Nibali hoping for a final day of form at Il Lombardia
09 October 2018 08:22
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will begin the final week of his 2018 season at the Tre Valli Varesine race on Tuesday, hoping he can somehow find a final spurt of form for Saturday's Il Lombardia after fighting back from the fractured vertebra he suffered on stage 12 of the Tour de France to Alpe d'Huez. Nibali suffered his way through the Vuelta a España after undergoing vertebroplasty surgery to ease the pain in his back. He was hoping surgery would help him recover faster and give him a shot at the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, at the end of September. However, Nibali was distanced even before the steep final climb of Höll during the Worlds road race, although it was as much about the process as a shot at the rainbow jersey, giving the Sicilian something to aim for and to keep him in the saddle.ADVERTISEMENT Nibali will only pull the curtain down on his season on Sunday, with his first-ever ride at the Chrono des Nations in France, less than 24 hours after his efforts at Il Lombardia. They will be race days number 78 and 79 of what he described as "a long, hard season – a difficult season" while speaking to Cyclingnews. Nibali hopes that his two months of suffering with very little to show for it will be rewarded at Il Lombardia. He won the final Monument of the season in 2015, and again last year. "I felt OK at the Giro dell'Emilia," he said of Saturday's race. "I wasn't bad, and I finished eighth. But at the Tre Valli Varesine, and especially for Il Lombardia, the likes of Romain Bardet [AG2R], Rigoberto Uran and Michael Woods [both EF-Drapac] will have that little extra bit of form that I'm missing. I can perhaps stay with them in the finale, but in the sprint finish, where you have to give it everything, I'm missing that little bit of special form. I can only hope for a great day."
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