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"He's got better bike skills than Froome and Contador and so he's got to find out what it's like to fight for a place at the front,"

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ALESSANDRO VANOTTI

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ANDRIY GRIVKO

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FREDRIK KESSIAKOFF

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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JANEZ BRAJKOVIC

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LIEUWE WESTRA

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN

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TANEL KANGERT

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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11.01.2014 @ 20:27 Posted by Andy Pedersen

According to Cyclingnews.com Astana Tour de France captain Vincenzo Nibali will be riding the Tour of Flanders this year in order to prepare for the 5th stage of Tour de France, which includes 15.4 km of cobblestone.

 

Manager Giuseppe Martinelli thinks that Vincenzo Nibali will be able to take time on last year’s winner Chris Froome, even though he never raced on the cobbles before.

 

"Nibali doesn't know what it's like to race on the cobbles but of all the big-name overall contenders, he's the one who can gain the most," Martinelli said according to cyclingnews.com

 

"He's got better bike skills than Froome and Contador and so he's got to find out what it's like to fight for a place at the front, elbow to elbow with the riders who want to pass him on the cobbles, on the rough roads full of holes. He needs to get a taste of what it's like to hit the cobbles in the peloton and then ride at 50km/h strung out in a line. And the Tour of Flanders is perfect for that."

 

Martinelli thinks that racing the Tour of Flanders is the right thing to do even though there is a high risk of crashing on the stones.

 

"He's keen to give it a try because he's never ridden on the pave," Martinelli said. "He'll have Dutchman Westra with him, who grew up riding the pave."

 

"Vinokourov asked me if riding the Tour of Flanders is a bit risky but I told him that riding Paris-Nice or Criterium is also risky. Vincenzo will ride the Flanders for the cobbles, not to win it. He'll ride Amstel for the same reason. He's always suffered on narrow roads. He won't ride Fleche-Wallonne but will ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège."


Martinelli also revealed Astana Team roster for the 2014 Tour de France. The squad has been virtually decided. It will include Scarponi, Vanotti, Fuglsang, Kessiakoff, Kangert, Brajkovic, Westra and one of the Kazakh riders Grivko or Gruzdev," he concluded, clearly making a mistake concerning Grivko's nationality. Grivko hails from the Ukraine.

 

Vincenzo Nibali has travelled to Argentina to ride the Tour de San Luis, but later on he will also ride the Milan-Sanremo, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Paris-Nice.

"He'll go to Teide two days after Criterium, only come down for the Tour of Flanders and then return there until riding the Amstel Gold Race," Martinelli explained.

 

"That's 18 days at altitude, followed by almost a month between the end of May and the start of the Tour de France, with the Dauphine (June 8-15) in the middle. If the weather's good, some of that could be at the Passo San Pellegrino in the Dolomites, because both Nibali and coach Paolo Slongo know the area well."

 

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