Nibali completes Tour de France win

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali wins the 101st Tour de France and becomes the sixth man to win all three Grand Tours.

    Nibali attacked repeatedly on the big climbs, hammering the opposition in the mountains [GALLO/GETTY]
    Nibali attacked repeatedly on the big climbs, hammering the opposition in the mountains [GALLO/GETTY]

    Vincenzo Nibali became the first Italian to win the Tour de France since the late Marco Pantani, dominating his rivals on all terrains as his main rivals crashed out of a superb three-week race.

    While Italy celebrated its seventh Tour winner, a jubilant France hailed its first double podium finish in 30 years as veteran Jean-Christophe Peraud and youngster Thibaut Pinot took second and third respectively.

    Nibali beat Peraud by 7:37 minutes and Pinot by 8:15 minutes to become the sixth man to win all three grand tours after Belgian Eddy Merckx, Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Italian Felice Gimondi and Spaniard Alberto Contador.

    The Italian finished safely as the sprinters contested the embers of the three-week Tour around the Champs Elysees, emulating the 1998 feat of Pantani.

    Germany's Marcel Kittel produced a burst of speed to claim the final stage, his fourth stage win of the Tour and a repeat of his victory on the iconic Parisian landmark last year.

    Nibali began the day with a near eight-minute lead and only needed to avoid a last-day crash to complete victory.

    Contador, who was hoping to add to his two Tour titles, crashed out in the 10th stage, riding 15 kilometres with a broken shinbone before pulling out.

    Last year's winner Chris Froome packed his bags after a crash on the cobbles in the fifth stage, the day Nibali opened a big gap over all his main rivals with a scintillating display on the treacherous lanes of northern France.

    Shark of Messina

    Nicknamed 'The Shark of Messina', Nibali stayed true to his aggressive self by attacking repeatedly on the big climbs, hammering the opposition in the mountains.

    While the 2012 Tour crowned a 'rouleur' in Wiggins and a climber the following year in Froome, this year's race belonged to a true all-rounder.

    On Sunday, he just stayed safe in the bunch during the last stage as Kittel beat Norway's Alexander Kristoff and Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas.

    True to tradition, Nibali and his team mates drank champagne while the peloton rode towards Paris at a snail's pace.

    He took the yellow jersey in the second stage with a late attack on the way to Sheffield, England, where the Tour was greeted with immense crowds.

    The Astana rider surrendered his overall lead for just one stage to Tony Gallopin, one of several Frenchmen to impress.

    Slovakian Peter Sagan sealed his third consecutive green jersey for the points classification although he failed to win a single stage on the Tour.

    French outfit Ag2R-La Mondiale won the teams classification.

    Poland's Rafal Majka confirmed he is a top climber by taking the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification after being handed a free role by his team following Contador's exit.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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