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Giro d'Italia

Italian riders hail Vincenzo Nibali and his grand tour legacy

Dario Cataldo, Jacopo Guarnieri, and Salvatore Puccio laud Nibali's career and his decision ‘to retire at the top.’

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SCALEA, Italy (VN) — Vincenzo Nibali and the Giro d’Italia are synonymous. He also won a Tour de France and Vuelta a España, but it was the Giro where he made his own legend.

The Italian star confirmed Wednesday that this Giro will be his last and that he will retire by the end of this season. The Italian media was full of praise for the last Italian rider to win the Giro and Tour.

Also read: Vincenzo Nibali and the end of an era

Italian peers and colleagues hailed Nibali and his decision to retire at the end of 2022.

VeloNews asked a handful of the Italian veterans in the bunch about their impressions of Nibali, and what lies ahead for Italian cycling. Here’s what they had to say:

Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo): ‘There will never be another Nibali’

Dario Cataldo said Nibali is retiring ‘at the top.’ (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

“I have so many memories with Vincenzo and we kind of grew up together. He has such big class, and he was such an amazing rider. He was born to race the bike. He was such a talented guy, and he was able to prove across the years that he was a top guy. He was always on the top of the sport.

Also read: Nibali confirms this Giro is his last

“There were so many times in his career that he could surprise everyone. No one expected he could do it. When he is in shape, he can attack at any time: on the flat, on the downhill, on the climb. He is one-of-a-kind and there will never be another Vincenzo.”

Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ): ‘He is simply Vincenzo’

Jacopo Guarnieri, shown here during the Giro, said Nibali is Italy’s last ‘big’ champion. (Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

“He meant a lot, because in Italy they really like the big champion. Now I am on a French team and you can see the French media always talk about the French riders.

Also read: Mauro Vegni says Nibali will be missed

“With the palmares he has, he had such a great career. For sure he will be missed. We shared a few years together in Liquigas and Astana. He is simply Vincenzo, and he is probably one of the best riders Italy ever had.”

Salvatore Puccio (Ineos Grenadiers): ‘Nibali is a class apart’

Salvatore Puccio said it will be hard to replace Nibali. (Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“Vincenzo made history in Italy, and he won a lot of races. Not just any race, but a lot of big races, the monuments, the three big grand tours. He decided to retire at the right time and he quits at the top like a big champion.

“Of course in the last 15 years he was the top one in Italy, all the results for him were really good, and he was famous in Italy. We have a few young riders coming up, but Vincenzo was in a class apart.”