photo credit @ LeTour
«The Shark» Nibali Bites Again !
excerpts fro LeTour.fr
There’s no more doubt about who is the strongest rider in the 2014 Tour de France. After stage 2 in Sheffield and stage 10 at La Planche des belles filles, Vincenzo Nibali increased his lead by winning in the Alps. He arrived solo in Chamrousse to claim his third stage win on a day of suffering for Richie Porte, replaced in second place overall by Alejandro Valverde and on the podium by Romain Bardet.
Nine riders in the lead
First attackers Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), José Serpa (Lampre), Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), later rejoined by Jens Voigt (Trek), Luke Durbridge (Orica) and Brice Feillu (Bretagne), weren’t lucky enough to get the freedom they were looking for. Another group went away at km 11, comprising Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Jack Bauer (Garmin), Tom Dumoulin (Giant), Kristjan Durasek (Lampre) and Daniel Oss (BMC), but Bauer got dropped and Dumoulin punctured. Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp) and Brice Feillu (Bretagne) were the first two riders to come across in the ascent to the col de la Croix de Montvieux (summit at km 24). Rudy Molard (Cofidis) and Jan Bakelants (OPQS) also made it in the downhill to form a front group of nine riders.
Katusha at work for Purito
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Jan Bakelants (OPQS), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Kristjan Durasek (Lampre), Daniel Oss (BMC), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp) and Brice Feillu (Bretagne) got a maximum lead of 4.55 at km 75. The composition of the breakaway was fine for race leader Vincenzo Nibali but King of the Mountains Joaquim Rodriguez put his men at work. Katusha dragged the peloton and reduced the time to 1.10 at the bottom of the ascent to the col de Palaquit. Uphill, Kadri and Bakelants were prompt to attack but De Marchi came across and rode them off 12km before the top with another 57km to cover to the finish in Chamrousse. As Katusha stopped pulling, the peloton passed atop Palaquit with a deficit of 2.45. In the downhill, Nibali’s lieutenant Jakob Fuglsang heavily crashed with 41km to go.
Porte in trouble, Nibali in action
15km before the finish at Chamrousse, De Marchi was overtaken by the yellow jersey group composed of: Mikel Nieve and Richie Porte (Sky), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Rafal Majka and Michael Rogers (Tinkoff), Vincenzo Nibali and Tanel Kangert (Astana), Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam (Belkin), Jean-Christophe Péraud and Romain Bardet (AG2R), Rui Costa and Chris Horner (Lampre), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto) Tejay van Garderen and Peter Stetina (BMC), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Fränck Schleck and Haimar Zubeldia (Trek), Leo König (NetApp). With 10km to go, Majka and König rode away. Several accelerations by Pinot and an attack by Valverde created a chasing quartet: Nibali-Valverde-Pinot-Ten Dam, while Porte got into trouble. Nibali attacked with 7km to go and rejoined Majka and König. He dropped them off 3.3km before the finishing line and continued solo to claim a valuable victory, his first in the Alps at the Tour de France. Best young rider Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) moved into the top 3 as a replacement for Porte whose destiny was in total opposite with Nibali’s.
Stage 13 Results ITA 1 NIBALI, Vincenzo (ASTANA) 5:12:29 POL 2 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 10 CZE 3 KONIG, Leopold (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 11 ESP 4 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 50 FRA 5 PINOT, Thibaut (FDJ.fr) + 53 USA 6 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 1:23 FRA 7 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) NED 8 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN) + 1:36 FRA 9 PERAUD, Jean-Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 2:09 LUX 10 SCHLECK, Frank (TREK FACTORY RACING) ESP 11 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING) BEL 12 VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen (LOTTO BELISOL) NED 13 MOLLEMA, Bauke (BELKIN) FRA 14 ROLLAND, Pierre (EUROPCAR) + 3:01 POR 15 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (LAMPRE – MERIDA) AUS 16 ROGERS, Michael (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 3:07 USA 17 HORNER, Christopher (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 3:11
General Classification after Stage 13 ITA 1 NIBALI, Vincenzo (ASTANA) 56:44:03 ESP 2 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 3:37 FRA 3 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 4:24 FRA 4 PINOT, Thibaut (FDJ.fr) + 4:40 USA 5 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 5:19 FRA 6 PERAUD, Jean-Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 6:06 NED 7 MOLLEMA, Bauke (BELKIN) + 6:17 BEL 8 VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen (LOTTO BELISOL) + 6:27 CZE 9 KONIG, Leopold (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 8:36 NED 10 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN) + 9:18
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