Tag Archives: Vincenzo Nibali


Stage 21: Et Maintenant, La Fin.

As we “knew” would be the case barring any last-day catastrophe, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is the champion of the 101st Tour de France– by a huge margin no less!  He joins only five other cyclists in history to win all three Grand Tours– the other two of course Italy’s and Spain’s.

Nibali in Paris

For the first time in more than 30 years, France saw two of its own take the yellow podium–Jean-Christophe Peraud in second and best young rider Thibaut Pinot third.  This, after Marcel Kittel’s second Champs-Elysees bookending victory shut out a stage win for Peter Sagan, even as a survey of more than 4000 votes favored the man in green to take stage 21.  And let’s not forget our resilient American finishing fifth, Tejay Van Garderen, nor Jens Voigt’s swan song.

    Champagne time.   France's Tour Salute

And now, the end.  So passes another Tour de France into the history books for 164 riders who made it to Paris– big-name losses notwithstanding– complete with all the triumph, tradition and Parisian fanfare that defines the finale.  While I’ve yet to get there to see it all in person, for now having Phil Liggett, Bob Roll and all their comrades deliver the action every day for three weeks– plus a commendable first-year commentating job by 2013 retiree Christian Vande Velde— remains an acceptable substitute.  I’m happy to have cycled a mere one quarter of the Tour’s total distance during this time, less than I did last year, but nevertheless taking me there every day in spirit.  Vive Le Tour!

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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France, Daily Activities


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Stage 18: More Now Than Ever.

The climbing is now over for the 101st Tour de France, but not before the Italian in yellow captured the last summit finish while adding nearly another two minutes to his lead.  Sure, we all know anything can happen yet, though I must say here at the end of stage 18 that overall victory in Paris is looking pretty safely wrapped up.  At least the polka dots are set, while the green jersey has once again this year remained on the same single dominant back- and we know whose that is!

 Nibali passes Chris Horner Nibali's solo climb

Then of course there’s white, for the best young rider, in this case France’s bright rising star. Thibaut Pinot has impressively ascended in all rankings throughout his journey, to now sit in second place behind le maillot jaune. Could France see the GC podium in Paris?  Likely.  Could France see yellow?  Unlikely, as this would require a very unusual and surprising seven minutes.

  Along stage 18... Pinot in action

Now heading into the final three days of Le Tour, more now than ever, Vincenzo Nibali will be the champion of the 2014 Tour de France.  At the same time, more now than ever– especially with an individual time trial still to come– again, anything can happen yet.  Now back to the sprints!

(Photos Courtesy – ASO)

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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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Stage 14: An Uphill Battle.

Stage 14's ascent

Just seeing the route map for stage 14 exhausted me, as the grueling ascent to Risoul allowed few if any moments to catch wind.  Anyone hoping to catch Nibali faces an increasingly uphill battle, seeing as the yellow jersey wearer’s overall lead increased by yet another minute today.

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Posted by on July 19, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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Stage 13: Leading On Up…

They’ve reached the Alps, and as always the only way is up.  The same can be said for the shoulders of le maillot jaune, as Vincenzo Nibali comfortably upped his overall Tour lead with his third stage win that earned him the “King of the Mountains” polka dot jersey today as well.  The big ascents have only just begun, because if stage 13 was hard, tomorrow will come.

Nibali's solo breakaway finish in Chamrousse strengthens his Tour dominance.

Nibali’s solo breakaway finish in Chamrousse strengthens his Tour dominance.

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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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Stage 10: Another Big Name.

Wow.  Again.  It’s a good thing Bastille Day is not a Spanish holiday, or that Alberto Contador is not French.  The past champion and serious contender for this year’s victory– yet another big name of Le Tour overall– is out of the race after a serious crash and valiant yet unsuccessful attempt to continue on.  A fractured tibia and bike racing, however, just don’t mix.

At least a Frenchman wore le maillot jaune on this Bastille Day, just before returning it to the man from whom he took it yesterday. With mountainous stage 10 largely considered the hardest thus far, safe to say tomorrow’s rest day hasn’t come at all too soon.  From there, given the constantly changing dynamics of this crazy Tour, all bets are off.

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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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Stage Eight: A Day for France.

Bad weather has returned.  So too has bad luck for Andrew Talansky, in another late-stage fall that dropped the American from top-ten general standing.  “Mano-a-mano” for Contador and Nibali handed them second and third in this first real climbing finish, respectively.

Most of all, it’s turned out to be joyous day for France, thanks to Le Tour’s first French stage victory of the year.  With a soaked Blel Kadri climbing to victory in rain-plagued stage 8, Bastille Day weekend is certainly off to an auspicious start for the blue, white and red!

Frenchman Blel Kadri "swims" to stage 8 victory.

Frenchman Blel Kadri “swims” to stage 8 victory.


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Posted by on July 12, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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Stage Two: Minus One.

Sure enough.  The very first thing we heard at the top of today’s broadcast certainly came as no surprise, all-around disappointment notwithstanding.  Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France. With this, stage 2 went on with 198 riders minus one.

It’s difficult to imagine the next three weeks without the Missile, especially with Le Tour still in England today and tomorrow.  Nevertheless, as we’re left to picture how Cavendish would surely have dominated the peloton through his homeland, the race shall go on as always.

As it did, today’s route from York to Sheffield ended with minus one photo finish.  Winner du jour Vincenzo Nibali just couldn’t be caught, crossing the line “well ahead” of the pack with his two-second lead.  Next stop, London!  (Sorry, Cav.)

Photo:  AFP

Stage two’s finish in Sheffield, England.  (Photo: AFP)

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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France


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