Vincenzo Nibali confirms Tour title as Marcel Kittel wins finale

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  • Published 21 mins ago

Marcel Kittel wins the finale in Paris. Photo: AFP

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) collected the final yellow jersey of the 2014 Tour de France on Sunday in Paris as Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the 21st and final stage, a 136km leg from Evry that ended with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées.

Kittel took his fourth stage ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and R. Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp).

"I was hoping I could still make it," said Kittel. "Kristoff really held against me. I tried to pass him. At one moment, he couldn't accelerate any more, and that was my moment. I'm super proud and very happy."

On the overall, it was Nibali triumphant by 7:52 over Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r La Mondiale) with Thibaut Pinot ( third.

As Astana led Nibali onto the finishing circuit first Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), then Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) had a go, before a four-man break went clear — Richie Porte (Sky), Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida) and Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)

Péraud had a fright early on, sliding out with less than 44km to go, but remounted and rejoined with the help of three teammates. A few kilometers further along Kristoff punctured and found himself in a pursuit.

With 25km to race the break had shed Fonseca and had just 18 seconds' advantage.

As the bunch closed in Svein Tuft and Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol) and Samuel Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) tried to bridge to the leaders, but fell short.

Porte would be the last man standing, but not for long. He was yanked back as a light sprinkle began to fall, with 7.4km to go.

Then Lotto, Katusha and Giant set about arranging themselves for the sprint, only to see Simon Clarke (Orica-Green-Edge) take a last dig.

With 4km to go Clarke had seven seconds over the bunch. But he, too, was caught and Giant and Omega Pharma went to war in the final 3km, with Kittel taking the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

Race note

Before the men took center stage, Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) won the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France, an 89km race using the same finishing circuit as the men would attack later in the day.


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