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.
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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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.
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Vincenzo Nibali claimed his fourth stage success of the 101st Tour de France on Thursday to all-but seal overall victory.
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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Vincenzo Nibali pulls clear in hors cat©gorie climb to Chamrousse.
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 â€“ just over the other side of the Chaine de Belledonne from here â€“ 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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Vincenzo Nibali reclaimed the yellow jersey with a tremendous victory at La Planche des Belles Filles.
Contador crashed on the 161.5-kilometre 10th stage from Mulhouse and, after struggling on for 20km in an effort to play catch-up, gave up and withdrew to his Tinkoff-Saxo team car.
The Spaniard’s departure deprives the race of another previous winner after 2013 champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) withdrew with fractures to his left wrist and right hand on stage five last Wednesday.
Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), who inherited the 2010 title from Contador following an anti-doping infringement, quit the race with a knee injury last Tuesday, although the Luxembourg rider is a shadow of his former self.
None of the remaining riders have won the event, but Nibali took a significant step in his bid to succeed Froome in Paris on July 27.
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There was a home winner on the eighth stage of the Tour de France while Vincenzo Nibali remains in the yellow jersey after a thrilling battle with Alberto Contador.
Blel Kadri dragged himself over the line, rain soaked, after a 161km ride from Tomblaine to Gerardmer La Mauselaine, his victory itself a story as he went solo after being part of a breakaway that had featured gutsy Brit Simon Yates.
But as Frenchman Kadri crossed the line, Nibali had to dig as deep as he could to stay with Contador who, with a kilometre or so to go tried to drop the Astana rider. All he saw was a magnificent response from Nibali who went with him and lost just three seconds of his overall lead to the Spaniard, but increased it to a minute and 44 seconds over second-placed team-mate Jakob Fuglsang.
Contador is two minutes and 34 seconds down in sixth, while away from the scrap between he and Nibali, Team Sky’s new leader Richie Porte moved up to third overall, although he has lost four more seconds to Nibali, trailing by a minute and 58 seconds.
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Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali launched a late attack to win stage two of the Tour de France in Sheffield on Sunday and claim the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Hundreds of thousands of people again lined the 201-kilometre route from York on a brutal and unpredictable day of racing.
Nibali (Astana), the 2013 Giro d’Italia champion, left it late but timed his bid to the line to perfection to secure victory ahead of a number of his rivals for the overall title.
He also claimed the race leader’s maillot jaune, from stage one winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), who endured a difficult day.
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