Nibali wins Tour's 1st Alps stage, extends lead

Chamrousse, France, Jul 18 (EFE).- Italy's Vincenzo Nibali won Friday's 13th stage of the Tour de France to continue his dominance of this year's race, while Australia's Richie Porte struggled in the high-mountain stage from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse and fell out of the top 10 of the general classification.

Nibali's victory gave him a three-minute, 37-second lead over Spain's Alejandro Valverde, who finished fourth on Friday to move into second place overall.

The Italian fended off Valverde's attack 10 kilometers from the finish line before speeding past Poland's Rafal Majka and Czech Leopold Konig to snag his third stage win of this year's Tour.

Porte, who began the day in second place, faltered badly in the stage's grueling final climb, losing nine minutes to Nibali on Friday and falling to 16th and out of contention for the title.

The 29-year-old Italian, who rides for the Astana Pro Team, said afterward that the plan for Friday was to control the race and gain a few seconds.

Valverde, who competes for the Movistar Team, said for his part that Nibali "is the strongest" and clearly superior to his rivals.