On the longest stage of this year's race, two first-time Tour riders each added a significant entry to their palmar?s. Escaping from a nine-man breakaway, Agritubel's Brice Feillu claimed the stage victory atop the hors cat?gorie Andorre Arcalis.
He was followed shortly after by another breakaway rider Rinaldo Nocentini, who became the first Italian in nine years to don the yellow jersey. Nocentini, who sat 3:13 behind Fabian Cancellara at the start of the stage, benefited from an Astana-led peloton that seemed more interested in testing the main contenders on the final climb than catching the break.
Cancellara's difficulties on Andorre Arcalis made it was clear that the yellow jersey would change hands. As the peloton made its way up, riders began to fall off the back as others attacked. Cadel Evans launched off the front with about 2K to the line, but Lance Armstrong was able to stay on his wheel and reel him back in.
Shortly after, Alberto Contador stood up in the saddle and danced away from the group. He finished 21 seconds ahead of the other contenders, moving him into second place overall.
The peloton, with Astana at the front, battles the crowds up the Serra-Seca pass during Stage 7.
AP Photo/Christophe Ena
Stage 7 Results
- Brice Feillu – Agritubel – 6:11:31
- Christophe Kern – Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne +00:05
- Johannes Fr?hlinger – Team Milram +00:25
- Rinaldo Nocentini – Ag2r-La Mondiale +00:26
- Egoi Martinez – Euskaltel-Euskadi +00:45
- Christophe Riblon – Ag2r-La Mondiale +01:05
- J?r?me Pineau – Quick Step +02:32
- Jos? Ivan Gutierrez – Caisse d'Epargne +03:14
- Alberto Contador - Astana +03:26
- Cadel Evans – Silence-Lotto +03:47
Other U.S. Riders
14. Levi Leipheimer – Astana +03:47
15. Lance Armstrong – Astana +03:47
20. Christian Vande Velde – Garmin-Slipstream +03:47
50. David Zabriskie – Garmin-Slipstream +06:14
61. George Hincapie – Team Columbia-HTC +07:28
152. Danny Pate – Garmin-Slipstream +28:29
155. Tyler Farrar – Garmin-Slipstream +28:29
- Rinaldo Nocentini – Ag2r-La Mondiale – 25:44:32
- Alberto Contador – Astana +00:06
- Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:08
- Levi Leipheimer – Astana +00:39
- Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +00:46
224K (139.2 miles)
• The Tour last rode through the Principality of Andorra in 1997
• At 7,350 feet, this stage features one of the highest finishes in Tour history
• Sprint Points at: Solsona, Andorre-la-Vieille, La Cortinada
• Mountain Passes: Cote de Montserrat located at 32 kilometers - 4.1km climb to 3.8 percent grade - Category 4; Port de Solsona at 97km - 5.8km climb to 4.3 percent - Cat. 3; Col de Serra-Seca at 127km - 7.7km climb to 7.1 percent - Cat. 1; Port del Comte at 136.5km - 3.1km at 5.3 percent - Cat. 3; Andorre Arcalis at 224km - 10.6km climb to 7.1 percent - Hors Categorie
Image courtesy of www.letour.com
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