost time on the decisive stages. The reasons for Vincenzo Nibali's collapse at the Giro d'Italia remain enigmatic, with medical tests expected soon to reveal if he may be suffering from some kind of infection that has affected his form and extinguished his chances of winning the Giro.


In all likelihood, the final nail was hammered into Nibali’s coffin on Tuesday. His time loss in Andalo buried all hopes of success, and even the Italian press seems to have lost all hope.


In the Italian media, never afraid to criticize, Nibali’s problems have caused considerable debate and some criticism. The strongest attack, so far, came from former world champion Paolo Bettini in his daily column in the Gazzetta dello Sport. Yesterday, Bettini pulled no punches while analysing the reasons for Nibali's poor form.


Bettini rejected suggestions that Nibali has set too many objectives for 2016, and so is not at the top of his powers in this Giro d'Italia because he also targets the Olympic road race. He termed Nibali's decision to attack during Tuesday stage a 'tactical error' because he had perhaps failed to recover from his huge effort on Saturday's stage in the Dolomites to Corvara and his pain in the time trial on Sunday. He even questioned Nibali’s decision to switch from 172.5 to 175mm cranks for this season.


While  admitting that he did not know any details of Nibali's training Bettini went all out in his analysis.


"Observing Nibali at the Giro del Trentino just a few days before the start of the Giro d'Italia, you got the idea that he was behind with his form, that something wasn't right. It's true that it takes time assimilate altitude training but there seems to be something else," Bettini wrote. "Yesterday, Ulissi finished ahead of him in Andalo. I have a lot of respect for Diego but when Ulissi finishes ahead of Nibali, it means that he wasn't in a great condition.”


Bettini hinted that Nibali had not recovered sufficiently after his huge effort on Saturday's brutal stage in the Dolomites.


"On Saturday, he did a huge 50-minute effort, a kind of time trial and no doubt spent a lot of time over his threshold. After a long hard stage that lasted more than six hours, you pay for an effort like that. He clearly suffered in the mountain time trial, and then struggled to recover on the rest day. Because of all of these factors, it would probably have been better to stay hidden on the wheels and not attack yesterday, saving himself for the big mountain stages on Friday and Saturday."


Even Nibali's choice of crank came under scrutiny in Bettini's analytical piece.


"I don't understand why a rider who has won everything during his career decides to change his cranks at the age of 31. It seems a risk to me. Everyone knows that if you extend your reach your pedal stroke changes. Vincenzo has long legs, and so careful studies are needed before making a change. 172.5mm is the ideal length for him, with 175mm crank perhaps used for a flat time trial. I'm surprised by his decision and if it had been suggested to me, I'd have refused. You've always got to think carefully before changing your equipment; that's why I always used an old-style saddle. When you do change something, you've got to accept that I might not work out okay."


Interestingly, Bettini also indicated that rumours connecting Nibali to the Bahrain Cycling Projects, the delay in clarifying this situation and Nibali's reportedly strained relationship with Vinokourov at Astana may have influenced Nibali's form and concentration.


"Everyone knows that his relationship with Vinokourov is not idyllic and there have been reports of him leaving Astana going around for a long time," Bettini writes, raising lots of questions but giving few answers.

"I've got a feeling that there isn't the ideal ambient around him for him to do his best. I ask, is this Bahrain project solid? I don't know the details but I hope it is. However, any delays can get to you. I know, I was involved in the Alonso project that failed to happen. Vincenzo won the Tour of Oman and its right to ask how important was that win to give the Bahrain team project a push. But was it important for his build-up to the Giro d'Italia? Sometimes when a rider's contract is up, they feel under even more pressure to get results and this hasn't helped Vincenzo."




Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13Lampre leave the peloton 04.01.2017 @ 17:03Nibali to skip the classics 04.01.2017 @ 16:58

Currently no news in this list

31 years | today
33 years | today
39 years | today
40 years | today
Dillion BYRNE
31 years | today