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Riblon wins stage in Pyrenees as Schleck stays in yellow

An emotional Riblon wins the 14th stage after a brave breakaway ride in the Pyrenees.
An emotional Riblon wins the 14th stage after a brave breakaway ride in the Pyrenees.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Christophe Riblon wins the 14th stage of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees
  • Andy Schleck keeps race lead ahead of defending champion Alberto Contador
  • Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez finish second and third on stage

(CNN) -- France's Christophe Riblon won the 14th stage of the Tour de France as Andy Schleck maintained his 31-second advantage over Alberto Contador in the battle for the race leader's yellow jersey.

AG2R's Riblon was the only survivor of a nine-man breakaway on the 184.5 km stage from Revel to Ax 3 Domaines in the Pyrenees to keep the race favorites at bay.

He crossed the line 54 seconds clear of Russian Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez of Spain, with defending champion Contador and Luxembourg's Schleck in a five-strong group a further 14 seconds back.

Young Dutch rider Robert Gesink, Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain and Belgian Jurgen Van Den Broeck comprised the other riders to improve their position in the overall standings.

Contador and Schleck shadowed each other for the entire 7.8 kilometer final climb, but their cat and mouse tactics backfired as Menchov and Sanchez, who are battling it out for third place overall took advantage to claw back a little time.

This is just a guess, but I guess he's not happy. He didn't lose any time but he didn't gain any either
--Andy Schleck
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Euskatel's Sanchez is now two minutes 31 seconds down in third place, with former Giro and Tour of Spain champion Menchov at two minutes and 45 seconds.

Saxo Bank's Schleck must hope he can extend his lead over Contador in three more tough stages in the Pyrenees ahead of the 52km kilometer time trial stage in Bordeaux on the penultimate day of the Tour next Saturday.

Astana's Contador is regarded as a stronger time triallist to add to his undoubted talents on the climbs while both Menchov or Sanchez could challenge Schleck for second.

But Schleck pronounced himself satisfied with his efforts on Sunday and believed he has rattled Contador.

"This is just a guess, but I guess he's not happy. He didn't lose any time but he didn't gain any either," he told AFP.

"His plan was to take the yellow (jersey) today. It didn't work, he didn't gain a single second on me and I even think I was a little better than him."

Monday's 15th stage sees the riders cover 187.5 kilometers from Pamiers to Bagneres-de-Luchon.