Italian stays 'tranquillo' after the stage to Vajont
Vincenzo Nibali's favourite word during his daily post-stage press conference at the Giro d'Italia is 'tranquillo'.
Stage 11 was 'tranquillo', he is 'tranquillo' about the strength of his teams and 'tranquillo' about possible bad weather during the weekend's mountain stages. Even if his legs are pedaling fast, nothing seems to ruffle the feathers of the current maglia rosa.
Nibali's apparent tranquility seems to be his best strength in this year's Giro d'Italia. While many of his rivals are fighting illness, internal rivals or lack of form, he seems to be in total control.
"The stage was pretty tranquil, a break got away and so we controlled it from behind," he explained, also shrugging off the idea that the pressure of leading the Giro may be getting to him.
"It's not the first time I've been in this position, I won the Vuelta," he said. "I had to fight right to the end to win the Vuelta and I'm ready to do that here too. I'm more aware of my ability as a rider now. I've matured. I know what I can do and how to manage the difficult moments better.
"I'm taking things days by day because there's still a long way to go and there are some serious rivals here. Uran is riding well and Scarponi tested himself with an acceleration in the climb."
Nibali revealed he has also been watching Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) closely.
"I don’t know if he's ill but you can get sick in a Grand Tour and have time to recover. I was suffering with allergies in the south, early in the race, but I've got better. Wiggins has been hiding in the peloton but I noticed he was up there today."
Nibali's biggest rival is currently Cadel Evans (BMC), who is second overall, just 41 seconds down. Nibali made a point of expressing his admiration for the 2011 Tour de France winner.
"He's tenacious. He's always up there fighting," Nibali said. "He raced in an era when I wasn't there but he's still strong even today. That proves his consistency."
Astana team and the risk of rain
Nibali's Astana team has the responsibility to control the peloton and parts of the Italian media are worried that it cold cost Nibali dear later in the race. He is confident that Paolo Tiralongo and Fabio Aru will soon get better and help him in the mountains.
"I said that Tiralongo was getting better after a difficult time with a knee problem and bronchitis, and he was up there to help me. I'm happy about that," Nibali said.
"Aru needs more time to get back to his best but I hope he'll be with us for the end of the race."
With rain forecast for the weekend's mountain stages in the Alps, Nibali was pushed on if he'd be happy if the Galibier summit finish was cancelled.
"I can't decide the weather," he said, pointing that it could even be an advantage for him.
"If it rains the stages are a lot harder, we've seen that earlier in the race. It seems it'll rain tomorrow but it's flat. We'll see if the weather changes for the Galibier.
"I hope it's not extreme weather like in Milan-San Remo (where Nibali suffered and retired mid-race) but it could be better for me, perhaps I can gain some time."