Cycling: Nibali on top as Evans fades

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Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali strengthened his grip on the Giro d’Italia race lead with a commanding victory in the stage 18 mountain time-trial in the Dolomites yesterday.

Nibali (Astana), who was third behind Sir Bradley Wiggins at last summer’s Tour de France, won the 20.6-kilometre race against the clock from Mori to Polsa by 58 seconds from Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel Euskadi) to enhance his hold on the pink jersey.

Second-placed Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), teammate of Sheffield’s Adam Blythe, conceded two minutes 36 seconds after finishing 25th on the stage to fall back to more than four minutes behind with three days of racing remaining.

Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) remains third, 4mins 12secs adrift, after finishing sixth on the stage, 1:26 behind Nibali.

Today’s 19th stage is 139km from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal.

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