Teams & Riders Vincenzo Nibali discussion thread

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La Gazzetta delo Sport; May 21, 2022

‘Shark Sails Off Shore For Good’

And so it was, that on Friday, Vicenzo Nibali rode away from the Giro d’Italia – and from professional cycling – for the final time. It was unexpected. As with much of the Sicilian’s storied career, this was spontaneous. ‘The Shark’ explained to La Gazzetta as to why he didn’t line up for stage 13:

“I wanted to finish my final Giro, I really did,” Nibali began, “but yesterday changed everything”.

Yesterday being stage twelve, from Parma to Genova of course. It had been a much maligned stage, and Vicenzo had been as disappointed as the next fan boy. “I really liked the original design,” he stated, “but then they blew it up, all for a bridge. So initially I resigned myself to this being a quiet day, but then on the morning, I woke up, and I don’t know if it was sensations that I was feeling, but I felt something. And I knew that today was a day to race. A day to really race.”

And nobody supports the theory more, that riders make the race, then Vicenzo Nibali.

Yet Nibali being Nibali; he didn’t even attack at the only place where attacks seemed possible, on the Valico Di Trensasco. Though Vincenzo quickly put a dampener on any tactical masterpiece mythology there: “I’m thirty-seven, so you know, the legs don’t climb quite as easily as they used to. I wanted to attack on the Trensasco, but I was on my limit, and almost off the back. To go on the descent would have been even better, but by the time I was back up the front and recovered, the descent was over.”

Vicenzo looked around and saw twenty plus riders still in the peloton, but one familiar face kept his hopes alive for the stage victory: “When I looked across and saw Alejandro, I knew there was still a chance. I knew that if I could just sneak away, that with Valverde there, that the group might be disorganised.”

Nibali had of course seen it all before. But surely this was a bridge too far? For the run in was flat.

“I knew how beautiful the monument was, as we entered the port of Genova, and I hoped that my rivals would become tourists, just for a moment.”

And a moment would be all he needed. Once The Shark smells blood in the water your summer holidays are as good as over.

His general classification chances may have erupted as early as Etna, but this win more than made up for it.

“I didn’t think that this stage victory was any more special than the others, but when I looked behind me and saw Alejandro take second place, I knew my story was complete. I always liked what Alberto did on the Angliru, but even then he continued on, to basically say that the fourth place is only good for Matthews. I knew that my time to retire was now, right now.”

And there was one final factor that fully confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali's decision was the right one.

"When I woke up today I thought to myself: The Shark doesn't line up for races that merely start in Sanremo."
 
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Some excerpts from an interview with Vincenzo Nibali by Pier Augusto Stagi for BlaBlaBike radio

About the Giro

“Already in the first week we'll find some difficulties, such as Etna, which we mentioned a little while ago, and we'll find afterwards also the Blockhaus and some tricky stages. I expect a Giro, as I said, to be tough, but as far as I'm concerned, to be seen it will be lived day by day. It's also a bit like… I will surely have a very important role. We have our López as captain, and as far as I'm concerned I'll definitely as I said, live a little bit day by day as well and we'll also see if we can assist him in the best possible way. Basically yes, I will be a free hitter. I think it is also normal for me not to... there is always a bit of ambition in the head, but you have to be always very objective and so let's live this Giro d'Italia like this."

“The last week is a terrible week. I've seen, there are the arrivals like the one in Aprica, there are also those in Piedmont of which I've spoken also with Felline and he told me that it will be a very difficult stage. He knows the roads well and he strongly believes that there certainly the main contenders will contest the Giro d'Italia.”

“I'm coming in with my headlights off! I'm very honest, I've had some good days, some not so good days. I raced these two classics like Fleche and Liege, all in all let's say decent. The Liege was my first time doing a 260km race and we all know what a race Liege is. And so I only lost contact on the Roche-aux-Faucons, so even I don't have big ambitions, because I know I don't have that extra something. I'll have to live my Giro d'Italia a bit like this and see if I can find the best days at the Giro. But I will only find out this on the road".

The crash in LBL

“But the fact is that there was this crash where they literally fell in front of me and I was with Felline, right next to him. We were just talking about what to do, so, and there was this violent deceleration, but we were going at a speed of about 70 per hour, you know I had asked, 'but how many kilometers do we have exactly? Because I had changed bike, because I was missing some kilometers on my computer so. He didn't have time to answer and it was this violent deceleration: I braked hard, the bike got a bit out of shape, I had the coolness to leave the brakes, and brake again slowly and I think that in five meters I will have dribbled four riders on the ground and then I stopped practically on Bardet and someone else, I don't know who it was. And I fell almost from a standstill.
Basically Alaphilippe was on my right, but I saw him only for a moment out of the corner of my eye and I put the chain back on and I started again because the group was proceeding at crazy speed anyway. I didn't even turn back. The only thing I ended up with was a first degree burn on my calf from someone putting me on a wheel.”
 
Some excerpts from an interview with Vincenzo Nibali by Pier Augusto Stagi for BlaBlaBike radio

About the Giro

“Already in the first week we'll find some difficulties, such as Etna, which we mentioned a little while ago, and we'll find afterwards also the Blockhaus and some tricky stages. I expect a Giro, as I said, to be tough, but as far as I'm concerned, to be seen it will be lived day by day. It's also a bit like… I will surely have a very important role. We have our López as captain, and as far as I'm concerned I'll definitely as I said, live a little bit day by day as well and we'll also see if we can assist him in the best possible way. Basically yes, I will be a free hitter. I think it is also normal for me not to... there is always a bit of ambition in the head, but you have to be always very objective and so let's live this Giro d'Italia like this."

“The last week is a terrible week. I've seen, there are the arrivals like the one in Aprica, there are also those in Piedmont of which I've spoken also with Felline and he told me that it will be a very difficult stage. He knows the roads well and he strongly believes that there certainly the main contenders will contest the Giro d'Italia.”

“I'm coming in with my headlights off! I'm very honest, I've had some good days, some not so good days. I raced these two classics like Fleche and Liege, all in all let's say decent. The Liege was my first time doing a 260km race and we all know what a race Liege is. And so I only lost contact on the Roche-aux-Faucons, so even I don't have big ambitions, because I know I don't have that extra something. I'll have to live my Giro d'Italia a bit like this and see if I can find the best days at the Giro. But I will only find out this on the road".

The crash in LBL

“But the fact is that there was this crash where they literally fell in front of me and I was with Felline, right next to him. We were just talking about what to do, so, and there was this violent deceleration, but we were going at a speed of about 70 per hour, you know I had asked, 'but how many kilometers do we have exactly? Because I had changed bike, because I was missing some kilometers on my computer so. He didn't have time to answer and it was this violent deceleration: I braked hard, the bike got a bit out of shape, I had the coolness to leave the brakes, and brake again slowly and I think that in five meters I will have dribbled four riders on the ground and then I stopped practically on Bardet and someone else, I don't know who it was. And I fell almost from a standstill.
Basically Alaphilippe was on my right, but I saw him only for a moment out of the corner of my eye and I put the chain back on and I started again because the group was proceeding at crazy speed anyway. I didn't even turn back. The only thing I ended up with was a first degree burn on my calf from someone putting me on a wheel.”
The route is not the best, I'm not sure how many stages in this Giro actually suit Vincenzo.

Day by Day surely means 'I will try not to loss time for as long as possible, then when i do start to lose time, I will lose as much as possible and look for wins'.

But other than the penultimate weekend in Piemonte I don't see many opportunities for him to win. And although Etna can be ridden quite conservatively, Vincenzo in 2022 cannot keep with the Mountain goats on Blockhaus.

Stages 14 and 15 look the best for Vincenzo. It's impossible for me to say, after a year with injuries and setbacks, how good his climbing level is. In Sicilia he went too deep trying to follow Caruso and collapsed.
 
Hope he goes quickly off GC and try for stages in the last week.
A stage would be cool.
Plus I hope he skips Tour and goes for Vuelta, he kinda hinted he would like to do that lately.
I am 99% sure he will not ride Le Tour. Martinelli said most likely Lopez will be there and that with Vincenzo they will decide in June. Besides Vino said Astana has funding at least until 2024 so he can do the Tour next year ;)
 
I was thinking, there's no way I'll get fooled into picking him for my Velogames team this year. But I need a climber worth 10 credits, and the alternatives are like Poels, Hindley and Martin...

F*ck it, I picked Gall and Skjelmose, it's not like I'm winning the big bucks anyway.
 
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