Winner of all three Grand Tours Vincenzo Nibali remains hungry for wins in “other important races.”
An incident with a fan and crash on the Alpe d’Huez stage of the Tour de France cut the Italian’s season short.
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He returned from the injury, but still suffered from the crash.
“I’m not satisfied. I want to win other important races,” the 34-year-old Sicilian told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Nibali blasted away on the Poggio climb and rode solo to a Milan-San Remo victory in March.
The one-day Monument rounded out a palmarès that includes the 2014 Tour de France, the 2010 Vuelta a España and two titles in the Giro d’Italia, 2013 and 2016.
He sat fourth overall after the first Tour de France summit finish to La Rosière, won by Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). The next day near the Alpe d’Huez finish, a fall caused by a fan’s camera strap broke his vertebra.
Nibali abandoned the race. He and the Bahrain-Merida team’s lawyers are still speaking with the Tour de France for compensation.
“If I have vented out recently, it was only because this year was particularly hard because of the crash. Without the fractured vertebra in the Tour it would not have been that way,” Nibali said.
“I had made immense sacrifices to find the ideal condition. And everything went up in smoke and also compromised the World Championships.”
Nibali struggled to find form in the Vuelta a España for the Worlds, this year suited to climbers. He finished an eventual 49th, but still hungry for more in 2019.
“I really like them both [the Giro and Tour routes],” he said. “Planning for 2019 will not be easy. I’m not ruling out that I’ll end up doing them both.”
Nibali aims to win another grand tour. The team says that he wants to take on Sky head-to-head in the Tour de France. In 2014, he won after Froome had abandoned due to a crash.
He explained that he could switch focus to one-day racing in the last years of his career but it is uncertain when that would be.
“Looking ahead, I’m going for another two years after 2019,” Nibali continued. “But I do not want to be categorical, maybe I’ll continue up until I’m 40 years old, or maybe I get tired first. Or in two years. I could concentrate only on the Classics.”
Nibali’s early season will see him return to defend the Milan-San Remo victory and race the Tour of Flanders. The team says that Paris-Roubaix is too risky for him while he is still a stage racer and aiming for the Tour de France.