France’s Pierre Rolland produced a superb display to clinch the 11th stage of the Tour de France, a 148-km trek from Albertville to la Toussuire on Thursday.
Despite a late fall, the 25 year old, who won stage 19 of last year’s Tour at Alpe d’Huez, proved too strong for his opponents and soloed over the finish line after an epic day of racing to give the Europcar team its second straight stage win.
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali and reigning champion Cadel Evans used the four climbs to try and topple current overall leader Bradley Wiggins, but it wasn’t to be as the Briton kept his composure to finish safely and retain the yellow jersey.
Evans lost more than a minute to Wiggins and this result sees him fall from second place overall, possibly seeing his hopes vanish for a second straight title.
Wiggins is now two minutes and five seconds ahead of team-mate Chris Froome, with Nibali a further 18 seconds back in third.