BELFORT, France (Reuters) – Vincenzo Nibali has now not given up on being a contender on the Excursion de France within the wake of a hard Giro d’Italia in spite of shedding floor within the first hilltop end on Thursday, his trainer stated.
FILE PHOTO: Biking – Excursion de France – The 175.Five-km Degree Five from Saint-Die-des-Vosges to Colmar – July 10, 2019 – Bahrain-Merida rider Vincenzo Nibali of Italy earlier than the beginning. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Nibali is one in every of two lively riders with titles at the Excursion, the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana.
He ended the Giro, his house grand excursion, in 2d position in Might and the Sicilian have been looking forward to the 6th degree end on the peak of the Planche des Belles Filles to evaluate his Excursion de France shape.
A winner there in 2014 — the yr he gained the Excursion — Nibali struggled within the ultimate a part of the ascent, a brutal effort on graveled roads within the Vosges area, shedding 51 seconds to protecting champion Geraint Thomas of Britain.
“He used to be nonetheless with the most productive with 500 meters to move however that’s when he were given dropped,” trainer Paolo Slongo informed Reuters on Friday earlier than the beginning of the 7th degree to Chalon sur Saone.
“It’s a extraordinary state of affairs for the reason that GC (common classification) isn’t long past however he’s been distanced just a little.”
General, Nibali lies in 20th position, 1:07 in the back of Thomas, the most productive positioned of the principle contenders.
“We will be able to take it day-to-day and notice how the sensations are,” Slongo, who has overseen all 4 of Nibali’s grand excursion victories and every other seven podium finishes, defined.
Making an attempt to win the Giro and the Excursion in the similar season is among the maximum tricky demanding situations within the game, with Italian Marco Pantani the final rider to reach the double in 1998.
“The Giro used to be his first function after which got here the Excursion. We knew that driving two grands excursions could be tricky. He’s 1:07 in the back of Thomas, it’s now not a disastrous state of affairs.”
A number of contenders, together with Colombian Egan Bernal, France’s Thibaut Pinot or Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, are forward of Nibali.
But the 34-year-old has the power to manage a killer blow and with six extra mountain phases and 4 mountain-top finishes to come back, there will probably be quite a few alternatives to show the location round.
“Letting pass of the GC could be silly,” stated Slongo.
“We’ll see how issues pass however we will be able to journey with out pressure, extra loose, and if the overall classification is long past one day we’ll see about successful phases.”
Whilst Nibali’s efficiency used to be just a little disappointing, Slongo had lots to have fun on Thursday.
The Italian’s crew mate Dylan Teuns gained the degree from a breakaway and Giulio Ciccone, who completed 2d, claimed the whole chief’s yellow jersey.
“I used to be glad the day before today as a result of we gained the degree and in addition as a result of a tender Italian rider took the yellow jersey. It’s all the time a excitement and a just right factor for Italian biking,” stated Slongo, who has additionally coached Giro winner Ivan Basso, dash specialist Elia Viviani and three-times international champion Peter Sagan, who’re all Excursion de France degree winners.
Reporting through Julien Pretot; Modifying through Toby Davis