Friday July 18th, 2014

Stage 13Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse

Start 12h10 (Local time)

Vincenzo Nibali: "Winning in yellow is more prestigious"

interview18.07.2014Stage 13- Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse

"I've suffered a lot today because of the heat. At least as we were climbing, I felt better and better. I've looked at my adversaries a lot. My intention was to just control in the final climb but when I've seen Richie Porte in trouble, probably because of the heat, which can happen to anyone, my goal has become to gain important seconds over Valverde. I wanted to distance him in the overall classification. I accelerated to come across to the two breakaway riders [Rafal Majka and Leo König]. I've sought cooperation from them because there was a still long away and I also had in mind tomorrow's stage. Then I realized that [Alejandro] Valverde and Thibaut Pinot were coming across so I put the rhythm higher and that's how the victory arrived.
My team-mates have worked a lot in the first part of the race. The important riders remained on my side, Kangert, Westra… Unfortunately, Fuglsang crashed in the downhill of the second last climb but I got some news that he's ok. I'm very serene about the quality of my team.
It's a symbol that I win today on the 100th anniversary of Gino Bartali's birth but it's also the day [July 18] that Fabio Casartelli died. I remember this tragedy very well. It's important to have won on that special day. Bartali was Italy's iconic climber and I took the polka dot jersey today because there were many points awarded here but Joaquim Rodriguez will take it back in the coming days. My only goal remains the yellow jersey.
If I looked happier on the podium than on the occasions of my previous wins, it's because I was delighted to have gained important seconds over Valverde and Porte. My victory in Sheffield remains the less expected of the three. I did it with my instinct when there was so much distance to the finish. It was my first win at the Tour. Here in the mountains, it's different because I was prepared for that. The victory has come as well but moreover I felt released from this never ending ascent. The high temperature had made it extremely hard. To win with the yellow jersey makes my stage victory more meaningful today.
I thought there would be some attacks against me. In fact, Movistar raised the rhythm at the beginning of the final climb but I was thinking it was quite far away from the top. With less and less elements in the front group, the race turned to my advantage. We were racing at a high level and everyone behaved according to their position on GC.
I expect more attacks tomorrow in another very hard stage and next week, there'll be very important stages. My advantage over Porte is good now. He's the rider I feared the most in the closing time trial. We'll see if he'll recover from the heat today or not. For the coming days, I only know that I have to remain quiet. There are still so many mountains ahead.
Today on the road side, I got the surprise to see Carlo Franceschi who was my sports director when I was a junior along with the president and other members of my fan-club. I've been asked why I wasn't racing with the Italian national champion but that's simply because I'm in the yellow jersey and winning with the yellow jersey makes my victory more prestigious. Anyway, the presence of those close supporters made me very happy. As for my wife, she'll only come and visit me at the end of the Tour de France in Paris."

  • «The Shark» Nibali bites again

    There's no more doubt about who is the strongest rider in the 2014 Tour de France. After stage 2 in Sheffield and stage 10 at La Planche des belles filles, Vincenzo Nibali increased his lead by winning in the Alps. He arrived solo in Chamrousse to claim his third stage win on a day of suffering for Richie Porte, replaced in second place overall by Alejandro Valverde and on the podium by Romain Bardet.

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Stage 13 Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse

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