Chamrousse, France (4E Sports) – Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali extended his overall lead after dominating Stage 13 of the Tour de France Friday in the first day of a two-day stint in the Alps.
Nibali completed the 197.5-kilometer trip from Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse in five hours, 12 minutes and 29 seconds for his third stage win of this year’s Tour.
He was uncontested on the final highest ascent in the final two kilometers with closest competitors Richie Porte and Alejandro Valverde nowhere in sight.
“It’s a special day today. I’m very happy. I just wanted to gain as much time as I could. I knew Valverde was close to me,” said Nibali. “Porte was close to me as well. Porte had a problem and he was dropped, and in the end it was only Valverde and me.”
Rafal Majka finished 10 seconds behind Nibali, just a second ahead of third-placer Leopold Konig of the Czech Republic. Valverde finished fourth on Friday, 50 seconds behind the winner.
“I’m the one who attacked first,” noted Valverde. “I rode full gas to do the best I could, but when Nibali attacked I couldn’t follow him. Tomorrow will again be difficult. I will need to recover some strength.”
With the victory, Nibali extended his lead over Valverde to three minutes and 37 seconds. Porte, who started the day second overall, dropped to 16th place after finishing 27th Friday.
Riders will face three climbs in the Alps in Saturday’s Stage 14, a 177-kilometer trip from Grenoble to Risoul.