Tour de France: Vanendert Wins 14th Stage
Jelle Vanendert of Belgium defeated several Tour de France heavyweights on Saturday’s 14th stage to claim his first-ever stage victory.
Vanendert made his final attack in the last 4 miles of the grueling stage from Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille, which included a 10-mile ascent that was supposed to favor overall championship contenders Alberto Contador, Andy and Frank Schleck, as well as Australia’s Cadel Evans. However, it was Vanendert who conquered the treacherous climb ahead of everyone. The Belgian rider was followed by Spaniard Samuel Sanchez 21 seconds later and Andy Schleck, who came in 46 seconds after Vanendert. Evans, Contador, Frank Schleck, and current Yellow Jersey holder Thomas Voeckler followed just two seconds later.
In the battle for the overall classification, Voeckler holds a 1-minute-and-49-second lead over Frank Schleck. Evans is in third place, 2:06 behind, while Andy Schleck is 9 seconds further. Ivan Basso, Sanchez, and Contador are in fifth, sixth, and seventh place, respectively. Contador is 4 minutes behind with seven stages left in the Tour.