Stage 12 of the Tour de France led a bruised and battered peloton up into the Pyrenees for the first high mountain stage in the Tour de France.
It was the Olympic champion, Euskaltel’s Samuel Sanchez, who survived and prospered on the three big climbs to win his first Tour de France stage and send the thousands of Basques lining the route into hysterics.
The steep stage had all the favourites gasping none more than defending champion, Alberto Contador, who looked a little out of sorts and finished 43 seconds behind the winner.
It proved a good day for the Schleck brothers as well as contenders Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans.
The results from stage 12: Samuel Sanchez first over the hills from Frank Schleck with Australia’s Cadel Evans in third place.
Frenchman Thomas Voeckler put up a brave defence of the yellow jersey on Bastille Day to remain race leader from Frank Schleck.