Vincenzo Nibali snubbed from Olympic finalist list as Italian hopes turn to youth

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Times are changing for Italian cycling and Vincenzo Nibali is struggling to keep up.

After a Giro d’Italia strewn with incidents, the Sicilian veteran has been left out of Italy’s provisional Olympic team as his career time quickly approaches zero and his nation searches for new heroes.

“I want to bring the best team to the Games, like Rio 2016,” said national coach Davide Cassani. Gazzetta dello Sport this week.

“In Brazil, Nibali came from the Giro victory, now unfortunately his situation is much more delicate for no fault on his part. But Vincenzo is a legacy of our cycling. Let’s see how he is in the next few days and what feelings he may have.

Nibali was allowed to swim upstream at last month’s Giro after a broken wrist just weeks before the Grande Partenza put him on the back foot even before he started.

Read also : Nibali abandons the ambition of the GC in mid-Gir0

For 36-year-old Nibali, the mountainous road race in Tokyo offers him a solid – and final – chance at Olympic glory after coming close to the perilous descent of the podium in Rio. And a non-selection for Tokyo could mean more than just a missed medal – it would hasten the famous veteran’s silent exit from his nation’s conscience.

Rather than Nibali, the tifosi will place their hopes on their star at the Summer Games. Filippo Ganna is the big favorite of time trial and track glory in Tokyo and comes out of a Giro which cemented his place as successor to Nibali’s crown.

Ganna was all over the Giro last month, scoring two stage victories and being one of the main players in Egan Bernal’s race to the pink jersey. For three weeks, Italy reached full “Gannamania”, as its huge engine and boy-next-door charm became the topic of conversation for the tifosi and tore the sensitive cords of nuns across his nation.

Read also : Ganna steps into the center of Bernal’s pink jersey quest

Ganna is likely to ride alongside the new wave of Italian talent in Tokyo as Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo disappear from view.

Cassani has also shortlisted Giulio Ciccone, Davide Formolo, Gianni Moscon and Giro d’Italia stars Damiano Caruso and Alberto Bettiol for next month’s Games, with a final decision to be made after the Italian championships on June 20.

Nibali dropped to 18th place last month pink corsa, his worst result since his racing debut in 2007. It was only stubbornness and the creeping awareness of his declining career that saw the 36-year-old make Milano.

“I don’t have a lot of seasons left so I think it was fair to honor the Giro,” Nibali said of his decision to end even a horror tour at home.

“The Giro has given me a lot. I won it twice and the joy was really immense. The audience was stratospheric then, and they showed it again this year, although I was not well. There is nothing more to say about it.

With Nibali out of contract this winter and his future yet to be decided, he might not even run beyond 2021. Seeing what could be his last season with a snub of the race he has long set his sights on would be sad. reshuffle of the attention of his nation.

For many sharks, stopping swimming can result in death.

Messina’s own predator needs to find power, fast.

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