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Brothers on top in Tour's 17th stage

By unknown | Jul 23, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

France - Frank Schleck won the 17th stage of the Tour de France yesterday).

France - Frank Schleck won the 17th stage of the Tour de France yesterday).

Spain's 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador - who finished second in the stage - retained the overall leader's yellow jersey while Frank's brother Andy was third.

Contador now leads Andy Schleck by 2min:26sec with Frank 3:25 adrift and seven-time winner Lance Armstrong dropped out of the podium placings as he lies in fourth, 3:55 behind his Astana teammate.

On the third and last day of climbing in the Alps Contador confirmed his status as the undisputed race leader after repelling a series of attacks by the lively Schleck brothers in a thrilling finale to the race.

As Contador left Armstrong further in his wake, Andy Schleck, of Saxo Bank, moved up the standings to threaten the podium place of Britain's Bradley Wiggins.

The Luxembourger and his older brother Frank launched a series of attacks to try and shake off their yellow jersey rivals on the day's second-to-last climb, the steep Col de Romme whose summit was 29km from the finish.

Thanks to their accelerations, a group containing all the top five in the general classification was split, among others, with Armstrong left behind to mark Wiggins.

The Schlecks' fireworks, however failed to frighten Contador, and with his Astana teammate Andreas Kloden staying with him the Schlecks ran out of options.

Today's stage is a 41km time trial around Annecy Lake. - AFP


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