Nibali left fuming after Bahrain-Merida falter in TTT
10 July 2018 12:31
Vincenzo Nibali tried to stay upbeat after losing 1:06 to Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and similar amounts to his overall rivals Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome (Team Sky), Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in the Cholet team time trial on stage 3 of the Tour de France on Monday. The Sicilian struggled to hide his disappointment, however, clearly fuming about how his Bahrain-Merida teammates had failed to give him the support he had expected during the 35.5km effort. Bahrain-Merida selected powerful rouleurs Heinrich Haussler, Kristijan Koren and Sonny Colbrelli to help drive the squad in the team time trial. Yet Colbrelli and other riders were dropped early, quickly reducing the effectiveness of Bahrain-Merida's effort.ADVERTISEMENT Then Haussler and Koren were distanced with eight kilometres to go, leaving Nibali with climbers Gorka and Ion Izaguirre and Domenico Pozzovivo – the minimum number of riders necessary to set a time. Bahrain-Merida set a time similar to Jakob Fuglsang's Astana team, Ilnur Zakarin's Katusha-Alpecin squad and Mikel Landa, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana of Movistar, while AG2R La Mondiale, riding for Romain Bardet, and Daniel Martin and his UAE Team Emirates teammates were slower than Bahrain-Merida and lost time to Nibali in the virtual classification of overall contenders. But Nibali was hoping that a new Merida time trial bike and some hard work by riders and staff would limit their losses to significantly below a minute.
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