Tour de France winner returns home to hero's welcome

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Tour de France winner returns home to hero's welcome

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Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali was deluged with autograph hunters and fans wanting ‘selfies’ as he arrived back in Tuscany on Saturday for the first time since his victory on July 27.

Born in Messina, Sicily, ‘The Shark’ has since moved to the small town of Lamporecchio, near Florence, where thousands of fans gave him a hero’s welcome and brought the town centre to a standstill.

Nibali even donned his yellow jersey to do a victory lap through the streets on his bike before paying tribute to his loyal fans.

“They’ve really put together a great thing (welcome). However it’s not just today, the fans are great and they’ve been present many times at the stages of the Giro d’Italia, be it this year or in the past. But they’ve really done everything to make this a special day,” he said.

Nibali is the first Italian to win the Tour since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.

He picked up 450,000 euros in prize money for his Tour de France exploit.