The cyclist returned to Astana in Rome for the ACSI conference: “The Giro? The president of the Region let slip something about the four stages in Sicily, I’d be happy”. And on the new coach Bennati: “For years we riders had imagined him in that role”
From the battle for the safety of those who ride a bicycle to the aspirations for the year that will come with the return home Astana. Vincenzo Nibali spends the afternoon in Rome to participate in the meeting organized by ACSI, one of the strongest promotional bodies on two wheels with 53 thousand members and a calendar always crowded with events. Vincenzo announces that from next week he will return to training regularly to be ready for the meeting with the team in Spain. Then he winks at Roubaix, “I have never raced it, who knows, let’s see”, and at the Giro, “the president of the Region let slip something about the four stages in Sicily, I’d be happy”, but specifies that the plan is still there is no definitive for the season. As for the new coach, a round of applause for the choice of Daniele Bennati. “I was his teammate, for years we riders had imagined him as a possible future coach”.
But Nibali speaks above all of safety, a topic that has long been a reminder of his commitment. “We have been talking about it for years, indeed practically always. The bike is an increasingly used vehicle, but Italy is a country historically focused on the car. Now something is changing: new cycle paths are being created, there is more safety in the historic centers, we are once again talking about the minimum distance of one and a half meters between the car and the cyclist. The problem is that one thing is the highly experienced rider, another the less experienced user, who recognizes the dangers with more difficulty ”. What are the model countries for a bicycle safety policy? “From my experience I can mention Holland and immediately after Denmark”. Nibali then speaks of one of the greatest dangers, “more and more people are driving cars with their mobile phones”. Then he gives some advice to those who ride a bike: “In some hours of the day, it is better to use clothing with very visible colors”. Vincenzo also makes a proposal, better formulates a question: “Abroad, in some countries I have seen that the preferential bus lanes can be used by cyclists. Is it possible here too? ”.
Roberto Sgalla, chairman of the safety commission of the Cycling Federation, also intervened during the meeting, who proposed for the spring 2022 the organization of the General States of bicycle safety. Sgalla also spoke of the need to revise the Highway Code. “He’s old from ’92, he calls the velocipede bicycle. But who is it that uses this word anymore? ”. Several numbers have been provided, from the boom in bike sales (two million in 2020), but also that worrying plus 20 percent of accidents involving cyclists. Cyclists often in difficulty also from a health point of view are legal in the face of an accident, as underlined by the activity of the Zerosbatti association with which Nibali himself is working.
The hope is that something will move. Giovanni Malagò, the president of Coni, also hopes for it, who brought his greetings. “The reasons for the bicycle boom? There are many, the emulation effect of the extraordinary successes of our champions, the popularity of the great events starting from the Giro d’Italia, the same pandemic that has favored those disciplines that take place outdoors without contact such as athletics and cycling. . But now it is the legislator who must do his part on safety ”. Speaking of part to be done, Nibali is ready: “If it will be my last year? Of course I’m not eternal… but now let’s enjoy this return to Astana and start training again ”.
November 2, 2021 (change November 2, 2021 | 19:24)
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Nibali between the future and road safety: “Protect your bikes and stop driving while on the phone!”