Vincenzo Nibali, the promising young Italian of team Liquigas, won his first race of the season on Thursday at the Giro dell'Appennino, a sign that the 24-year-old's form is on track for the Tour de France. Nibali arrived alone at the finish in Pontedecimo, Italy with an advantage of 1:20 over Leonardo Bertagnolli (Diquigiovanni) and Marco Marzano (Lampre-NGC).
"During this season I a tried a similar action many times," said Nibali. "But, until now, it never concluded with a victory. Today, thanks also to the superb work of the team that supported me from the beginning, I won. I entered this event after a training period in the mountains in preparation for the Tour de France and I knew that my condition was growing. Today's victory is comforting, I'm very confident for the future."
Nibali's final race prior to the Tour de France, the Italian road championships, takes place this weekend and the Liquigas rider remains optimistic about his chances.
"To avoid any bad luck I don't want to make any predictions, but my form for Imola is great. The route is interesting and hard, which I like. But to win I also need a bit of luck because there will be many contenders. I only hope that, after a first part of the season with good results but no victories, that fate could smile upon me."