Frenchman Pierre Rolland of the Europcar team won the 19th stage of the Tour de France, a 109.5 km ride from Modane to the summit of Alpe d'Huez Friday. Luxembourg's Andy Schleck, of Leopard-Trek, took possession of the yellow jersey from Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who lost over two minutes on the final climb of the race.
In a stage marked by daring attacks from reigning champion Alberto Contador on the first and last climbs of the day, Schleck took the overall lead for the first time in the race by 53secs from his older brother Frank.
However in what could prove to be a fatal blow for the Luxemburgers Australian Cadel Evans, who refused to budge during another epic performance, sits in third place only 57secs off the lead.
Evans is considered the strongest time triallist in the current top ten. The penultimate stage of the race is a 42.5 km time trial around Grenoble on Saturday.
Stage 19 Results
1. Pierre Rolland Team Europcar - 3:13:25
2. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel-Euskadi - 0:00:14
3. Alberto Contador Velasco Saxo Bank Sungard - 0:00:23
4. Peter Velits HTC-Highroad - 0:00:57
5. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team
6. Thomas De Gendt Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7. Damiano Cunego Lampre - ISD
8. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek
9. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek
10. Ryder Hesjedal Team Garmin-Cervelo - 0:01:15
General classification after Stage 19
1. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek - 82:48:43
2. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:00:53
3. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team - 0:00:57
4. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar - 0:02:10
5. Damiano Cunego Lampre - ISD - 0:03:31
6. Alberto Contador Velasco Saxo Bank Sungard - 0:03:55
7. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel-Euskadi - 0:04:22
8. Ivan Basso Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:04:40
9. Thomas Danielson Team Garmin-Cervelo - 0:07:11
10. Pierre Rolland Team Europcar - 0:08:57
Full results here..
Links to news sites...
"Schleck takes Tour yellow as Rolland wins on Alpe d'Huez
By Justin Davis (AFP)
ALPE D'HUEZ, France - Luxembourg's Andy Schleck set up a penultimate stage duel with Australian Cadel Evans after pulling on the Tour de France yellow jersey on the summit of Alpe d'Huez Friday.
Frenchman Pierre Rolland of the Europcar team won the 19th stage -- a 109.5 km ride from Modane to the legendary summit -- to stun some bigger names on what was the last day in the mountains.
But as he handed the French their first victory of the 98th edition, the race's big prize has yet to be settled.
In a stage marked by daring attacks from reigning champion Alberto Contador on the first and last climbs, Schleck took the overall lead from Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who lost 3min 22sec to drop to fourth overall at 2:10.
He now leads older brother Frank by 53secs but in what could prove to be a fatal blow for the Luxemburgers, Evans sits in third place only 57 off the lead." Read more from AFP...
"Schleck sets up Tour de France title showdown
(CNN) -- Andy Schleck is confident he can hold on to the Tour de France's coveted yellow jersey after Saturday's decisive time trial and win cycling's biggest race for the first time.
The 26-year-old from Luxembourg will have a 53-second lead from his older brother Frank after overhauling previous leader Thomas Voeckler in Friday's 19th stage from Modane Valfrejus to Alpe-d'Huez.
Another four seconds back lurks Australia's Cadel Evans, like the younger Schleck a two-time runner-up but rated as stronger in time trials." Read more from CNN International...
Photos by CorVos