Vincenzo Nibali is set to miss out on a spot in the Italian team at the upcoming World Championships as he recovers from a crash at the Vuelta a España.
Nibali crashed on the penultimate stage of the Spanish Grand Tour, and although he was able to complete the race and finish second overall, is still suffering pain in his ribs, with x-rays confirming a fracture.
“I have to understand how I’m feeling and see what I’ve done to my ribs, because I felt the blow,” the Bahrain-Merida rider told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Having spoken with the national coach, I realised that the course wasn’t suited to me and that the national team already has the right pieces.”
A fourth-place finisher in the road race at the World Championships in Florence in 2014, Nibali would have struggled to deliver a result on a gently rolling course, with only one relatively modest climb on each of the 11 laps of the circuit around Bergen.
However Italian national coach Davide Cassani says that the 32-year-old is already setting his sights on the 2018 World Championships in Austria, where the road race circuit is expected to contain two much more testing climbs with as much as 5,000m of climbing in the route as a whole.
“It’s only an arrivederci,” Cassani said. “He’s already thinking about the 2018 Worlds. That suits him a lot more.”