Section: Tour de France

Tour de France : S21 : Vincenzo Nibali completes race victory

Vincenzo Nibali won the 101st edition of the Tour de France as he finished the final stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris safely in the peloton.

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The Italian is the sixth man to win all three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

His winning margin of seven minutes 37 seconds over Jean-Christophe Peraud in second is the biggest since Jan Ullrich won by more than nine minutes in 1997.

Germany’s Marcel Kittel won Sunday’s traditional final-stage sprint finish.

The Giant-Shimano rider outsprinted Norway’s Alexander Kristoff to win his fourth stage of this year’s Tour, with Garmin-Sharp’s Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas in third.

For Nibali, the 21st and final stage was all about reaching the finish safely because Tour tradition dictates that the leader going into the final stage should not be challenged.

The 29-year-old Astana rider dominated the Tour from the moment he took the race lead on stage two in Sheffield and wore the race leader’s yellow jersey for 18 of the race’s 21 days.

He is the first Italian winner of the race since Marco Pantani in 1998.

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Tour de France : S20 : Martin a class apart as Nibali confirms yellow jersey

Vincenzo Nibali secured his first Tour de France title in Perigueux on Saturday as Tony Martin won the penultimate day’s time-trial.

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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.

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Tour de France 2014 : S19 : Navardauskas takes advantage of crash

Ramunas Navardauskas was rewarded for a daring late escape with victory on stage 19 of the Tour de France in Bergerac.

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Navardauskas held off a peloton splintered by crashes on a treacherous finale to the 208.5-kilometre route from Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour to claim victory for Garmin-Sharp.

The torrential rain in the Dordogne region aided the Lithuanian’s chances as Navardauskas achieved what his team-mate Jack Bauer could not last Sunday in finishing first ahead of the sprinters.

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) led home a small bunch, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), the man who caught Bauer in Nimes, third.

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Tour de France : S18 : Unbeatable Nibali claims fourth stage win

Vincenzo Nibali claimed his fourth stage success of the 101st Tour de France on Thursday to all-but seal overall victory.

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Nibali (Astana) added victory on the 145.5-kilometre 18th stage from Pau to Hautacam to wins in Sheffield, La Planche des Belles Filles and Chamrousse.

The Italian began the day with an advantage of five minutes 26 seconds and enhanced his lead to a near-unassailable 7mins 10secs with just three stages to go.

Bar a major blow, he will win the yellow jersey in Paris on Sunday, and the battle to join him on the podium intensified on Thursday.

Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was second on the stage, 1min 10secs behind Nibali, to move up to second place overall.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who began the day in second, finished 10th, 1:59 behind, to drop to fourth overall, 7:25 behind Valverde.

Pinot is second by 13 seconds from Jean-Christophe Peraud, who was fourth on the stage, with Valverde two seconds further back.

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Tour de France : S17 : Marvellous Majka wins in the mountains

Poland’s Rafal Majka claimed his second victory of the 2014 Tour de France on stage 17 as Vincenzo Nibali further enhanced his hold on the race leader’s yellow jersey.

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The 124.5-kilometre route from Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet was a brute, with four categorised climbs including the finishing ascent where the stage result was decided.

Majka won Saturday’s 14th stage to Risoul and recorded Tinkoff-Saxo’s second successive Pyrenean stage win after Michael Rogers’ success on Tuesday as the team’s strong performance since losing leader Alberto Contador to injury continued.

Contador began the race as one of the overall favourites, but it appears no-one will challenge Nibali (Astana) for the maillot jaune now.

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Tour de France : S16 : Michael Rogers takes a bow

Michael Rogers claimed a first ever Tour de France stage victory as he out-foxed Thomas Voeckler and Europcar.

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The former Team Sky rider followed up his Giro successes on his return from suspension by taking stage 16, the 237.5 kilometre run from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Rogers, cleared of wrongdoing in April after a positive test for clenbuterol, and Voeckler, who had Europcar team-mate Cyril Gautier for company in the closing stages, were part of a 21-man break-away which took shape in three waves from 28km, and they were 12 minutes clear by the time they reached Port de Bales – 35km from the finishing line.

But the Australian made his move 4.5km from the line and it proved decisive to prevent Voeckler from extending his unbeaten run at Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali maintained his overall lead for Astana with his advantage over second-placed Alejandro Valverde remaining at 4’37”.

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Tour de France : S15 : Kristoff catches Bauer in thrilling chase

Alexander Kristoff took the win on stage 15 of the Tour de France as the sprinters caught breakaway pair Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer on the line.

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Bauer had disappeared into the lead from the very beginning of the 222 kilometre stage between Tallard and Nimes but lost out cruelly in the closing stages as the chasing pack eventually put in a huge push.

Stormy conditions and difficult crosswinds made life difficult for Bauer and Elmiger but they maintained their lead until Katusha’s Kristoff led the sprinting pack past – leaving Garmin-Sharp rider Bauer in tears at the finish.

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Tour de France : S14 : Rafal Majka conquers the Alps

Rafal Majka breaks away to win stage 14 of the Tour de France in Risoul

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Asked on Saturday morning about his backing of Bjarne Riis’s Tinkoff-Saxo squad, the Russian banker Oleg Tinkoff explained that the money he spends is partly marketing and partly personal passion: “It’s better than spending €80m on a yacht.”

After the loss of his team leader, Alberto Contador, a little success in the form of the young Pole Rafal Majka’s stage win at the top of the 12.6km climb here will do no harm either.

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Tour de France : S13 : Vincenzo Nibali powers to stage win

Vincenzo Nibali pulls clear in hors cat©gorie climb to Chamrousse.

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Given what fate had in store for Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Andrew Talansky, Vincenzo Nibali will be taking nothing for granted although he is the last of the big favourites still here. However, nine days out from Paris, the Italian has a stranglehold on the Tour, and looks a given to succeed Felice Gimondi and Marco Pantani in the pantheon of Italian victors, subject to the usual provisos about stray dogs, Acts of God, and positive drugs tests.

This 18-kilometre climb lacks the brutal steepness and lunatic fringe of fans that give a unique quality to l’Alpe d’Huez – just over the other side of the Chaine de Belledonne from here – but it was more than tough enough to enable Nibali to win his third stage in searing heat; after Richie Porte’s unexpected collapse, he extended his overall lead to 3min 37sec over the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde. Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot are the only others now within five minutes.

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Tour de France : S12 : Kristoff sprints to victory

Alexander Kristoff held off Peter Sagan in a sprint finish to claim victory in the 12th stage of the Tour de France from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne.

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The Team Katusha rider pounced over the final 500 metres to hold off Sagan (Cannondale), with the Slovakian forced to settle for his fourth second-place finish of this year’s tour.

There was no change at the top of the overall standings, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retaining his yellow jersey and his two minutes 23 seconds lead over Richie Porte (Team Sky), with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third.

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