Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) continues his preparation for the Giro d’Italia with a two-week training camp at Mount Etna, beginning on Saturday. The Sicilian will be joined on his home roads by seven of his teammates for Liquigas-Cannondale’s second collective high-altitude training camp of the season, following a spell at Teide, Tenerife in February.
“I’m preparing for the Giro d’Italia with care and determination and the camp at Etna is an important step in that respect,” Nibali said. “After Teide, the Giro di Sardegna, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, I will now carry out specific work at altitude that will give great benefits.”
Mount Etna will also play host to one of the Giro’s first decisive battles on stage 9, and Nibali will avail himself of the opportunity to reconnoitre the course in greater depth.
“Being able to do this [training camp] in my part of the world obviously has a special taste,” he said. “Without wanting to tempt fortune, I hope that it augurs well for the Giro.”
After winning last year’s Vuelta a España, Nibali has earned sole leadership of the Liquigas-Cannondale squad for the Giro. With expectations high ahead of the corsa rosa, Nibali is happy to have time to collect his thoughts.
“These are 15 days in which I can free my head from daily concerns and relax mentally,” he said. “The stress in the coming months will be high: it’s good to prepare for this too. Moreover, it’s important to cement the spirit of the group: you win a big tour with the legs and with harmony among your teammates.”
Nibali will be joined in Sicily by Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Mauro Da Dalto, Fabio Sabatini, Cristiano Salerno, Sylwester Szmyd and Alessandro Vanotti.
Their training at Etna will be overlooked by Liquigas-Cannondale coach Paolo Slongo, and he explained how this second training camp will complement the team’s earlier stint at altitude.
“In the first block of work carried out on the Teide in February, the aim was to increase strength and resistance,” Slongo said. “On Etna, we’ll work more on sharpness, carrying out threshold training. We can stay above 2,000 metres and carry out training on mixed routes with long climbs.”
Meanwhile, before travelling to Sicily, Nibali tested the finale of stage 6 of the Giro to Fiuggi Terme, describing it as a “dangerous finish that I wanted to see close up.”