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Nibali heads home after post-Tour de France criteriums

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
August 06, 2014, 13:00 BST,
Updated:
August 06, 2014, 14:00 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on his way to winning stage 18 atop Hautacam

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on his way to winning stage 18 atop Hautacam

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Italian set to celebrate with his CanNibali fan club on Saturday

Vincenzo Nibali has finally travelled home to Lugano, Switzerland after completing his post-Tour de France victory criteriums. However the Italian will continue to celebrate on Saturday with a special party in Tuscany organised by his CanNibali fan club.

Nibali hails from Messina in Sicily but raced for most of his amateur career in Tuscan village of Mastromarco, mid-way between Pisa and Florence. He will take part in a short ride between Mastromarco and Lamporecchio to celebrate with hundreds of fans before a dinner and party at a local restaurant.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Nibali will also sit down with his coach Paolo Slongo and Italian national coach Davide Cassani to plan his end of season racing and decide on if he intends to target the world road race championships in Ponferrada, Spain on September 28.

Nibali led the squadra azzurra at the 2013 Florence World Road Race Championships, finishing fourth after a late crash. He is considered the natural leader of the Italian team but is unlikely to be Italy's best chance of success on the rolling circuit in Spain.

Nibali is expected to take some time off for a family holiday but is scheduled to ride two of the three Trittico Lombardo races –the Coppa Agostoni on September 17 and the Tre Valli Varesine on September 18.

Nibali will also ride the Memorial Pantani race on September 20 and will visit Pantani's parents to give them a yellow jersey, as he promised before the Tour de France.

The Astana team hopes Nibali will race before the September races, but he will not return to the Vuelta a España and the squad's race programme does not include any other stage races that can help him work on his form. He is also expected to travel to Kazakhstan to celebrate his Tour de France victory with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. That trip apparently clashes with the GP Plouay race in France on August 31.

Nibali is understood to be against traveling to Canada for the GP Quebec and GP Montreal WorldTour races due to the travel and jet lag involved. He is more likely to stay at home in Lugano or in Messina and train with the support of Slongo and some Astana teammates.

 

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