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Nibali will be pursuing his third Giro d'Italia title having won it in 2013 and 2016. Nibali moved to Trek-Segafredo over the winter and the pair have raced just twice together - at the Royal Bernard Drome Classic and Faun-Ardèche Classic - before the cycling season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bernard is set to have a vital role in the mountains at the Giro and he is looking forward to developing his relationship with the Italian in one of cycling's most prestigious races.

"Normally, I do the Giro with Vincenzo. It’s a big objective and I’m currently on track to be in good shape," he told Cyclingnews.

"To race the Giro with Nibali on the team is a big honour for me because he’s won it before and we’re going into the race looking to repeat that.

"I’ve got really good memories of racing the Giro in 2017. I did the hardest ever stage of my life that year on the Stelvio and I’m looking to riding like that again.

Riding for Nibali for sure is an important job. I’ll have a big place on the team as one of the climbers and I hope to be in good shape.

Julien Bernard wins dramatic Stage 2 of Virtual Tour de France

Bernard is likely to participate in La Route d'Occitanie at the start of August and he says his efforts in the virtual world should transfer over to the real cycling season.

He added: "Even though this is virtual I’m still really happy to have won. It shows that at Trek-Segafredo we’ve worked really hard during the stop in racing and that we’re now ready for real racing."

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