Briton David Millar claimed his fourth Tour de France stage win on Friday when he took stage 12.
The Garmin Sharp rider was part of a 12-man breakaway group that animated an otherwise uneventful 226-km trek from St Jean de Maurienne to Annonay Davézieux in Southern France.
Two gruelling category one climbs early on soon whittled the front runners down to five, but as none in the group were a threat to the overall lead the rest of the field enjoyed a leisurely ride.
Out in front the five were reduced to two as Millar and France’s Jean-Christophe Peraud battled it out down the final straight.
Thirty-five-year-old Millar timed his dash for the line to perfection and outsprinted Peraud for top honours. Egoi Martinez of Spain completed the day’s podium in third place.
The main pack of riders was led in almost eight minutes later by Australian Matt Goss but the Orica-GreenEdge man was later relegated one place for having deviated from his line thereby cutting up his furious points rival Peter Sagan.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins had a safe day in the main bunch and coolly crossed the line to retain the overall leader’s yellow jersey.