Bahrain-Merida opt for balanced team to support Nibali's Tour de France bid

Vincenzo Nibali at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Bahrain-Merida have selected a mix of climbers and rouleurs to support Vincenzo Nibali as the Italian targets a second Tour de France victory. The Sicilian opted to skip the Giro d’Italia and focus fully on the Tour de France in 2018, hoping to repeat his 2014 victory. Bahrain-Merida’s eight rider squad includes Domenico Pozzovivo, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Franco Pellizotti, Heinrich Haussler, Sonny Colbrelli and Kristijan Koren to back Nibali, selecting climbers and rouleurs in the hope of limiting their losses in the stage 3 team time trial and the technically difficult stages in the first half of the race. The Izagirre brothers and Pozzovivo will play a vital role in the mountains, with Pozzovivo coming from a fifth place overall at the Giro d’Italia. Haussler, Colbrelli and Koren will protect Nibali on the cobbled stage and flat roads, with Colbrelli likely to target the sprint finishes. Pellizotti turned 40 ...

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