Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is closing in on his first Giro d’Italia without a stage win. Past champions before, including Ryder Hesjedal last year, crowned their victories with a win in one of the races famous Alpine mountain legs.

“I think I can win one of the big mountain stages or the time trial [today],” Nibali explained in press conference yesterday.

“It’s always hard to win those. I also have to defend an important jersey, which I’ve been wearing for already many days. My goal is to take time on my rivals, and if there’s a chance to win a stage, then I’ll try.”

Nibali gifted the Jafferau stage to fellow Italian, Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) on Saturday. The duo escaped and worked together to achieve their goals: Nibali time on rivals, Santambrogio a stage win.

Time is running out for Nibali. Today’s mountain time trial and two high-mountain stages, Val Martello and Tre Cime di Lavaredo remain.

Bad weather, however, may cut the meat out of those tests. Race technical director, Mauro Vegni told Cycling Weekly on Tuesday that the Gavia and Stelvio passes are at risk and that he may re-route cyclists through the valleys to reach Val Martello. He added that he might have to cancel the Giro’s jewel, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, because it could be impossible to reach.

Tomorrow, snow and freezing temperatures are expected at Passo dello Stelvio, the race’s highest climb at 2758 metres.

Taking such famous passi out of the Giro would lessen Nibali’s win.

Nibali explained without them, it would be easier to control his 1-26-minute lead over Cadel Evans (BMC Racing). But he added, “It’s hard to say if I’d feel like the winner.”

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Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports



Stage 17: Visconti wins from escape



Stage 16: Intxausti continues Movistar’s successful Giro with stage win



Stage 15: Visconti wins Galibier stage



Stage 14: Santambrogio wins and Nibali strengthens lead



Stage 13: Cavendish takes his fourth stage win of 2013 Giro



Stage 12: Cavendish takes 100th win as Wiggins’ Giro bid faltrs



Stage 11: Navardauskas wins as favourites enjoy day off



Stage 10: Uran wins as Wiggins and Hesjedal lose time



Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure



Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead



Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins



Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro



Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win



Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win


Stage three: Paolini takes charge



Stage two: Sky wins team time trial



Stage one: Cavendish wins opener

Giro d’Italia 2013: Photo galleries



Photos by Graham Watson



Stage 17 gallery



Stage 16 gallery



Stage 15 gallery



Stage 14 gallery



Stage 13 gallery



Stage 12 gallery



Stage 11 gallery



Stage 10 gallery



Stage nine gallery



Stage eight gallery



Stage seven gallery



Stage six gallery



Stage five gallery



Stage four gallery



Stage three gallery



Stage two gallery



Stage one gallery



Team presentation gallery




Giro d’Italia 2013: Videos



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