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"It means the whole team was going very well. But today, personally I suffered. I've tried my luck but I was left with no energy after a week of racing at an extremely high level," Nibali says

Photo: Sirotti










15.06.2014 @ 18:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Vincenzo Nibali tried to salvage his Criterium du Dauphiné with a late move in the dramatic final stage and at one point he seemed to have got the better off Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. In the end, however,e he blew up and ends the race down in 7th place.


After a disappointing spring season, Vincenzo Nibali was hoping to get his season back on track in the Criterium du Dauphiné but the 8 stages have proved that he is still not at the level of Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. Going into today's final stage, he was sixth but the Italian proved his aggressive sprit and refused to go down without a fight.


When a big 23-rider group with several GC contenders had escaped, Nibali found himself trapped in the yellow jersey group. When Froome and Contador were looking too much at each other, however, Nibali launched a brave move with teammate Jakob Fuglsang and the pair were joined by Wilco Kelderman.


They asked teammate Tanel Kangert to drop back from the front group to assist them and at one point it seemed that they would make contact with the leaders. In the end, however, Nibali blew up and he ended the race in 7th overall after getting passed by Contador on the final climb while Fuglsang had to settle for 10th.


If Nibali's own performance hasn't been too encouraging, he can be pleased with his team. The trio of Fuglsang, Kangert and Nibali - and a very aggressive Lieuwe Westra - made them win the teams classification and Nibali remains optimistic with his big goal at the Tour de France coming up in a few weeks.


“To win the team classification is important for Astana," he said. "It means the whole team was going very well. But today, personally I suffered. I've tried my luck but I was left with no energy after a week of racing at an extremely high level.


"I'm on the right path towards the Tour de France. There are still many days left until July 5. The Tour will be very hard, especially in the last two weeks, so I hope to be at my best at that time.”


Kangert was pleased with a week of hard racing to prepare for his debut in the world's biggest race.


“I really needed this race, and every day this week I did a maximum effort at the finish," he said. “For the Tour de France I think we are on the right track as a team, and we have two weeks to get ready for the big start in Leeds."


The team will now head to a high-altitude training camp to finalize their preparations.



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