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Nibali ready to deliver 'ko punch' for third Giro win

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Milan (AFP)

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali remains confident he can deliver a 'ko punch' to claim a third Giro d'Italia victory at the expense of direct rivals Ecuador's Richard Carapaz and Slovenian Primoz Roglic.

"From tomorrow (Tuesday) a different race begins, very demanding, a very tough week awaits," said Nibali on the last rest day Monday before heading into the final week of racing.

"We've already done some difficult stages, but starting from tomorrow we will all be more tired.

"In general I feel right, because I know my worth. I don't want to say more, but I know that I can do well in this Giro."

Tuesday's 16th stage which covers 226km between Lovere and Ponte Di Legno in northern Italy, features a new route, without the Gavia climb, because of the risk of avalanche.

"This change will take something out for sure. We will still have to face the Mortirolo that is a brutal climb anyway," continued the Bahrain-Merida rider.

"I don't know what will be the right strategy if to try to gain seconds day by day or give a 'ko punch' to my rivals in one stage.

"This is a very tactical Giro, as unpredictable as always," said the 34-year-old Sicilian, known as the "The Shark".

Nibali won the Giro in 2013 and 2016, and is third overall 1min 47sec behind Carapaz and one-minute adrift of Roglic.

But the Slovenian could have the edge in Sunday's time-trial in Verona.

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