Vincenzo Nibali Gives Astana Team Boost in Giro d’Italia

ASTANA, May 21 – Astana Cycling Team Captain and Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali on May 18 finished in seventh place and 54 seconds behind the leader before the last day of rest in the Giro d’Italia.

The winner of that stage of the super-cycle, multi-day race Giro d’Italia was Italian Giovanni Viskonti from the Movistar Team, who pulled away from the group long before the final denouement. Still Astana team was in complete control of what is happening with the general group and did not allow any of Nibali contenders for the general classification lower the gap with their captain. The Italian himself attacked only 2.5 miles before the finish line, coming to the line in the seventh place.

The mountain route of the 15th stage of Giro d’Italia has not demonstrated any significant changes in the general qualifications, where the first place is still occupied by Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali.

“We have still a lot of difficult stages in the Giro d’Italia, but we are happy that this day is behind us. We have a decent advantage at this point in the race, which allowed us to monitor developments safely and work together to get to the finish without losing time to the main contenders. The most difficult challenge was the cold, but fortunately, the roads were dry, no rain or snow,” according to a statement by Nibali on the Astana team’s website.

Nibali covered the 149-kilometre distance from Cesana-Torinese to Col du Galibier in four hours, 40 minutes and 52 seconds. Colombian Carlos Betancourt of Ag2r followed Visconti across the finish followed by German Pole Przemyslaw from team Lampre-Merida. Six days remain in this year’s Giro d’Italia, which finishes in Brescia on May 26.

The top five rankings of the general qualification have not changed. Vincenzo Nibali is the first, Australian Kadel Evans is one minute and 26 seconds behind the leader. The third place in the general qualification is given to the Columbia rider and Sky Team member Rigoberto Uran with 2 minutes and 46 seconds behind the leader.

The route of the 2013 Giro d’Italia has been officially presented in Milan, with race organisers balancing the traditionally mountainous route with 88.9km of time trials, in a clear attempt to attract big-name stage racers such as Bradley Wiggins, Ryder Hesjedal and Vincenzo Nibali.

This year’s Giro d’Italia is set to be one of the best ever editions of the Corsa Rosa, promising three weeks of great racing with the Italian countryside as a stunning backdrop.

Race organisers have managed to attract the best ever teams for the 96th edition of the Giro d’Italia, with a star-studded start list including overall contenders, many of the world’s best sprinters and a host of riders chasing stage victories and glory during the three weeks of racing.

The 96th edition of the Corsa Rosa will cover 3,405 km, starting in Naples with a 156 km road race stage on Saturday May 4 and endingd on Sunday May 26 in Brescia, with a final road stage and five laps of a city centre circuit. The average stage distance is down to 162.2 km a day.

The route is finely balanced with seven mountain finishes but also a 17.4 km team time trial on the island of Ischia on stage 2, a 55.5km individual time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara on stage 8 and a 19.4km mountain time trial on stage 18.

Stage 19 is a high mountain stage with the legendary Passo Gavia and the Passo Stelvio before the finish at Val Martello. That adds up to over 55km of serious mountain climbing in just 139km of racing. The final mountain stage is even harder, with a 203km cavalcade through the Dolomites.

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