Italian setting challenge after taking stage 2 of Tour

THIS year's Tour de France was supposed to be a match race between 2013 winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

The 29-year-old Sicilian, aiming to become Italy's first winner since Marco Pantani in 1998, caught plenty of riders by surprise at the end of the tough second stage that included 3000m of climbing.

After setting up a two-second lead over 20 rivals, including Froome, Contador, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Aussie Richie Porte (Team Sky), Nibali said he was thrilled with his win. "We all know that Froome and Contador are the big favourites, but I will do my best to get a good overall result too," he said.

Slovakia's Peter Sagan leads the points classification.

Topics:  alberto contador chris froome cycling tour de france

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Snitz sizzles to win qualifier with ease

IN FULL FLIGHT: Brisbane jockey Robbie Fradd streaks clear to win the $150,000 NRRA Country Championships qualifier on board Snitz, trained by Matt Dunn, at Clarence River Jockey Club.

SHORT priced favourite sends everybody home happy.

Ballina Players brings popular military drama to the stage

ON STAGE: John Rado as Colonel Nathan Jessep and Dylan Wheeler as Lt Daniel Kaffee in the Ballina Players production of A Few Good Men.

Tickets are on sale for their new production of A Few Good Men

Triumph of dreams ... it all started with one bike

A CLASSIC: Meerschaum Vale's Col McAndrew with his Triumph 1956 Speed Twin which he will show at the Northern Rivers Classic Motorcycle Club's Show and Shine at Alstonville Plaza on March 18.

Col has six classic bikes; 100 expected at show

Local Partners