The cream rose to the top today, as Alberto Contador and the Schleck Brothers dominated the business end of today's stage, a grueling battle over five mountains, including two extremely difficult passes in the final 30km. They dropped the other contenders on the Col de Romme along with Andreas Kloden and stayed away (minus Kloden) to finish together, after everyone realized that nobody else was getting knocked out. Lance Armstrong bridged up to his dropped teammate, along with a fast-descending Vincenzo Nibali, all of whom limited their losses. Bradley Wiggins suffered despite some excellent teamwork from Christian VandeVelde. Nobody else was left in the race at that point.
In addition to the GC battle, we also saw Thor Hushovd light up the middle of the stage, securing some additional points in his Green Jersey quest, while Franco Pellizotti more or less salted away the polka dots. Sadly, Kenny van Hummel crashed out of the Tour as well, abandoning his Lanterne Rouge quest. Results:
- Frank Schleck, Saxo Bank
- Alberto Contador, Astana, s.t.
- Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, s.t.
- Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 2.18
- Lance Armstrong, Astana, s.t.
- Andreas Kloden, Astana, at 2.27
- Bradley Wiggins, Garmin, at 3.07
- Christophe Moreau, Agritubel, at 4.09
- Christian VandeVelde, Garmin, s.t.
- Remi Pauriol, Cofidis, at 6.10
And the new GC:
- Alberto Contador, Astana
- Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 2.26
- Frank Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 3.35
- Lance Armstrong, Astana, at 3.55
- Andreas Kloden, Astana, at 4.44
- Bradley Wiggins, Garmin, at 4.53
- Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 5.09
- Christian VandeVelde, Garmin, at 8.08
- Christophe Le Mevel, FDJ, at 9.19
- Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel, at 10.50