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Vincenzo Nibali wants to lead Italy at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali has targeted Olympic gold in 2016, claiming the course in Rio de Janeiro will suit him.

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The Italian won the yellow jersey at Le Tour in 2014, becoming just the sixth cyclist to claim the general classification (GC) title in all three grand tours, and would like to add an Olympic gold medal to his list of achievements.

Nibali was part of Italy's team at London 2012, finishing 101st, but would like to lead his country at Rio 2016.

The course around Flamengo Park in Rio was revealed this month, including two decent steep climbs of 400 and 200 metres of elevation, and Nibali is confident he could thrive on such a route.

"I've had a look and it seems to be a tough course, difficult and suitable to my characteristics," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We will see, there is still a year and a half but I'd like to be a leader."

Nibali benefitted from the early departures of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) as he won this year's Tour, while Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was not involved after focusing on - and winning - the Giro d'Italia.

All three of Nibali's rivals are expected to challenge the Italian from Astana next year and he knows it will be tough to become the first cyclist to legitimately win back-to-back yellow jerseys since Miguel Indurain.

"[To] repeat the success in the Tour de France will be very difficult, in any case nothing is impossible and I'm already working well for the next season," he said.

"We hope to start well and get to the top in July. The Tour is certainly the main goal but I won't omit other important races."

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