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"The objective is to ride the Tour with a view to the Olympics. They Olympics are a very important event for me and the Tour would definitely be a decisive part of the build-up."

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DI MEO / ZENNARO

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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05.06.2016 @ 16:10 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After struggling through 18 stages of the Giro d’Italia, Vincenzo Nibali would have counted himself very lucky to have made Astana’s Tour de France team. But after a Lazarus-like recovery to win the race overall, he now seems guaranteed to ride the Tour as he prepares for the Rio Olympics.

 

"It will be important to recover energy first," Nibali said to Cyclingnews at the Giro’s conclusion in Turin, explaining that he would take the bones of ten days off training before beginning his build-up to the Tour, which gets underway in just under four weeks. "The objective is to ride the Tour with a view to the Olympics. They Olympics are a very important event for me and the Tour would definitely be a decisive part of the build-up."

 

His rival Fabio Aru is penciled to lead the Kazakh squad at the French race, and it will be he and Nibali’s first full race together for over three years, discounting the Vuelta when Nibali was disqualified on stage two.

 

Nibali says he knows it would be very hard to challenge for the Tour after doing the Giro and says he will try and help Aru where he can.

 

"As for how we perform at the Tour de France, we'll have to see. I'll try to be on form but when you've got two big stages races back to back, it's not straightforward. In the past, Contador has tried it a few times but it wasn't simple," Nibali said. "We all know the Tour is very demanding and Fabio is focusing all of his energies on the Tour. He's preparing for it with a strong group. I'll try to be of help to him, we'll see. We'll both be there and we'll try to do a great Tour together."

 

The man in charge of Italy’s Olympic selection backed up this statement, saying Niabli isn’t willing to compromise the Olympics by going for GC at the Tour.

 

"During the week, I'll meet with [Nibali’s coach Paolo] Slongo, Martinelli and Vincenzo. Above all, I'll ask him that he doesn't go to the Tour with the general classification in mind. It's fundamental that he goes there to prepare for Rio, but he'll have to help Fabio Aru," Cassani told Corriere della Sera. "He's mad keen for the Games and he knows that competing for GC at both the Giro and the Tour would compromise the Olympics."

 

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