Vincenzo Nibali has received the green light from his doctors to participate in the 73rd edition of La Vuelta which begins next weekend.
The Italian, who crashed on his way to l’Alpe d’Huez during the Tour de France and was forced to pull of July’s race with a broken vertebrae after stage 12, will wear bib number 1 on the start list at the beginning of the Spanish Grand Tour in Málaga on August 25th.
Four winners of La Vuelta will be in contention again this year: Alejandro Valverde (2009), Vincenzo Nibali (2010), Fabio Aru (2015) and Nairo Quintana (2016). Among them, the race organization designated “El Tiburón” (The Shark, in Spanish) as the first man on the starting list with the bib number 1.
The Bahrain-Merida rider has won three Grand Tours (La Vuelta 2010, Giro d’Italia 2013 and 2016, Tour de France 2014) as well as Il Lombardia (2015 and 2017) and Milan-Sanremo (2018).
“A successful La Vuelta for me would mean being a protagonist in some nice stages. As I’m still in a recovery process, it’s hard for me to think of the overall classification with so few days of training behind me”, according to Nibali.
Following his first withdrawal in the nineteen Grand Tours he started, he resumed riding sixteen days before the start in Andalusia.
Nibali, who was the first ever winner of La Vuelta crowned in Madrid with the red jersey, will be joined on his team by, among others, the brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre, possible challengers for the General Classification.