There were not many doubts but we were still missing the confirmation. Now Vincenzo Nibali has finally announced his participation in the Giro d’Italia in 2017 which represent s"the main objective of the season.
"It will be a special edition which I do not want to miss as the defending champion. Regarding the Tour de France, we will see what happens after the Giro,” Nibali tells SudInfo.
His debut at the Tour de San Juan (January 24 to 29) has been known for a long time and will be followed by the Abu Dhabi Tour "before returning to Italy to ride Tirreno – Adriatico. The participation in some classics, especially Liege - Bastogne – Liege, is uncertain but not impossible.
"I have to talk with my coach Paul Slongo to define my complete calendar for the first half of the season,” he says. “The Lombardy is definitely the most suitable classic to me, but Liege fascinates me."
In general, he feels a strong connection with the races in Belgium: "I love these races. I have said that, sooner or later, I may even do the Tour of Flanders ..."
Nibali reiterates that he has great confidence in his new team, "an extremely well-balanced team, able to shine in grand tours and in the classics." The presence of riders with "great experience like Joaquim Rodriguez and Enrico Gasparotto" and "young wolves that have already shown great qualities" bodes well for the captain who is convinced that "with luck at our side" they can "point to win every race.”
One of his big rivals at the Giro will be current teammate Fabio Aru.
"We are rivals on the bikes but friends in life,” he says. “We often train together, even on the MTB. I know that the Giro will give us similar feelings, for him with the departure in Sardinia, for me with two stages in Sicily and the finish of the fifth stage in Messina where I was born. "
Nibali knows the value of the young Sardinian even though he failed at the Tour de France.
"The Tour is a very difficult race,” he said. “But until the penultimate stage and the finish in Morzine he showed that he could fight with the best. It was an important experience that will serve him a lot for the future.”
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