Vincenzo Nibali Interview

Interviews

08/20/2011| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com
Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas-Cannondale) is ready for the 2011 Tour of Spain. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas-Cannondale) is ready for the 2011 Tour of Spain. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Vincenzo Nibali Interview

A year ago Vincenzo Nibali wowed everyone with a display of strength and character that secured him the overall win in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and not least the famous "Roja" jersey. Less than 24 hours before the start of the 2011 Vuelta, Nibali - commonly referred to as the "Shark of the Strait" - says he's ready to secure a repeat victory in this year's final Grand Tour.

A year ago Vincenzo Nibali wowed everyone with a display of strength and character that secured him the overall win in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and not least the famous "Roja" jersey. Less than 24 hours before the start of the 2011 Vuelta, Nibali - commonly referred to as the "Shark of the Strait" - says he's ready to secure a repeat victory in this year's final Grand Tour.

"I've got the ambitions and motivation needed of a rider who wants to win," Nibali stated and continued "I've got fantastic memories as I return to Spain. Getting all the way to the top step of the podium in Madrid last year was immensely satisfying, but also incredibly gruelling. It will be even more difficult to repeat the win this year, but I'm stubborn and totally determined. I'm backed by a team that's equally dedicated and well prepared so we've got everything we need to try and retain the title."

Nibali took part in this year's Giro d'Italia before switching off his engines to recover before starting his build-up for the Vuelta. "The Giro d'Italia was a trying experience so I took a break to recover. I then went to the team camp at Passo San Pellegrino with my teammates in July for some specific altitude training. I tried to repeat what I'd done last year with the help of our trainer Paolo Slongo. We worked on quality sessions to improve intensity capacity and enable ability for those rhythm changes that are essential for the Spanish climbs in the Vuelta. The Tour de Pologne and the Tre Valli Varesine were encouraging returns to racing and my body is sending me positive signals and feedback. A bit like the ones I had last year before the Vuelta."

The parcours of this year's Vuelta a Espana include new challenges for Nibali when compared to the 2010 Vuelta route. "I hadn't raced much in Spain and found out what last year's race had in store on a day by day basis. I've studied the information about this year's stages over the past couple of weeks. There are lots of climbs that I have no experience with and routes I've never covered, but I'm not the sort of person who worries though. I'm not underestimating anything, that would be dumb, but I don't want to be too concerned with potential problems before they happen either. My sports directors Scirea and Mariuzzo know exactly what they're doing and will give me sound advice just like they did last year."

When asked to evaluate and comment on his competitors for the overall victory in the 2011 Vuelta Nibali told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi "There are lots of very strong competitors, maybe even more than last year. I reckon the Spanish riders have the edge, starting with Anton and Rodriguez. They're racing on home turf and we know how much they want to succeed."

But Nibali also has his eyes focused on the non-Spanish favorites. "You've got riders like Menchov and Scarponi, and of course Wiggins and Van Den Broeck.

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