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“I’ve helped others before, but no one like Vincenzo," Scarponi told VeloNews

Photo: Sirotti






27.11.2013 @ 10:54 Posted by Patrick Lorien

Nibali as prime contender


Lampre’s Michele Scarpono recently announced that he will join Astana. Here the experienced Italian will get to ride his own chances at the Giro, but he will most likely also be an invaluable help to team captain Nibali’s French ambitions.


Scarponi believes in his compatriot, and trusts that Nibali will be able to outsmart Froome.


“Quintana is the strongest climber. Froome is a slightly more complete rider with a better time trial. Nibali, though, creates opportunities for himself,” Scarponi told VeloNews. “He has more imagination and doesn’t need to follow the book to the letter. Vincenzo is able to win next year’s Tour.”


Scarponi is not alone with his analysis. Sky boss David Brailsford has also stated that Nibali will be Froome’s main opponent.


To La Gazzeatta dello Sport Brailsford said that “What I like about Vincenzo is that he’s a real cyclist. He’s a fighter, aggressive, and never gives up. He can transform a stage, he’s creative and brave. He always gives 100 percent. His talent is obvious and he races in a modern way.”


Nibali’s chances have also been strengthened by the new additions to Astana, and it seems likely that he will be supported by newcomers Scarponi, Pellizotti and Westra.


“Helping Nibali win the Tour and being beside one of the most important riders motivates me. If it goes as well as I hope, then it’s going to be a great Tour for Vincenzo,” Scarponi said to VeloNews.


“I’ve helped others before, but no one like Vincenzo. At team Liberty Seguros, I worked with Roberto Heras in the Vuelta a España and I helped my new boss, Alexander Vinokourov, in the Vuelta a Burgos. With Vincenzo, though, we are talking about winning the Tour de France.”


Even though Scarponi has ridden most of his career either as team captain, or with free reins, he seems completely willing to share the spotlight with Nibali, and also sacrifice his own chances for the good of the team.


“It does not bother me that all the attention is on Vincenzo now. I knew it’d be that way when I signed,” Scarponi added to VeloNews.


“I’ll have my space in the Giro, but there are a lot of stars gunning for the pink jersey. My goal is to have a great Giro and to help Nibali at the Tour — clearly, that won’t be easy. To race the Giro and Tour is already difficult enough. Maybe I can achieve a top three but really, I can’t be tired at the Tour because I gave everything I had at the Giro.”



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