Vincenzo Nibali attempted to break Sky’s stronghold and blow the Tour de France apart today on stage 11. He failed in cracking Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, but saw Cadel Evans crack and the Italian moved up to third overall.

“I was going well, so I waited until the last climb to try to attack,” Nibali said after the finish. “There were many team-mates with Wiggins, so I tried to wear them down right away.”

Evans, the defending champion and BMC Racing’s leader, attempted a long move on the Col de la Croix de Fer. He failed and paid for it when team Liquigas-Cannondale’s Nibali began his attacks on the La Toussuire climb to the finish line.

Nibali attacked twice in the 18km Alpine climb, first with 10.7km remaining and again with 9.2km remaining. Sky pulled him back, but had to rely on Chris Froome as Richie Porte faded. Nibali went again. This time, Evans suffered under the effort of Sky’s chase and lost ground.

“Vincenzo showed he’s getting stronger with the race,” Wiggins said in the leader’s press conference. “His attacks at the end were pretty severe.”

“Two times, one when I saw them returning. I wanted to prevent it and just try to just take advantage of the work, but it was very difficult,” Nibali explained. “Chris Froome, like always, showed to be a great domestique. He did most of the work”

He joined with earlier attackers, Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), Janez Brajkovic (Astana) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-BigMat). It forced Wiggins and Froome to lift the pace further. They caught the Italian from Sicily with just less than four kilometres remaining, when the climb eased.

Evans trailed in at around 1 minute, 30 seconds. Nibali failed to crack Sky, but pushed himself into third overall. He trails Froome by only 18 seconds and leads Evans by 56 seconds.

“There were a lot of hard blows today. We were all tired, it was normal,” Nibali continued. He was pleased with his time, but not so much. “Yeah, it’s important, but Sky’s still there and keeps showing to be a great team.”

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Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 provisional start list



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports



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 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 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

 

  • Tk

    Well, i can assure you i saw the exchange that Nibali complained about and initially I think everyone thought it was directed at Vincenzo… Had he been taunting it would’ve been worth sounding off about… I believe, despite what Wiggins claims, he was “sticking it to” Vincenzo. Which was lol funny since Wiggins has done ZERO work in this tour in the mountains other than ride Froome’s wheel. Nibali is the only rider whos team has gone MIA on every mountain stage. Basso has been a major disappointment.

  • JD

    Despite his silly moaning about Wiggins yesterday, the Italian deserves credit for attacking like that today. Also good to see a conciliatory handshake as the two men crossed the line.

    Stop the sniping, just ride – today they did.