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Tour de France: Tony Gallopin wins stage 11 but Italy’s Vincento Nibali retains lead

The top standings didn't change, because Nibali finished in the pack with the same time as Gallopin.

By: Associated Press | Oyonnax |
Updated: July 17, 2014 10:03:18 am
depite Nibali maintained his lead despite Tony Gallopin’s win. (Source: AP)

French rider Tony Gallopin led a late breakaway in a show of opportunism and savvy racing to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead.

The peloton returned to action after the race’s first rest day with the 187.5 kilometer (116.3 mile) ride from Besancon to Oyonnax, not far from the Swiss border. The stage featured four small- to medium-sized hills near the end.

Gallopin, who wore the yellow jersey for a day before Nibali recaptured it, first tried to break away with about 13 1/2 kilometers (8.4 miles) left but got reeled in. Then, in a late flurry, with less than 3 kilometers to go, the Lotto-Belisol rider tried again. This time, it worked.

He chiseled out a lead of several seconds and, desperately pedaling, held off a surging pack in the final several hundred meters.

Gallopin won by several bike lengths, just enough for him to have time to lift his arms in celebration, panting.

“Incredible,” said Gallopin of his first Tour stage win. “I came to train for the Tour de France here … that really served me today.(Wednesday)

“It’s really a victory that feels good.”

The top standings didn’t change, because Nibali finished in the pack with the same time as Gallopin.

Meanwhile, American Andrew Talansky, in pain after two crashes twice in recent days, dropped back from the peloton more than halfway through the stage. At one point, he stopped and sat down on a roadside guard rail.

But in a show of heart, with encouragement from team sports director Robert Hunter, Talansky got back on his bike, wiped his eyes and continued.

The Garmin-Sharp team leader, who won the Criterium du Dauphine stage race last month, was many minutes back as the pack finished, and was racing against the time limit under Tour rules to be able to continue the race.



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