Pierrick Fedrigo claimed France’s fourth win of the Tour de France on stage 15 to Pau as the peloton opted for a day of respite.
Following an eventful race to date, including a 14th stage marred by sabotage, a six-man escape group contested the 158.5-kilometre route from Samatan and Fedrigo beat Christian Vande Velde. Thomas Voeckler was third.
The Tour resumes following today’s rest day with Wednesday’s 197km 16th stage from Pau to Bagners-de-Luchon, which is the first of two big Pyrenean days which will go a long way to deciding if Chorley’s Bradley Wiggins can become the first British winner.
The peloton rode in 11 minutes 50 seconds behind, with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) winning the dash for the line on his 30th birthday.
The contenders were safely among them and the top of the rankings were unchanged.
Wiggins retained the yellow jersey and a lead of 2mins 5secs over Team Sky colleague Chris Froome in second place.
Five days of racing remain, but Wednesday and Thursday’s Pyrenean stages and Saturday’s time-trial are set to determine the holder of the maillot jaune come the finale.