Vincenzo Nibali, Italian, 1984 -
This is a photo that I took at the Grand Départ in Leeds in 2014, a fine event notable for the for the almost surreal bonhomie amongst the spectators. Vincenzo Nibali is the second rider in this procession of Astana riders riding down to sign in. He went on to win the Tour that year.
Vincenzo Nibali is undoubtedly a considerable cyclist - in addition to his Tour win, he also won the Vuelta in 2010 and the Giro in both 2013 and 2016. But, despite this, he gets a mixed press in the UK. Perhaps it is the perceived drug-related-dodginess of the Astana Team, managed by the not-altogether-reassuring Alexandre Vinokourov, previously starring the not-altogether-reassuring Alberto Contador and the not-a-little-concerning Lance Armstrong, and seemingly enjoying a never ending procession of domestiques testing positive for this or that. Or perhaps the UK press is just congenitally suspicious of Italian cyclists, determined to detect a hint of EPO at every turn.