PARIS — Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali has won the Tour de France, becoming the first Italian to win cycling’s greatest race in 16 years by chiselling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains.
The 29-year-old Sicilian, who called himself “a flag-bearer of anti-doping” during the race, finished in the main pack behind Marcel Kittel, who won Sunday’s Stage 21 in a sprint finish.
Nibali’s victory comes after the pre-race favorites — 2013 champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador — crashed out with injuries in the first half of the race.
Nibali is only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours — France, Italy and Spain— and is the first Italian to win the Tour de France since Marco Pantani in 1998.
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands has won the inaugural women’s version of the Tour de France on Sunday, a 55-mile circuit on the famous cobblestones of Paris’Champs-Elysees.
The Rabobank-Liv team rider said after the race “my team was upfront all the time — we were in every breakaway so I could stay relaxed. It gave me extra motivation to be there in the final sprint and to push maximum power.”
Vos’ teammate Kirsten Wild finished second and Leah Kirchman of Canada was third.
In this first edition of “La Course by le Tour de France,” 120 women from 20 teams raced 13 laps of Paris’ broad tree-lined boulevard for a prize of $22,500.
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