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.