Fresh from a two-week training camp on the slopes of Mount Etna, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) returns to racing at the Giro del Trentino on Tuesday as he continues his build-up to the Giro d’Italia.
Nibali has not raced since Milan-San Remo, where he launched an impressive attack on the Poggio before finishing 8th on the Lungomare Italo Calvino. The Sicilian is now understandably keen to gauge his form after his spell at altitude.
“I have a great desire to get back to racing,” Nibali said, according to Tuttobiciweb. “I am an athlete who loves competition, a challenge, and the Giro del Trentino will be an excellent test location.”
The four-day Giro del Trentino begins on Tuesday with a flat 13.4km time trial before heading into the mountains, and it includes summit finishes at Fai della Paganella and Madonna di Campiglio.
Nibali trained in Sicily in recent weeks in the company of seven of his Liquigas-Cannondale teammates. It was his second spell at altitude this season, after a camp on Teide, Tenerife in February.
“On Etna I worked a lot and I worked hard,” he said. “I can say that I am more than satisfied with the condition that I ended up with.”
Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) are among the other riders tipped to challenge for top honours in Trentino, and while Nibali’s main objective is to build form ahead of the Giro d’Italia, he will not pass up on victory in the mountainous race if the opportunity arises.
“Three weeks separate me from the start of the Giro d’Italia and the objective is to fine-tune my form and get into the rhythm of racing,” Nibali said. “From Tuesday, I will concentrate on that, and if it’s possible to get a result, well, I won’t pull back.”
While Nibali is set to lead Liquigas-Cannondale at May’s Giro d’Italia, the squad has yet to formally rule out the possibility that Ivan Basso might participate in a support role. The 2010 maglia rosa is expected to take part in the traditional final pre-Giro test, the Tour de Romandie.