Vincenzo Nibali nets his first podium for Trek-Segafredo

The Shark of Messina finishes in third place in a wet finish in the Royal Bernard Drome Classic.

Vincenzo Nibali rebounded from a punishing race in the Ardèche Classic Saturday to fighting it out for the win in the closing kilometers of the Drome Classic Sunday.

The Shark of Messina was back to his usual ways in an aggressive finale of the 203-kilometer  race, the second of back-to-back French Classics. Nibali’s attack with just over 10 kilometers to go proved to be the winning move, drawing out Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling) and Warren Barguil (Arkéa Samsic) for company ahead of the final categorized climb.

The trio crested the Mur d’Allex together as the rain continued to fall and make for a tricky run-in.

“Yesterday I felt really bad for the last 20kms, but today my feeling was really nice. I spoke with my teammates during the race and said that my condition was really good, and I can try for the win,” said Nibali. “In the last 10k we were three in the breakaway, but Simon Clarke is really fast, so I have to say that I am happy with the third place.”

©James STARTT/Agence Zoom

©James STARTT/Agence Zoom

The three leaders navigated a final uncategorized climb into a sweeping downhill in the final few kilometers, with the wet roads adding an extra degree of difficulty.  Nibali took the lead on the treacherous descent, but it was Clarke who came around ahead of the final corner into the finish straight to easily grab the victory.

“These two days were as good as expected, the results too,” added Nibali. “Yesterday I tried, but I think I paid for that effort a little in the finale of today.

“From here, my plan is Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo. Of course, my main target is the Giro, and I feel that I am on a good path to be ready for this,” he ended.