2 Jun 2016
NIBALI’S GIRO: THE NEVER ENDING STORY OF VICTORY
The 2016 Giro d’Italia’s “never ending” trophy – the Senza Fine – was awarded to FSA rider Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) on Sunday, but the story of this year’s victory kept everyone on their toes until the very end!
There were certainly some days where fans and reporters thought that Nibali wouldn’t win his second Corsa Rosa this year – straying from the script by losing time on the Queen Stage in the Dolomites, and again on the mountain TT, The Shark found himself almost 5 minutes down on GC after stage 18 – but the comeback was worth waiting for, with Stage 19’s superb solo win setting up the “resurrection”.
It was revealed after the finish that a stomach problem played a significant part in those dark, testing stages, but that wasn’t apparent at the time, and it was difficult to know what was going on behind the Sicilian’s glasses. Pride, destiny, psychology, guts, determination, a twist of luck – people have their own take on Nibali’s performance, how he came back from what looked like an impossible deficit. Maybe all of them are true.
“Believing until the very end was the secret of this victory,” Nibali explained, and identified a key decision moment in his comeback: “Steven Kruijswijk had a good advantage after the Dolomites but I knew the highest mountains were yet to come. Riding above 2000 metres isn’t easy for anyone but I found myself in good shape. Kruijswijk crashed but towards the summit of the Colle d’Agnello, I noticed he was breathing heavily so I put pressure on him climbing and then descending.”
While key moments can be decisive even in Grand Tours, obviously by its very nature, you don’t get success in GC without being good at everything throughout the three weeks, and without the help of a great team. The Astana riders supporting Nibali throughout the Giro – the Italians Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Davide Malacarne and Michele Scarponi, the Kazakhs Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev and Andrey Zeits, the Estonian Tanel Kangert and the Dane Jakob Fuglsang – all deserve their congratulations, as do the wider support team, sponsors and suppliers who are there year in year out, pre-season and race-day.
At FSA we’re immensely proud to be part of this year’s dramatic story of victory, and delighted that Nibali used his K-Force stem, handlebars and seatpost to such good effect. Equipping the world’s finest riders with the world’s best components is our pleasure.