Vincenzo Nibali is considering skipping the Tour de France this year, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It was in my program but the Giro wasn’t”, said Nibali, who was a late replacement for Franco Pellizotti, who was prevented from racing by the UCI in relation to abnormal values in his biological passport.
“The shark” wore the pink jersey for three days after the team time trial on stage 4 but lost it to Alexandre Vinokourov after stage 7 to Montalcino.
Nibali is now third in the general classification in the Giro d’Italia, with a more than realistic shot of finishing on the podium of a Grand Tour for the first time.
“I’ve been asked by my team to join the training camp in San Pellegrino that begins right after the Giro”, he said. “It’s also in the plan to reconnoitre some stages of the Tour de France, but we’ll see, I’ve got doubts.”
Nibali will be hoping to rest rather than keep training for the Tour de France. He came 7th in the Grande Boucle last year.
Giro d’Italia leader Basso is also scheduled for the Tour de France but he hasn’t raced as much as Nibali in the early part of the season. The Sicilian won the Tour of San Luis in Argentina in January.
Both Italian stars have extended their contract with Liquigas-Doimo this week, therefore a participation to the Tour de France wouldn’t change Nibali’s market value.
Liquigas support Pellizotti
In a press conference, Liquigas-Doimo’s team manager Roberto Amadio confirmed the team’s support to Pellizotti in his attempt to prove his innocence. He announced that the king of the mountains of last year’s Tour de France will take part in the training camp next week and will be lined up at the Italian championship and the Tour de France, should he be cleared in June of doping accusations by the CONI. A decision is expected in the middle of the month.
Liquigas-Doimo’s initial plans included Basso, Nibali, Pellizotti and Roman Kreuziger in their line up for the Tour de France. The Czech climber will possibly be their captain on French roads as Basso said earlier on that he would ride the Giro for the win and the Tour in support to one of his team-mates.