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Vincenzo Nibali set to ride 2020 Giro d'Italia

Cycling: 99th Tour of Italy 2016 / Stage 21
Podium / Vincenzo NIBALI (ITA) Pink Leader Jersey / Celebration / cup / trophe /
Cuneo - Torino (163km)/
Giro / © Tim De Waele
Vincenzo Nibali won the 2016 Giro d'Italia for Astana (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Vincenzo Nibali is set to ride the postponed 2020 Giro d’Italia as part of an almost exclusively Italy-based programme of racing in the Autumn, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport

The World Championships in Martigny is the lone race outside of Italy on Nibali’s schedule, which is expected to be confirmed by his Trek-Segafredo team this week.

The UCI has revised the racing calendar after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the season in March and forced the postponement of the Spring Classics, the Giro and the Tour de France, though a final version of the schedule has yet to be confirmed.

Pending the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in Europe, the 2020 season is due to restart with Strade Bianche on August 1. According to La Gazzetta, Nibali will resume his campaign at the Tuscan race before riding Il Lombardia on August 8 and Milan-San Remo on August 22.

The Sicilian would then skip the Tour de France and instead ride Tirreno-Adriatico (September 7-14) as preparation for the Worlds road race (currently scheduled for September 27 in Martigny) and the Giro d’Italia (October 3-25).

While Nibali appears certain of his slate of races, there is less clarity over the dates. Milan-San Remo was scheduled on August 8 and Il Lombardia for October 31 on the revised calendar published by the UCI two weeks ago, though the Italian Cycling Federation has since requested for Il Lombardia to be held on August 8 and Milan-San Remo to move to August 22.

It is also unclear whether the World Championships will ultimately go ahead in Martigny, with Marca reporting that the event could be shifted to the Middle East in November if Switzerland’s ban on public gatherings is maintained into September.

Nibali was originally scheduled to ride the Giro, the Tokyo Olympics, the Vuelta a España and the Worlds in 2020. The Olympics have since been postponed until 2021, while Nibali will forgo the Vuelta, which now overlaps with the Giro on the revised calendar.

Given the current restrictions on international travel, Nibali’s decision to centre his racing programme on one country is likely to be a template followed by other riders if competition does indeed resume in 2020.

Trek-Segafredo’s Tour de France team is likely to be led by Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte, while Nibali joins Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) on the list of riders expected to headline the Giro.

Nibali is seeking a third overall victory at the Giro following his triumphs in 2013 and 2016. The Sicilian finished third overall in 2017 and second overall last year.

Vincenzo Nibali's provisional 2020 schedule

August 1: Strade Bianche

August 8:  Il Lombardia

August 22: Milan-San Remo

September 7-14: Tirreno-Adriatico

September 27: World Championships road race, Martigny

October 3-25: Giro d'Italia