Vincenzo Nibali secured his first Tour de France title in Perigueux on Saturday as Tony Martin won the penultimate day’s time-trial.
Nibali (Astana), barring an astonishing and unprecedented turn of events, will win the 101st Tour’s yellow jersey on Sunday evening after taking a lead of seven minutes 52 seconds to Paris, where the final stage is traditionally a procession, before being contested by the sprinters on the Champs-Elysees.
The Italian, winner of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and 2013 Giro d’Italia, will become the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours, after Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Alberto Contador.
Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the 54-kilometre time-trial from Bergerac in one hour six minutes 21 seconds and Nibali was fourth in 1hr 8mins 19secs to seal his success.
The 20th stage was about who would join Nibali on the podium, with three riders – Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) – separated by 15 seconds at the start of the day.