Low-graphic news index |
Friday, July 13, 2012 - Page updated at 07:00 p.m.
Britain's Bradley Wiggins keeps lead in Tour de France
By The Associated Press
LA TOUSSUIRE, France — Try as they might, rivals of Bradley Wiggins can't take his yellow jersey.
The three-time Olympic track champion, looking to become Britain's first Tour de France winner, beat back repeated attacks Thursday in a crucial Alpine stage won by ace French climber Pierre Rolland.
As Stage 11 began, Wiggins' main challengers were planning to unsettle him in the 92-mile ride along three big climbs from the 1992 Winter Olympics town of Albertville to the ski station at La Toussuire.
First, defending champion Cadel Evans took a shot at Wiggins on the longest climb — a tactic some questioned. On the way to the uphill finish, Belgium's Jurgen Van Den Broeck tried, too. Then Vincenzo Nibali did, twice.
Each time, Wiggins steadily, meticulously reeled them in.
Overall, Wiggins leads Sky teammate Christophe Froome, who rose to second, by 2:05. Nibali is third, 2:23 back. Van Den Broeck is fifth, 4:48 behind.
"It was another great day for the team," Wiggins said in comments on the Team Sky website. "It's another one ticked off, and we've actually taken more time off Cadel which we never expected."
Wiggins also patched things up with Nibali, who a day earlier hadn't taken kindly to a seeming glare from the Sky leader. As they finished together Thursday, Wiggins gave him a peacemaking pat on the back.
• In a letter to federal authorities, a Wisconsin congressman equates the anti-doping charges against Lance Armstrong to a conspiracy theory and calls the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's authority over the seven-time Tour de France winner "strained at best."
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican, wrote the Office of National Drug Control Policy questioning the nearly $10 million in public funding USADA receives and its procedures investigating and charging athletes with doping violations.
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
Low-graphic news index
Graphic-enabled home page