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Vinokourov claims Tour stage victory

Vinokourov finishes alone to secure victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France on Saturday.
Vinokourov finishes alone to secure victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alexandre Vinokourov claims victory in stage 13 of the Tour de France
  • The Kazakh rides away from the peloton in the final 7km of the 196km run to Revel
  • There is no change in the overall classification with Andy Schleck remaining in yellow
  • Lance Armstrong suffers another poor day and finishes over four minutes behind
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(CNN) -- Alexandre Vinokourov rode away from the peloton in the final 7km to claim victory in stage 13 of the Tour de France, although there were no changes to the overall classification with Andy Schleck retaining the yellow jersey.

Astana rider Vinokourov, who has returned to the race following a two-year ban for blood doping, was one of six riders who attacked on the final climb of a hilly day, and he managed to stay away to win the 196km run from Rodez to Revel by 13 seconds from a fast-finishing peloton.

The remaining riders were swallowed up by the main bunch, and Briton Mark Cavendish again showed his sprinting prowess by snatching second place from Italian Alessandro Petacchi -- who takes over the sprinters' green jersey from Thor Hushovd, who could only finish eighth.

Meanwhile, there were no changes in the overall classification with Schleck retaining his 31-second advantage from defending champion Alberto Contador, with Samuel Sanchez back in third.

However, seven-time champion Lance Armstrong suffered another disappointing day, finishing over four minutes behind after being dropped by the peloton as the pace increased in the closing stages.

The American, was involved in a crash while the peloton were still in the neutral zone before the official stage start, and he appeared to be struggling with cuts and grazes down the side of his arm.

The main break of the day saw three riders, Juan Antonio Flecha, Perrick Fedrigo and former yellow jersey wearer Sylvain Chavanel go clear after just 5km of the stage and remain ahead of the peloton until being caught in the final 10km.

And, while the sprinters' teams tried to organize themselves for the rush to the line, Vinokorouv took advantage to make amends for narrowly missing out on a stage win on Friday, when he finished third.

When asked if he was now riding clean following his two-year doping suspension, the Kazakh told the official Tour website: "This is the new Vino and I think everybody understands that now.

"I must win my popularity in France and I think this victory in the Tour helps me."