Vincenzo Nibali has laid out some of his plans for the 2015 season at the launch of the second edition of the Dubai Tour.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

The 2014 Tour de France champion confirmed that he will ride in the 4-7 February race as a part of an early season preparation for his Tour defence.

"We need these kinds of races at the beginning of the season where we can ride in much nicer weather conditions," said Nibali.

"This is going to be the my first race of the season with my team, so I'm curious to see how it will go.

"I hope to have lost some weight by then but the race allows for some easy riding for me apart from the 18 per cent final climb. It's only 200 metres in elevation but that will be enough to make a selection."

Nibali also all but confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will skip the Giro d'Italia in order to prepare fully for the Tour, preferring to see his Astana team-mate Fabio Aru fighting for the pink jersey.

"I honestly don't think I'll do the Giro d'Italia," said Nibali. "I said I'd do the Giro if I have to, but if I ride it, I want to ride it to win it.

"At Astana we've also got Fabio Aru, who is more suited to the Giro d'Italia than the Tour de France. And so if I ride the Giro, I'd overshadow him. So the team wants Aru to ride the Giro and I ride the Tour. I understand that choice.

"Of course I want to return to the Giro and want to try to win it again because I'm Italian and love the Giro. I didn't ride the Giro after I won it in 2013 but I know that I'll go back to try to win it again in the years to come."

Nibali also said earlier this month that his 2015 season would follow the same path as 2014, and would include the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race and Milano-San Remo single day classic.