Nibali: It's a huge personal satisfaction to win Tirreno-Adriatico

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) punched the air after crossing the finish line at Tirreno-Adriatico, celebrating a second consecutive victory in the Italian stage race. He joins Roger De Vlaeminck, Francesco Moser and Tony Rominger as back to back winners of the 'Race of the two Seas'

"It's been a great race and it's a huge personal satisfaction to win Tirreno-Adriatico. I've beaten some big rivals, people who I've only faced before at the Tour de France," Nibali said after lifting the trident winner's trophy, with Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) forced to watch on and accept defeat.

Nibali finished 12th in the rainy 9.2km final time trial, conceding only 11 seconds to Froome to keep a 23 second advantage in the final standings.

"I had a good margin after yesterday and so I didn’t want to take any risk on a few of the wet corners. I was sure I'd win but the last battle with Froome was at the Tour de France and I've changed my time trial position since then. This was the first test. It still needed a huge effort to win and I give it everything in the time trial."

Instinctive racing

Nibali's attack on the rain-soaked descent during Monday's stage in the Le Marche hills overturned the general classification and he snatched the race leader's blue jersey from Froome and distanced Contador. It was act of instinctive, aggressive racing, which defeated Team Sky's more logical and clinical approach.

"Yesterday I did something pretty important. I've done lots of others attacks like that but it was special because it came off.

"Sky has a certain way of interpreting the race. Lets call it scientific, even if it's perhaps not the right term. They work to impose their rules on the race. However, yesterday you couldn't impose a pace; you need legs as certain kinds of strategy don’t work."

Nibali explained that he is in favour of race radios but against power metres. On Monday he suggested banning power metres from races in a message on Twitter.

"People say radios ruin the racing but it’s the riders who decide the best tactic during the race, as I did with other riders yesterday. We aren't radio controlled from the team car," he argued.

"Power metres help you understand how you feel and show your limits but in certain moments we've seen how Sky control their effort. Without power metres that wouldn't be possible."

"At the Tour de France, Team Sky controlled the race with a great team. At the Tour there weren't stages like yesterday or a hard day in the rain. Yesterday was important because I was able to build my success."

Milano-Sanremo contender

Nibali proved yet again that he is successful stage race rider but he will also have a go in Milano-Sanremo on Sunday, tapping into his natural aggression to try and win against the sprinters and classics stars.

He got away with Fabian Cancellara and Simon Gerrans last year but finished third due to his lack of a fast finish. That weakness will not deter him something this year.

"I'm feeling good and I'll be up there to play my cards," he warned.

"I'll try and do a good result but its difficult predict how the race will go. My problem is that it's not suited to me because I'm not a fast finisher. I've got to come up with something special. I've got the courage to try something."

On Monday, Nibali hinted that he will try a move between the Cipressa and Poggio climbs. However he is wary of several of the big-name favourites.

"I saw a lot of riders riding well this week," he said.

"Cavendish worked a lot for the team the other day and rode hard on the climb, showing he was riding well. Sagan looked good, Hushovd too and Cancellara too has be watched. Maybe someone from Paris-Nice will win too. The last two winners of Milano-Sanremo rode Paris-Nice. Milano-Sanremo is a lottery but I'll give it a go, just like I did here."

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.