For Vincenzo Nibali, 2014 was a fruitful year as he added the Tour de France to his impressive palmares. In Sport/Voetbalmagazine, the Italian looks back at his season with satisfaction even though he can't hide his frustration that he always has to defend his position as the deserved winner of the race.
Vincenzo Nibali may have won the Tour de France in commanding fashion but many fans are still not convined that he was the strongest rider in the race. Many claim that he would have been unable to beat Alberto Contador and Chris Froome if the two pre-race favourites hadn't crashed out of the race.
However, Nibali is frustrated that he always has to justity his win.
"Deep inside me I knew that I was strong," Nibali told Sport/Voetbalmagazine. "I proved that from the beginning to the end. I won a stage in England when they were both still there. I was the strongest on the cobbles where they were both there. I was there from the first climbs until the end. I performed well consistently throughout the Tour.
"I don't think it's correct [to ask me those questions]. I could say: 'When Froome won the Tour, Contador was not at his usual level and I didn't even ride. Who did he have to beat`? No one!' Or: 'Quintana won this year's Giro because he attacked on a descent while the red flag was out.' But I don't do that. Each race has its own history. Basta!
"I have won a Vuelta, a Giro and this year the Tour. Last year I was second in the Vuelta, I had already been third in the Tour, second in the Giro, third in the Giro. I was always there against Contador and Froome. And when they were not there, I was up against Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso and others. Like I rode against Alejandro Valverde in this Tour. Some said that he was not a real opponent, because he was six, seven minutes behind. But in the Vuelta, everyone suddenly took him seriously. Where is the logic?"
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