Cycling

Could Nibali race beyond 2021?

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Volta ao Algarve : Vincenzo Nibali interview

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport UK
02/06/2020 at 12:32 | Updated 02/06/2020 at 12:55

Vincenzo Nibali has dropped some hints that he may consider racing beyond 2021, thanks to a fresh outlook on cycling.

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Time in lockdown and away from cycling has meant that the 35-year-old can admit that he's been thinking about more Grand Tour wins to add to his collection.

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The Sicilian is a four-time Grand Tour winner, and could be eyeing up a third Giro d'Italia title having won the pink jersey in 2013 and 2016.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Il Giornale on Monday, Nibali said: "A pink triple? Of course, its something I think about.

"Just as I do about the Worlds. I hope they're going to be in Switzerland, in Aigle-Martigny, it's perfect for me. I know they're thinking about moving them and that doesn’t cheer me up one bit.

"After that there's also Tokyo to think about. I still haven’t got over missing out on a chance of a gold medal in Rio. I was on my way to the finish line when I crashed out."

Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Team Trek - Segafredo

Image credit: Getty Images

The potential lengthening of his career came as he was asked if the road race at next year's Tokyo Olympics would be a good way to bow out. Nibali, however, was keen to stress that there's no guarantee that Tokyo would be the end.

He said: "If I feel like I do now, with the same determination and the same enthusiasm, I'll keep going. They'll be no stopping me!"

Nibali hasn't raced since Paris-Nice in March and has been locked down at his home in Lugano, Switzerland, with his wife and daughter.

Training has been restricted to some virtual rides with his Track-Segafredo team and more recently being able to venture out as lockdown restrictions have been softened.

Since the change in rules, Nibali has been able to ride with some pretty good neighbours, with Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Dario Cataldo (Movistar), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) and Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) are all based in Lugano, too.

"I didn’t try to be more friendly than usual, I was the same person I am with my friends," he explained.

"People who know me understand I like to have fun even if others judge me just by how they see me at races. There's a lot of stress, pressure and competition at the race and it's my job to win, so I have to focus on that and be at my best. Sat in front of a web cam I'm more relaxed; that's the real me."

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