‘My time has come’ – Nibali will not ride Giro again as retirement plans revealed

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) admits this will be his final Giro d’Italia as he revealed his plans to retire at the end of the season.

The two-time champion has wowed cycling fans with ambitious and punchy moves throughout his career, which have propelled him to seven stage wins at his home Grand Tour.

While he has enjoyed immense success in Italy, his crowning achievement came at the 2014 Tour de France when he won the yellow jersey.

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The announcement increases the likelihood of ‘Shark’ attacks at this year’s Giro as he pursues stage wins after his GC ambitions evaporated on Mount Etna on Stage 4.

“This is my last Giro d’Italia, I leave cycling at the end of the season,” said Nibali.

“My time has come, and it’s normal. Sometimes it seems a bit like that, but decisions come like this, I was waiting for this stage to say it.

“Here I started running, racing in Sicily, Etna, from here it was an escalation.

“I have given so much to cycling and perhaps the time has come to return the time dedicated to two wheels to my family.”

‘Winning can be addictive’ – Nibali on his Giro memories ahead of potential farewell

Nibali is one of just seven riders to win all three Grand Tours, having also won La Vuelta in 2010.

The 37-year-old is one of three former winners in the field for this year’s Giro, alongside Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma).

The Italian fell off the pace with 7km remaining on Stage 4 on Tuesday, leaking 2:30 to his GC rivals to all but end his pink jersey ambitions. It compounded a miserable day for Astana Qazaqstan, which also saw team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez abandon the race with a hip injury.

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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Contador expects 'irretrievable gaps' on Etna as Giro GC battle hots up

Alberto Contador expects the battle for pink to kick into life on Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia and “irretrievable gaps” to potentially be opened up.

After Monday’s rest day, the race returns with a mountain-top finish at Mount Etna.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Fenix) is expected to face a battle to hold onto the leader’s jersey as the top contenders for the General Classification emerge.

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“Tomorrow’s stage is important because of how early it will be in the race and the consequences it can have,” two-time Giro champion Contador told Eurosport.

“Whoever is not ready tomorrow can say goodbye to the Giro d’Italia for good on Stage 4 because there are irretrievable gaps.”

Van der Poel took the race lead with victory on the opening stage before following up with a second-place finish on Stage 2.

However, he is only 11 seconds ahead of Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and 16 ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma).

“Van der Poel must be happy to keep the maglia rosa but he must also be worried about the level of big rivals like [Mark] Cavendish or Yates himself,” added Contador.

“These first stages are allowing us to see a great spectacle with great moments like Cavendish’s yesterday. Even so, I expect [Joao] Almeida and [Vincenzo] Nibali to step up their performances in stages like Etna and tighten up the general classification.”

Stage 4 is 172km in length and features no other big climbs apart from the long ascent up Etna to the finish.

Eduardo Chozas, three-time Giro stage winner, told Eurosport: “I think we will see a very exciting stage on Etna because of all that is at stake.

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“It’s going to be a day that will define who can be racing until the end of the Giro and who loses most of the options to keep the pace.

“I think it’s going to be a chaotic stage that will move the whole peloton and a lot of things can happen. Van der Poel can’t relax because it’s very easy to lose the lead.”

While there will be plenty of focus on Van der Poel as he looks to remain in the race lead, the 27-year-old has already impressed on his Giro debut.

Jacky Durand, three-time Grand Tour stage winner, thinks Van der Poel deserves plenty of respect for his showing so far.

Simon Yates

Image credit: Getty Images

“Mathieu van der Poel has no pressure,” he told Eurosport. “We remember that he came to this Giro to win a stage, the first stage was already a big goal and he achieved it. From now on, he will see day after day and he will not deprive himself of winning other stages.

“He has a big advantage: he is all-round, he is capable of winning even in a bunch sprint. In the time trial [on Saturday], he doesn’t have much of a reference even if it was made for him and, in a way, he is an extra-terrestrial and we felt he was very strong in the last passages on the cobbles. He is an instinctive rider who enjoys himself.”

“On Stage 3 on Sunday, Van der Poel did a great job. You can imagine: he’s in the pink jersey, he’s a sprinter, he could have won the stage in theory, but no, he puts himself at the service of a rider who just won a race in Turkey at the beginning of the season.

“We have already seen leaders racing for another sprinter of their team and it is to their credit because not only do you start the sprint for another rider but you also take risks. That’s it, respect Mathieu Van der Poel, he is just huge!

“I think that if there had been several flat stages afterwards, we might have sprinted for Van der Poel but he has a rest day and after Etna and we know that he expects to lose the jersey on Etna.”

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

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– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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'What a sight!' – Wild moment riders with swords on horses steal attention at Giro

Cycling fans have grown accustomed to seeing memorable sights on the side of the roads at Grand Tours – and Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia did not disappoint.

It is not unusual to say fans sprinting alongside the riders for hopelessly fleeting moments, or indeed to see amateurs attempting to keep pace with the peloton for as long as possible (not very long) from a side path.

But Friday at the Giro brought a very unique sight at a Grand Tour: five horses, with the riders sporting full battle attire, complete with swords, charged in an entertaining bid to keep up with the peloton.

Giro d’Italia

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It made for an amusing start to the iconic race as Budapest hosts the Grande Partenza with 160km still remaining in the stage and a long stretch of nondescript road ahead.

As the charging riders on their horses attempted to keep pace with the peloton before gradually drifting out of sight, the amusing spectacle was picked up by fans – and, indeed, the commentators.

“Oh, here we go!” exclaimed Rob Hatch, on commentary for Eurosport at the famous event.

“Charge! Oh, that will make them go quicker with that thing [sword]! Don’t point that thing!

“Deary me, we may need a photo finish here! A bunch gallop, we think, on day three… not quite yet!

“A couple have been dropped at the back. What a sight! Hungary, hosting the Giro d’Italia.”

‘More pressure on the sprinters’ – Preview to Cavendish v Ewan at Giro

Stage 1 of this year’s edition of the Giro is a gentle ride from Budapest to Visegrad before an enticing uphill finale.

The legendary race does not touch down in Italy until Tuesday, with Hungary handed the Grande Partenza honour in 2022.

‘An incredible feeling’ – Bradley Wiggins on winning first stage of Giro d’Italia

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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