"The French race gives you an extra day of rest ahead of Milan-San Remo, which, with the addition of the Pompeiana, has become a major objective," Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Another reason is that Nibali will not have to travel too much, but can stay in the same area, which makes it possible to prepare better."
"There’s another factor, which isn’t secondary," Martinelli added. "Nibali is a champion in Italy, but now he needs to have a more international dimension."
Nibali will, as he prepares for the Tour de France, ride the Tour de San Luis, Tour of Oman, Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, Critérium International, the Ardennes classics, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné.
Nibali may also ride the Tour of Flanders, which could be a good race as he will later in the year ride the Tour de France stage over the cobbles to Arenberg.
"The idea of bringing him to the Tour of Flanders is growing stronger," Martinelli said. "He’ll do Amstel and Liège, although I don’t know if we’ll see the same extraordinary Nibali of last season."