Trek-Segafredo have at last confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali will ride in their colours in 2020 after agreeing a two-year contract with the team. The Italian joins Trek-Segafredo after three years at Bahrain-Merida, and he will be joined on his new team by his brother Antonio.
"I followed my heart and chose for this team, knowing that their project is very serious and competitive," Vincenzo Nibali said in a statement released by Trek-Segafredo on Thursday afternoon. "The great confidence Trek and Segafredo and all the other sponsors are showing in me is very motivating. I am really happy to continue my cycling career at Trek-Segafredo and look forward to 2020."
Trek's interest in Nibali dates back to late 2015, when Italian coffee company Segafredo came on board as co-sponsor. Nibali was heavily linked with a move to Trek-Segafredo in early 2016, when he was in the final year of his tenure at Astana, but despite the overtures of Segafredo president Massimo Zanetti, he opted to sign for the nascent Bahrain-Merida project.
During his time at Bahrain-Merida, Nibali won Milan-San Remo (2018), Il Lombardia (2017), placed on the podium of the Giro d'Italia (2017 and 2019) and Vuelta a España (2017), and won stages in all three Grand Tours.
In January of this year, Massimo Zanetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Nibali would ride for Trek-Segafredo from 2020, though the transfer could not be confirmed officially until after August 1. Bahrain-Merida tried to dangle a two-year extension in front of the Italian, but negotations broke down in March. The move to Trek-Segafredo became more likely in April, as reported by Cyclingnews, with Segafredo boss Massimo Zanetti declaring success in signing Nibali in June.
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"Vincenzo is obviously a great champion and like always, having such riders on the team gives a lot of opportunities to the other riders, to learn from his experience and excel themselves as well," said Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena. "We are all very excited to have him with us as of next year, and we are confident he will battle again for an overall victory in a Grand Tours."
The 34-year-old Nibali has been a professional since 2005 and has the most complete palmarès of any rider in the contemporary peloton, having won all three Grand Tours and two of the five Monuments. It remains to be seen how Nibali will divide the calendar with Richie Porte at Trek-Segafredo, though the Italian has already confirmed that, beyond the Grand Tours, both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the tough World Championships road race in Switzerland will be major targets.
It is anticipated that Nibali's coach Paolo Slongo, soigneur Michele Pallini and doctor Emilio Magni will also follow him to Trek-Segafredo, though thus far, only the signing of the Nibali brothers has been confirmed by the team.
"Vincenzo's younger brother, Antonio, 26, will join the team as well. He's a solid rider that still has quite some margin for progression, so we hope to see him develop into a strong helper in the years to come," said Guercilena.
The Trek-Segafredo team already includes Italian riders Matteo Moschetti and Giulio Ciccone, who wore the maillot jaune during this year's Tour de France after winning the Mortirolo stage of the Giro.
"I know Giulio Ciccone very well, he's actually a good friend of mine, and he told me about the good atmosphere within the team and about how professional the team works," said Antonio Nibali. "I am really looking forward to getting to know everybody and continue my career with this team."