Chris Froome Cruises to His Second Tour de France Victory.
Froome’s second Tour win was closer than his first, even as he demonstrated his superiority in becoming the first overall winner since Eddy Merckx in 1970 to also win the best-climber competition (the polka-dot jersey awarded to that rider was not introduced until 1975, but the competition predates the jersey).
Froome held the yellow jersey on Stage 4, then regained it from Stage 7 onward after briefly losing it to Tony Martin. His signature attack was a furious climb up La Pierre-St. Martin on Stage 10, during which he opened his lead from 12 seconds to 2:52 over Tejay Van Garderen.
From that point onward, Froome was a marked man, but any attacks against him fell short.
Vincenzo Nibali emerged Sunday as the first Italian winner of the Tour de France in 16 years after a race defined by inclement weather and painful eliminations of other favorites.
Nibali, 29, who rides for Astana, did not cruise to a win by default. He won four stages of the Tour, including one in each of the three mountain ranges the Tour traversed this year: the Vosges, the Alps and the Pyrenees. All of the wins were decisive.
Nibali also wore the yellow jersey as the race leader for 19 of the 21 stages.
Chris Froome won three stages of the Tour de France on his way to becoming the second British rider to triumph in the most prestigious stage race in cycling.
The 28-year-old Team Sky rider took the race leader's yellow jersey by winning stage eight's mountain-top finish at Ax 3 Domaines and kept it all the way to the finish in Paris.
Froome's achievement matched that of his Team Sky team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won the 2012 race.
Bradley Wiggins is the first Brit and the 99th rider to win the Tour de France - completing the 3,497km (2,173 mile) race over 20 stages. The 32-year-old from gritty northwest London became Britain's first winner of cycling's greatest race, ending a 75-year drought for his country with an imperial conquest of the roads in cross-Channel neighbor France.
Wiggins, finished with a winning margin of three minutes and 21 seconds after ending Sunday's race around the streets of Paris in the peloton.
Fellow Brit and Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome consolidated second place with Italy's Vincenzo Nibali third.
Alberto Contador stood atop the podium at the Tour de France on Sunday for the third time in four years, struggling to rein in his emotions as Spain's national anthem echoed across the wide boulevard of the Champs-Elysees.
Off to one side, Lance Armstrong applauded and then, without much fanfare, headed toward the exit. "I need a cold beer," he said when asked his thoughts at the finish line. Rarely has the emergence of a sport's newest superstar dovetailed so neatly with the departure of the last one.
Contador held off a next-to-last day challenge from Andy Schleckof Luxembourg, his runner-up for a second consecutive year, draining much of the drama from the 20th and final stage. Denis Menchov of Russia was third overall.
The winner of 2009 Tour de France cycling race, Kazakh cycling team Astana (AST)'s leader Alberto Contador of Spain, second placed in the overall standings, Danish cycling team Team Saxo Bank (SAX)'s leader Andy Schleck of Luxemburg (L) and third placed, seven-time Tour de France winner and Kazakh cycling team Astana (AST)'s Lance Armstrong of the United States pose on the podium on July 26, 2009 on the famous Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, at the end of the 160 km and last stage run between Montereau and Paris Champs-Elysees. Contador cruised down the Champs-Elysees to win the Tour for a second time Sunday after 2,141 miles over three weeks of racing. He repelled many challenges in the mountains, excelled in the two time-trials -- winning a pivotal race against the clock in the 18th stage -- and won the first Alpine stage.
CARLOS Sastre became the seventh Spaniard to win the Tour de France yellow jersey when he wrapped up overall victory in Paris yesterday, taking his country’s total to 11 wins. Belgian Gert Steegmans made up for his Quick Step team’s mediocre Tour de France campaign by sprinting to victory on the 21st and final stage to Paris, a 143km trip from Etampes. Steegmans claimed his second career stage win on the race, but his first on the Champs Elysees, in timely fashion having failed to challenge the peloton’s sprinters during three weeks of intense racing. Race director Christian Prudhomme hopes the 2008 Tour de France will be remembered as a victory against doping cheats. This year’s event saw three cyclists kicked out for using the banned blood booster EPO – a drug of choice in cycling and used by Sastre’s boss at Team CSC, Bjarne Riis, to win the 1996 Tour.
Italian rider Riccardo Ricco was the biggest name to get caught this year, thrilling fans with his daring solo raids in the Pyrenees and then letting them down when it was announced that his performances were fuelled by EPO.
PARIS - Alberto Contador crossed the Tour de France finish line in the overall leader's yellow jersey as expected yesterday. The historic Hotel Crillon on the Place de la Concorde flew the Spanish flag from the roof in his honor just as it used to raise the flag of Texas for Lance Armstrong. Outwardly, it was just like the old days, especially since the 24-year-old Contador and the now-retired Armstrong represented the same dynastic team - Discovery Channel, formerly known as US Postal Service, which has captured cycling's crown jewel eight of the last nine years. Yet, in the last year, the Tour has been shaken to its foundations. The 2007 race came to an end with the 2006 winner's slot still vacant, held hostage to the drawn-out legal dispute over Floyd Landis's positive test for synthetic testosterone. Contador's win came courtesy of an unprecedented shake-up five days before the end of the three-week race when Danish rider Michael Rasmussen was fired by his Rabobank team for evasive behavior toward anti-doping authorities. Two men and their teams were thrown out of the race after positive tests. Yesterday, Rasmussen said he never has used performance-enhancing drugs and would not rule out competing in next year's Tour de France. "I have never used doping," the 33-year-old told Danish broadcaster TV2. "But it is as if the yellow jersey is easiest to shoot at." The fact that more dirty riders are being caught, while damaging in a public relations sense, is cited by many as proof that a system long riddled with loopholes is casting a more narrow-gauge net. But cycling is also hampered by a culture of infighting that is as entrenched as its culture of doping.
Floyd Landis paced himself perfectly in the final major rendezvous of the 2006 Tour de France. He didn’t waiver from his plan at the start of the day and wasn’t tempted to try and catch the dominant Serhiy Honchar who won his second successive Tour de France time trial. Floyd knew that the most important thing was to finish over half a minute ahead of Oscar Pereiro; he did just that and now he’ll be the fourth American winner.
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