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"I know that I've trained very well and I came here with no stress, only with the aim of racing with serenity. That's why I'm relieved by this good start. I'll take the race day by day," Nibali says

Photo: Sirotti








08.06.2014 @ 18:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Vincenzo Nibali put a week of public turmoil behind him when he returned to competition in today's first stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné with an 8th place in the time trial. The Italian was pleased with his ride on a day when the wind had been a very strong opponent.


Vincenzo Nibali has been a lot in the spotlight over the last few days due to the letter allegedly sent from Alexandre Vinokourov to the Italian star but today he was back in competition mode at the Criterium du Dauphiné. He didn't seem to be too disturbed by the debate as he put in a great ride to finish 8th in the stage.


Not known as prologue specialist, Nibali cam out with all guns blazing to post the fastest time at the top of the climb and so will wear the mountains jersey in tomorrow's first uphill finish. The Italian lost a bit of ground in the second half and ultimately conceded 13 seconds to Chris Froome but was pleased with his performance.


“I've done a very good race," he said. "For sure, it was more difficult than I thought. When I went to reconnoitre the course this morning, there wasn't much wind. I didn't think it would blow so strongly later so I had a big wheel at the front but I'm very happy with my ride.


"Those who competed earlier have had more favorable conditions so my references are the other GC favourites and I'm not far down. I know that I've trained very well and I came here with no stress, only with the aim of racing with serenity. That's why I'm relieved by this good start. I'll take the race day by day.”


His teammate Andriy Grivko finished 32nd and also pointed to the wind as the main factor in the race.


“A 10-kilometer technical course, either a long prologue or a short time trial," he said. "The climb was 1k long at about 5 percent, and then a serpentine descent to the river.


“The key part of the race was the 3 or 4 kilometer stretch along the river into the wind. That’s where you either gained or lost time."



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