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TdF #13 Nibali takes control

July 19, 2014

Half way up the first long mountain climb in this year’s tour, I thought Astana were in trouble. Fuglsang was left behind after crashing on the descent on the previous climb. Only Kangert was left for most of the climb to pace Nibali. When he had no more left there was still a long way to climb. However, he took control and matched everyone’s attacks. Then he launched his own that was much stronger and longer, they all fell away. Nibali quickly caught the two ahead and then left them behind to win the stage. He is definitely the strongest in the field, but there are many long climbs to come. Can his team recover to help him more in the mountains? Can the others put him in trouble? Will he have a bad day?

There are still several hard days ahead. Tomorrow looks like a brutal day. This tour has seemed long and hard already, but we have only just started in the mountains.

Not far behind in the stage were Majka and Konig. But on GC the gaps have opened. Porte had a nightmare and is out of contention. Was he ever a realistic winner? Valverde and Pinot did okay and only lost about a minute. Van Garderen and Bardet were a bit further back, the likes of VDB and Rui Costa even more. Perhaps not enough to lose sight of the podium but Nibali looks a long way ahead now.

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