17 Jul 2011

Voeckler still in yellow

4:23 pm on 17 July 2011

There's been no change among the leaders as Belgian cyclist Jelle Vanendert won the 14th stage of the Tour de France cycle classic.

The Omega Pharma Lotto team rider triumphed on the 168-kilometre stage from Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille, Vanendert finishing 21 seconds ahead of Samuel Sanchez of Spain, who beat Vanendert to win the 12th stage.

Andy Schleck of Luxemburg was third, 46 seconds back and two seconds ahead of Australia's Cadel Evans, who headed the group containing the main contenders.

There were several attempts by the leaders to shake off rivals on the final 15.8-kilometre climb and Schleck's late burst allowed him to make up two seconds.

French Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler retained the leader's yellow jersey, a minute and 49 seconds ahead of Frank Schleck with Evans still third at two minutes six behind and Andy Schleck nine more seconds back.

As Alberto Contador survived a major test of his right knee injury, Voeckler stunned everyone by countering a number of accelerations by the Schlecks and Italian Ivan Basso.

The Frenchman started the stage already prepared to hand over the race lead and came over the finish line shaking his fist in celebration.

After three days in the Pyrenees the Tour continues Monday with the 192.5-kilometre 15th stage from Limoux to Montpellier that has just one category four climb.

Tuesday is a rest day and the yellow jersey battle will resume during three consecutive days in the Alps.