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After more than two weeks and 2,900 kilometers of racing, the lead atop the Tour de France is now a minuscule 8-seconds.
Team Saxo Bank rider Andy Schleck has relinquished the yellow jersey after a mechanical problem forced him to stop and make repairs. Defending champion Alberto Contador now tops the field, mere seconds ahead of Schleck.
Hot and humid conditions once more for Stage 15 of the 2010 Tour de France, with the days route covering 187.5 kms.
The peloton moved at a brisk pace early on and, despite several attempts to breakaway, a lead group did emerge. Eventually, BBOX Bouygues Telecom team rider Thomas Voeckler was able to move in front and into a lonely race lead.
However the real drama unfolded further back in the peloton. Yellow jersey holder Schleck had accelerated clear, less than 2.5 miles from the top of the big climb of the day, but almost immediately lost his chain, forcing him to stop on the side of the road.
Despite a commendable effort after repairing the bicycle, Schleck was unable to fight his way back to the front. And was passed, somewhat controversially, by Contador
Voeckler, the French Champion, hung on to take the win, with a time of 4 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds ahead of Alessandro Ballan of Italy and Aitor Perez of Spain.
Schleck eventually crossed the line 39 seconds after Contador, meaning he has relinquished the yellow jersey to his rival.