MILAN (VN) — After winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is already thinking about the remainder of his 2013 season. The Sicilian has two goals in mind: the Vuelta a España and the world championships.
“The Vuelta is a goal,” he told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. “So is the world championships in Florence.”
Nibali dominated the Giro d’Italia as Bradley Wiggins (Sky) did in the Tour de France last year. After Wiggins and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) abandoned mid-race, Nibali had to mostly deal with the weather.
Rigoberto Urán (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) finished four minutes adrift in second and third.
Wiggins and his teammate Chris Froome dealt Nibali blow after blow one year ago in the Tour de France. In Paris, Nibali placed third at six minutes back.
Nibali, however, prefers to celebrate with the Giro’s unique spiral trophy and look further ahead. Instead of racing the Tour, he will reload for the Spanish grand tour and the worlds on his home soil.
“It gets to be too much to also race the Tour de France. I prepared a long time for this Giro d’Italia, I was away for much of the year to prepare,” he said during a press conference.
“If I was to do the Tour, I’d have to go again to the mountains, training camps … Then, at the end of the season, maybe I wouldn’t be at my best. I want to race the worlds at the end of the year. It’s a great course for me.”
It appeared that Nibali would restart with the Italian Championship on June 22, but his break will be long and nixes the Tour of Austria (June 30-July 7). Instead, Nibali will return to action with the Tour of Poland from July 27-August 3. This year it starts in Trentino, where Nibali won the Giro d’Italia’s time trial to Polsa.
Ahead of the Vuelta a España starting August 24, he may race the Vuelta a Burgos, held August 7-11.
Nibali should challenge for the Vuelta title, which he won in 2010, or at the very least come away with form for the Worlds. The men’s course starts in Lucca and features more than 50 kilometers of climbing over the 272km route.
“He can win this world championship,” Italy’s head coach Paolo Bettini told La Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday.
“The Giro’s completed a circle. He’s always improved in the last three years, kept his feet on the ground, but matured as a man and how he manages a team.”
Nibali moved from Sicily to Tuscany when he was 14 years old and raced often in the area. He now lives in Lugano, but he travels back to his second home to test the 16.57km circuit in the next week.