Pinot wins stage, Wiggins retains lead

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Thibaut_Pinot REUTERS FDJ-Bigmat rider Thibaut Pinot of France wins stage eight.

Porrentruy, Switzerland – Britain's Bradley Wiggins defended the Tour de France yellow jersey on the second day in the hills after seeing his race lead come under attack for the first time Sunday.

Frenchman Thibaut Pinot of FDJ took the eighth stage victory, his maiden win on what is his debut, after 157.5 km of racing over several short but steep climbs in the Swiss Jura that exacted a toll on the peloton.

Defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC) finished second at 26sec, the Australian leading home a select group after a failed attempt to shake off Wiggins on the way to the last summit and on the 16 km descent to the finish.

Among the finishers with Evans was Italian rival Vincenzo Nibali, Frank Schleck of Luxembourg and Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Wiggins, spending his first day in the yellow jersey after his third place finish on Saturday at La Planche des Belles Filles, retained his 10sec lead on second placed Evans with Nibali still third at 16.

Pinot, a climbing specialist who at 22 years old is the youngest rider in this year's race, was a late call-up for the three-week epic by manager Marc Madiot.

Earlier in the stage Spain's Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez crashed, suffering shoulder and hand injuries that could rule him out of the London Olympics later this month. – Sapa-AFP


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