Vincenzo Nibali is an Italian cyclist and is considered to be one of the main challengers for the Tour de France title this year. He has been a professional cyclist since 2005 and has won quite a number of races putting him into the elite group of three as regards challengers for the main tours such as the Vuelta and the Giro d’Italia. Nibali already began to make a name for himself, way back in 2009 when he placed an excellent seventh in the Tour de France where he overcame the challenge of his team mate Ivan Basso who was a far bigger favourite than Nibali. In 2010, Nibali registered his first important victory in the Tour de San Luis but his greatest achievement that year was to win the Spanish Vuelta which was his first major tour victory. Intriguingly he won this tour without actually winning a single stage. 2011 was another solid year for Nibali where he managed to provide a serious challenge to the British duo of Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins although he eventually disappointed and only finished in seventh place overall. In 2012, Nibali again provided a serious challenge to the British cyclists but he could not make any headway after attacking at certain pressure points and eventually finished in third place although he was the only cyclist to finish within ten minutes of Froome and Wiggins. In 2013, Nibali placed second in the Vuelta and also performed well in the Tour de France finishing second overall. He is very much a top contender for this year’s Tour but he has to be careful so as not to be outfoxed by Froome who is still the top favourite for victory. The odds on Betsafe show Nibali in second place behind Froome with a 7.50 rating that is equal to the Colombian Nairo Quintana.
The Tour de France is probably the most important and most prestigious cycling event of the year and its winners are lauded as the ultimate achievers in the history of cycling. It started off with a newspaper launching the race way back in the 1930’s and has today become the topmost event in the cycling season. Last season’s event was won by the British cyclist Chris Froome and this year he is expected to be one of the main challengers for the Tour’s coveted Yellow Jersey. There have been many famous winners in the past such as Miguel Indurain although the Tour will forever be shrouded in controversy after the demise of Lance Armstrong who won an unprecedented seven titles but was eventually stripped of them all due to doping charges.
The three main challengers for this year’s Tour de France are the same Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana. These three all did battle last year and although Froome emerged as the winner, competition is still expected to be very harsh and challenging. Froome perhaps starts as the hot favourite and according to the odds on Betsson, Froome is way ahead at 1.55 with Nibali and Quintana at 7.5. The Spaniard Alberto Contador is currently ranked fourth with odds of 10 flat and he appears to be quite an outsider to get something out of the Tour.
All three cyclists have been in considerable form of late so all of them can be said to be in with a chance if you take their past performance into account. However it is Froome who stands out from the rest of the pack due to his all-round ability to perform on the varied and different terrain ranging from the difficult and challenging mountains to the flat and speedy time trials. Nibali is perhaps the closest of his challengers but all punters and followers of the sport are tipping Froome to register his second victory on the trot.
Bicycles have been used as transport for around 200 years, and are as popular today as they have ever been; it is believed there are over a billion bicycles in use across the world. Cycling is a good way to increase fitness, and is a popular sport that is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Cycling is seen by many as the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to travel short to medium distances.
Health Benefits of Cycling
There are many health benefits to be gained by cycling. As part of a healthy eating/fitness regime it may help with weight reduction; it has been proved to reduce stress levels and generally improve fitness and well-being. In addition it is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family from young to old. Being a low impact sport there is less risk of causing harm to joints than other popular forms of exercise such as aerobics or jogging.
It is a sport that is easy to establish into your everyday routine. Most people need to get to and from work, school or college. By riding a bike, instead of taking a car or bus, you will be not just be improving your own health, but also helping to protect the environment. Taking everything into account, this all helps to make cycling nice exercise.
You don’t have to be Cadel Evans to enjoy cycling. In fact, the beautiful thing about two-wheelers is that they’re accessible to people of all fitness and skill levels. The world’s very diverse surface is covered in all kinds of bicycle tracks. Whether you want to take on epic mountain adventures or cruise along the boardwalk at your local beach, you’ll find that cycling is one of the most fun ways to spend your leisure time.
Fun, adventure and fitness
Unlike other sports, which are often repetitive, cycling offers endless opportunities for adventure. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to begin with short, manageable rides. Find a local park or waterfront with a bike path, so that you don’t have to worry about cars and buses.
As you gain more confidence and fitness, head out for longer rides. You’ll be surprised to discover how many exciting routes are out there.
With the exception of the initial purchase and occasional maintenance of your two-wheeled vehicle, cycling has to be one of the cheapest hobbies around. Some people even take basic bike mechanics courses, so that they can perform upkeep themselves.
What’s more, if you’re a beginner, you should be able to pick up an entry-level bike without spending too much money. It’s even worth scouring the second-hand market. You can score some extraordinary bargains.