Nibali irritated by Roglic’s defensive Giro d’Italia tactics

The wait for the showdown between Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) at the Giro d’Italia continued on the road to Pinerolo, but the first signs of a rivalry emerged after the finish, with the Italian clearly irritated by Roglic’s defensive riding and his refusal to help chase down attackers and potential overall contenders Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).

“We all worked, except Roglic,” Nibali said with disapproval while at the Bahrain-Merida bus post stage. “I worked, Yates did turns, all the big guys in the move worked except him.”

Nibali acknowledged that Roglic has the right to race defensively but hinted Friday’s mountain stage up to Lago Serru will be a very different day in the saddle.

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“He can do that because he’s got a decent lead. He knows he’s got the final time trial, too, and so he’s defending his lead but tomorrow will be more of a direct race off,” the Italian promised.

Subtle racing rather than Coppi heroics

Stage 12 from Cuneo to Pinerolo was never going to see the heroics Fausto Coppi produced in 1949 because the 158km stage included just the Montoso climb with 32km to race rather the legendary climbs of the Alps into France and then back into Italy.

The racing was more subtle, like the early round in a title fight. It was the antipasto to the main meal in the high mountains coming up in the next three days.

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