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"To me it seems quite clear that he has chosen the Bahrain project, from what's being said around. We made our offer and we were told that he has made other choices, so we'll move on other fronts," 

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

VINCENZO NIBALI

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03.04.2016 @ 12:22 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena has confirmed his team no longer wants to sign Vincenzo Nibali for the 2016 season. The Italian would have been signed with the money freed up by a retiring Fabian Cancellara.

 

"To me it seems quite clear that he has chosen the Bahrain project, from what's being said around. We made our offer and we were told that he has made other choices, so we'll move on other fronts," Guercilena said to Cyclingnews.

 

Guercilena had set a deadline for Nibali to decide if he would join the US-registered team with lots of Italians onboard, but he seemed to prefer other options.

 

"We had a clear deadline and once that time passed, we moved in other directions," Guercilena said on Friday. "It's clear that an athlete of his level was interesting to us, and with Segafredo joining Trek as a sponsor, we could have created something interesting, both in Italy and internationally. Trek had already offered him a chance to ride last season when it looked as though Astana might lose their WorldTour licence. We showed our interest in Nibali then, we've shown it again this year. We made our offer with a clear deadline and the response didn't come, so we're moving in other directions."

 

Trek-Segafredo and Guercilena know they need to use the Cancellara money to sign a star rider who can get them big results. They say they are not restricted to a certain type and could get either a Classics man or a Grand Tour rider.

 

"We're open to different solutions, whether it's Classics riders, Grand Tour riders or both," Guercilena said. "We're fortunate that we already have some strong young riders on our team who have shown they can be leaders. We've got Bauke Mollema who's still only 28 and has margin for improvement in the Grand Tours. So we'll support the riders we have already, and we'll look at who's on the market too."

 

The likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Geraint Thomas, Rohan Dennis, John Degenkolb, Michael Matthews, Philippe Gilbert, Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky are all up for grabs this season.

 

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