Three-time Paris-Roubaix winner Francesco Moser was at the start in Compiegne.
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Italian critical of current generation
Francesco Moser has cast a critical eye over Italian cycling at the end of a fourth successive season without a victory in a monument classic, declaring that Vincenzo Nibali is not a champion and bemoaning the scarcity of leaders in the peloton.
In an interview with the Gazzettino newspaper, the triple Paris-Roubaix and 1984 Giro d’Italia winner said that he had been underwhelmed by Nibali’s performance at the Tour de France, where he finished third between the Sky pair of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
“He made a couple of little attacks and then he stopped… Not much for the strongest to be worried about,” Moser said of Nibali’s showing in July. “Nibali is only a good rider, not a champion. You need a lot more to merit that title. He tries and he tries, but he’s always lacking something.”
Nibali will complete a lucrative switch from Liquigas-Cannondale to Astana during at the end of the season, but Moser maintained that the Sicilian’s status owed more to the paucity of the current peloton than his own talents.
“Lucky for him. In my time, riders were stronger and earned less. People are getting excited about very little because they have very little to get excited about,” said Moser, who was prepared by controversial doctor Francesco Conconi to break the hour record in Mexico in 1984.
Nibali was the leader of the Italian team at the world championships in Valkenburg, where for the second year in a row, the squadra azzurra’s best finisher came home in a lowly 13th place.
“Unfortunately, we have too many so-so riders and no element of leadership, so our rivals dominate and win,” Moser said. “I don’t feel
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