Vincenzo Nibali will lead the Italian national team at the Olympic Games after he finished the Tour de France but revealed to Gazzetta dello Sport that he is annoyed after being criticised for his performances at the Tour de France.
“I’m not a robot. Everybody always expects a lot from me, I get that but I never said I was going for the classification. That’s why I think I was far to heavily criticised when I was dropped on the first mountain stage in the Massif Central,” said Nibali.
“I want to point that I had a great first part of the season. I won in Oman in February, I rode strongly in March at Tirreno-Adriatico and I won the Giro d’Italia. I’ve always been very focused and I only had one day off in the winter so that I’d be on form for 2016.
“As I said, I’m only human, I’m not a robot. I always try my best and I tried hard to win a stage but you’ve got to know how to listen to your body and measure your effort, especially considering the goals ahead. When my legs told me I wouldn’t be a GC contender, I worked for the good of the team, which is the right thing to do. The guys at Astana have given their all for me on many occasions, so it was good to give something back.”
“I’m happy with how I performed, I’m not envious of Team Sky’s success or even Froome’s victory. I’ll never be like them but that’s okay. They always peak for the Tour and so it’s not easy to beat such a strong and important team, who invest a lot in everything they do. There’s nothing I can say against their victory, they deserved it.”
Nibali is more optimistic about his chances in Rio: “It won’t be easy to win but with the tough route and the national team we have, we can do well,”.
“Considering my age, its probably my last ever Olympics and I like the special atmosphere of the Olympics even if we wont be there that long. It’s fascinating to eat in the Olympic village and make friends with athletes from other sports and other countries.
“The whole Italian team is motivated for Rio. We’ve collected a few placings out of the medal recently but we’ve got a good chance this time. Let’s hope we don’t get overly criticised if we don’t win a medal.”
FEATURED · INTERVIEWS · NEWS
Giro d'Italia italy olympic games olympics RIO 2016 Tour de France Vincenzo Nibali