|Vincenzo with his daughter Emma|
Vincenzo Nibali is one of my oldest favourites, I met him first in Mastromarco after his first pro victory, in Tour de San Luis, and he has never disappointed me: serious, kind, a nice guy and a good person.
There is an interview here:
1. 30 isn't old: "No. I feel like a normal person who reaches an important birthday in their life. I don't feel old as a person or as a rider. I've still got a lot of desire to race, I feel as motivated and determined as I did when I was 20.
2. How TdF winning feels like: "It's difficult to experience and really feel the emotions of a Grand Tour when you're still riding and racing it. You enjoy it by celebrating victory and it’s a special moment but you're so concentrated on what you're doing, that you can't take it all in. Now I've had a chance to reflect on things I've seen photos and videos of the race. There were some really special moments that still make me emotional and make the hairs on my arms stand up. The stage on the pave was incredible for example but there were so many others. The whole picture is starting to come together in my mind. The pain and all the hard work that was needed to get there are fading away and the memories are becoming more and more enjoyable. [...]
For me it was amazing to win the Tour. It wasn't a problem or something unenjoyable at all. In fact, I was very determined and focused on winning, so it came pretty easily from a psychological point of view."
3. Still the same person: "There's no reason why I should change. I'm trying and I'm determined to live my life as I always have done. I haven't changed. Of course if I want to treat myself, I'll do it. But I'm still the same person I was before I won the Tour and the same person I was before I became a successful rider. [...] All the attention means my life and my winter is busier than usual but it happened after I won the Giro d'Italia too, so I'm used to it."
4. Life is about making decision: "I've already decided. I know what I want to do and I know what I don't want to do. Of course, together with the team, I've got to say yes to something and no to other things. I understand that. Life is about making decisions and accepting the consequences of your decisions. I've got an idea of the race programme I want to follow but whatever happens, if I get to do what I want or not, it won't create problems for me.
5. No Giro: "I honestly don't think I'll do the Giro d'Italia. I said I'd do the Giro if I have to, but if I ride it, I want to ride it to win it. At Astana we've also got Fabio Aru, who is more suited to the Giro d'Italia than the Tour de France. And so if I ride the Giro, I'd overshadow him. [...] Of course I want to return to the Giro and want to try to win it again because I'm Italian and love the Giro."
6. Who decides: "Vinokurov has a say but so do the people above him, the sponsors in Kazakhstan. [...] Cycling isn't like it used to be, where it was the riders who called the shots and decided things. Those days are over. It's the same for everyone who is an employee of a company, who is paid for a specific role in a team or company. The sponsors want the big riders in the big races and want us to try to win them."
7. No rivalry with Fabio Aru: "No. He can always ask me for advice when he wants. He might not ask but the truth is that we've never really raced together this year but I've never really had any serious problems with him."
8. Confronting the routes: "The routes are a factor. There's a 60km time trial at the Giro d'Italia. I think it's a crazy decision but I suppose it depends if it's a difficult time trial. If it's tough like the one in last year's Giro, then it suits me. But if it's flat and fast like in the 2012 Tour de France, then a time trial specialist could gain three minutes and that's enough time to win a Grand Tour these days. I like the route of the Tour de France because its similar to this year's route but with even less time trialling. I couldn't have asked for much more and the route was perhaps the final factor on deciding my goals for 2015 and again targeting the Tour de France."