Vincenzo Nibali – Holy Trinity?
Only five riders have won all three Grand Tours during their career: Jacques Anquetil, Alberto Contador, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx.
And, having won the Vuelta a Espana in 2010 and Giro d’Italia in 2013, Vincenzo Nibali is in the box set to complete the Holy Trinity and add his name to the list.
The Italian national champion has shown himself as a near-complete Grand Tour rider over the first ten days of the 2014 Tour de France having displayed superb race craft to win stage two, conquered the cobbles to put time in to all of his title contenders on stage five, and left his rivals (or, after the withdrawals of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, what’s left of them) for dead on the climb of La Planche des Belles Filles on stage ten. We’ll see how Nibali fares against the clock on the penultimate stage of the race.
That, of course, is assuming he makes it that far, given the rate Nibali’s rivals are dropping out of a race which has quickly become a survival of the fittest. What this Tour de France has taught us is that nothing should be taken for granted until the champion stands on the podium in Paris – a race can be ended and a season’s work destroyed by a crash in a split second – but Nibali is now the overwhelming favourite to become the seventh different rider to win the race in seven years.