Vincenzo Nibali celebrated his Tour de France victory with his CanNibali fan club in Mastromarco on Saturday, the Tuscan village where he raced as a Junior and Under 23 rider after moving from his family home in Sicily.
Several thousand people joined him for a short bike ride from Mastromarco to Lamporecchio, where he was given honoury citizenship and saluted the huge crowd from a balcony. The day of celebrations ended with a celebratory dinner for 1500 people.
During the event, Nibali also talked about his Tour de France and his plans for the rest of the season. He also reportedly spent 90 minutes with directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, coach Paolo Slongo and Italian national coach Davide Cassani, planning how to find some form for the world race championships.
Following a long series of post-Tour de France criteriums in Belgium and the Netherlands, Nibali will now enjoy a family holiday before some time in his home town of Messina in Sicily, and a possible brief trip to Kazakhstan with his Astana team. He is likely to race the Trittico Lombardo -the Coppa Bernocchi on September 16, the Coppa Agostoni on September 17 and the Tre Valli Varesine on September 18; with the Memorial Pantani on September 20. A training camp at altitude could some how make up for a serious lack of racing since the Tour de France.
"I care about riding the world championships, in fact it's my next objective," Nibali said according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Nibali was quizzed about several aspects of the Tour de France and pointed that his attack to win the stage two in Sheffield was important for the subsequent cobbled stage.
"In the team meeting we agreed to try something in the finale, with the main idea to move up the team car from that critical position. In the end we hit the jackpot. We took the yellow jersey and the team car was number one."
Cheered on by the crowd, Nibali also responded to suggestions that Chris Froome would have beaten him if he had not cashed out in the wet roads in the first week of the Tour de France.
"Cycling isn’t only about watts, power and strength on the climbs. You've got to know how to ride your bike. Froome laid it down three times in two days. I don’t know if that's normal, if it was just bad luck or if he doesn’t know how to ride his bike. Team Sky didn’t do anything. How could they think about winning if Porte blew up just three days after Froome quit?"