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Australia?s Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is the new race leader and yellow jersey at the Tour de France by one second after a battle of nerves and seconds on the climb up to the finish at Hautacam in the Pyrenees on Monday.

Evans did not have a great day after crashing during Sunday’s stage and suffered every time he stood on the pedals, but managed to limit his losses to Frank Schleck (CSC-Saxo Bank) and took the yellow jersey for the first time in his career. Tears filled Evans’ eyes on the podium as he pulled on the jersey at the end of an emotional day of racing.

Schleck was perhaps the moral winner of the day after a great team ride by CSC and a strong attack on the climb up to the finish with Leonardo Piepoli and Juan Jose Cobo. The current Luxembourg national champion spun a low gear but constantly gained time on Evans until fading in the final kilometre.

Piepoli and Cobo jumped away and the Italian went on to win his first ever stage at the Tour at the age of 37. Schleck finished 30 seconds behind and was exactly two minutes ahead of Evans but he missed out on the jersey by just one agonising second.

However it could also be a blessing in disguise because Evans will now have to deal with all pressure of the yellow jersey on Tuesday?s first rest day and across the south of France, while Schleck can prepare his final attacks in the Alps.

?I?m only in the lead by a very small margin but, tactically every second counts,? Evans said.

?It?s a long way to the finish and our goal has always been to have the yellow jersey in Paris but as we saw yesterday, anything can happen in this race. One day ago I was counting every pedal stroke to the finish and today I was counting the seconds to try and calculate if I?d take the lead or not. That?s cycling; it can be cruel but sometimes it can be fair.?

All three British riders made it to the finish at Hautacam, with Mark Cavendish managing to make it through the Pyrenees.

David Millar (Garmin-Chipotle) and Chris Froome (Barloworld) finished in the main gruppetto at 33-14, while Cavendish was last over the line in 169th place at 34-55.

Cavendish was one of the first riders to be dropped on the lower slopes of the Tourmalet but was paced and helped by team mate Bernhard Eisel and made it to the finish. He now has a great chance of winning a third stage in the next few days.

In a day of huge time gaps and major changes in the overall standings, Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) both lost almost six minutes, ending their hopes of overall success in this year’s Tour de France.

They both surprisingly lost contact on the final kilometres of the Col du Tourmalet and some strong riding by Fabian Cancellara (CSC), who had cleverly been in the early break of the stage, meant they never had a chance of getting back on.

While the big names tumbled out of the overall standings, several surprises rose close to the top. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin) finished with Evans, Riccardo Ricco (saunier Duval) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and is third overall, 38 seconds behind. Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) is fourth at 46 seconds and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is fifth at 57 seconds.

The Tour de France peloton enjoys the first rest day in Pau on Tuesday, with recovery rides and press conferences replacing the racing for 24 hours.

After ten stages the Tour has not yet reached halfway and there has already been some spectacular racing and some big-name losers. The racing resumes on Wednesday with stage 11 from Lannemezan to Foix.

1. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval 156km in 4h 19m 47secs

2. Juan Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval at same time
3. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank at 28secs
4. Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner at 1m 6secs
5. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Ag2r at 2m 5secs
6. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval at 2m 17secs
7. Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Saxo Bank
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto
9. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
10. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Chipotle all at same time.

18. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre at 5m 51secs
19. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 5m 52secs
120. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 33m 14secs
132. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Chipotle at 33m 14secs
169. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia at 34m 55secs

1. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto in 42h 29m 9secs

2. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank at 1sec
3. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Chipotle at 38secs
4. Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner at 46secs
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 57secs
6. Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Saxo Bank at 1m 28secs
7. Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia at 1m 56secs
8. Juan Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval at 2m 10secs
9. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval at 2m 29secs
10. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Ag2r at 2m 32secs
48. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Chipotle at 35m 22secs
91. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 1h 8m 58secs
158. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia at 1h 44m 41secs

Tour de France 2008Oscar Freire collected some more points for the green jersey competition earlier in teh stage

Tour de France 2008David Millar took it a bit easier today

Tour de France 2008Alejandro Valverde was not on a good day and slipped out of the top ten overall

Tour de France 2008Another great ride by Christian Vande Velde sees him move up to third overall

Tour de France 2008CSC drive the group on the Tourmalet

Tour de France 2008Cobo, Schleck and Piepoli lead up Hautacam

Tour de France 2008Leonardo Piepoli and Juan Cobo

Tour de France 2008Leonardo Piepoli wins the stage, with team-mate Juan Cobo second

Tour de France 2008Phew, that was close: Cadel Evans finally gets to wear the yellow jersey

Photos by Graham Watson


Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees
Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse
Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage
Stage six: Ricco storms to win
Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins


Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]
Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders
David Millar: the dope controls are working
Manuel Neltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour
Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit
Doping back in Tour de France headlines
Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]
Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]
Millar to go for yellow [stage six]
Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]
Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?


Stage nine
Stage eight
Stage seven
Stage six
Stage five
Stage four
Stage three
Stage two
Stage one


Life at the Tour part three
Life at the Tour part two
Life at the Tour part one


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