Tour of Sicily 2021 – Vincenzo Nibali wins emotional double triumph on national roads after perfectly synchronized attack
Vincenzo Nibali rolled back the years with a perfectly synchronized attack on his national roads to win the stage and claim victory in the Tour of Sicily.
Trek-Segafredo’s Nibali had not won a race in 2021 but threw a vicious kick away from a group of the strongest runners in the race on the final climb to secure an impressive victory.
On a 180-kilometer course from Sant’Agata di Militello to Mascali, the riders endured the toughest day of racing of the four-stage event on the volcanic island.
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) started the day in the race leader’s red jersey after his stage 3 victory seven seconds ahead of Alessandro Covi of UAE-Team Emirates.
The duo were both part of a select group of favorites climbing the second higher category climb of the day, with Lorenzo Fortunato and Romain Bardet also among those in contact.
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Covi’s teammate David de la Cruz provided initial acceleration but it was Nibali who produced the telltale attack with the rest of the group unable to keep up and a gap of nearly half a minute opened at the top.
Nibali dominated the climb out of the peloton and came down well, with a disorganized pursuit unable to bring him back as Nibali extended his advantage.
In the end, the victory was comfortable, with a 50-second margin of victory more than enough to seal a popular victory on Sicilian roads with an emotional ‘Shark of Messina’ able to bask in the glory of home triumph at the arrival.
Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) comes out of the peloton to take second place ahead of Covi, with Nibali’s younger brother Antonio finishing among a group of 13 riders.
The Tour of Sicily was resurrected in 2019 but did not take place last year due to the pandemic.
The victory in Mascali marked Nibali’s first stage victory in more than two years, with the previous best result of the season for rider Trek-Segafredo, ninth at the Italian national championships.
Nibali will return to Astana ahead of the 2022 season but will first aim for victory at Il Lombardia on Saturday 9 October.
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