Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) stood side by side with Sky’s leaders on the Champs-Élysées yesterday, happy with what he accomplished in the 2012 Tour de France, but determined to improve.

“I came here with the goal of getting on the podium. I’ve got it, I’m truly happy,” Nibali said. “I also said that my goal was not to stop myself short, but to aim for higher.”

The 27-year-old became the first Italian to finish on the podium in seven years, since Ivan Basso placed second in 2005. It marked a steady progression for him after seventh in 2009. It also complemented his other Grand Tour results: third in the Giro d’Italia and first in the Vuelta a España in 2010.

To be fair, he was always going to have a hard time winning this year’s race given the 101.4km of time trials. He was, however, one of the most exciting riders to watch in the mountains with Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol). The two tried to attack and break the Sky stronghold, but slowly lost time on the road to Paris.

“It’s my style to try for more, more than third, but sometimes you have to just be content with what you have,” he added. “It’s good enough for now. In the future, maybe there will be the chance to improve on this great result.”

Nibali welcomed his girlfriend in Paris yesterday. The two moved to Lugano together from Tuscany over the winter so that she can continue her studies. He’s also changing teams next year and likely to join team Astana.

“I’m sorry to see him go, but we made our offer and it was surpassed,” Liquigas’ general manager, Roberto Amadio told Cycling Weekly. “We’ve had seven great years together and grew together. This podium place shows that we are able to help young riders grow and realise their dreams.”

Nibali placed third at 6-19 minutes back behind Bradley Wiggins. He was nearly three minutes off Chris Froome’s second place. He lost an additional two minutes to Froome on Saturday in Chartres.

He indicated that he might make subtle changes for next year.

“The best cyclists in the world are here, so to have this great result is important. It’s a big jump in quality,” Nibali said. “You can always improve. I’ve already improved a lot in the climbs, but to lose a little time in the time trial is normal. You gain a little here and lose a little there.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news



Cavendish caps Sky’s successful Tour with incredible win in Paris



Cavendish recognises advantage in missed Tour chances ahead of Olympics



Orica-GreenEdge still learning in debut Tour



Hoy says a Wiggins win would be greatest ever British sporting achievement



Cavendish adds to impressive Tour de France for Sky



Schleck’s Tour B sample also positive for banned substance



Sky’s quick exit strategy from the Tour



Wiggins and Froome explain Tour stage 17 final climb debate



Liquigas hopes Tour success could help find sponsor



Froome: Nibali’s attacks weren’t going anywhere



Wiggins’ Tour de France training



Voigt tries to carry on as RadioShack’s future seems in doubt


Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 start list and withdrawals



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 20: Wiggins wins 2012 Tour as Cavendish takes final stage

Stage 19: Wiggins wins time trial to claim Tour de France

Stage 18: Cavendish wins Tour stage 18 with irresistible sprint

Stage 17: Wiggins step closer to Paris as Valverde wins stage

Stage 16: Voeckler the Pyrenean king as he wins in Bagneres de Luchon

Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton

Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank’s Tour

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage 20 by Graham Watson



Stage 19 by Graham Watson



Stage 18 by Graham Watson



Stage 17 by Graham Watson



Stage 16 by Graham Watson



Stage 15 by Graham Watson



Stage 14 by Graham Watson



Stage 13 by Graham Watson



Stage 12 by Graham Watson



Stage 11 by Graham Watson



Stage 10 by Graham Watson



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage 18 live coverage



Stage 17 live coverage



Stage 16 live coverage



Stage 12 live coverage



Stage 11 live coverage



Stage 10 live coverage



Stage nine live coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

 

  • Organised Confusion

    Hey Vincenzo – impressed yet?.