David Moncoutie won today's seventh stage of the Dauphiné Libéré today, but Alejandro Valverde retained the leader's yellow jersey after resisting a day attacks from his Australian challenger Cadel Evans.
Moncoutie (Cofidis) was the sole survivor of what had been a 27 man breakaway with the big three challengers for the overall Evans, Valverde and Contador finishing in 3rd, 4th and 6th places respectively. In the final approach to the line Evans attacked once again and while Valverde responded and stuck to Evans' wheel his countryman, Contador paid the price for responding to so many of Evans' earlier attacks on more than one occasion pulling Valverde back on to the Australian's wheel. Robert Gesink of Rabobank who attacked from the chasing bunch with 6Km to go was 2nd and Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank) was 5th. Saxo Bank did much of the work to reel in the break before the final climb on which the Dane attacked but he blew up 500m from the finish and Evans and Valverde passed him.
Valverde now goes in to tomorrow's final stage from Faverges to Grenoble with a 16 second lead while it is a much less mountainous stage than the preceding two, with a long flat section in the middle there is a bit of a kicker towards the end, the Cat 1 940m Cote de St-Bernard Du Touvet. It's not quite in the bag yet for Valverde but he remains favourite for the win.
Top 10 Dauphiné Libéré Stage 7
1) David Moncoutié (Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne) 4.44.26 (33.118 km/h) 2) Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 0.41 3) Cadel Evans (Silence - Lotto) 4) Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Caisse d'Epargne) 5) Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank) 0.53 6) Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) 0.55 7) Christophe Le Mével (Française Des Jeux) 1.28 8) Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) 2.19 9) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Silence - Lotto) 2.25 10)Mikel Astarloza Charreau (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 2.32
Top 10 on General Classification after Stage 7
1) Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Caisse d'Epargne) 23.00.53 2) Cadel Evans (Silence - Lotto) 0.16 3) Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) 1.18 4) Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 2.41 5) Mikel Astarloza Charreau (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 3.40 6) Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank) 4.08 7) Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) 4.21 8) Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Astana) 5.05 9) David Millar (Garmin - Slipstream) 5.28 10) Christophe Le Mével (Française Des Jeux) 6.19
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