Perigueux, France (4E Sports) – The 2014 Tour de France title is now in the bag for Vincenzo Nibali after finishing fourth in Saturday’s Stage 20, a 54-kilometer time trial from Bergerac to Perigueux.
Nibali finished the trip 1:58 behind Tony Martin, who captured his second stage win in this year’s event with a time of one hour, six minutes and 21 seconds.
“I’m very happy. I’ve felt a bit of tension today but it’s normal I guess. I wanted to do well in this time trial. It wasn’t an easy course. It was a perfect one for specialists like Tony Martin,” said Nibali, who padded his lead to seven minutes and 52 seconds.
“I haven’t realized yet how big it is to win the Tour de France. I’ll keep that for tomorrow. It’s difficult to ride the Tour but the beauty of it is to cycle on the Champs-Elysées,” he added.
With Nibali in firm control of the yellow jersey, the last stage will be a battle for a spot in the podium between Jean-Christophe Peraud, Thibaut Pinot and Alejandro Valverde. Only 32 seconds separates Peraud and Pinot while Valverde was 1:31 behind them.
Peraud overtook Pinot for second after finishing seventh. Pinot placed 12th while Valverde landed in 28th place.
The Tour concludes Sunday with the traditional finish along the Champs Elysees in Paris.