The Tour de France's trip through the Pyrenees ended with a fizzle rather than a bang on Saturday as the general classification remained unchanged and the biggest contenders for the 2011 title failed to mount serious attacks. Instead, Jelle Vanendert, riding in his first Tour de France, surged to the stage win, putting 21 seconds between himself and the second-place finisher, Samuel Sanchez. Andy Schleck finished in third, 48 seconds behind Vanendert.
It was slow-going for the top-contenders, who struggled to breakaway from the pack, and away from each other, in the mountainous stage. While Contado, Evans and Andy Schleck did engage in a back-and-forth battle over the final climb. Schleck picked up two seconds on the other two, more of a moral victory than anything else, and the general classification stayed relatively the same, far from the major change expected before the stage.
Here's a look at the top-seven after Saturday's stage.
|1.||VOECKLER Thomas||181||TEAM EUROPCAR||61h 04' 10"|
|2.||SCHLECK Frank||18||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||61h 05' 59"||+ 01' 49"|
|3.||EVANS Cadel||141||BMC RACING TEAM||61h 06' 16"||+ 02' 06"|
|4.||SCHLECK Andy||11||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||61h 06' 25"||+ 02' 15"|
|5.||BASSO Ivan||91||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||61h 07' 26"||+ 03' 16"|
|6.||SANCHEZ Samuel||21||EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI||61h 07' 54"||+ 03' 44"|
|7.||CONTADOR Alberto||1||SAXO BANK SUNGARD||61h 08' 10"||+ 04' 00"|
If you're looking for live coverage and updates online, be sure to stay with our 2011 Tour de France StoryStream. Get geared up for the 2011 Tour de France with Podium Cafe's five storylines to watch. Also be sure to check out the full route and schedule for this year's race.