Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) explained that his Giro d’Italia attacks were worth it even if crashed twice on the wet roads to Pescara. The Italian, third in the Tour de France, helped put the pressure on Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and saw him lose 1-24 minutes.
“If you think that there’s a big time trial tomorrow and Wiggins is the time trial king, who put three minutes into me at the Tour…” Nibali said to a few journalists including Cycling Weekly with his head poked out the bus. “My goal was not to risk it too much, but I gained some time, so it was good. I lost a little something with the crash, but weighing it up it went well. I’m looking at the cup half full.”
Nibali lit the race up after his team-mate Tanel Kangert attacked at 10 kilometres out. He followed Kangert’s move on a risky descent. He crashed twice, but forced other race favourites into action and helped see to Wiggins’ time loss.
“I didn’t really take any risks, because I didn’t exaggerate my speed and I had a helper up the road, Tanel Kangert, who could have pulled for me,” he added.
“I didn’t have a big desire to attack, I risked a little bit but it went well. I look at the cup as being half-full, not half empty.
“One and a half minutes on Wiggins is very important.”
Nibali crashed on his own on a descent and later with a group of nearly 20 riders riding clear of Wiggins.
“I’m good,” Nibali explained. “I slipped due to the wet pavement. Like in that first crash, I wasn’t doing anything wrong; my bike just went out from under me. The second time, when I was next to Danilo Di Luca, my rear wheel just slid out.
“This is the Giro and anything can happen. In one year I haven’t crashed, but in one day, it happens twice.”
Nibali stepped out of the bus and into a team car. He and his team-mates will take a helicopter to the next stage, 230 kilometres down the road. The trip will give him more time to recover for the 54.8 kilometre time trial tomorrow.
“The favourite is Wiggins,” explained Nibali. “I hope to lose as little time as possible, and at least I gained some time today.”
Giro d’Italia 2013: Previews and race info
Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports
Giro d’Italia 2013: Photo galleries
Photos by Graham Watson