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Nibali to follow French build-up to 2014 Tour de France

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 30, 2013, 11:50,
Updated:
December 30, 2013, 11:51
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 30, 2013
Vincenzo Nibali training in Calpe

Vincenzo Nibali training in Calpe

  • Vincenzo Nibali training in Calpe
  • Vincenzo Nibali shows for the camera in training
  • Vincenzo Nibali in the 2014 Astana kit

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Paris-Nice, Critérium International and Dauphiné on Sicilian's programme

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will prepare for the 2014 Tour de France by racing regularly on French roads and competing more often against his principle rivals for the yellow jersey in the opening half of the season.

“In 2014 I’ll have a very specific programme that I’ve never done before,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s centred on the Tour de France, with a lot of new races for me, with one objective – to race as many days as possible on French roads, to get to know my rivals better and to understand France more.”

Nibali will kick off the new campaign at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, before tackling the Tour of Oman in February, where he is likely to encounter reigning Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky) for the first time in 2014.

“Then I’ll do Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, Critérium International, the Ardennes classics, the Tour de Romandie and then the Dauphiné in June, the final tune-up before the Tour,” Nibali said.

For now, Milan-San Remo (March 23) is the only Italian race pencilled in on Nibali’s schedule, and the addition of the Pompeiana in the finale means that it joins the Ardennes classics among the Sicilian’s primary early-season objectives.

“San Remo has changed a lot with the Pompeiana,” Nibali said. “It will eliminate fast riders. A very different race than usual will emerge and it will favour guys like me. The tactics will change too.”

Nibali is likely to face Froome on a number of occasions before the Tour de France, including at Critérium International and the Critérium du Dauphiné, but he said that crossing swords with the Sky man ahead of July was not a priority in itself. Nibali finished 3rd behind Froome and Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins on his last Tour de France appearance in 2012.

“I’m not going there for him, I’m going there for myself,” Nibali said. “I’m ready for the Tour. I’m like that, a bit naïve. I know what I’ve done in the past. I’ll go to the Tour tranquillo, thinking that I can win it. I don’t want to have the regrets about not having tried it.

“I do have one regret, alright, from 2012, when I didn’t ride the Giro. I was sorry because I was going very well.”

Nibali was speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport after being named by the newspaper’s readers as the best Italian sportsman of 2013 following his victories at the Giro d’Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Giro del Trentino, his second place finish at the Vuelta a España and his battling performance at the world championships road race in Florence. The Astana man believes that his popularity is not due solely to his victories, but also to his aggressive style of racing.

“My only thought during a race is not to be afraid to make decisive moves. If you think too much, if you start playing for time, or if you start saying to yourself ‘what if I can’t do it?’ then it’s finished. Not being afraid and following your instincts: that’s Nibali. That’s the reason why people like me. That’s how I’ve made my victories more beautiful, more epic.”
 

Tony M 9 months ago
Nibali represents the no.1 threat to Froome for the2014 Tour.His style of constant attacking plus his unrivalled descending skill are more likely to isolate Froome than the Tinkov-Saxo tactics of trying to grind down Sky before producing Contador.Their problem would appear to be that the current Contador no longer has the reserves to finish off the job. Of course this is based upon last years tactics and form and 2014 may produce something different,such as, Nibali preparing specifically for the Tour! I also believe that Sky will have to produce some variation to their well exposed tactic as the top teams will be preparing themselves to counter the Skytrain effect
Justinr 9 months ago
Constant attacking is the preserve of someone who doesn't lead the tour. Now if Sky were to allow Nibali to get Yellow early on then they would probably do the same to him. It would be interesting to see if Astana would be strong enough to keep him safe in those circumstances.
Pedal Pusher 9 months ago
Have you forgotten Quintana - If Movistar support him with a strong team as team leader and even have Valverde supporting him, Quintana is probably more of a threat. Porte may be too fatigued after the Giro to assist Froome strongly. Don't think Nibali has the goods to win a TDF. He will proab podium but wont' win.
fwhale 9 months ago
I don't think Quintana is riding the tour. If he is, he's not designated leader this year because he will be focusing on the Giro.
welker3257 9 months ago
Nibali is better than Quintana today. Maybe not in a few years, but right now, Nibali's large advantage over Nairo in TT, would offset a slight advantage in climbing skills.
TANK91 9 months ago
Ha ha lol Quintana, you must mean his bro Dayer as Nairito is doing the Giro. duh
Cance > TheRest 9 months ago
Sure Nibali deserves to be considered the biggest threat to Froome, but honestly I'm not sure constantly attacking is going to work. Rainy weather and a wiggolike scenario like we saw in the giro might be necessary to crack the FroomeRobot.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
You don't mean "his principle rivals." You mean "his principal rivals" and it would be a good principle to spell it correctly, CN.
HeckIer 9 months ago
Get a life.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
You too.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
What the fu k Heckler. CN made a mistake and wrinklesmcgee was correcting them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that's what the forum was based on -- as a balance so as to keep Cyclingnews in check. So I'll ask you to check yourself before you hurl a baseless insult at someone for doing the job that you won't.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
Thanks Janton. You have no idea how restrained I've been since I popped ion here again yesterday!
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
It was an uncalled for attack and I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had let that one slide.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
Kinder than the average bear today, Janton ;-) I think Heckler is missing Pat.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
It sounds like a good decision by Nibali.
philip norton 9 months ago
TdF will depend not only on Nibali v Froome, but also on Fuglsang v Porte. Looks like Fuglsang will miss the Giro to help Nibali, whereas Porte will be team leader in Italy.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Porte will be burn out in the TdF, sky riders can't handle 2 GT's in a row(and to be fair nor does any normal athlete)
Tony M 9 months ago
Agree with you Porte maybe sub par by T de F but Sky have given him his chance so he will come to the Tour happy to give 100% of what he's got though it maybe a little reduced.Nieve and Henoa will be expected to take more of the load.
welker3257 9 months ago
It might end up as Kangert or Scarponi vs Porte. I think Kangert will be the last guy, since he won't ride the Giro.
TANK91 9 months ago
Completely diff though to helping, Porte wont be leading 2 GT'ss will he also he wont need to be like last year wear he could have been the 3rd best climber he just needsto drop off earlier and save him self. And how do you know how Porte does in the Giro he may pull out no one knows, just like we dont know if Froome has the same pattern as Wiggo which is win tour then ride bad disease. Im sure Froome is alot more driven though.
wirral 9 months ago
Wiggins 2012 = Paris-Nice + Tour de Romandie + Dauphine + Tour de France = Nibali 2014
Justinr 9 months ago
Same as Froome 2013 wasn't it (or pretty close to)?
Fernando Cintra 9 months ago
The only pro tour race Froome faced Nibali in 2013, Nibali nailed it - Tirreno Adriatico, which comparing to Wiggins program during 2012, was his Paris Nice.
Chris Todgers 9 months ago
Froome should have won T-A and was in the leaders jersey but then lost it on that freak stage when everyone was getting off and pushing on the wet 30% hill repeat that they couldnt get up! Fair to say, that the weather and competitors mechanicals definitely played into Nibali's hands in most of his big races last year.
Cance > TheRest 9 months ago
Nibail = hardman, Froome = not a hardman is what makes the difference. When conditions and races gets very very hard (and ofcourse has some sort of hilly profiled route), Froome is just a mediocre rider.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
Competitors mechanicals? Are you referring to Cadel Evans' """"""""mechanical"""""""""""" in the last mountain stage of the Giro where had it not been for that """"""""""freak coincidence"""""""""" he would have put six minutes into Nibali on that stage to win the Giro.
wrinkIyvet 9 months ago
Take a chill pill hot head.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
Janton - I have been cloned, by someone exploiting a defect in the registration process. Ignore further postings.
dustymiller 9 months ago
froome had one bad day at tirreno the rest of the year he was a better climber and TT rider than nibali
Chris Todgers 9 months ago
Froome didnt do Paris Nice. Porte won it for Sky.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
Ya that's why he said (or pretty close to).
Pedal Pusher 9 months ago
Wiggins 2012 = prologue & 2 TT's, minus Quintana, minus other in form GC contenders, + Froome, Porte, Rogers & other mountain goats. Nibali is a more rounded rider than Wiggins for sure but won't have the strong team that had Wiggins being dragged up and down mountains. Nibali also has to contend with Quintana, the possibility of the Schlecks having form and riding together again - but not Contador - since he served that suspension he has never been the same, and may loose Rogers. Froome may also not have as strong support in 2014.
Chris Todgers 9 months ago
Those who don't win, are never sufficiently "on form" / as good as the winners! Nibali (this year's Giro winner) and Cadel (prior years' TDF winner) were both there and looked very good at times, just not as good as the Sky riders. It's all very well saying that Wiggins had a strong team to drag him up the hills, but there is no reason why his competitors couldnt have done the same (i.e. stayed on the Sky train) if they were as strong as Wiggins. Wiggins managed to track Froome's tempo (most of the time!), whereas Nibali / Cadel couldnt handle the same pace during some key segments.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
You're talking about the 2012 Tour, yet you're referencing Nibali's 2013 season. If you ask anyone who has followed Nibali throughout his career. Hell, even they haven't followed him, they'll tell you the 2013 Nibali is a totally different beast. Not only can you see it by the way he has raced and his form, but you can see it just in the way he carries himself. He walks and races like a champion. In every race he enters you get the feeling that this is a guy who has won multiple Tours and Giri. The man knows he gonna win, and pray for the poor souls whose job it is to defeat him.
Cance > TheRest 9 months ago
Makes no sense to use TDF 2012, the easiest TDF in a long time, as an example of why Nibali shouldnt be able to challenge Froome. We all know Nibali is a changed rider from 2012 to 2013. Also Wiggins has changed his focus from GT's to the track and TT's, and won't be a factor in a GT anymore.
TANK91 9 months ago
Course it bloddy makes sense when Froome had the hand brake on all Tour and was a domestique, Froome was superiour even having to pace the group not like Froome got worst isit. Froome also lost a min plus and did u see the Planche stage paced fir few KMS and still won the sprint and watch the Vuelta stge in 2012 roome finished 2nd to Valverde on Jaca which was a hil he was not even in good form Froome was all over Nibali in Tirreno one bad day that is all. Look at stage 9 in the TDF Grand Bornand stage Froome's tactics were ureal people talk about Movistar and bad tactics Fromme was responding to attacks even on the flat he was on is own all day and came out the other side, Kennaugh will be a year older, Porte does not need to be super 2013 Porte he needs to be a top 7 top 8 climber not top 3 as he has the Giro in his legs also Froome has Henao and Nieve and you will have to be so lucky to have everysingle 1 of that lot gapped like this year.
TANK91 9 months ago
My keyboard suc ks lol
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
Ya Pedal Pusher, or as I like to call you -- garbage pusher -- the Schlecks will be in top form but not Contador. No he'll never have what it takes to win another race ever again. Does that make any sense at all?
wrinkIyvet 9 months ago
Way over the top Janton leave the insults out of it.
wrinklyvet 9 months ago
Janton - I have been cloned, by someone exploiting a defect in the registration process. Ignore further postings. They're spoofs.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
No problem wrinkly. Good humor and wittyness are ok by me.
TANK91 9 months ago
Kreuziger has a better chance than Alberto or Janton's hero lol Cunego haha
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
The results haven't been flowing for Kreuziger the past two years, yet as soon as he gets back to his former self everyone proclaims him to be the second coming of Contador. Meanwhile Contador has one bad year and everyone has come to the conclusion that his career is over. As a man of logic, I can't seem to follow that "logic".
qwerty 9 months ago
tactically, nibali is up there...and he's got the whole package, climbing, tt, descending maybe a little sprint in him, he is the guy to stop froome. i dont think contador will be back to his past years best
Justinr 9 months ago
Contador hasn't quite been the same since the plasticiser positive (sorry I mean Clenbuterol) ...
Tony M 9 months ago
Nibali has proposed a lead up campaign for the Tour which will bring him into direct competition with Froome. Interesting ,we shall possibly know the Nibali/Froome status evev before the Tour
MellowJohnny 9 months ago
I can see Contador targeting the Vuelta against Rodriguez. he won't want another defeat from Froome. On paper Astana look to have a very strong squad of riders, Team Sky will need to choose their 9 well. Quintana is a strong rider but I wonder how much support he will get from Movistar, their tactics were poor in last years tour also.
nuvolablu 9 months ago
No mention of Ronde Van Vlaanderen???
atomisgreat 9 months ago
december 30th 2013 21.24.... Nibali will not win the tour