The one-day race is Nibali’s final race in Italy in Astana colours before he moves to the new Bahrain-Merida team in 2017. Despite winning last year’s Il Lombardia, Nibali will not race the final Classic of the season on Saturday. Instead he will travel to Kazakhstan to ride the Tour di Almaty race in a farewell gesture to the Kazakhstani team. His final race in the Astana colours will be the Abu Dhabi Tour, October 20-23.
Nibali won last year’s Tre Valli Varesine race as he showed his form before going on to dominate Il Lombardia. He wears number one today but is not expecting to shine this year after undergoing surgery and the fitting of a metal plate and screws in his collarbone. He has been back in training for close to a month and recently rode a Gran Fondo event organised in his honour in his home town of Messina in Sicily.
“I’m happy to be back racing even if I’m not on form. I feel like I’m starting fro zero but I’m keen to ride a few races before the end of the season, even if it's only to be back in the peloton,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I won’t be ride IL Lombardia, I’ll be in Kazakhstan to ride the Tour of Almaty. Then I’ll ride the Abu Dhabi Tour. I’ve tried to put the Olympics behind me. I don’t want to think about what happened.”
Nibali crashed out on the final descent of the Olympic road race in Rio while on the attack with Sergio Henao and Rafal Majka. He lost control of his bike on the testing descent, hitting a kerb. Greg Van Avermaet of BMC went on to win the gold medal.
The Astana team confirmed that Fabio Aru will lead the Astana team at the Tre Valli Varesine and at Saturday’s Il Lombardia. He will be backed by Jakob Fuglsang, Diego Rosa, Miguel Angel Lopez and Tanel Kangert.
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of the end of season Italian Classic plus a full race report, news and interviews.