Skip to main content

Vincenzo Nibali matches greats with Tour de France victory

By Paul Gittings, CNN
updated 3:47 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Vicenzo Nibali celebrates his victory on the podium of the Tour de France in Paris. Vicenzo Nibali celebrates his victory on the podium of the Tour de France in Paris.
HIDE CAPTION
Nibali wins Tour de France
Nibali wins Tour de France
Nibali wins Tour de France
Nibali wins Tour de France
Nibali wins Tour de France
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France in Paris
  • Italian stays out of trouble in 21st and final stage
  • Stage won by Marcel Kittel of Germany
  • Nibali sixth man to win all three Grand Tours

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Vincenzo Nibali became only the sixth man in history to win all three of cycling's major tours as he sealed victory in this year's Tour de France on the Champs Elysees Sunday.

Nibali stayed out of trouble on the 137.5km stage from Evry, which was won by German sprinter Marcel Kittel of the Giant-Shimano team.

It left the 29-year-old Italian a commanding seven minutes 52 seconds ahead of runner-up Jean Christophe-Peraud with another Frenchman, Thibaut Pinot, in third.

Read: Nibali clinches Tour as Martin takes stage

Tour de France Day Three
How much damage has Armstrong done to cycling?
Becoming a Tour de France champ
France prepares to remember D-Day
Kenyan cyclist grooms next generation

Astana's Nibali joins illustrious company by adding to his earlier triumphs in the Giro d'Italia and Tour of Spain.

Legends Eddy Merckx of Belgium, France duo Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Nibali's fellow Italian Felipe Gimondi and Alberto Contador of Spain are the only others to achieve the feat.

Contador was one of the favorites for this year's race, but crashed out, as did reigning champion Chris Froome of Britain.

It left the way clear for Nibali, who served notice of his intentions with an audacious break to win the second stage in Sheffield in England and gained more time on the cobbled fifth stage where Froome exited.

Read: Contador joins Froome on the sidelines

Nibali continued to dominate as the race went over the Alps and Pyrenees, winning three more stages to be a deserved winner after three grueling weeks.

Crossing the line with his teammates, he went straight to his wife and baby daughter to celebrate with his family.

"It's the most important and the best moment, I never imagined it could feel this good because when you find yourself on this podium on the Champs Elysees, it's unique," said Nibali.

"Now that I'm here it's even better than I imagined. I fought for this every day, I started building from a long way out with a winter preparation with the team because we had decided this was our objective."

Kittel, the star of the early stages of the Tour, used his raw sprinting power to match Nibali's four wins this year, edging out Norway's Alexander Kristoff with Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania third.

Read: Navardauskas makes history for Lithuania

Peter Sagan of Slovakia finished ninth, but had already wrapped up the green jersey for points leader despite failing to win a stage on the 2014 Tour.

Kittel hinted he would be targeting green himself in future races.

"My goals won't change in the future, especially at the Tour de France,"he told the official Tour de France website.

"I'll go again for stage wins but I'm not a man of records. I've said in the past and I repeat that the green jersey can become an option in the future."

The 24-year-old Pinot, one of the great hopes of French cycling, took the white jersey for best young rider, with Rafal Majka of Poland winning the King of the Mountains classification.

Read: Majka's Polish pedal power

Read: Contador takes yellow as Cavendish pulls out

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
From spectacular action at the Commonwealth Games , to high-speed drama on the race track, here are the week's best sporting images.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
ADVERTISEMENT