Vincenzo Nibali of Astana has this afternoon sealed a stunning overall victory in the Tour de France. Some may point to the early exits of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador as having eased the Italian's path to victory - but the fact is, during a tough opening week of the race, he took it by the scruff of its neck when he won on the second day in Sheffield, then used his skills at riding in the most inclement of conditions to gain time over the cobbles and in the first mountain stage. Here's his race in numbers.
This is the 29-year-old’s first Tour de France victory.
Nibali first got into the yellow jersey this year by launching an attack on the way down into Sheffield from the final climb of Stage 2, Jenkin Road.
The number of mountain stages the Sicilian won this year – equalling Fausto Coppi in 1952, Joop Zoetemelk in 1976 and Laurent Fignon in 1984.
The tally of road stage wins by Nibali during this year’s race – the most by any champion since Eddy Merckx won six (plus the prologue and a short time trial stage) in 1974.
The stage over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles to Arenberg where the Astana confirmed his mastery of the filthiest of conditions to put more than two minutes into Alberto Contador.
Nibali becomes only the sixth man ever to win all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, joining Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador to complete the Tour-Giro-Vuelta hat-trick.
The number of Italians who have now won the Tour de France; Nibali joins Ottavio Bottechia, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Gastone Nencini, Felice Gimondi and Marco Pantani in winning the race on the other side of the Alps; Gimondi is the only past winner still alive.
The number of seconds shy of eight minutes by which Nibali won the 101st edition of the Tour de France from AG2R’s Jean-Christophe Péraud.
The last time anyone had a bigger margin of victory than Nibali this year was when Jan Ullrich won the Tour by 9 minutes 9 seconds from Richard Virenque in 1997.
Of the four stages Nibali won this year, Stage 10 was perhaps the pivotal one; with Froome already out, Contador’s departure due to a broken leg on the way to La Planche des Belles Filles removed his other big rival for the overall victory. The Astana rider took the stage and never looked like losing afterwards.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.