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Wiggins retains Tour lead following stage 10

Oscar Chamberlain     on 11 Jul 9:36 pm     Other Sports     391   0  

Source: getty

Britain's Bradley Wiggins retained his lead in the 2012 Tour de France with Thomas Voeckley winning stage 10.

Wiggin's now leads 2011 winner Cadel Evans by one minute 53 seconds, with team-mate Chris Froome third and Vincenzo Nibali in fourth.

Nibali proved a stern test for Team Sky who had to dig deep in order to chase down the Italian after he pushed in front on the descent of Col du Colombier, the first big climb of the Tour.

Voeckler who wore the yellow jersey for 10 days last year won the stage, ahead of Michele Scarponi and Jens Voigt.

The trio came out on top after a 25-man breakaway was whittled down to five riders at the end of the 194km stage.

The climb to the summit of the Colombier was expected to bridge the gap between the top of the general classification but good work from Team Sky's Richie Porte and Edvald Boasson Haggen kept their advantage in tact.

Defending champion Evans also attempted a fightback as he aimed to claw back the seconds, but his revival sparked Wiggins who soon chased him down.

The Londoner spoke with satisfaction after the stage, commending his teams efforts to do what was right for the team.

"We were prepared to lose the jersey today if needs be to Scarponi who was the best up there in the breakaway," Wiggins said. "It's about wearing it in Paris, not for three weeks.

"Nibali played his joker card but he went solo and we knew that he wouldn't have the legs. It was a bit desperate.

"We can't chase everything that moves, you have to gamble and let some people go. It all worked out. "

Thursday will see 32-year-old Wiggins become the first Brit to wear the maillot jaune for four days in one Tour, beating the previous record of three held by Chris Boardman and David Millar.

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