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"We've passed from an extreme condition to the opposite one but I'm not sure the heat is particularly good for me because I'm from Sicily. By now I have ridden my bike and performed in any kind of weather condition."

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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16.07.2014 @ 21:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Vincenzo Nibali survived the first hot day of the Tour de France and maintained his solid advantage in the overall standings. The Italian refused claims that he will struggle over the coming days that are forecasted to be marked by brutal heat.

 

The French press has been looking for chinks in Vincenzo Nibali's armours and today the French paper speculated that the Italian could soffer in the coming stages that are set to be raced in very hot conditions. Having made it safely through today's first stage in the heat, however, the race leader refused the suggestions.

 

"It's been hot today," he said. "We've passed from an extreme condition to the opposite one but I'm not sure the heat is particularly good for me because I'm from Sicily. By now I have ridden my bike and performed in any kind of weather condition.

 

"A big trouble because of the heat can happen to anyone, any time. Maybe that's what happened to Talansky today, I don't exactly know.

 

"It's been reported that I can lose the Tour because of the heat, because of crashes or because of my team. Crashes also can happen to anyone. It happened to my team-mate Michele Scarponi today but from the team car I got to know that rode over other riders uphill.

 

"But he remained quiet and didn't spend any useless energy. I didn't need him on my side as Tanel Kangert and Jakob Fuglsang were there along with me.

 

"My team worked very well today again. Many of my team-mates were involved in that work. We have to be careful every day. The daily fatigue is hard to handle, for different riders from different teams. I remember from the Tour two years ago that something is likely to happen every day.

 

"Today it was hard because of the nervousness in the bunch and Garmin launched the action very strongly. Cannondale and Orica worked hard behind and Gallopin's attack was decisive. In overall, it has gone well for me today.

 

"So far, my hardest achievement since the beginning of the Tour is stage 2 to Sheffield because the rhythm was extremely high and there was a very strong head wind, I had the peloton right behind me with a very small margin."

 

“Just as the group was speeding up on the second-to-last-climb I touched wheels in the middle of the peloton with another rider," Scarponi said. "We both went down and I hit my left knee - no damage, but the group was gone."

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