Italian Vincenzo Nibali rides in snow towards Giro triumph
Agence France-Presse in Silandro, Italy
Italian Vincenzo Nibali virtually secured his maiden Giro d'Italia triumph with his second win of this year's race on the snow-hit 20th stage from Silandro to Tre Cime di Lavaredo yesterday.
The Astana team leader emerged from the fog and snow to cross the line in 5 hours, 27 minutes and 41 seconds, 17 seconds ahead of a trio of Colombians, one of whom, Rigoberto Uran, deposed Australian Cadel Evans from second place overall.
On a stage that was stripped of several climbs due to severe weather conditions and fears over the safety of riders on slippery descents, Nibali attacked in the final kilometres of the 7km ascent to all but secure victory ahead of today's final, flat stage into Brescia.
Colombian Fabio Duarte (Team Colombia) finished second with Uran (Sky) in third and Carlos Betancur in fourth.
Meanwhile, officials hit out at Italian Danilo Di Luca after he quit the race on Friday in disgrace following a positive test for the banned blood-booster EPO.
Giro chief Michele Acquarone said: "If a rider who looks me in the eyes and says, 'I've made a mistake,' then I believe him. But when he goes off and does the same thing again, to me, he seems addicted. He's someone who needs help."