Sunday, September 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Nibali wins Stage 18, closes in on Tour victory

Cycling Tour de France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, climbs towards Hautacam to win the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 145.5 kilometers (90.4 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Hautacam, Pyrenees region, France, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

By
From page B8 | July 25, 2014 |

ARGELES-GAZOST, France — Vincenzo Nibali crushed everyone on the last mountain leg of the Tour de France on Thursday, all but ensuring he will be crowned champion when the race ends in Paris in three days.

On the big, final climb of Stage 18, the Italian broke out of the peloton, chased down breakaway riders, and rode solo in front for the last eight kilometers (five miles) uphill.

Nibali, who captured his fourth stage of the Tour, stuck out his tongue, tapped his chest, and raised a fist skyward as he finished the 145.5-kilometer (90-mile) leg more than a minute ahead of Thibaut Pinot of France, who was second. Rafal Majka of Poland, in third, was another two seconds back.

The remarkable effort by Nibali, set to become the first Italian to win the Tour since Marco Pantani in 1998, essentially reduced the race drama to who will join him on the podium on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday.

“I didn’t want to lose command. My goal was to win here,” Nibali said. “It was important to me to win another stage in the Pyrenees. The team worked really hard and this victory is for them.”

He is also set to become only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. He won the 2013 Italian Giro and the 2010 Spanish Vuelta.

One man basking at the finish line was Alexandre Vinokourov, the general manager of Nibali’s Astana team, and a former rider who was expelled from the 2007 Tour for blood doping. He said the stage victory was “not by chance.”

“We said, ‘we need to show that there’s a boss,’” Vinokourov told French TV. The last time the term “boss” was used regularly at the Tour was when a doped-up Lance Armstrong won seven in a row.

While three stages are left, Friday’s is mostly flat and unlikely to allow a breakaway rider to gain time. The last real challenge will be Saturday’s individual time trial, but Nibali’s lead is so big — 7 minutes, 10 seconds ahead of Pinot, and 7:23 ahead of France’s Jean-Christophe Peraud — that it would take a disaster for him to lose the yellow jersey before Sunday.

“It was a very good day,” said Pinot, who rose a spot from third, “but Nibali is untouchable.”

The race for second heated up: Alejandro Valverde of Spain lost crucial seconds on the last climb and fell from second overall to fourth, two seconds slower than Peraud. But Valverde is considered a stronger time-trial rider than Pinot, and possibly Peraud.

“Everything is possible,” Valverde said. “Before, I was ahead, now I’m behind, but it’s very tight. I’m pretty happy.”

After setting off from Pau, riders tackled the famed Tourmalet pass — the highest Pyrenean peak on this Tour — before heading up to Hautacam ski station. Both climbs are among the toughest in professional cycling.

Two breakaway riders, Mikel Nieve of Spain and Blel Kadri, a Frenchman who won Stage 8, were the first over Tourmalet more than 4 1/2 minutes ahead. But by the valley below, the duo had lost two minutes: Nibali’s chasing bunch was gaining.

That was partly because Valverde’s Movistar squad bolted ahead in a challenge to Nibali. The Italian didn’t let that last long, and Valverde was caught within a few minutes. By the foot of Hautacam, the main contenders were bunched together.

Then, American Chris Horner, who beat second-place Nibali in the Vuelta last year, broke away. Nibali stayed with him, and then, rounding a curve and looking back for the peloton, burst ahead. Nibali said later he had memories of Horner’s Vuelta victory in mind. That said, Horner was little threat for the Tour title: He was about 35 minutes behind when the stage began.

On the way up, Nibali’s shoulder whacked the outstretched elbow of a woman speaking on a mobile phone on the side of road, with her back to the peloton. He winced briefly.

“Happily, it wasn’t serious for her or me,” Nibali said.

Stage 19 on Friday in southwestern France will likely end in a sprint finish, and Nibali and his Astana teammates will keep a close watch on the riders closest to him in the general classification. They are no longer rivals, nor challengers.

 

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

Hartley House offers look into Vacaville’s past

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
County makes recommendations for crude-by-rail

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

New toilet paper sizes will wipe me out!

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Coastal Cleanup helps get rid of trash in area

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Travis teachers bring creativity to Shakespeare

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
Olympians to participate in swim Lap-a-Thon

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Circle of Friends director to speak in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Be alert to stroke warning signs

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

Recovery community works for lifelong sobriety

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Musical merry-go-round at Jazz Festival

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Deadline looms for lobster boil tickets

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
2 die after car slams into tree on Nut Tree Road

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Crashes blocks parts of eastbound I-80 in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Seven Artisans opens tasting room

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7 | Gallery

BABA makes big spash

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Old Kmart site sees signs of new life

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Veterans with PTSD could see discharge upgrades

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Potential push for Obama to expand military effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teams assess damage as California wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

McInerney, Duka help Impact beat Earthquakes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Old pets, new chances: The case for senior adoption

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C4

Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Custer youngest winner at 16 in NASCAR series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Retro-hip barber is growing an ‘empire’ by staying on the cutting edge

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C6

 
Tense hunt in trooper ambush case hits 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tour ship runs aground by NYC’s Statue of Liberty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Astronauts getting 3-D printer at space station

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Chrysler recalling nearly 189,000 SUVs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Fire captain injured in ice bucket challenge dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

More than 1K people search for missing UVa student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second man arrested trying to enter White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Pope chooses a moderate for Chicago archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
NATO chief: Ukraine has cease-fire ‘in name only’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Kurdish fighters head to Syria to face militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Turkish hostages freed, but questions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Sierra Leone staggers in Ebola isolation effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
El-Sissi ready to back anti-IS fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

 
Stores miss bus on public transit

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Sunset Animal Hospital is the best

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Sept. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
New car’s fuel mileage accuracy put to the test

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
Obamacare enrollees actually paying premiums

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A9

 
Will they ever get the message?

By Rod Keck | From Page: A9

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

There is no message of hatred of violence in Christianity

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
St. Paul pastor’s pulpit? A food truck

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Horoscopes: Sept. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
My child’s father and I worked things out – but now I’m not so sure

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

Author says Christian novel plagiarized, sex added

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Springsteen picture book out in November

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Erdrich wins lifetime achievement literary prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Designer Donna Karan memoir expected next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Prep boys soccer preview: Indians, Vikings off to fast start

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Patriots big favorites vs. Raiders despite mediocre start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Williams beats A’s for third time with third team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cardinals look to shake off distraction vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cashner, Padres beat Giants 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vacaville Christian volleyball team falls in playoffs

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Schumacher, Hagan win rain-delayed Carolina event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

No. 1 Florida St survives against No. 22 Clemson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sprint car driver killed in Wisconsin

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Travis Bowl results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Mi Jung Hur, Paula Reto share lead in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Stars Recreation results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Estimated 7,000 fans trade in Ray Rice jerseys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sports on TV for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

Gaughan snatches Nationwide win at Kentucky

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Harvick dismisses wins as key to Cup title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

.

Business

Extended warranties a big sell. Are they worth it?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Recalls this week: fire alarm bases, swings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

US tobacco growers brace for tougher competition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Marijuana industry battling stoner stereotypes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics