Nick Westby: From Sheffield to Paris, Nibali is untouchable

Race winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Race winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Vincenzo Nibali, the man who emerged from Yorkshire in the leader’s yellow jersey three weeks ago, completed his victory in the Tour de France yesterday on the Champs Elysees.

It was a total domination of the race by the Italian Astana rider from the minute he accelerated down the backside of Jenkin Road in Sheffield and left the rest of the peloton in his wake.

He spent only one day after that point out of the maillet jaune, which further highlights his complete control.

Due to the abandonments of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in the first week of the race, some have questioned whether Nibali would be in yellow at all, had those two former winners lasted the course. It is a futile argument, though, given that staying upright on your bike is part of the challenge.

His effortless performance over the last three weeks in the most gruelling race of all has inevitably led to others questioning whether Nibali has done it all clean – the inquisitions being a necessary evil in this post-Armstrong era.

Encouragingly, though, Nibali has for a long time been an out-spoken anti-doping campaigner. So with that in mind, and remembering his thrilling victory right here in Yorkshire, let us salute the new Tour de France champion.