19 Jul 2014

Nibali wins 13th stage

1:25 pm on 19 July 2014

The Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali tightened his grip on the Tour de France by riding away to his third stage victory on the 197.5-kilometre 13th stage from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse.

Nibali attacked 6.6 kilometres from home and put almost a minute into nearest rival Alejandro Valverde, who finished fourth on the stage but moved up to second overall.

Rafal Majka was second on the stage with Leopold Konig third.

Australian Richie Porte, who started the stage second overall, cracked on the final climb to finish 27th, losing almost nine minutes.

Nibali now leads Valverde by three minutes 37 seconds while Porte dropped to 16th overall at 11:11.

Nibali proved he is simply too strong for the rest on a day when his Astana team looked vulnerable, with chief lieutenant Jakob Fuglsang crashing on a descent and Michele Scarponi struggling and dropping away on the penultimate climb.

But the Italian didn't need anyone, responding first to an attack by Valverde on the final uncategorised climb and then riding away from the Spaniard.

He caught Majka and Konig before leaving them in his wake in the final three kilometres to win by 10 seconds.

Young Frenchman Romain Bardet moved up to third at 4:24 after finishing the stage seventh, just 1:23 behind Nibali.

It allowed him to keep hold of the young rider's white jersey ahead of Thibaut Pinot, who is up to fourth at 4:40.