Vincenzo Nibali is set to miss the 2020 Tour de France as he focuses on claiming Olympic gold in Tokyo, while also targeting his home Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Nibali’s desire for an Olympic gold medal will mean he will miss out on a ninth Tour de France appearance, as the French Grand Tour finishes only six days before the men’s Olympic road race in Japan.
Therefore, the 34-year-old will instead target a third Giro victory, having finished runner-up behind Richard Carapaz (Movistar) this year, his sixth podium at the race.
Nibali has also ruled out starting his 2020 season in January, electing to miss both the Tour Down Under and Vuelta a San Juan, by which time he will have left Bahrain-Merida and joined Trek-Segafredo. The two-time Giro winner says he is disappointed with his third and final year at Bahrain-Merida, but is looking forward to a fresh start at the American team.
“This season has not been super. In the last part I got a little carried away, it was also emotionally difficult. But for 2020, with the change of team, I have new and great feelings,” Nibali told OA Sport.
Age has not appeared to curtail the Italian’s ambitions, with Nibali apparently also targeting the 2020 UCI Road World Championships, with a Swiss parcours in Aigle-Martigny suited to climbers.
The 2020 Tour de France route is set to be unveiled on Tuesday October 15, while the Giro d’Italia route will be announced a week later on Thursday October 24.
Missing the 2020 Tour de France could prove to be a wise move for the Italian, who has not managed a top 10 finish at the race since 2015 when he finished fourth, a year after claiming the yellow jersey in his sole victory.
Meanwhile, in his three Giro d’Italia appearances since 2016, he has finished on the podium every time, with his second win coming at the 2016 edition.
The 2020 Tour de France is also set to be stacked with climbing talent, as Ineos and Jumbo-Visma take the two strongest line-ups. Ineos will have four Grand Tour winners to choose from in Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz, while Jumbo-Visma boast new signing Tom Dumoulin as well as Vuelta a España winner Primož Roglič and Steven Kruijswijk, who finished third in the Tour this year.