Cycling: Nibali defends Tirreno crown

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali successfully defended his Tirreno-Adriatico crown on Tuesday as the Astana racer held off the challenge of Britain's Chris Froome.

Froome had begun the day 34sec behind his rival and Nibali was able to hold him off to take the overall win following a 9.2km time-trial around San Benedetto del Tronto on Italy's eastern Adriatic coast.

Nibali came in 12th on the day with German racer Tony Martin of Omega Pharma winning the time-trial. Spanish Saxo Bank rider Alberto Contador -- with Froome another contender for this year's Tour de France -- was third overall at52sec.