Nibali tightens Tour grip as Contador is out

Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:41pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

LA PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES France (Reuters) - Italian Vincenzo Nibali tightened his grip on the Tour de France on Monday, reclaiming the yellow jersey with a solo victory on the 10th stage as his main rival Alberto Contador crashed out.

Astana rider Nibali, who is looking to complete his set of grand tour titles after winning the Vuelta and the Giro, attacked in the final climb, a brutal 5.9-km ascent to La Planche des Belles Filles and never looked back.

France's Thibaut Pinot took second place 15 seconds back with Spain's Alejandro Valverde in third place 20 seconds off the pace.

Spaniard Contador, Tour winner in 2007 and 2009, pulled out after suffering a shinbone fracture following a crash during a descent, organizers said.

Nibali now leads Australian Richie Porte, who took over as Team Sky leader after 2013 champion Chris Froome crashed out last week, by two minutes 23 seconds.

Valverde of the Movistar team is third overall, 2:47 off the pace.

France have three riders in fourth, fifth and sixth place overall in Romain Bardet, Tony Gallopin and Pinot.

Bardet and Pinot are now set for a battle for the white jersey for the best under-25 rider.   Continued...

Astana team rider Vincenzo Nibali of Italy cycles on his way to win the 161.5-km tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Mulhouse and La Planche Des Belles Filles July 14, 2014.                    REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen