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Nibali leads young rider classification following Riccò dismissal

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Gregor Brown in Narbonne

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali moved into the maillot blanc of best young rider and top-10 of Tour de France following the dismissal of Riccardo Riccò for a failed drugs test. Despite capturing the jersey, however, Nibali was not pleased with the way in which it had been awarded to him.

"It is bad news," Nibali said to Cyclingnews, moments after Riccò had left the race escorted by French police officers.

Nibali, 23, came to the Tour de France to build experience. He had already dealt with Liquigas team-mate Manuel Beltrán leaving the race after failing a test for the same form of EPO as Riccò, but continued racing well. He finished stage 10 to Hautacam 3'40" back after animating the stage with several attacks.

Following the stage to Hautacam, he revealed it would be difficult to take the maillot blanc because Riccò was riding so strongly. Nibali was 1'49" behind Riccò in the standings before Riccò left the start of stage 12 in disgrace.

"What can I say, I don't have words. I don't know how to describe this day. It is bad for cycling and bad for the people."