(Reuters) - France's Christophe Riblon captured Stage 14 of the 2010 Tour de France, but Luxembourg's Andy Schleck was able to stay with defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain as cycling's most prestigious event reached the Pyrenees.
Riblon finished the 184.5-kilometer trek from Revel to Ax 3 Domaines in a time of four hours, 52 minutes and 42 seconds to claim his first career stage win.
Stage 14 Results
1 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale - 4:52:42
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank - 0:00:54
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
4 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:01:08
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini - 0:01:49
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
General classification after Stage 14
1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 68:02:30
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana - 0:00:31
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi - 0:02:31
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank - 0:02:44
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto - 0:03:31
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank - 0:04:27
7 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack - 0:04:51
8 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha - 0:04:58
9 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne - 0:05:56
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo - 0:06:52
Full results here..
Links to news sites...
"Riblon wins 14th stage of Tour
By Justin Davis (AFP) -
Frenchman Christophe Riblon claimed a deserved maiden Tour de France victory on the race's 14th stage on Sunday as an anticipated yellow jersey battle failed to materialise.
Race leader Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank retained the race lead with his 31-sec lead on main rival Alberto Contador of Spain intact after the pair stubbornly played poker games with each other on the race's two difficult climbs.
Instead, podium hopefuls Samuel Sanchez of Spain and Russian Denis Menchov were given unexpected freedom in the final third of the 7.8km climb to the summit finish here to close their respective deficits.
As Riblon finished off an impressive solo performance to claim his first success on the race, Sanchez and Menchov crossed the line together at 52secs adrift. Schleck and Contador came over the finish around 15secs later.
Riblon, who also has a parallel career as a track cyclist, had been part of an eight-man breakaway which formed early in the stage and which held a lead of over 10 minutes on the peloton.
As their lead steadily dropped as Contador's Astana team upped the pace in the chasing peloton, Riblon broke free of compatriot Amael Moinard with 2km to race to the summit of the 15.5km Port de Pailheres." Read more from the AFP...
"Riblon wins in Pyrenees
AG2R La Mondiale rider Christophe Riblon won the opening Pyrenean stage of the Tour de France in Ax 3 Domaines.
Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck, the Luxembourg rider who finished runner-up to Astana's Alberto Contador last year, retained his 31-second overall advantage over the
Spaniard following the 184.5 kilometre ride from Revel.
They crossed the second of three mountain top finishes at this year's Tour in a five-man group that was 14 seconds behind Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Samuel
Sanchez (Euskatel), third and fourth overall respectively, after playing a game of cat and mouse with each other in the final stages of the 7.8km climb to the finish.
Riblon, who was part of an early nine-man escape group, secured France's fourth stage win in this year's race" Read more from Yahoo/Eurosport UK...
"Schleck keeps fans guessing with yellow jersey games
By Justin Davis (AFP)
Andy Schleck has stressed since he took the Tour de France lead on stage nine last week that his tactics will be designed to reward him with the yellow jersey in Paris.
Going on the stubborn poker game he used against reigning champion Alberto Contador on the 14th stage of the race Sunday, fans of the talented Luxemburger may be wondering whether that is still possible.
Schleck ultimately finished the 184.5km stage from Revel to the second high mountain finish of the race here with his 31sec lead on Contador intact.
Yet with the Spaniard being tipped to take significant time off Schleck in the penultimate stage time trial next Saturday, the Saxo Bank climber arguably cannot afford to leave the Pyrenees with a cushion of less than two minutes.
Having finished runner-up by over four minutes in 2009, Schleck on Sunday arguably failed to test his own belief that, at least on the climbs, Contador is not quite so impenetrable as he was last year.
Nevertheless, he believes he won round one of the four being held in the Pyrenees.
"This is just a guess, but I guess he's not happy. He didn't lose any time but he didn't gain any either," said Schleck." Read more from the AFP...