Italian Vincenzo Nibali virtually secured his maiden Giro d’Italia triumph with his second win of this year’s race on the snow-hit 20th stage from Silandro to Tre Cime di Lavaredo on Saturday. The Astana team leader emerged from the fog over the line in 5:27:41 to finish 17 seconds ahead of a trio of Colombians, one of whom, Rigoberto Uran, deposed Australian Cadel Evans from second place overall.
On a stage that was stripped of several climbs due to severe weather conditions and fears over the safety of riders on slippery descents, Nibali attacked in the final kilometres of the 7km climb to the summit finish to all but secure victory ahead of Sunday’s final, flat stage into Brescia. Colombian Fabio Duarte (Team Colombia) finished second at 17 seconds with Uran (Sky) in third at 19 and Carlos Betancur (AG2R) finishing two seconds further adrift. Evans, who began the day in second overall at 4:02 behind Nibali, struggled to follow when Nibali’s turn of pace prompted Uran and Betancur to follow suit. The BMC leader, who came into the race with little real preparation in view of an overall victory, finished over a minute behind to slip to third overall.
Nibali’s triumph would be his first on the Giro d’Italia, the Sicilian having won the Tour of Spain in 2010 and finished runner-up on his home race in 2011 and third overall at last year’s Tour de France.