Vincenzo Nibali has officially won this year’s Tour de France, becoming the first Italian cyclist to do so since 1998 with a ride past fans lining Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
As we reported on Saturday, Nibali, riding for Astana Pro Team, had worn the yellow jersey through most of the three-week competition that had been marked by bad weather and the relatively quick elimination of some of the favorites.
On an overcast Sunday in the French capital, Nibali rode past the Arc de Triomphe on his way to the winner’s podium.
The New York Times sums up his victory, acknowledging that “To some extent, Nibali benefited from the misfortune of others.
“Chris Froome, the defending champion from Britain, quit early in the three-week race after three crashes in the miserable rain and cold that made the Tour sometimes seem as if was being run in the early spring. Then Alberto Contador, who has won the Tour three times although his 2010 title was stripped for doping, hit a sinkhole and broke his leg, again on a damp and chilly day.
“But Nibali, 29, … did not cruise to a win by default. He won four stages of the Tour. Three of them came in each of the mountain ranges the ranges the Tour traversed this year: the Vosges, the Alps and the Pyrenees. All of the wins were decisive.
“Adding to the list, Nibali, wore the yellow race leader’s jersey 19 of the 21 stages.”