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by Shane Stokes
March 30, 2018
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He’s more typically found taking on Grand Tours and shorter stage races, but Vincenzo Nibali’s solo victory in the Milan-San Remo will see him lining out in the Tour of Flanders. Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team has confirmed that the 2014 Tour de France winner will take part in Sunday’s event, and will lead the squad.
“Our line-up is highly motivated to achieve good result and get into a fight with this demanding and unique race,” it said on Wednesday. “Our riders who will not be in a breakaway or on a specific job will stay around Vincenzo. The crucial point is to be up front, well positioned when we enter the ‘Oude Kwaremont’ [for the] 2nd time (km 210) in order to make the cut.”
Interestingly, the team has laid out its tactics in advance. It said that from the start and for the first 100 kilometres, Luka Pibernik, Borut Boži? and Ivan Cortina have been instructed to cover any breakaway moves with more than ten riders.
Then, from km 100 to the Oude Kwaremont climb at km 210, Kristijan Koren and Sonny Corbrelli need to try to get into the moves. Inside the final 55 kilometres, Nibali is the rider who will aim for a big result, with Heinrich Haussler instructed to stay close to him and to ensure the team has two riders in the final.