The two-time winner says the opportunity is there for Froome to win the Giro d'Italia in 2018
Froome announced in a video message that he will start the race on May 4 in Jerusalem, coming on the heels of his 2017 Tour de France and Vuelta a España victories.
“It’s a beautiful and interesting route, maybe more adapted to Chris,” Nibali said outside the RAI television studios where the hour-long presentation took place.
“The climbs are more adapted to [Froome]. The Mount Etna road that the race will face is not the hardest, it was harder this year.
“Montenegrin di Mercogliano is a very fast finish and very seldom has it made a big selection. Even if you are bad, you are not going to lose much.
“The last time, we were almost 10 or so sprinting for it. Campo Imperatore is not very hard, but it could cause some damage, the hardest stages are Cervinia, Jafferau and Zoncolan.”
Eight summit finishes dot the 2018 Giro route, with three consecutively ahead of the final day in Rome on May 27.
Froome will compete for the first time since 2010. Afterwards, he will try to win a fifth Tour de France title.
“A rider who wins four Tours and a Vuelta a España is adapted to Grand Tours regardless of the route,” Nibali explained.
“The Giro has some variables that can put you in trouble at any time, maybe the cold, the odd passes, but Sky has a very strong team and a rider like Froome who’s very strong, with that mix they are truly a strong army platoon.”
Froome has yet to comment on the route, but in theory, he would likely want more time trial kilometres. The race kicks off with a 9.7-kilometre time trial in Jerusalem and features a 34.5-kilometre time trial in the third week.
“The time trial is not so long, that’s good. The only thing is that the cold could annoy him, he said before that it bothers him,” added Nibali.
“The Giro has some important variables, but his presence is big for the Giro and also for Team Sky. Having won the Tour and the Vuelta, he needs the Giro.
“It’s big for Team Sky too, Sky [television] has its presence in Italy. Also for Froome, who was here in Italy as a young rider, so it’s big for him. It’s big for his fans because it’s clear, in Italy, he has many fans.”
In addition to two Giro wins, Nibali won the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. He has yet to announce his participation, but those close to him say he will skip his home Giro for France in July.