Sunday, September 19, 2010
Vincenzo Nibali Wins Vuelta a España
Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) today became only the fifth Italian to triumph in Spain in the 75-year history of the Vuelta a España, the last being Marco Giovanetti in 1990.
With the right hand on the heart and nearly crying, Vincenzo Nibali listened Italy’s national anthem while being on the top of the podium in Madrid. He now has his first grand tour victory, achieving it at 25 years old.
Ezequiel Mosquera, 34 years old, enjoyed his first podium, finishing 41 seconds behind Nibali. "I want to be at home, to be relaxed with my family and enjoy a good meal with friends", he said. Mosquera confirmed at the end of the stage that next year he will be part of a foreign team, possibly Vacansoleil.
The podium was been completed by Peter Velits the revelation of this Vuelta a España. Also 25 years old, he was was the under-23 world champion in 2007.
Nibali thanked everyone. To his team: "All my teammates were close to me, and when I think what a champion like Kreuziger did for me, forsaking his own dreams to help me make mine come true..." His opponents: "Today was a procession, from a great old champion like Carlos Sastre, a role model in life and cycling, to Ezequiel Mosquera, who on the final climb, the Bola del Mundo, almost killed me." To Ivan Basso: "This year I've learned so much from him, about racing, competing, staying focused, about always being in the first 10 in the group." To his "Cannibals":"What my fan club does is incredible. They're not fans, they're real friends."
Nibali has little time to rest on his laurels, he leaves tomorrow for Australia as part of the Italian national team competing in the World Championships.
Photos: on the podium Mosquera, Nibali, Velits (by Bettini); finish line photo at Bola del Mumdo (by Sirotti)
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