Sanchez takes 14th stage as leaders suffer tire sabotage
updated 4:00 PM EDT, Sun July 15, 2012
Luis Leon Sanchez celebrates victory for his Rabobank team on a day of drama in the 14th stage of the Tour de France
- Luis Leon Sanchez wins 14th stage marred by punctures at front of field
- Leaders including Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans and several others progress
(CNN) -- Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez gave his crash-ravaged Rabobank team a lift on Sunday as he secured victory in the Tour de France's 14th stage on a day marred by a series of punctures at the front of the field.
The Spaniard made a decisive move with just over 11 kilometers of the 191 kilometer-stage from Limoux to Foix to finish in four hours, 50 minutes and 29 seconds -- 47 seconds ahead of a chasing pack including Slovakian Peter Sagan (Liquigas) and FDJ rider Sandy Casar.
"I started the day with victory in mind but given the company I was in I knew I'd have to attack from far out to have any chance," said Sanchez -- one of four remaining members of an original nine-man Rabobank team.
The main peloton, including race leader Bradley Wiggins of the Sky team, finished 18 minutes later after several riders suffered punctures at the top of the final climb (Mur de Peguere) of the stage.
One or two spectators had thrown nails on to the road, we don't know why, but there were around 30 punctures altogether
Jean-Francois Pescheux, race director
"One or two spectators had thrown nails on to the road," said race director Jean-Francois Pescheux.
"We don't know why, but there were around 30 punctures altogether. The nails were mainly thrown on the ground around 200 metres from the summit," he added.
Tour de France 2012: The best photos
Last year's champion Cadel Evans was one of the worst affected by the apparent act of sabotage having to change wheels twice which delayed him for nearly two minutes before he could begin his descent.
The BMC rider was the recipient of a sporting gesture from Wiggins -- the Briton waited for Evans and the other riders affected to make up the gap.
"Sky showed they are for fair play. They saw that something had happened and they slowed the peloton so that things could come together for the ride to the finish," Pescheux said.
"There are always some idiots out there. What else can I say," he added.
"I thought it was the honorable thing to do. Nobody wants to benefit from someone else's misfortune," Wiggins said after completing the stage.
Wiggins, who is aiming to become the first Briton to win the event, still holds the overall lead with Sky teammate Chris Froome just over two minutes behind.
Italian Liquigas rider, Vincenzo Nibali is third with Cadel Evans in fourth.
Despite coming second to Spain's Sanchez, Peter Sagan extended his lead in the race to win the green jersey.
The Slovakian rider picked up 17 points on Sunday to increase his tally to 333 -- 97 points ahead of Germany's Andre Greipel.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:40 PM EDT, Fri August 24, 2012
Lance Armstrong is fighting to not only keep his seven Tour de France titles, but also his reputation as one of sport's most remarkable athletes.
updated 9:57 PM EDT, Wed October 10, 2012
Lance Armstrong was involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
updated 3:34 PM EDT, Thu October 11, 2012
Lance Armstrong has not yet faced a backlash from the brands that have backed him. CNN's Jim Boulden explains.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Mon August 20, 2012
A federal judge dismissed the latest lawsuit filed by champion cyclist Lance Armstrong aimed at halting the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's case against him.
updated 8:01 PM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
"Even if I could physically do it ... I wouldn't want to go onto another Games because this has been as good as it can get," says Olympic champion Chris Hoy.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Adrien Niyonshuti is unlikely to win an Olympic medal, and he will do well to even finish his event, but his story is surely one of the most inspirational.
updated 5:32 PM EDT, Thu August 9, 2012
You're an Olympic champion and you've gone out at the top of your game -- so what next? Victoria Pendleton is considering work experience.
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Sat August 4, 2012
When Olympic officials cracked down on rogue merchandising, they couldn't have imagined the must-have accessory would be a pair of fake sideburns.
updated 2:04 PM EDT, Sun July 22, 2012
The 99th Tour de France took place over three weeks from June 30 to July 22. See the best pictures from the race here.
updated 6:11 AM EDT, Mon July 23, 2012
Bradley Wiggins makes history on the Champs Elysees as he becomes the first British rider to win cycling's Tour de France.
updated 4:39 PM EDT, Sun July 22, 2012
Much like buses coming in twos and threes, Britain found itself in the unprecedented position of having two riders on the Tour de France podium.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Thu July 19, 2012
CNN's Patrick Snell breaks down everything you need to know to understand the Tour de France, the premier event in cycling's calendar.
updated 1:44 PM EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
It has been a bittersweet month for British sport. But one of the nation's elite athletes is on course to make history at the Tour de France.
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
Two doctors and a trainer associated with Lance Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service team have been suspended for life.
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
A French cyclist competing in the prestigious Tour de France race has been arrested, a national police official said.