Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) assembled for the Giro del Trentino’s pre-race press conference at Arco’s Casino to speak about their prospects for the four-day race held from April 19-22. Nibali denied that he was the race favourite and instead pointed to Landa as the man to beat saying, “Landa will win, here in Trentino.”
NIbali had a strong start to his season, winning the Tour of Oman in February, but his last stage race was Tirreno-Adriatico in March followed by the one-day classic Milan-San Remo. He said that in light of his thin race schedule, he will be looking to build form at Trentino.
“For me, it will be the first race after Tirreno-Adriatico and the training camp in Spain, so we will be looking to tune up the condition and the race rhythm,” Nibali said.
“As we know we have spent several weeks without racing, and we will see how we fare against our main opponents.”
Nibli has made the Giro d’Italia one of his season goals and so Trentino this will be a proper test against his rivals for the Italian Grand Tour that starts on May 6.
“It will be a key test for the Giro d’Italia, the goal we are working with along with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but Trentino has always been a lucky place for me, and I am not looking to back down.
“The main opponents? Landa, but also several others, including [Domenico] Pozzovivo who has an excellent feeling with these roads.”
Landa recently won a stage at Vuelta al Pais Vasco and finished 12th overall. That race, held at the beginning of April, has likely given him a good platform to build additional form ahead of Trentino.
“I did not expect to win at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, it was a matter of legs and determination,” Landa said. “Ahead of the Giro, I am looking forward to facing Nibali and to see how competitive I can be against him for the GC.”
Landa knows Nibali well having raced together on Astana the previous year. The Spaniard made note of Nibali’s strengths ahead of Trentino saying, “Nibali’s main strength is having many different strengths.”
Although Landa did not deny that he is coming into the Giro del Trentino in GC form, he made note of his teammate Gianni Moscon as a potential threat as well.
“We go for the overall classification, maybe in the end Gianni Moscon will win,” Landa said.