Is there such a thing as a Nibali Hater? Somewhere out in the mean backwaters of the internet, there’s probably a few dissenters and crabby critics, but our sense is that everyone is happy with Nibali winning the Tour de France.
After recent champions like the oddball, hot and cold, happy and miserable Bradley Wiggins and the polite yet robotic Chris Froome, cycling fans have rejoiced with Nibali’s first Tour victory.
People enjoy Nibali’s attacking style of riding, his toughness in bad weather conditions, his impressive bike-handling skills, his calm, easy-going team leadership, his grounded personality when it comes to handling the inevitable doping questions and finally, his real emotion in winning the Tour.
“It’s the most important and the best moment, I never imagined it could feel this good because when you find yourself on this podium on the Champs Elysees, it’s unique,” said Nibali, reading a prepared statement. “Now that I’m here it’s even better than I imagined.”
Vincenzo is genuinely overcome by his victory, in near-tears on the podium, effusive in his happiness, overwhelmed by the intensity of his feelings. Maybe it’s just being Italian, but Nibali has been a gush-ball about his maillot jaune and winning the greatest bike race in the world.
It’s nice to have a champion who reaches the highest peak, the greatest moment in his career and isn’t afraid to get a little choked up about the experience. “I’ve never felt more emotional in my career.”
To steal the advertising theme line from fast food conglomerate McDonalds, Vincenzo is “loving it.” And to follow up with the crowd reaction in a hip-hop ghetto style, “Hell yeah.”
While most all of us missed what would have been an epic battle between Froome and Contador and Nibali, there’s also the general sentiment that the Italian is a deserving winner who showed from day one in Yorkshire that he was here for the win and nothing but.
Nibali may be famous for being so tranquillo on the bike, but we’re excited about a Tour de France winner who isn’t afraid to share his happiness.