Nibali Attacks On Tarmac

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vincenzo Nibali punctuated a dominating week of racing for Specialized with the overall win, taking the race lead on the penultimate stage of Tirrreno-Adriatico after launching a blistering attack, then successfully defending that lead with a brilliant time trial.

Wins for Specialized Racing began with the opening stage, where Team Omega Pharma – Quick-Step pulled together to take the team time trial. The stage was contested in miserable, wet conditions, where world time trial champion Tony Martin and teammate Mark Cavendish both applauded the development work of Specialized tyres to give them the traction and confidence needed to push to the limit.

"Thanks for the tyre efforts," said Rolf Aldag, Sport & Development Manager for the team. "We won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico. It rained the whole distance. Cavendish said that the tyres are really, really good, and Tony Martin said we were going way too fast and should have crashed."

Fast forward to stage six, another wet day contested over constantly undulating terrain—with some climbs reaching 27%—where Vincenzo "The Shark" Nibali made a late move, opening a gap to the other GC contenders, and taking the race lead in the process. On a day where precise handling and efficient power transfer were key, Nibali's Tarmac bike served him well.

Heading into the race finale, a short time trial, world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) surprised no one by posting the day's fastest time. Tony performed almost like clockwork upon his S-Works Shiv TT, capitalizing on the bike's aerodynamic efficiency and handling prowess, now bolstered by faster rolling and better cornering tyres.

Vincenzo Nibali still had the tough task of protecting his slim lead from proven time trial performers such as fellow Specialized rider Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank) and Christopher Froome (Team Sky). Nibali spent extensive time in the off-season, working with Specialized Racing and Body Geometry Fit technicians to improve his bike position. The work paid off. Nibali conceded only 11 seconds to his nearest GC rival and finished the race with a comfortable 23 seconds margin overall.

Specialized Racing will remain in Italy this week in preparation for Milan-San Remo on Sunday, March 17th, and the kickoff of the Spring Classics season.

For more info, photos and videos of Nibali and the rest of Specialized Racing, please visit www.i-am-specialized.com