MUR DE BRETAGNE, France, (Reuters) – Australia’s Cadel Evans just denied Spain’s Alberto Contador to win stage four of the Tour de France, a 172.5-km trek from Lorient yesterday. Three-times winner Contador was just pipped by Evans after launching an attack on the first serious climb of this year’s race, the 2-km final ascent of Mur de Bretagne.
Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov was third in the same time while Norway’s Thor Hushovd retained his leader’s yellow jersey with a one-second lead over the day’s winner.
Evans had finished second in the first stage behind Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert while his BMC team was also runner-up in the following day’s team time trial.
Contador, who lost lost time after being held up by a massive crash in the first stage, proved his well being.
His attack took some of his rivals off guard, like 2009 and 2010 runner-up Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished seven seconds off the pace, and Briton Bradley Wiggins, who lost five seconds.