Astana's Vincenzo Nibali celebrates his victory at Tour de France
Vincenzo Nibali likes to think of himself as a simple cycler. Well, then he is simply the winner of Tour de France, the first Italian cycler in 16 years to win the prestigious race.
Nibali, caped for Kazakhstan's Astana Pro Team won four stages of the Tour and wore race leader’s yellow jersey in 19 out of the 21 stages.
The Tour de France finished at the Champ-Elysees. Marcel Kittel (Giant) won the last stage (137.5 km). He was followed by Alexander Kristoff from Katusha and Garmins Lithuanian cycler Ramunas Navardauskas.
Humble Messina native Nibali won the Tour de France in 86 hours 37 minutes and 52 seconds. French Jean-Christophe Péraud finished second 7 minutes and 52 seconds behind Nibali. Another French cycler Thibaut Pinot was third to finish the Tour de France.
The victory at the Tour de France made Nibali one of the six cyclists to win all three Grand Tours. The 29 y.o. sportsman previously won the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
"I anticipated that no feeling of happiness could be compared to what we feel on the podium at the Champs-Elysees. But it's even more beautiful than what I could imagine. I worked so hard every day of the tour for this victory. As long ago as last winter, with my team we decided this would be the year’s objective, and without my team and my family I would never have achieved it,” Nibali said.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated Nibali and Astana team on the victory. “Your hard work and will to win during all the stages of the race gave our team a chance once again show Kazakhstan’s athletic achievements,” Nazarbayev wrote in the letter to Nibali.
The Kazakh Head of the State thanked the Italian racer for his dedication and devotion to the race. Nazarbayev wished Vincenzo Nibali good health, well-being and many more victories in the future.
By Gyuzel Kamalova