Grand tour star Vincenzo Nibali is working with his new Bahrain-Merida team-mate Rohan Dennis to improve his time trial ahead of the Giro d’Italia.
Nibali and Dennis, the current time trial world champion, will enter the wind tunnel once they return to Italy from the UAE Tour.
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“I’m going right to the wind tunnel after this to do a check and work on my position,” the Sicilian told Cycling Weekly.
“The time trial is very important these days. I’ve always gone well, but you have to work on it. Clearly the better you go, the less you lose.
“For stage races, you better be able to ride a time trial.”
Nibali has won the Giro d’Italia twice, in addition to the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. This year’s Giro he’ll face time trial experts Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the race for the overall classification.
The race includes 58.5 kilometres of individual time trial kilometres, more than the 2019 Tour de France. However, the first two are uphill to San Luca in Bologna and to San Marino.
“There’s time to go and look at them to get to know them,” Nibali said.
“Roglic and Dumoulin are very strong riders in the time trials, so you have to try to be ready to fight. Then you have to look for your chances in the mountains to make it up. There are many others who are going to try to gain time in the mountains.”
At the 2018 Giro, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) worried about Chris Froome and Dumoulin, forcing him to find time in the mountains before the time trial. The Brit led the race for 13 days but cracked under pressure on the penultimate mountain stage.
“Yates and I are more or less in the same boat,” Nibali added. “There are many riders that are good at one discipline and others who go well in others.”
Australian Rohan Dennis joined Bahrain-Merida for 2019 from BMC Racing. Before doing so, he won the worlds time trail in Innsbruck. Some of that greatness is rubbing off on Nibali.
“He does a lot of specific training to be ready for time trials. I don’t need to do what he’s doing, but we can learn, like in the time trial,” explained Nibali.
“The Giro days time trial days are very important, they hold a lot of weight, but we have the mountains too.”