The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 7, 2014

The Full Nibali: Savvy Italian wins Tour’s second leg

SHEFFIELD, England — Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali displayed his riding smarts at the Tour de France, winning Stage 2 on Sunday and taking the yellow jersey after a well-choreographed attack on rivals in the postindustrial English city known for “The Full Monty.”

The Astana team leader nicknamed “The Shark” for his road savvy took the final lead in a cycling dance of sorts with other title hopefuls, who took turns in front in the last stretch through a sea of fans from York to Sheffield.

Nibali perhaps had more at stake: The 29-year-old rider has won the Italian Giro and Spain’s Vuelta, but has never captured cycling’s showcase event.

The victory on Sunday gave him both his first Tour stage win and yellow jersey, and sent a message that he could contend to take it home from Paris in three weeks.

With about a mile left, Nibali escaped a 21-man breakaway bunch at the end of the 125-mile course over nine heath-covered hills of Yorkshire, and held off their late surge. England is hosting the first three Tour stages this year.

German stripped of yellow jersey: Marcel Kittel, a powerful German sprinter who often struggles on climbs, trailed nearly 20 minutes back and lost the yellow jersey that he had captured by winning Stage 1.

While the Italian won the battle to the line, under the shadow of a black Sheffield Forgemasters tower, defending champion Chris Froome of Britain and two-time winner Alberto Contador of Spain are focusing more on the overall race — which ends July 27 on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

Overall, Nibali leads 20 other riders by two seconds, including Froome in fifth place and Contador in eighth.

A six-man breakaway bunch tried its chances early, but got swallowed up by the pack with some 20 miles left. Then, the big race stars moved to the front, splitting the pack.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook