Riblon leads as Armstrong struggles

Riblon leads as Armstrong struggles

Lance Armstrong was among the riders dropped as the Tour de France peloton entered the Pyrenees today.

Christophe Riblon (Ag2r La Mondiale) led the 97th Tour over the 15.5-kilometre hors categorie (beyond category) climb of Port de Pailheres on the 184.5km 14th stage from Revel to Ax-3-Domaines.

Riblon held a lead of 37 seconds over Amael Moinard (Cofidis) at the summit, with 2008 Tour champion Carlos Sastre among those in pursuit after attacking off the front of the peloton.

Riblon and Moinard were part of the day’s nine-man escape, which was stretched on the ascent.

As well as seven-time winner Armstrong (Team RadioShack), world champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was struggling, while Briton David Millar (Team Garmin-Transitions) was back in the grupetto, the final group of stragglers.

With the 7.8km category one climb to the finish at Ax-3-Domaines to come, the expected showdown between yellow jersey incumbent Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) and two-time champion Alberto Contador (Astana) was yet to come to life.

Contador, who is seeking a third Tour title in four years, began the day seeking to overturn a 31-second deficit before the race reaches Paris next Sunday.

It was his Astana team which led the pursuit of the early breakaway, while Schleck – uncharacteristically for a man in the fabled maillot jaune – was seen back at his team car collecting provisions during the ascent of Port de Pailheres.

Armstrong, who is riding in his final Tour, began the race in Rotterdam on July 3 dreaming of an eighth title.

However, he endured a miserable day on the first Alpine stage, stage eight to Morzine-Avoriaz, finishing almost 12 minutes adrift.

He began today’s stage in 36th place, more than 25 minutes behind, with the margin set to increase

More on this topic

Tour de France ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Froome following crashTour de France ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Froome following crash

Chris Froome hoping to be in contention to win ‘brutal’ 2020 Tour de FranceChris Froome hoping to be in contention to win ‘brutal’ 2020 Tour de France

Climb-heavy 2020 Tour de France to be decided by penultimate-stage time trialClimb-heavy 2020 Tour de France to be decided by penultimate-stage time trial

5 things we learned as Egan Bernal wins Tour de France5 things we learned as Egan Bernal wins Tour de France

More in this Section

Graham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusionGraham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusion

Achilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progressAchilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progress

'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules

England hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six NationsEngland hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six Nations


Lifestyle

Falsies don’t have to be fiddly, says Katie Wright.5 common myths about false lashes

Hiring professional designers to guide you through a home revamp can get you what you want, which doesn’t necessarily have to be what TV home improvement shows tell us, writes Carol O’Callaghan.What a professional interior designer can do for you when planning a home revamp

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

The model, presenter and musician chats to Lauren Taylor about how different it is having a newborn in her 40s.Myleene Klass on her post-baby body: ‘I’ve got two stone to lose but I won’t berate myself’

More From The Irish Examiner