Vincenzo Nibali won stage 13 of the Tour de France on Friday for his third win of this year’s edition and with it cemented his lead in the overall standings.
In the sweltering heat the peloton embarked on a 197.5 kilometre stage 13 from from Saint-Étienne to the ski resort of Chamrousse in the Alps.
The mountainous effort took it’s toll on some of the main contenders notably Australian Richie Porte who entered the day second in the general classifications.
However the Team Sky rider struggled on the gruelling climbs and lost over nine minutes and slipped down to 16th overall.
Out in front there was no such problem for race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
The Italian who has worn the leader’s yellow jersey for the majority of the race was threatened late on by an attack by one of his principle rivals Alejandro Valverde.
But he was quick to respond to the Spaniard’s break and was soon on out in front to chase down the last two escapees of the day.
He left them near the top of the demanding Chamrousse climb and cruised to a solo win.
His third win of this edition strengthened his grip on the overall lead and underlined his status as overwhelming favourite for victory.
Poland’s Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo was second while Czech Leopold König of the NetApp-Endura team held on superbly for third.
The mountainous stage shook up the general standings.
Nibali now holds a three minute and 37 second lead over Valverde.
Frenchman Romain Bardet rounds out the top three almost four and a half minutes off the pace.