ARGELES-GAZOST, France -- Vincenzo Nibali crushed everyone on the last mountain leg of the Tour de France on Thursday, all but ensuring he will be crowned champion when the race ends in Paris in three days. Derrick White Spurs Jersey . On the big, final climb of Stage 18, the Italian broke out of the peloton, chased down breakaway riders, and rode solo in front for the last eight kilometres (five miles) uphill. Nibali, who captured his fourth stage of the Tour, stuck out his tongue, tapped his chest, and raised a fist skyward as he finished the 145.5-kilometre (90-mile) leg more than a minute ahead of Thibaut Pinot of France, who was second. Rafal Majka of Poland, in third, was another two seconds back. The remarkable effort by Nibali, set to become the first Italian to win the Tour since Marco Pantani in 1998, essentially reduced the race drama to who will join him on the podium on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday. "I didnt want to lose command. My goal was to win here," Nibali said. "It was important to me to win another stage in the Pyrenees. The team worked really hard and this victory is for them." He is also set to become only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. He won the 2013 Italian Giro and the 2010 Spanish Vuelta. One man basking at the finish line was Alexandre Vinokourov, the general manager of Nibalis Astana team, and a former rider who was expelled from the 2007 Tour for blood doping. He said the stage victory was "not by chance." "We said, we need to show that theres a boss," Vinokourov told French TV. The last time the term "boss" was used regularly at the Tour was when a doped-up Lance Armstrong won seven in a row. While three stages are left, Fridays is mostly flat and unlikely to allow a breakaway rider to gain time. The last real challenge will be Saturdays individual time trial, but Nibalis lead is so big -- 7 minutes, 10 seconds ahead of Pinot, and 7:23 ahead of Frances Jean-Christophe Peraud -- that it would take a disaster for him to lose the yellow jersey before Sunday. "It was a very good day," said Pinot, who rose a spot from third, "but Nibali is untouchable." The race for second heated up: Alejandro Valverde of Spain lost crucial seconds on the last climb and fell from second overall to fourth, two seconds slower than Peraud. But Valverde is considered a stronger time-trial rider than Pinot, and possibly Peraud. "Everything is possible," Valverde said. "Before, I was ahead, now Im behind, but its very tight. Im pretty happy." After setting off from Pau, riders tackled the famed Tourmalet pass -- the highest Pyrenean peak on this Tour -- before heading up to Hautacam ski station. Both climbs are among the toughest in professional cycling. Two breakaway riders, Mikel Nieve of Spain and Blel Kadri, a Frenchman who won Stage 8, were the first over Tourmalet more than 4 1/2 minutes ahead. But by the valley below, the duo had lost two minutes: Nibalis chasing bunch was gaining. That was partly because Valverdes Movistar squad bolted ahead in a challenge to Nibali. The Italian didnt let that last long, and Valverde was caught within a few minutes. By the foot of Hautacam, the main contenders were bunched together. Then, American Chris Horner, who beat second-place Nibali in the Vuelta last year, broke away. Nibali stayed with him, and then, rounding a curve and looking back for the peloton, burst ahead. Nibali said later he had memories of Horners Vuelta victory in mind. That said, Horner was little threat for the Tour title: He was about 35 minutes behind when the stage began. On the way up, Nibalis shoulder whacked the outstretched elbow of a woman speaking on a mobile phone on the side of road, with her back to the peloton. He winced briefly. "Happily, it wasnt serious for her or me," Nibali said. Stage 19 on Friday in southwestern France will likely end in a sprint finish, and Nibali and his Astana teammates will keep a close watch on the riders closest to him in the general classification. They are no longer rivals, nor challengers. Bruce Bowen Jersey . -- The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract Saturday. Rudy Gay Spurs Jersey . The weekend at Oriole Park has been less kind, with three players suffering varying degrees of injury. The worst ailment of the three, at least optically, is the deep bone bruise suffered by Adam Lind when he fouled a pitch off the top of his right foot in the sixth inning of Saturdays game. https://www.spurslockerroom.com/Bruce-Bowen-City-Edition-Jersey/ . A 23-year-old rookie, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average in 12 games this season, the past seven of those being starts. He logged the first scoreless outing of his career on Friday versus Oakland in a no-decision.LANGLEY, B.C. -- Jordan Hall had a hat trick and two assists as the Philadelphia Wings topped the Vancouver Stealth 15-11 on Saturday in National Lacrosse League action. Kyle Buchanan and Kevin Crowley had two goals each for Philadelphia (6-11). Stephen Hoar, Ryan Ward, John Ranagan, Tracey Kelusky, Pat Saunders, Mike Manley, Brodie Merrill and Garrett Thul all scored as well. Kevin Croswell made 40 saves for the win. Brett BBucktooth and Jamie Lincoln scored three goals apiece for Vancouver (4-12), while Ilija Gajic struck twice. DeMar DeRozan Jersey. Tyler Garrison, Justin Salt and Nick Weiss had goals as well. Matt Roik stopped 28-of-39 shots he faced in 54:14 of work for the Stealth. Tyler Richards allowed four goals on six shots. The Wings scored on one of their two power plays, while Vancouver converted all three of its man advantages. ' ' '