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by Shane Stokes
May 4, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Six years after her brother Wouter’s passing, Elke Weylandt shares views on Giro’s descending competition; Giro d’Italia abandons controversial descending competition; Kelly: Quintana is the man to beat for Giro, and could double up at the Tour; Nibali: ‘It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium’; Dumoulin: ‘Winning the Giro is normally out of reach’; Pozzovivo talks up difficulty of Giro d’Italia; In ‘best shape’ for years, Hansen ready for 17th consecutive Grand Tour; Greipel eyeing Maglia Rosa, but also says Classics could delay top sprint form; Rumsas’ son passed away 24 hours after being released from hospital; McLaren says he’s been threatened over doping report; Cyclist dies after hitting parked car in Melbourne; Video: A sort of homecoming – Adam Blythe at #TDY2017; Video: 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Ostend preview; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic preview
Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali is preferring to let his legs do the talking rather than making any bold predictions for the 2017 Giro d’Italia. The Italian described his feelings as, ‘pretty good’ and said he was looking forward to starting the 100th edition.
“My expectations are public knowledge: I want to make the final podium. It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium, so if it’s not possible to win the Giro again, I’ll fight for second or third place to honour the race. We’ve worked as a team to be here in the best condition possible. I have a lot of respect for my adversaries.”
Nibali described the race as ‘a long challenge with a lot of unknowns,’ adding that event director Mauro Vegni had made the route even more difficult than in previous years. He noted the nod to his own origins. “He also gave me the pleasure of two stages in my homeland,” referring to Sicily. “There’ll even be a city circuit in my town [Messina]. It makes me happy for myself, for my fans, for my family. It’s not the first time the Giro has been to Sicily but it has a special taste this time around.
“Stage 4 to mount Etna has a 4000m difference in altitude and it’ll follow nervous stages in Sardinia. It’ll be the first direct opposition to my rivals. We’ll see on the Etna how I am and how they are. It’s a different ascent compared to six years ago. This way is harder and it comes after a rest day. My approach of the Giro is cautious. I hope to be consistent.”