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“I sat up as soon as the climb began and I took it really easy. I’m not in the best condition for the mountains right now and to go into the red at this point is only counter-productive,” Nibali tells Gazzetta dello S...

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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24.01.2014 @ 19:58 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Vincenzo Nibali lost a massive 16 minutes on the final climb of the Alto el Amago in yesterday's queen stage of the Tour de San Luis. However, the Giro champion is unconcerned by the loss and insists that there is no reason to worry about his condition.

 

Vincenzo Nibali is a former winner of the Tour de San Luis and last year he finished 10th in the Argentinean race. However, there will be no repeat of those exploits in this year's edition of the Argentinean race after the Giro champion lost more than 16 minutes on the final climb in yesterday's queen stage.

 

The time loss raised a few eyebrows in the Italian press who started to speculate whether Nibali is behind schedule when it comes to preparing for his major goals. Unlike last year, his target is the Tour de France which comes much later than the Giro and Nibali insists that there is no reason to worry.

 

“I sat up as soon as the climb began and I took it really easy. I’m not in the best condition for the mountains right now and to go into the red at this point is only counter-productive,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I worked to bring [teammate Mikel] Landa to the foot of the climb and then at the first corner I sat up and went up at my own pace.”

 

Nibali was certainly not the only major star to lose time yesterday. His teammate Michele Scarponi lost 5.54, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) 7.26 and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finished more than 20 minutes behind winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

 

While he has no intentions to go too deep on the climbs, Nibali has different plans when it comes to today's time trial. In his first year with Astana, he improved massively in the discipline and gave the first indications when he finished in the top 5 in the race against the clock in San Luis.

 

Today he again plans to test himself in the discipline.

 

“It will be a real and very important test," he said. "It’ll be good for me, too, as a reference to years gone by.”

 

With riders like Taylor Phinney (BMC) and Adriano Malori (Movistar) in the field, he doesn't expect to win though.

 

“It won’t be easy, but I recover well and I’m really keen to do well in this test,” he said.

 

Scarponi was the best Astana rider yesterday in 26th.

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