Nicki Sorensen won the 12th stage of the Tour de France on Thursday by breaking away and finishing well ahead of Laurent Lefevre, and Rinaldo Nocentini of Italy kept the yellow jersey.

Sorensen was part of a small group of seven riders that finished several minutes ahead of the main pack after foraging ahead unchallenged during the 211.5-kilometer (131.4-mile) trek from Tonnerre to Vittel, which featured six small hills.

Stage 12 Results
1 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank - 4:52:24
2 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom - 0:00:48
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
4 Marcus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram
5 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
6 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Agritubel
7 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne - 0:01:33
8 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - HTC - 0:05:58
9 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
10 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre - NGC

General classification after stage 12
1 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale - 48:27:21
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana - 0:00:06
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana - 0:00:08
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana - 0:00:39
5 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:00:46
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana - 0:00:54
7 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC - 0:01:00
8 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:01:24
9 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:01:49
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas - 0:01:54

Full results here..

Jersey Standings:
Rinaldo Nocentini
Mark Cavendish
Egoi Martinez
Tony Martin

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Links to news sites...

"Sörensen speeds to super stage win for Saxo Bank
It was another stage for the sprinters but Nicki Sörensen was determined not to let it end that way.

As the Tour de France has proved time and time again, there are no pre-written scripts to any stage of La Grande Boucle. And with a succession of difficult mountain legs to come, Thursday's 12th stage to Vittel was about as good a chance as any to break the sprinters' mould.

The opportunists knew it, and it took 82 hard-fought kilometres before a septet of hopefuls had clearance to leave the peloton. Sörensen of Team Saxo Bank, the best-placed of the seven on the classement general, knew his 10:36 gap to maillot jaune Rinaldo Nocentini would result in the Italian's AG2R La Mondiale squad keeping the break checked at no more than five minutes." Read more from CyclingNews...

"Sorensen wins 12th stage of Tour

(CNN) -- Denmark's Nicki Sorensen won the 12th stage of the Tour de France as the Rinaldo Nocentini kept the yellow jersey ahead of Astana teammates Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.

Sorensen was part of a seven-strong breakaway group which established a big lead over the main bunch on the 211.5km stage from Tonnerre to Vittel and eventually contested the stage honors.

The 34-year-old Dane, a support rider for the Saxo Bank team, timed his final attack perfectly in the closing kilometers and had a 33 second advantage by the finish." Read more from CNN International...

"Selfless Soerensen wins Tour de France stage
By Ryland James (AFP)

VITTEL, France - Saxo Bank leader Andy Schleck insisted no one deserves winning Thursday's 12th stage of the Tour de France more than team-mate Nicki Soerensen after years of helping the Luxemburger.

Schleck is ninth in the overall classification behind yellow jersey holder Rinaldo Noncentini and is delighted Soerensen gave the Danish team something to cheer about following his stage win here.

The 34-year-old Dane won in a time of 4hr 52min 24sec after becoming a late addition to a six-man breakaway group which had left the clutches of the peloton at the 64km mark.

After a first attack with 23km to race succeeded in leaving five of his breakaway companions behind, another, with 5km to go, proved too much for Frenchman Sylvain Calzati who was swallowed up by the five chasers." Read more from the AFP...