Contador outsprints Rasmussen for stage win
Many have expected this first stage in the Pyrenees to be decisive. So it proved, for although there are two more tough Pyrennean stages and a long time trial to run, most of the favourites lost significant amounts of time to the Yellow Jersey and the stage winner.
A select group containing Michael Rasmussen, Alberto Contador, Maurico Soler, Levi Leipheimer, Carlos Sastre and Cadel Evans battled it out on the upper slopes of the relentless ascent to Plateau de Beille. On this final climb of the 197km stage, Soler launched several attacks and was repeatedly chased down by Rasmussen and Contador. Eventually the Spaniard launched his own attack, taking the Yellow Jersey with him.
This was one attack too many for Cadel Evans, who fell away and eventually lost 1’52”, dropping from second to third overall. Alexandre Vinokourov cracked on the penultimate climb of the Porte de Pailheres and limped across the line nearly 30 minutes adrift.