Astana Pro Team rider Vincenzo Nibali looks to defend his title as champion at Tirreno-Adriatico this week, and has spent the early season preparing in Argentina, the Gulf States and Italy, with this race as one of his primary objectives in the 2013 season.
Nibali, who joined Astana Pro Team in the off season as the designated leader, will have a strong complement of support riders behind him on Wednesday when the race kicks off in San Vincenzo on the Tyrrhenian coast south of Livorno.
“So many great riders are coming to Tirreno-Adriatico this year. My goal will be to race will against them and look to the competition that awaits us. I have enormous respect for my competitors, but I am not afraid of them, and to start Tirreno-Adriatico for me with the number one on my back has a significance that I fully recognize,”, said Nibali.
Astana Pro Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli said the time trials will be a serious focus this week for Nibali, and added that much time and effort has gone in to creating advantages in the discipline.
“Our focus in the early season has been to create advantages for Vincenzo in the time trial where once there were drawbacks. We have worked with our clothing manufacturer NOA to get the right skinsuit fit, we have worked with our physiotherapists to get Vincenzo more flexible in the time trial position, and we have worked extensively with our partners at Specialized on a whole host of issues pertaining to the time trial. The team at Specialized Racing has the best minds in aerodynamics, bike fit and ergonomics, and all of this will contribute to VIncenzo’s performance this week at Tirreno-Adriatico,” said Martinelli.
Astana Pro Team riders:
- Vincenzo Nibali – ITA
- Paolo Tiralongo – ITA
- Alessandro Vanotti – ITA
- Valerio Agnoli – ITA
- Janez Brajkovic – SLO
- Fredrik Kessiakoff – SWE
- Dmitriy Gruzdev – KAZ
- Dmitry Muravyev – KAZ
Pablo Martín Palermo
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