The Bahrain Merida rider, winner of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, 2013, 2016 Giro d’Italia and 2014 Tour de France, is the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours, after Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Alberto Contador.
“I’ll be in top shape for the Vuelta,” Nibali said. “I’ve always liked the Vuelta. I won it, and the courses in Spain suit me well. As always, I will start to give it my best.”
“The Vuelta convinced me that I am a stage racer,” he said. “The red jersey brings me intense memories, but so does the second place behind Horner. Defeat is also part of sport, and anyway, I always look forward.”
In this year’s Vuelta the GC field will be again the deepest of all three grand tours this year. With Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru, Esteban Chaves, Steven Kruijswijk, the Yates-twins, Rafal Majka, Ilnur Zakarin the field is more than impressive.
“I don’t think there’s a clear favorite,” Nibali said. “I believe the course will deliver some surprises.”