TOUR DE FRANCE | 24/06/2021 | 18:34
by Francesca Monzone
Vincenzo Nibali has a serene and calm gaze, he leaves for the Tour de France without pressure and lets himself go to memories and reflections: «I have wonderful memories of the 2008 Tour, even that started from Brittany. It was my first Tour and I managed to wear the white jersey too. For me that experience was memorable. I remember perfectly the emotion of the last stage in Paris, beautiful ».
And then it’s back to current events: “After the Giro I thought about recovering, although time passed quickly before leaving for the Tour. I have spent the last few weeks working on the condition and being ready for the Tour right away. The problem with my wrist? That is definitely out of date. I’m here to aim for the stages together with a very strong team. Pedersen, Stuyven and then me and Bauke for the climbs. I will not fail to support the team ambitions, even in the sprints of course. For the first stages I believe there will be many competitors capable of aiming for victory. Van der Poel is certainly one of the strongest, he is an incredible rider and has just returned from two super victories at the Tour de Suisse. We will see some nice challenges. A prediction? For the general classification, my favorite is Pogacar ».
Departure of the Tour but the thought is already projected to Tokyo 2020: “I still don’t know how my Tour will end, if in advance of Paris, because everything will depend on Tokyo. In the event that the call arrives, we could consider interrupting the Tour first to fly to Japan. The Tokyo project has already started a few years ago. Clearly for me to be called and to be able to support the Italian cause would be very important, it would be an honor. After the Giro I managed to recover and already demonstrate a good condition at the Italian Championships. As mentioned, I’m here at the Tour not to do classic but to aim for the stages. The Tour for me is an investment also in view of the Olympics. Then, when the time comes, I will discuss with Cassani and we will understand his decision for Tokyo ».
And here is the last reflection on the Tour: «We will understand my opportunities to hunt for stages day after day, step by step. If the condition assists me, in my head there is the will to try already in the first stages. From the Giro onwards I have practically no longer raced, with the exception of the Italian championship. I myself need to have some feedback, to compare myself with the rest of the group. From there I will be able to better calibrate my goals, understand if it is better to wait for the mountains or to try right away. The goal is to hit some important breakaways or look for action at the end of the stages ».
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