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Cycling: Calm Vincenzo Nibali defends Tour de France lead
Cycling » Italian protects yellow jersey as Germany’s Greipel wins stage.
First Published Jul 10 2014 05:47 pm • Last Updated Jul 10 2014 11:30 pm

Reims, France • Vincenzo Nibali is growing comfortable in his yellow jersey.

He’s not taking the Tour de France lead for granted, though.

At a glance

Tour de France

Stage 7, Epernay to Nancy, 146 miles, Friday, 6 a.m.

TV » NBCSN

Results

By The Associated Press

Thursday

At Arenberg, France

Sixth Stage

A 120.5-mile flat ride from Arras to Reims, with a pair of Category 4 climbs

1. Andre Greipel, Germany, Lotto Belisol, 4 hours, 11 minutes, 39 seconds.

2. Alexander Kristoff, Norway, Katusha, same time.

3. Samuel Dumoulin, Francde, AG2R La Mondiale, same time.

4. Mark Renshaw, Australia, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, same time.

5. Peter Sagan, Slovakia, Cannondale, same time.

6. Romain Feillu, France, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, same time.

7. Tom Veelers, Netherlands, Giant-Shimano, same time.

8. Bryan Coquard, France, Europcar, same time.

9. Sep Vanmarcke, Belgium, Belkin Pro Cycling, same time.

10. Sylvain Chavanel, France, IAM Cycling, same time.

11. Daniel Oss, Italy, BMC Racing, same time.

12. Cyril Lemoine, France, Cofidis, same time.

13. Greg Van Avermaet, Belgium, BMC Racing, same time.

14. Fabian Cancellara, Switzerland, Trek Factory Racing, same time.

15. Jakob Fuglsang, Denmark, Astana, same time.

16. Tom Dumoulin, France, Giant-Shimano, same time.

17. Andrew Talansky, United States, Garmin Sharp, same time.

18. Vincenzo Nibali, Italy, Astana, same time.

19. Jack Bauer, New Zealand, Garmin Sharp, same time.

20. Alberto Contador, Spain, Tinkoff-Saxo, same time.

Also

22. Rui Costa, Portugal, Lampre-Merida, same time.

24. Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Belkin Pro Cycling, same time.

26. Tejay van Garderen, United States, BMC Racing, same time.

39. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, Trek Factory Racing, same time.

40. Christopher Horner, United States, Lampre-Merida, same time.

50. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Movistar, same time.

96. Peter Stetina, United States, BMC Racing, 59 seconds behind.

103. Benjamin King, United States, Garmin Sharp, same time.

112. Alex Howes, United States, Garmin Sharp, same time.

136. Danny Pate, United States, Sky, 3:01.

155. Joaquin Rodriguez, Spain, Katusha, 4:51.

159. Edward King, United States, Cannondale, same time.

160. Matthew Busche, United States, Trek Factory Racing, same time.

163. Daniel Navarro, Spain, Cofidis, same time.

Overall Standings

(After six stages)

1. Vincenzo Nibali, Italy, Astana, 24 hours, 38 minutes, 25 seconds.

2. Jakob Fuglsang, Denmark, Astana, 2 seconds behind.

3. Peter Sagan, Slovakia, Cannondale, :44.

4. Michal Kwiatkowski, Poland, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, :50.

5. Fabian Cancellara, Switzerland, Trek Factory Racing, 1:17.

6. Jurgen Van den Broeck, Belgium, Lotto Belisol, 1:45.

7. Tony Gallopin, France, Lotto-Belisol, same time.

8. Richie Porte, Australia, Sky, 1:54.

9. Andrew Talansky, United States, Garmin Sharp, 2:05.

10. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Movistar, 2:11.

11. Tejay van Garderen, United States, BMC Racing, same time.

12. Romain Bardet, France, AG2R La Mondiale, same time.

13. Rui Costa, Portugal, Lampre-Merida, same time.

14. Geraint Thomas, Britian, Sky, 2:16.

15. Tom Dumoulin, Netherlands, Giant-Shimano, 2:25.

16. Yury Trofimov, Russia, Katusha, same time.

17. Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Belkin Pro Cycling, 2:27.

18. Alberto Contador, Spain, Tinkoff-Saxo, 2:37.

19. Jan Bakelants, Belgium, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, 2:39.

20. Peter Velits, Slovakia, BMC Racing, 2:44.

Also

28. Christopher Horner, United States, Lampre-Merida, 4:13.

40. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, Trek Factory Racing, 9:12.

110. Peter Stetina, United States, BMC Racing, 29:34.

120. Daniel Navarro, Spain, Cofidis, 30:57.

139. Benjamin King, United States, Garmin Sharp, 34:59.

151. Alex Howes, United States, Garmin Sharp, 38:28.

166. Danny Pate, United States, Sky, 42:40.

170. Matthew Busche, United States, Trek Factory Racing, 43:46.

177. Joaquin Rodriguez, Spain, Katusha, 46:09.

186. Edward King, United States, Cannondale, 59:20.

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Despite the stunning departure of reigning champion Chris Froome in a crash the day before, the Italian says he’s "afraid" of two-time champ Alberto Contador, and senses other contenders are looking for opportunities to strip him of cycling’s most coveted jersey.

Nibali took another, if small, step on Thursday toward the Tour crown by maintaining his lead as the pack arrived in Reims — whose famed Cathedral hosted many French coronations — in a drizzly and crash-marred sixth stage won by German sprint specialist Andre Greipel.

Nibali, who has won cycling’s two other Grand tours — the Spanish Vuelta and Italian Giro — made it five straight days in the yellow shirt that he hopes to take home when the race ends on the’ Champs-Elysees on July 27.

It’s still very early, though, and the race has only had one real climbing day so far: Far tougher up-and-down days are ahead this weekend in the Vosges mountains, in the Alps in week two, and the Pyrenees in week three.

But Nibali says he is "calm" and feeling good physically, his Astana team is the best-performing squad so far, and several rival teams have been losing riders to crashes.

"I’m still afraid of Contador," said Nibali, adding that he expects the Spaniard and other yellow jersey aspirants to attack when the race enters the eastern Vosges range on Saturday — culminating with a tough uphill finish in Monday’s Stage 10.

Contador, a day after losing about 21/2 minutes to Nibali on a muddy ride over cobblestones, was dealt another setback on Thursday: His Saxo-Tinkoff teammate Jesus Hernandez, who was expected to help him up the climbs, dropped out after a crash that left him dazed on the roadside. Richie Porte, who inherited the leadership of Team Sky after Froome quit, also lost a teammate. Spanish veteran Xabier Zandio was taken to hospital with a suspected broken rib and severe back injury from a group spill with about 79 kilometers left.

The race medical report listed a total of 14 riders with varying injuries from "two big crashes."


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"It was such a stressful day — horrible actually," Porte said.



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