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Kittel The Stage & Nibali the Crown
28 Jul, 2014
Marcel Kittel capped off what was a brilliant Tour de France for his Giant / Shimano sponsored team taking an incredible four stage wins backing up his equally successful 2013 Tour.  Kittel showed amazing power as he came up alongside two stage winner Alexander Kristoff with 20 metres to go to edge ahead taking the victory by half a length.  With the remaining two of eight laps up and around the Arc du Triomphe raced at break neck speed there were still now shortage of riders trying to escape with the sprinters leadout trains having to go deep into the red to bring them back.  In the finale it was a battle between the teams of Giant / Shimano, Cannondale and Omega Pharma Quickstep for supremacy and it was the boys in black and white that bookended the Tour as the began in England three weeks ago.

The biggest winner of the day was Vincenzo Nibali, the classy Sicilian living in Tuscany riding for a Kazakh team became only the sixth rider in history to claim the triple crown of Grand Tour events, France, Italy and Spain.  Nibali set out as a man on a mission taking the yellow jersey in Sheffield almost three weeks ago with his first of three stage wins only surrendering it for Bastille day and placing it only the shoulders of the deserving Tony Gallipan then claiming it back as he climbed to his second victory en route.
Nibs never looked under threat as the stages rolled by often adding to his advantage finishing well over seven minutes clear of second place.  Now a series of staged criteriums awaits Nibali in Belgium and Holland as the Italian cashes in on his new found value to the public.
Expect to see Nibali back in action at the World Championships in Spain in a couple of months time before rounding out the season with the Tour of Lombardy.  Chappeau Vincenzo!

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