Vincenzo Nibali extends contract with Astana

Vincenzo Nibali wins the race, Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 21

Giro d'Italia champon Vincenzo Nibali has extended his contract with the Astana squad until the end of the 2016 season.

Sicilian Nibali travelled to Astana - the capital city of Kazakhstan - on Thursday to sign the new contract with the team's general manager Alexandre Vinokourov.

"We are very pleased to prolong our contract with Vincenzo Nibali today in Astana, and look forward to supporting his clear-eyed start to the Vuelta a Espana in August and a strong run at the World Championships in Firenze at the end of September," Vinokourov said in a team statement. 

Nibali will skip this year's Tour de France, instead racing the Vuelta and World Champs ahead of an assault on the 2014 Tour.

Nibali joined other Astana team-mates in Kazakhstan to meet the country's president Nursultan Nazarbayev and fans after clinching the Giro title. 

Having ridden with the Italian Liquigas-Cannondale team since 2006, Nibali switched to Astana at the start of the 2013 season.

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