The Moment Milan-Sanremo Was Won

Vincenzo Nibali, Poggio 2018 Milan Sanremo

They’ve no government following indecisive elections, they’ve no team left in the World Tour but Italy can still count on Vincenzo Nibali. His attack on the Poggio won him the race and brought the first home victory in Sanremo since 2006.

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The Moment Il Lombardia Was Won

Across northern Italy it’s been vendemmia time, the grape harvest. This time Vincenzo Nibali picked, pressed and bottled Thibaut Pinot to win the tour of Lombardy, reeling in the Frenchman on the climb to Civiglio and dropping him on the descent to ride solo into Como. It was Nibali’s second win in the race and if many expected the result it was thrilling to watch.

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The Moment The Giro Was Won

The moment the race was lost? Steven Kruijswijk started the day’s stage to Risoul with a three minute lead on Esteban Chaves and more than four minutes on Vincenzo Nibali. With his form and recent performances this looked more than comfortable.  A crash on the snowy descent of the Colle dell’Agnello and a long chase,saw him finish the stage almost five minutes down on Nibali and surrender the maglia rosa to Esteban Chaves who had just lost time to Nibali on the summit finish to Risoul.

The 2016 Giro d’Italia was an unusual contest marked as much by illness, injury and accident as by tactics and attacks. No sooner did a rider occupy the top spot, whether as the lead hope for the overall classification or the fastest sprinter did they suffer misfortune or decide to pull out.

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Giro Stage 19 Review

Mountain stages have their ups and downs. The profile shows us that. Today brought a different kind, the tables were turned after Steven Kruijswijk crashed and cracked, Esteban Chaves took over the race lead and after weeks of feeling the pressure Vincenzo Nibali let it all out on the road to Risoul, won the stage and sobbed under the podium. And there’s still a giant mountain stage to go.

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Highlights of 2015 – Part II

Plateau de Vercors cycling

The Critérium du Dauphiné is often one of the best races of the year. Mix the start of summer with Alpine roads and a great startlist and you have all the ingredients for a great race. Crucially there’s the proximity to the Tour de France and the sense that actions and events in this race will carry through into the next month, a tale of travel rather than arrival.

Once again the week provided plenty of sport and speculation, daily action and clues about the Tour de France but the highlight was Stage 6 to the Vercors plateau.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Il Lombardia

Nibali dicesa descent lombardia 2015

Religion and sport combine once a year in Italy as the Tour of Lombardy passes the Ghisallo chapel. This year’s edition was a communion between Vincenzo Nibali and Italian cycling fans. With 16km to go Nibali attacks on the descent from Civiglio and uses his descending skills to distance a select group of climbers.

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Nibali’s Drive Too Far

Vincenzo Nibali Vuelta

Vincenzo Nibali has been disqualified from the Vuelta after he was caught holding onto the Astana team car and the driver, Aleksandr Schefer, has been thrown of the race too.

President of the race jury Bruno Valčić said it was a hard decision to take but to have taken any other would have been harder. In a late night Facebook update (translation here) the Italian champion tried to rationalise it saying he wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to do this and he was only trying to make up for lost time. But he was caught twice over, first with irrefutable TV images and second because the attempt was so outrageously advantageous to him. There are times when you can bend the rules but this went too far.

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Tour Stage 19 Review

How do you define a champion? Maurice De Muer, manager of Luis Ocaña, described it as someone who was capable of acting alone to turn around a bad situation to their advantage. Does this fit Vincenzo Nibali? He’s been down out in France this July but was the only rider willing to take big risks today and earned the stage win.

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Liège-Bastogne-Liège Preview

The last of the spring classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race of transition. Part Belgian classic, part-mountain stage and a rare chance to see the grand tour specialists go all-in for one day over a tough course. There are ten marked climbs but countless more rises.

Alejandro Valverde is the obvious pick as he hopes to double-up his Flèche Wallonne win but too many teams need a result on Sunday and it’s worth taking a risk to get the last reward. Here’s the usual preview with the route, contenders, ratings, TV times and more.

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