Saturday, April 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

By
From page B2 | July 28, 2014 |

Cycling Tour de France

Race winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, chats witi second placed Jean-Christophe Peraud of France on the podium of the Tour de France in Paris, France, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Jerome Prevost, Pool)

PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees.

Chants of “Vin-cen-zo!” rang across the famed avenue for the Sicilian, who dominated the race nearly from the start three weeks ago and on Sunday became the first Italian to win cycling’s greatest race since Marco Pantani in 1998.

Marcel Kittel of Germany won Stage 21 in a sprint, his fourth victory this year. Nibali cruised in 24 seconds later, easily retaining a lead of more than seven minutes on his closest rival. He received pats on the back, kissed his wife and infant daughter and was mobbed by cameras.

“Now that I find myself on the highest step on the Champs-Elysees podium, it’s more beautiful than I ever imagined,” Nibali, the Arc de Triomphe behind him, told the crowd. “I’ve never been this moved in all my life.”

Nibali, likened by some as the emperor of the pack, conquered where others did not: notably Chris Froome of Britain, the 2013 Tour winner, and two-time champion Alberto Contador of Spain. Both crashed out with injuries before the halfway mark.

As if mountain climbs, bone-jarring cobblestones, crashes and rain-splattered rides weren’t enough, Nibali faced the scrutiny that comes with the yellow jersey in a sport long damaged by drugs.

Nibali, who calls himself “a flag-bearer of anti-doping,” noted that his success came through pinpoint focus on this race as the season began and opportunistic attacks in which he was able to nibble seconds on his rivals. There were no eye-popping performances, as was the case when doping was so prevalent.

The Astana team leader is only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours — France, Italy and Spain. His win comes 16 years after Pantani, a flamboyant rider, died from a drug overdose.

Nibali won four stages — a feat not equaled by a Tour winner since Lance Armstrong won five a decade ago. The Italian wore the yellow jersey for all but two stages since Stage 1. His 7-minute, 37-second margin over runner-up Jean-Christophe Peraud equals that of Armstrong over Swiss rider Alex Zulle in 1999 — a result nullified because of doping. Before that, the biggest margin was that of Germany’s Jan Ullrich: He beat Richard Virenque by just more than nine minutes in 1997.

In one of the subplots of this race, Peraud and third-placed Thibaut Pinot became the first Frenchmen to reach the Tour podium since Virenque in that year — a fact not lost on many homegrown fans. Pinot was 8:15 behind.

Armstrong, Ullrich and Virenque were caught in nearly a generation of doping scandals. Armstrong, in cycling’s biggest scandal, admitted to doping and was stripped of his record seven Tour titles.

Nibali and many others in the peloton say that era is past. But his own victories in the 2010 Vuelta and the Italian Giro last year were tarnished by doping involving other riders. Cycling’s governing body has made great efforts to halt drug use, but few cycling experts believe the pack is fully clean.

Authorities in Italy and France have been among the most aggressive in cracking down on doping, and the victory of an Italian, followed by two Frenchmen, could be a sign the peloton is getting cleaner.

Some suggested that Nibali was just the best among the riders still in this Tour. Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro d’Italia in May, didn’t ride. Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour winner, was passed over so his Sky Team could focus on Froome. Then Froome and Contador pulled out.

But even before they left, Nibali had a two-second lead on them by winning Stage 2. Then, in Stage 5 after Froome crashed out, the Italian excelled on cobblestone patches that slowed Contador, who lost more than 2 1/2 minutes to Nibali. The Spaniard felt compelled to attack.

On a downhill in Stage 10, Contador fractured his shin. But Nibali — known as “The Shark of the Strait” in a nod to the waterway near his hometown of Messina, Sicily, and his attacking style — didn’t stop there.

He went on to win that stage, up to the super steep La Planche des Belles Filles. It was the first of three stages with uphill finishes that he won, adding one in the Alps and another in the Pyrenees — each time dealing small but cumulatively significant blows to contenders.

This 101st Tour began in Yorkshire, England, and guided riders over 3,664 kilometers (2,277 miles), with high-mountain rides in the Vosges, Alps and Pyrenees.

Tejay van Garderen, the top U.S. rider, said on Twitter this was the hardest of his four Tours. He finished fifth overall, 11:24 behind Nibali, after climbing a spot in Saturday’s time trial.

Nibali said the Tour layout was “almost made to measure for me.” He also noted that crashes are part of the race, and he’s been such a victim in the past.

As he stepped down from the podium, Nibali hurled the winner’s bouquet into the crowd, and a fan handed him an inflatable shark. Many waved French and Italian flags.

“I think it’s very important for cycling in Italy because at the moment there isn’t a lot of trust,” said spectator Massimo Solaroli, a 47-year-old physical education teacher from the Italian town of Imola. “We don’t believe an Italian champion can win an important race without doping.”

But Nibali, he added, gives reason for hope.

“I think he can be a good champion for all the people, not only for Italian people, because he’s very humble,” he said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Transportation leaders point to need for funding changes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Together to remember children lost to violence

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Church offers free Southern Gospel concert

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Summer Spare the Air season set to start

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Cinderella’ carries on despite theater flood

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
3 letters to Vacaville may cost $100,000 to answer

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Suisun City police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Food often a conduit to something more

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco Catholics deeply divided over archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Colleges starting to offer brewing courses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Hate crime charges for homeless beating suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
SFPD to pay for settlement of wrongful termination suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

16 students injured when school stage collapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Thousands march to mark anniversary of Armenian massacres

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man ordered to stand trial for kidnap, rape charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nuclear launch officers charged in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Supreme Court ruling keeps sex offender registration in place

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Rubio looking to gain support in Iowa

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hep C, HIV cases spike throughout Indiana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Obama uses hospital funds to help push for Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hawaii raises smoking age to 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Gray should have received medical treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Italy police arrest nine terror suspects in sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Yemen rebels ordered to pull back

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

US completing review of hostage policy following drone strikes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

 
Chaos in the primaries

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Joy of baseball back in my life

By Deon Price | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: April 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Daughters’ ex is determined to turn their children against her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

.

Entertainment

Seriously silly, Monty Python reunites for a weekend tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

SCC baseball team wins to claim share of BVC title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

 
Ynoa, Butler send Rockies to 6-4 win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vikings fall to Jaguars 4-3 in 8 innings

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
After working OT in NBA playoffs, Curry, Rose can earn rest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Scott Dixon is chasing IndyCar wins leaders, not spotlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ducking the spotlight, some stars decide to skip NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Garber: MLS plan in 6 months to expand beyond 24 teams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dortmund, American Pharoah vie for favorite in 141st Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Harden, Howard lead Rockets to 130-128 win, 3-0 lead on Mavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Olympic sailing events may be moved from Rio’s polluted bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Canadian Henderson shoots tournament record for LPGA lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bowyer and Stewart looking for good runs at Richmond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oregon wins distance medley relay at Penn Relays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: LA projects viable for bringing back team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Buckeyes teammates Cook, Sindelar top Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Swafford, Weekley atop Zurich Classic leaderboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Logano wins pole at Richmond, his third of the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Usain Bolt: Gay’s reduced doping ban sends wrong message

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Signups for Saturday, April 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B3

.

Business

Winners and losers of the demise of the big Comcast deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
What could McDonald’s do to fix its business?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 3 Comments | Gallery

Durable goods orders up, but business investment falls again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Harley recalls nearly 46,000 motorcycles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov’t pushback

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Wynn Resorts shareholders: Elaine Wynn won’t return to board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Ford recalls 390,000 cars to fix door latches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 4/25/2015

Ask a Designer: decorating with spring pastels

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1 | Gallery

Real estate transactions for April 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.65 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3