>>>Vincenzo Nibali results and rider profile

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: November 14, 1984
Height: 179cm
Weight: 61kg
Team: Astana
Twitter: @vincenzonibali

Vincenzo Nibali is the current saving grace of Italian cycling. In a period when the country is short on winning riders, Nibali has delivered them Grand Tour wins as well as exciting racing and has victories in the 2014 Tour de France, 2013 Giro d’Italia and 2010 Vuelta a España.

Nibali is often touted as a traditional rider in a modern era and is known for his descending skills. However, his 2014 Tour win was partly a result of painstaking work based on his power output and that of his rivals, masterminded by his coach Paolo Slongo.

Having won the 2013 Giro, the Italian took the brave move to skip his home tour in 2014 in favour for another assault on the Tour de France. It was a move that proved hugely successful. An opportunistic win on stage two in to Sheffield was followed by a sublime ride over the cobbles to set up a dominant three week performance. As his rivals fell by the wayside, Nibali grew stronger, dominating in the mountains and not showing a weakness.

Nibali had a busy winter after his 2014 Tour victory, and started the 2015 season slowly in comparison to the previous year. He was off the pace of his key rivals Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana throughout the 2015 Tour and finished in fourth place behind Froome, despite winning a stage in the Alps. Nibali himself said during the race: “I don’t even seem like the brother of Nibali from last year. I don’t know the problem”.

Nibali’s 2015 season then went from bad to worse, as he was disqualified from the Vuelta a España for holding on to a team car. However, a late-season surge in form saw him claim Il Lombardia after a masterclass show of decending skills, his biggest one-day race win to date.

Major results: 2015 Il Lombardia | 2014 Tour de France | 2013 Giro d’Italia | 2010 Vuelta a España