Vincenzo Nibali confirms Centennial Giro d'Italia his main focus
Last year's winner of the Giro d'Italia confirms he'll be taking part with his new team Bahrain-Merida. Fabio Aru will be a Rival
Sicilian, Vincenzo Nibali closed the door on four tumultuous years with Team Astana and is currently laying down the foundations with Team Bahrain-Merida in Croatia.
Nabali confirmed in the press, that the 100th Giro would be the cornerstone of his 2017 season.
Nabali had two big goals in 2016 the Giro and the Oympics. He of course was triumphant at the Giro.
He faltered dramtically on the second, after falling heavily in Rio and breaking his collarbone. He conveyed this has repaired well and doesn't cause any problems whilst training.
Nibali was in a good position to win in Rio before falling on the descent "Winning, losing and falling are part of cycling and I have to accept it without making a drama. After that, it's clear that I still think about it ... The frustration, it is still there. But hey, that's life!"
In complete contrast , there is his momentous win in the 2016 Giro "Winning the pink jersey comes with a lot of emotions and a unique feeling. Especially taking over the lead in the penultimate stage. Often people ask me which victory I prefer. It's difficult to compare winning the Giro with that of the Tour de France of the Veulta. After all, for an Italian, winning the Giro is very different a very special thing"
Nibali dominated the 2014 Tour de France, but this year he took the role of Fabio Aru's right hand man, which may appear to be frustrating for a competitor of his nature "Honestly no it wasn't that hard, we agreed my role in the beginning and it was shared by all the team. I tried to win a stage but I'll have better luck next time."
"Fabio Aru showed that he could compete with the best at the Tour, it was unfortunate that he cracked on the penultimate stage to Morzine but it will serve him well in the future."
Nibali has welcomed the challenge of a new team "It was time for a change after 4 years with Astana. I had some great moments and some tough times. It was time to move on and look forwards with Bahrain-Meridia."
"It's a well balanced team that can do well in both the Classics and Gran Tours. On one hand there is experienced riders like Joaquim Rodriguez and Enrico Gasparotto and on the other you blod who have shown good form. I am convinced with luck on our side we aim for the win in each event we race."
"The centenial Giro d'Italia is my main objective for the 2017 season. It's a special edition. Am the defending champion. As for riding the Tour de France, I'll see after the Giro. I will start the season with the new Tour of San Juan in Argentina (January 24-29th) and then head for Abu Dhabi before return to Italy to ride the Tirreno-Adriatico. This all builds up to my participation on the Giro next season, my main objective."
"Fabio Aru are friends, but this year at the Giro, he will be my rival. We train and Mountain bike together and riding the Giro will be momentous both. For him the departure in Sardinia and for me the two stage that pass through Sccily my home region, especially stage 5 which finished in my home town of Messina where I was born."
Winning three Giro's would put Niabli on a par with previous greats like Gino Batali, Felice Gimondi and Bernard Hinault.
"It's important because very few champions can succeed in winning that many times. I don't want to think about ot too much as there's lots of work to do start with the team's traning in Coatia this winter. In May I will have time to think about that."
"Although the Giro is my main objective, Liège-Bastogne-Liège is on my list. I like Belgian races, may be the Tour of Flanders, we'll see. Lombardy is one that suits me too. I will first discuss my schedule and targets with my coach Paolo Slongo before next season."