Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali, impressive once again

Vincenzo NibaliFriday July 18th, 2014 - The first ride in the Alps and immediately a hors catégorie top finish. The ride from Saint-Etienne to ski-resort Chamrousse is tailor made to detonate the fireworks. And so it does. Vincenzo Nibali is once again in a class of his own and Valverde is creeping up in the GC, thanks to an off-day by Richie Porte. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 13th stage Tour de France 2014

1. Vincenzo Nibali (ita)
2. Rafal Majka (pol) + 0.10
3. Leopold König (Cze) + 0.11
4. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.50
5. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 0.53
6. Tejay van Garderen (USA) + 1.23
7. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
8. Laurens ten Dam (Nld) + 1.36
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (fra) + 2.09
10. Fränk Schleck (lux) s.t.

12. Jurgen Van den Broeck (bel) s.t.
13. Bauke Mollema (Nld) s.t.
15. Rui Costa (por) + 3.01
27. Richie Porte (aus) + 8.48

GC after stage 13th stage
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ita)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 3.37
3. Romain Bardet (fra) + 4.24
4. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 4.40
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) + 5.19
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (fra) + 6.06
7. Bauke Mollema (Nld) + 6.17
8. Jurgen Van den Broeck (bel) + 6.27
9. Rui Costa (por) + 8.35
10. Leopold König (CZE) + 8.36

Race report
On the lower flanks of the Col de la Croix de Montvieux the first incarnation of the break of the day takes shape. Tom Dumoulin, Giovanni Visconti, Alessandro De Marchi, Blel Kadri, Jack Bauer, Kristjan Durasek and Daniel Oss have gone clear, but Bauer is dropped and Dumoulin punctures. Bartosz Huzarski and Brice Feillu join the break and seven riders crest the top of the 3th category climb.

Rudy Molard and Jan Bakelants are chasing and in the descent they make it nine upfront. The gap grows to around 5 minutes and when the Col de Palaquit looms Katusha open the chase in the pack. At the foot of the penultimate climb the gain is under 2 minutes.

On the lower flanks Kadri attacks and the only one to follow is Jan Bakelants. De Marchi rejoins them and immediately goes solo. He is the first to crest the Palaquit, Bakelants at 1’15” and Maté at 1’40”. The GC men are 2’40” behind.

At the closing climb to Chamrousse the finale words are to the GC men. Or should we say GC man? The pace is steady and the first one to drop is Richie Porte. His misery is even deepened when Thibaut Pinot ups the pave upfront. Rui Costa is the next victim, but he can recover.

Leopold König breaks free and Rafal Majka joins him. Laurens ten Dam tries to cross but can’t make it. Those three are no GC threat.

Different story with Valverde. When he attacks Nibali and Pinot jump to his wheel. They join Ten Dam en the four of them are off. They have put 1 minute into the chasing group with Van Garderen, Bardet, Mollema, Schleck, Péraud and Van den Broeck. At the back Rui Costa is blown away at last. Porte’s GC is into shreds.

With 6.5 kilometres left Nibali powers away and in no-time he is with König and Majka. Valverde and Pinot are together, Ten Dam has been dropped. Further down the road Van Garderen and Bardet are chasing. Schleck and Péraud are a couple, just like Mollema and Van den Broeck.

The mountain is covered with groups of riders with upfront one sole ruler: Vincenzo Nibali. He leaves König and Majka with 3.3 kilometres and soloes to an impressive victory, his third this Tour. In doing so he not only cements his overall lead, but takes the polka dot jersey also.

Majka comes in second, König third.

Valverde sprints in ahead of Pinot at 0’50” and moves up in the GC. Bardet hold on to his white jersey in spite of Pinot’s attack. The young Frenchmen are only 16 second apart

Tour de France 2014 stage 13: Images and more

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Vincenzo Nibali

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