Tour de France 2010, stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Christophe Riblon gave France their fourth stage win of the Tour de France when he held on to win at Ax-3-Domaines.



The AG2R rider was part of a nine-man break that went clear after 25 kilometres of the 14th stage from Revel.



But it was the cagey cat-and-mouse tactics of the maillot jaune Andy Schleck and his nearest rival Alberto Contador on the final climb that had viewers on the edge of their seat.



Schleck was able to respond to a number of accelerations by Contador and the Spaniard, seemingly frustrated at his inability to shake off the Saxo Bank rider, decided to slow down.



However, Schleck called his bluff and the two riders came came to a walking pace, allowing the third and fourth-placed riders overall - Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel and Denis Menchov of Rabobank to capitalise.



It was a moment of drama on a day when the overall picture was jiggled but not shaken up.



Riblon’s reward for his aggression and bravery was the stage win. After Sylvain Chavanel’s two and Sandy Casar’s victory, it is the fourth for the French. The last time France had four or more stage wins to celebrate was in 1997, the year before the Festina Affair contributed to French cycling plunging into the darkness.



The early break set the pattern for the day. Riblon was joined by the British road race champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions), Amael Moinard, Stephane Augé (both Cofidis), Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step), Pierre Rolland (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Benoit Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha).



Their lead reached a maximum of 10 minutes as they headed towards the two big mountains at the end of the day.



On the Port de Pailhères, a very difficult hors categorie climb, the race started to hot up and the searing pace set by Contador’s Astana team for so long on the approach to the mountain began to tell.



A lot of riders were dropped. Of the overall contenders, Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) was one of the first to be in trouble. Lance Armstrong, a husk of even last year’s defiant combatant, was also left behind.



Towards the top Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) began to struggle, although he got back in touch on the descent.



The lead group was whittled down until just Riblon, Moinard and Van de Walle remained. And behind them Carlos Sastre tried to go for a long one, attacking with his Cervélo team-mate Volodymyr Gustov but he was caught on the final climb.



The final climb to Ax-3-Domaines was gripping, if not decisive.



Riblon’s lead was shredded but he still had a minute in hand as he entered the final kilometre. Contador and Schleck looked capable of dropping everyone else but unable to maintain the pace for long.



And when they began to play about, Menchov seized his chance. Sanchez joined him and the pair worked hard, although their reward at the line was just 14 seconds.



Schleck maintains his 31-second lead over Contador, but Sanchez is now just 2-31 down overall. Robert Gesink and Levi Leipheimer traded places and Wiggins fell from 16th to 18th. He’s now not even the best-placed Team Sky rider. Thomas Löfkvist, the Swede brought to the Tour to help him, is two places higher.



RESULTS

Stage 14: Revel - Ax-3-Domaines


1. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R 184.5km in 4-52-42

2. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 54sec

3. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi same time

4. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at 1-08

5. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha

6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank

7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana

8. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma all same time

9. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre at 1-49

10. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo same time

Others

36. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 4-59



Overall

1. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank in 68-02-30

2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 31sec

3. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 2-31

4. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 2-44

5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma at 3-31

6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 4-27

7. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Radioshack at 4-51

8. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 4-58

9. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 5-56

10. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 6-52

Others

11. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 7-04

12. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas at 7-11

13. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions at 7-17

14. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R at 8-03

15. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo at 8-15

16. Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Team Sky at 9-46

18. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 11-30

19. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 12-39

38. Lance Armstrong (USA) Radioshack at 39-44



Points Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre

KOM Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom

Youth Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

Watch highlights of Tour de France 2010, stage 14 by clicking play below…

Tour de France 2010: Latest news



Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal



Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds



Can Cav win without Renshaw?



Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top



Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win



Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour



Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?



Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey



Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut



Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees



Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?



Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports



Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban



Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks



Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour



Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race



Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day



Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head



Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white



Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up



Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour



Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims



Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC



Stage three live coverage: As it happened



Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa



Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters



Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos



Stage 13 photo gallery



Stage 12 photo gallery



Stage 11 photo gallery



Stage 10 photo gallery



Stage nine photo gallery



Stage eight photo gallery



Tour 2010 wallpaper



Stage seven photo gallery



Stage six photo gallery



Stage five photo gallery



Stage four photo gallery



Stage three photo gallery



Stage two photo gallery



Stage one gallery



Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos



Stage 13 video highlights



Stage 12 video highlights



Stage 11 video highlights



Stage 10 video highlights



Stage nine video highlights



Stage eight video highlights



Stage seven video highlights



Stage six video highlights



Stage five video highlights



Stage four video highlights



Stage three video highlights



Stage two video highlights



Stage one video highlights



Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide



Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



Official start list, with race numbers



Brits at the Tour 2010



Tout team guide



Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures



Tour team presentation, Rotterdam



Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special

 

  • old hedgey

    Terrific days racing. For me the most significant part of it being Geraint hanging on to finish in the same time as Brad despite , or maybe because of, his earlier efforts. I said it at the start, there’s more to come from our road champion before this Tour is over,

  • arronski

    Nice win, Contador and Schleck are looking at each other to much, showing off, and Menchov and Sanchez nearly stole the prize from under there nose’s………this tour’s not a 2 horse race after all……hope they attack again!!