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Team refuse to blame longer crank for team leader's lacklustre performances in the Giro d'Italia.







26.05.2016 @ 11:16 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Following speculation in the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport by former world champion Paolo Bettini, Astana say they refuse to put blame on the bike for Vincenzo Nibali‘s less than stellar performance in the Giro d’Italia this week. This winter, Nibali changed to longer crank arms and unlike his teammates using Campagnolo’s electronic shifting, the Sicilian decided on a mechanical group.


During the tough and mountainous second weekend and again on Tuesday’s stage, Nibali  lost time in the Giro d’Italia and now trails race leader Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) by 4’ 43” in fourth place.


“He changed from 172.5[mm] to 175 crank arms, it’s a 2.5mm change,” Nibali’s trainer Paolo Slongo told Cycling Weekly.


Asked if shorter cranks are better, Slongo replied, “It’s small, but a longer crank should give more of a push when you have strength. We made the decision in December. He’s been using it all year, already in the Tour of Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico. I’ve seen many things written on it lately, but I don’t think that a 2.5mm change is the reason behind Nibali’s performance now. I’d look for it in other areas, like the team is doing to do by checking his values.”


Slongo said he does not see Nibali changing back to the shorter crank arms anytime soon.


“No. We could look at it later. He could turn back now to a shorter crank, but that would be more for his head. It’s not going to change his current performances,” Slongo added. “If you can push it, a longer crank arm should give you more resistance. He has a long femur, so it works out. It hinders your attacks, but helps in other areas. Those who are racing for the classification don’t need those pure attacks, they need more resistance. In theory, it helps gives him an advantage in the classification battle. You need to be regular to race the GC, not an attacker. We shouldn’t look at what happened recently. He won a sprint against Alejandro Valverde in Friuli. I don’t think that we made a mistake and that you can blame the crank arm on his current performances.”



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