Tour de France 2014: Marcel Kittel wins final stage on Champs-Elysees as Vincenzo Nibali is confirmed as champion

Nibali becomes the first Italian to win the Tour since 1998

Alasdair Fotheringham
Monday 28 July 2014 00:33
Comments
Germany's Marcel Kittel celebrates as he crosses the finish line on the final stage of the Tour de France
Germany's Marcel Kittel celebrates as he crosses the finish line on the final stage of the Tour de France

Vincenzo Nibali crossed the last line of the Tour de France in Paris safely in 81st position but with the yellow jersey – finally – his for keeps.

Standing alone on the podium, the 29-year-old Sicilian fought back the tears as the Italian national anthem rang out over the Champs-Elysées, with his wife Rachele and daughter Emma watching from close by.

“This is something unique, I never imagined it could have happened, but I fought for it day by day,” Nibali said. “As long ago as last winter, with my team we decided this would be the year’s objective, and without my team and my family I would never have achieved it.”

Nibali’s speech came on the same podium where nine years ago Lance Armstrong had attacked his detractors in his victory speech as “sceptics and cynics”. But given that they would be proved right, it was surely not unreasonable for a French TV commentator to ask Nibali if cycling had put its murky doping past behind it for good. “It’s not just my victory, there have been many clean wins and cycling is moving forward. We can be proud of it,” Nibali – never implicated in any doping scandal – replied.

Vincenzo Nibali poses on the podium after winning the Tour de France

The Tour’s final stage, a 137km (86-mile) run from Evry to Paris, was won by one of the three riders to wear yellow this year, Germany’s Marcel Kittel, who triumphed in the opening stage at Harrogate.

Ill in the second week after taking three wins early on, Kittel received a faultless lead out from three Giant-Shimano team-mates to add a fourth triumph to his total and repeat last year’s victory on the Champs-Elysées.

Vincenzo Nibali on the final stage of the Tour de France

Kittel’s win both deprived Alexandre Kristoff, second in the stage, of any chance of equalling his total of wins this year and also meant Peter Sagan is the Tour’s first points classification winner not to take any stages since Thor Hushovd in 2005.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in