Italian champion and that win was needed for Nibali, who had an otherwise forgettable Tour build up. Once underway in La Grande Boucle he took stage 2 and outsmarted his GC opponents in stage 5, so maybe the build up was not bad after all.
Maybe? His performance in the ride to La Planche des Belles Filles catapulted him to a status of top favourite.
He came third in the 2012 Tour after another quiet build up. An in-form Nibali isn’t easily stopped.
World champion and the only rider ever to win the extremely mountainous Tour de Suisse three times in a row. So climbing comes natural to him, a feat he underlined by taking the Queen Stage to Saas-Fee.
Stand-in leader at Team Sky and not a bad one at all. Rather suprisingly to be honest, since his season was plagued with sat backs and injuries. In the first serious climb this Tour, near Gérardmer, only he and Nibali were able to stay in the slipstream of Alberto Contador.
Still only 24-years of age, the French talent almost as strong at the top finish near Gérardmer. His spectacular 2012 breakthrough was followed by a desastrous 2013 Tour, so hopefully three times a charm. In the spectacular La Planche des Belles Filles stage he came in second, just 15 seconds after the unapproachable Nibali.
Tour de France 2014 stage 14: Images and more
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