Carcassonne, France • Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague.
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali knows that more than many. Both of cycling's other "Grand Tours" that he has already won were marred by doping cases. Last year's Giro d'Italia was tarnished by three positive tests while in the 2010 Vuelta, Nibali's runner-up, Ezequiel Mosquera, later tested positive for a masking agent that can hide blood-booster EPO a longtime designer drug in cycling.
But on the rest day Monday before the pack heads to the Pyrenees, the serene, talented and methodical 29-year-old Italian was focusing on the race, saying that he wants to make sure he avoids a "crisis" like the crashes that forced out rivals Chris Froome, the 2013 champ, and two-time winner Alberto Contador. In post-stage news conferences, he has confidently fielded and answered questions about doping.