Tour de France 2010: RadioShack’s Paulinho Takes 10th Stage

Lance Armstrong’s beleaguered RadioShack team finally had something to celebrate after a disastrous first week on the Tour de France, as Portuguese rider Sergio Paulinho won the 179-kilometer 10th stage from Chambery to Gap on Wednesday.

Paulinho edged Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka in a two-man finish to give RadioShack its first-ever stage win as a team. Paulinho joined an early breakaway group that later became a three-man lead pack with Belgian Mario Aerts joining him and Kiryienka. Aerts faded away in the final descent, paving the way for the photo finish.

The contenders for the overall title came in more than 14 minutes later, with current yellow jersey holder Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and defending champion Alberto Contador contented to stay with the peloton this time.

Schleck still leads Contador by 41 seconds in the overall standings. They are followed by Samuel Sanchez at 2:45 behind.

Paulinho, who is not competing for the overall title, said he hopes his first-ever stage win in the event would help bring RadioShack back to life in the second half of the Tour. “After all the bad luck we had in the first week of the Tour, this comes at the right time. I hope it gives a bit of morale back to the team,” he said.

Thursday’s 11th stage will see the riders return to mostly flat lands, as they traverse the 184.5KM ride from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence.