Nearly 1,000 hours in the saddle, more than 32,000 kilometres ridden, the equivalent of 1,400 chicken breasts consumed – and one Tour de France victory. Those are some of the key numbers of Vincenzo Nibali’s 2014, according to Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
They come at the end of a year in which the Sicilian became just the sixth cyclist ever to have won all three Grand Tours, but he already has his eyes on something no Tour de France winner has ever achieved – becoming Olympic road race champion, saying the course at Rio 2016 suits him.
Meanwhile, the president of CONI, Italy’s national Olympic committee, believes that the Sicilian is riding clean, despite the doping scandals that threatened the WorldTour status of Nibali’s Astana team; it was granted a licence for 2015 earlier this month, but UCI president Brian Cookson says the Kazakh outfit is “on probation.”
According to the newspaper, Nibali’s focus on numbers is due to the influence of his sports director at Astana – and previously, at Liquigas-Cannondale – Paolo Slongo, who said: “Vincenzo was an artist who lived on his feelings.
“Now he has found a balance between his instinctive nature and science and methodology. The Tour was the greatest expression of our way of working.
"In the future, we could improve materials or specifics, but in terms of performance Vincenzo has reached his peak.”
Nibali’s numbers for 2014 are shown in a series of infrographics produced by La Gazzetta dell Sport. Here are the key figures.
• Kilometres ridden – 32,584 from 11 December 2013, the start of his pre-season training, to 31 October 2014.
• Hours in the saddle – 996 during the same period.
• Average speed – 32 kilometres an hour.
• Kilometres raced – 11,794 in 73 days of competition.
• Calories consumed – 153,274 kCal, equivalent to 440 plates of pasta of 100 grams, or 1,400 chicken breasts of the same weight.
• Maximum power output in training – 1,500 Watts for five seconds; 1,100 Watts or 20 seconds.
• Maximum power output in racing – 473 Watts for four minutes, Tour de France Stage 2 to Sheffield.
• Maximum speed descending – 102 kilometres an hour, Tour de France Stage 7 to Nancy.
Looking ahead to 2015, Nibali said: “Repeating the Tour de France win will be very difficult, but nothing is impossible and I’m working as hard as I can for next season.
“We’re hoping to start well straight away and peak in July. The Tour is definitely the main goal, but I won’t neglect other big races.”
Regarding the 2016 Olympic road race, he said: “I’ve looked at it, it seems a hard course, a difficult one and suited to my strengths, so we’ll see – we’re a year and a half away, but I’d like to be one of the main protagonists.”
Earlier this week, CONI president Giovanni Malagò told Sky Sport Italia that he was convinced that Nibali is riding clean.
Riders associated with the 30-year-old Sicilian’s Astana team to have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in recent months include Maxim Iglinskiy, one of Nibali’s key supporting riders during July’s Tour de France.
Malagò said: “Someone like him [Nibali] is subject to anti-doping controls on an almost daily basis and there has never been an imbalance in his [blood] values, so whoever understands the issue knows that is that Nibali is a trustworthy and clean person.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.