NIBALI RETURNS TO WINNING FORM. The Shark solos to Padania victory
Crucial result for the general classification
Vincenzo Nibali backed up his encouraging signs of improvement by winning today’s 186-km stage four of the Tour of Padania between Lazzate and Passo della Bocchetta. The “Shark” soled across the line at the summit finish (followed 4” later by Rebellin with Durasek in third place) and extended his lead at the top of the general classification which he took yesterday by finishing second. Nibali also has the points and KOM jerseys and a 40” advantage over Chiarini (second) and Pozzovivo (third).
«Not only does it feel great to win again, » said Nibali, «But I’ve also seen encouraging signs in the level of my condition. I’ve never concealed the fact that the “Padania” was an important test ahead of the World Championships. I’m back to racing after the exertion of the Tour so I didn’t know quite what to expect. More than anything else I’ve tried to get back into the swing of racing. In this race I was looking for confirmation, and my condition is improving. It’s a boost to my confidence but that’s not enough. I’ve got the chance to win the general classification tomorrow and it would be a shame to let that slip away. It will be a demanding stage, like today’s was, but I can give it a go thanks to my fantastic teammates. Plus it’s also another opportunity for further improvement. There are just over two weeks until Valkenburg during which I must concentrate on fine-tuning my performance. But knowing that I’m already at a good point in my preparation is a major incentive. »
Today’s win is Nibali’s sixth victory this season and number thirty-five for Liquigas-Cannondale.