|Vincenzo Nibali, Lombardia 2013|
Nibali is near here, in Montecatini Terme, for the first team meeting and given that his team is Astana questions weren't just about next seasons' goal in the press day. He said he'll stay.
“At this moment in the season, it'd be crazy. Where would I go? If I move, then at least six other people would have to come with me. Astana has invested in us. We're working hard and working well. In the last two years with Astana I've obtained the biggest success of my career, I've won the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. Within the team, there's a group of Italian people who have worked with me, people like Slongo my coach and the riders who are part of my group.
No, Astana isn't going to loose the World Tour status, it won't happen. I don't think it will happen. The most recent events have nothing to do with us. This is the Astana WorldTour team, not Astana 2. I understand action has been taken. As far as I understand the Astana 2 team will be suspended and there'll be some changes. But Astana 2 is not the Astana WorldTour team. The only link to the Continental team was via Dmitriy Sedoun. He was the team manager of Astana 2 and directeur sportif with us. But he's been removed.
I don't even know what the three guys on the Continental look like. I don't know why they've done it. They were in a development team and had a chance of getting a place in the WorldTour team. My thought on it is that they were desperate to turn pro and get a good contract.
As far as my season: we decided that I'll start off at the Dubai Tour, then probably ride Oman or do a training camp on Mount Teide, then it's Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and Ardennes Classics. However my programme is flexible and I've got the power to choose my programme based on my form.
The Giro is the Giro, it's special for me and for the Italian fans. It's a race I've won and want to win again. I've got to go back sometime, even if it could be more logical in 2016. My goal is the Tour but there's a door open, a chance, that I could ride the Giro and we'd decide if it's to go for the overall classification or not. But I honestly don't know if I'll ride. Because during the spring, it’s the time I have to work hard for the Tour at training camps. It could be an experiment but I'll decide during the season.”
Yep, it's probably late to leave. But why did you sign for a team like Astana? Honestly I can't find other than money as an answer. Money are important. A team built around you with a lot of money is great. But it's hard to accept that the World Team Astana has nothing to do with the Continental team, that the Iglinsky bothers did all on their own, that Vinokurov had his problems ok but it's all over. I firmely believe that Vincenzo Nibali is a clean rider, moreover that Paolo Slongo is a serious coach. And just for that I don't like to see them by Astana. Ok, next season is too close. But after that you must change team or your team must change.