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by Shane Stokes
January 23, 2018
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Had things gone to plan, Vincenzo Nibali would have got his season underway on Sunday in the Tour de San Juan. However stomach problems and fever ruled him out of the event, meaning that he will now need to wait until February 13 to begin racing. He will begin the Tour of Oman then, a race he won in 2016.
He will then head back to Europe with his eyes on three Classics, namely Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “I still have to decide whether or not I’m going to Paris-Nice,” he said, according to Cyclingpro. “But I will not miss the Classicissima [San Remo]. I’d be happy to improve my best result, third place in 2012.”
Nibali had a strong season in 2017, netting a stage win plus third overall in the Giro d’Italia, a stage and second overall in the Vuelta a Espana, and also landing victories in Il Lombardia and the Tour of Croatia.
He might yet be named the winner of the Vuelta a Espana after Chris Froome was shown to have twice the permitted maximum amount of salbutamol in his system during the race. The Briton and his Team Sky squad are fighting the case, but he could be stripped of his Vuelta title and also incur a suspension.
Nibali has already indicated that he will focus on the Tour de France this season. He also wants to shine in the world championships.