TURIN, Italy (AP) Home favorite Vincenzo Nibali clinched a second Giro d’Italia victory and a fourth Grand Tour title on Sunday as Giacomo Nizzolo won a largely ceremonial final stage.
Nibali’s chances of repeating his 2013 feat seemed impossible on Friday as he started the stage nearly five minutes behind leader Steven Kruijswijk but a dramatic two days in the 99th edition of the Italian classic saw the Astana cyclist surge into the lead – helped by the Dutch rider’s crash into a snowbank.
With the rain falling heavily at the finish, the race was neutralized and Nibali – who had a completely pink bicycle to celebrate the occasion – knew he just had to finish safely to secure the pink jersey.
Esteban Chaves was second, 52 seconds behind Nibali.
ROME == Felice Gimondi, one of only seven cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours, has died. He was 76.
The Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) said efforts to resuscitate Gimondi failed after the Italian suffered a heart attack while swimming on vacation in Sicily on Friday and died the same day.
Gimondi won the Tour de France in 1965 as a 22-year-old in his first year as a professional. He went on to win the Giro d’Italia in 1967, 1969 and 1976, and the Spanish Vuelta in 1968.
“Felice was one of the greatest champions to win great tours, a world championship and important classics while contesting, he alone, Eddy Merckx,” FCI president Renato Di Rocco said. “A great man who marked an era. Italian cycling mourns the passing of one of its pillars.”
Five-time Tour de France winner Merckx told Italian news agency ANSA, “A man like Gimondi is not born every day. With him goes a piece of my life. He was among the greatest ever.”
The other cyclists to win all three Grand Tours are Belgian rider Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault of France, Alberto Contador of Spain, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Britain’s Chris Froome.
SALT LAKE CITY — Marco Canola jumped ahead of the sprinters left from a reduced bunch, holding off Travis McCabe and Brendan Rhim to win Friday night’s criterium-like stage in the Tour of Utah.
The stage in the state capital covered eight laps of just under seven miles apiece, yet the field came together on a steep ascent inside of a mile to go. James Piccoli surged to the front in search of a win that has eluded him all week, but Canola swept past everyone to pick up the win.
Ben Hermans held onto his overall lead by 44 seconds. Piccoli remained in second place.
Hayden McCormick made an embarrassing mistake when he surged to the front at the conclusion of the penultimate lap, then threw his arms in the air in celebration thinking he had won.
The stage Saturday takes riders 80 miles, starting and finishing in Park City.