TOUR, 16th stage: great performance by Nibali and Liquigas-Cannondale on the Pyrenees
Positive the first hard stage, great help from Basso on the climb
Liquigas-Cannondale and its captain Vincenzo Nibali showed great character today at Tour de France. During the Pyrenees’ stage, Pau-Bagnere de Luchon of 197 km, the green and blue team chose an attacking strategy, with a “new” Ivan Basso as super-domestique (hard rhythm and decisive selection on Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourde) and with the Shark Nibali’s attacks to try to create a gap with Wiggins and Froome.
The Liquigas-Cannondale’s action broke the group: Nibali (11°) passed the finish line only with the Sky-duo with a good gap on the others opponents. In the GC the Shark is always in third position: 2’23” fro Wiggins, 18” from Froome, 3’23” on Van den Broeck and 4’50” on Zubeldia.
«It was a really hard stage – explained Nibali – both for the climbs both for the hot weather. I tried to attack with three accelerations to test Wiggins and Froome, then the descent was not suited for an attack so I decided to save energies. At the start I thought to search also the stage victory but then the break take a great advantage to recover. I’m happy for the third place in GC and for today’s performance, but I always search something more. Ivan Basso was great super-domestique, simply fantastic, as well as other of my teammates. We wanted to jade the Team Sky but our selection was hardest than we thought. Tomorrow’s stage it will hardest like today but every day that pass become difficult attack Froome and Wiggins. It will be also the last opportunity to find a stage victory: the cherry on the cake of a great Tour».