(AP) - French cyclist Thomas Voeckler retained the lead of the Tour de France on Saturday after the last stage in the Pyrenees, which was won by Jelle Vanendert of Belgium and failed to be as significant as expected for the main contenders.
Vanendert clinched the 14th stage - the first Tour stage win of his career - after finishing 21 seconds ahead of Samuel Sanchez of Spain and 46 seconds in front of third-place Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.
"I never imagined this would happen to me on my first Tour de France," Vanendert said. "I have been feeling good in the mountains."
Stage 14 Results
1. Jelle Vanendert Omega Pharma-Lotto - 5:13:25
2. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel-Euskadi - 0:00:21
3. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:00:46
4. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team - 0:00:48
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran Sky Procycling
6. Alberto Contador Velasco Saxo Bank Sungard
7. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar
8. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud AG2R La Mondiale
10. Pierre Rolland Team Europcar
General classification after Stage 14
1. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar - 61:04:10
2. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:01:49
3. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team - 0:02:06
4. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:02:15
5. Ivan Basso Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:03:16
6. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel-Euskadi - 0:03:44
7. Alberto Contador Velasco Saxo Bank Sungard - 0:04:00
8. Damiano Cunego Lampre - ISD - 0:04:01
9. Thomas Danielson Team Garmin-Cervelo - 0:05:46
10. Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team - 0:06:18
Full results here..
Links to news sites...
"Voeckler keeps Tour yellow as Contador soaks up attacks
By Justin Davis (AFP)
PLATEAU DE BEILLE, France - Frenchman Thomas Voeckler stubbornly held on to the Tour de France yellow jersey on Saturday as reigning champion Alberto Contador survived another onslaught in the mountains.
Contador, who has complained of a sore knee, came under constant attack on the gruelling 15.8 km climb to Plateau de Beille but soaked up the pressure to lose only two seconds to key rival Andy Schleck.
"I didn't feel great," admitted Contador, who is still seventh overall at 4min 00sec behind Voeckler and 2:11 behind Frank Schleck.
"But as each day passes I'm feeling better."
Belgian Jelle Vanendert, of the Omega Pharma team, meanwhile took a deserved victory on the 14th stage after jumping out of the group of overall favourites 6.8 km from the finish." Read more from AFP...
"Vanendert wins tough stage as Voeckler stays in yellow
(CNN) -- Jelle Vanendert of Belgium claimed victory in Saturday's arduous 14th stage of the Tour de France from Saint-Gaudens to the summit of Plateau de Beille, with Frenchman Thomas Voeckler hanging onto the race leader's yellow jersey.
The toughest stage of this year's race was expected to shake up the general classification, but all the favorites marked each other out, allowing Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Vanendert to secure his first-ever Tour stage victory.
The 26-year-old Vanendert finished second to Samuel Sanchez in Thursday's first mountain top finish to Luz-Ardiden -- but he made amends by breaking clear of the leading group with 7km remaining and holding on to cross the line 21 seconds ahead." Read more from CNN International...
Photos by CorVos