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Vincenzo Nibali’s (Astana-Qazaqstan Team) season has taken another hit with the veteran rider set to miss Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico due to continuing health problems.
A report published in La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that the 37-year-old would miss both Strade Bianche and Tirreno due to a throat infection, with the team later backing up the news when contacted by VeloNews.
Nibali tested positive for COVID-19 just over two weeks ago and missed Ruta del Sol as a result.
He was expected to make a return for this weekend’s Strade Bianche and then suit up for Tirreno-Adriatico next week. He won the Italian stage race three times in his long and glittering career, and although the race is far out from the Giro d’Italia, it nevertheless represents a significant early test and indicator of form.
According to the team, a meeting is scheduled soon with the squad’s management set to decide on their star rider’s race program for the coming weeks.
“For sure he misses Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico,” a team press officer told VeloNews.
“His following program still has to be decided. Indeed he was sick before and now the medical staff has to decide when it will be best for him to start racing again.”
The team would not confirm if Nibali had resumed training following COVID but they did state that the Italian was now “100 percent negative” for COVID-19.
Nibali returned to Astana after three years at Bahrain Merida and two more at Trek-Segafredo. He won a Tour de France and two editions of the Giro d’Italia at Astana and joined on a one-year deal at the start of 2022. He is also set to race the Tour de France in July.
Nibali finished 16th overall in his first and only outing for Astana so far this year, at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.