Nibali extends TDF lead

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iol spt july19 Nibali V Reuters Vincenzo Nibali, right, strengthened his stranglehold on the Tour de France when he gained further ground over his rivals in the second Alpine stage. Photo by: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Risoul, France - Vincenzo Nibali strengthened his stranglehold on the Tour de France when he gained further ground over his rivals in the second Alpine stage won by Poland's Rafal Majka on Saturday.

Astana rider Nibali finished the 14th stage, a 177-km mountain trek from Grenoble, in second place but beat Alejandro Valverde, who had a bad day, by 1:10 as the battle for second overall looks set to go to the wire.

Valverde trails Nibali by 4:37 overall with Romain Bardet in third place 13 seconds further back after he, fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and American Tejay van Garderen dropped Valverde in the closing stages of the final climb to the ski resort of Risoul.

Pinot is fourth overall 5:06 off the pace, 43 seconds ahead of Van Garderen while another Frenchman, Jean-Christophe Peraud, is sixth (6:08) after taking third place in the stage. – Reuters


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