Attacking Gallopin claims Tour de France 11th stage

Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:22pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

OYONNAX France (Reuters) - Two days after wearing the yellow jersey, France's Tony Gallopin claimed the 11th stage of the Tour de France thanks to late attacks in a nervous finale on Wednesday.

German John Degenkolb was second and Italian Matteo Trentin took third place at the end of a 187.5km ride from Besancon.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after staying safe by the front of the bunch in the final descent.

Gallopin, who gave France its second stage win this year after Blel Kadri prevailed last week, powered away in the last climb and after being rejoined by Michal Kwiatkowski, Peter Sagan and Michael Rogers, he counter-attacked 2.5km from the line.

The Lotto-Belisol rider looked back several times but held off the peloton to cross the line with the bunch breathing down his neck.

"It's incredible. I want to thank my family because my father had told me that we should check up this stage, and it clearly helped," said Gallopin, who wore the yellow jersey during Monday's 10th stage.

"I would not have imagined that but I had marked that stage after coming close in Sheffield and Nancy."

Nibali's Astana team suffered a minor wobble when the Italian's lieutenant, Michele Scarponi, fell off his bike in a climb, but he finished the stage.   Continued...

Lotto-Belisol team rider Tony Gallopin of France reacts after the 161.5-km tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Mulhouse and La Planche Des Belles Filles July 14, 2014.                   REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier