Vincenzo Nibali says he hopes to find serenity again at Astana and the results will return next year

Vincenzo Nibali is not holding back with his thoughts following his ejection from the Vuelta a España on Sunday, claiming the UCI must have been involved in the decision.

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian got a lot of issues off his chest, including retaliating to his detractors and discussing his future at Astana, where his contract runs until the end of 2016.

Nibali admits that he broke the rules but believes the distrust that Astana have been eyed with this season is a contributing factor to his expulsion and the subsequent reaction among fans and fellow riders.

“Okay, I was wrong and I paid the price, he told Gazzetta. “I’m being treated like I am a monster, and this does not make me feel good because I’m not.

“It seems to me that there was too much nastiness against me, I don’t know if it is out of envy or what. On the internet there is even put it as one of the five worst things ever seen in cycling. Come on!”

He added: “Maybe there is this rage against me for the team that I represent. Many do not see with Astana in a good light, it is useless to deny it. As I am convinced that the decision given to me is not taken by the president of the jury alone. A sentence so severe will have had the endorsement of the UCI.”

Tour of Spain - Stage 2

The Vuelta incident is the latest setback for Nibali and Astana this year, following on from the team’s licence issues this winter and the Italian’s struggles at the Tour de France.

At the Tour, Astana manager Alexander Vinokourov suggested there was “something wrong in [Nibali’s] head” after the defending champion lost four minutes to Chris Froome on the race’s first climb.

This led to speculation that the Kazakh team and the Italian rider may be ready to part ways before the end of his contract at the end of 2016, but Nibali told Gazzetta that he hopes to find a way to make it work with Astana.

“I think the best thing is to reach an agreement with Astana,” he said. “In my contract, which is also there for 2016, there are no termination clauses, so the consensual resolution of the contract should be at the agreement of the leaders of Kazakh cycling.

“But I also think that it is common interest to create a serene environment of total trust between Astana and I. I have to find the serenity, so I have to get closer to my group. The error on Sunday was not only mine.”

A dominant win at the 2014 Tour de France showed that when working as a team, Astana and Nibali’s relationship can prosper.

“I have shown that with the serenity and tranquillity I can give you the best. Allow me to smile again and the results will return.”

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    He rides for the dirtiest team in the peloton. Mistake? I am not buying that it was a mere mistake.

  • RobTM

    How do you know Caleb Ewan did not make “a very agressive move and cause the crash”? The TV pics I looked at didn’t really catch how that started

  • FPCyclist

    Spot on, Dabber! There’s been a bad smell coming out of Astana for a long time. Nibbler rocketing off attached to the team speed wagon is just the latest bit of tragi-comedy from this bunch. Wonder what pile they’ll step in next? Stayed tuned…

  • Dabber

    He needs to look at his behaviour of late…

    Wrongly blames Froome for crash on the tour.
    Lies about not seeing Froome’s mechanical on the tour (I find the lying more distateful than the actual attack)
    Car gate
    Wrongly blames Caleb Ewan for crash on the Veulta

  • Kevino Daviessss

    I suppose we could say the same every time a rider fails a test? Unfortunately things like this will define him long after he has retired.

  • RobTM

    But he’s broken Rule #43 Don’t be a jackass (multiple times in media), Rule #81 Don’t talk it up (bidon-chuck-gate) and Rule #88 Don’t surge (except on attack) very memorably BY assistance of a team car!
    So Vino’s actually got a point, Nibs ought to just plead Rule #5 and HTFU; the more Nibs digs, the deeper this hole gets.
    Try telling everyone Fignon won the TdF gloriously twice and talk about that.. everyone’s always just going to remember his agonising loss on TT to Lemond. C’est la vie

  • David Sundheim

    Bonehead mistake? Yes. But he is right, the vitrial and demonization he has received from the rabid public is unjustified. This moment should not represent his whole career and overshadow his accomplishments.