While the Sicilian was unable to go with Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Fränk and Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) when they attacked on Roche aux Faucons, he was one of the instigators of a strong chase group that formed on the Côte de Saint-Nicholas.
“Up ahead they had set a high tempo, behind I just followed my own rhythm and never went into the red,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport of his ride up Saint-Nicholas.
However, the chasers were unable to reel in Gilbert and the Schlecks, and Nibali admitted that he subsequently did not have the legs to contest the sprint for fourth place.
“I was expecting to do a little better but I arrived exhausted at the sprint,” he said.
Although overall victory at the Giro d’Italia is Nibali’s primary objective, he explained that he had also been keen to get a result at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. With La Doyenne in mind, Nibali stressed that he was not riding at 100 per cent in the Giro del Trentino during the week.
“I had some hopes for Liège, I really wanted to do well in this race,” he said. “So I tried to get here as fresh as possible. Already in Trentino I knew that I had an important appointment at the weekend and that the team would be counting on me.”
With under two weeks to the start of the Giro d’Italia, Nibali will continue his preparation by reconnoitring some of the stages in the Dolomites and last year’s Vuelta winner is pleased with his progress to date.
“I think my form is one the rise,” he said. “There isn’t long to go to the Giro…”
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