Chapeau, Vincenzo Nibali: A vintage Shark attack brings a home victory.

The Italian solos to the stage and overall win in the Giro di Sicilia

The wait took a while but, in the end, it was worth it. Vincenzo Nibali claimed his first victory with Trek-Segafredo, winning stage 4, the final and queen race of the Giro di Sicilia.

At 25kms to the finish line in Mascali, on the final climb, the Shark placed a vintage attack. Five riders, including race leader Alejandro Valverde, could not close to the Italian, who built a solid gap by the top of the climb. With a long downhill run to the line, Nibali, known as one of the best when it comes to descents, added to his lead all the way to the finish to take the stage with 49” on Valverde and other GC contenders. Enough time, for Vincenzo, to also claim the overall win of the race.

“This victory means a lot,” Nibali said immediately after the finish, his last win coming in 2019.

“So many of those who know me well have told me that it’s been a long time since they’ve seen me so moved. And it’s true. I won on my home roads, the ones where I grew up. And I did it in front of my people, my lifelong friends. Today’s victory is special and comes in a unique context, perhaps the best I could aspire to raise my arms to the sky after such a long time,”

“I knew the route of today’s stage, but not very well this side of the final climb. I just knew it was hard, ideal for an attack from far, but I knew the descent perfectly. We climbed hard and when the pace got slow, I attacked. I didn’t hesitate and went all-in, and from the team car, I was getting encouraging signals about the lead. I gained morale and confidence to gain time as much as possible before the top. Then, after the KOM, there was only to pedal without looking back.”

The image of an emotional Nibali speaks volumes about the sentiments he was holding inside.

“It’s not a relief, it’s not a weight lifted off my shoulders; I’m just very, very happy. For me, because in these two years I have always tried to do my best to win, and for the team, because they have never let me lack trust and support. If I look back, I can say that these have not been two easy years. So many unforeseen events affected what I expected to be able to do. The pandemic, the fracture, few too many physical problems that I wasn’t used to. I found myself almost always chasing the best condition. Morally, it was not an easy situation to face. I never lacked desire, commitment or seriousness. But, in spite of this conviction, in some moments I lacked serenity.

“The idea of ending my time with Trek-Segafredo without victories weighed me down but now, finally, I can rejoice. I want to say thank you for the support and the trust that I have always felt to Luca Guercilena, to whom I dedicate a special thought and who has always spurred me on, my teammates and all the staff. Before saying goodbye, however, there is still a week of important races to face with the maximum stimulus. Perhaps with even more motivation, but certainly with a few less thoughts in my head.”