Rolland wins Tour stage; Wiggins extends lead
LA TOUSSUIRE, France (AP) - Pierre Rolland of France won the hardest Alpine stage in the Tour de France on Thursday, and Bradley Wiggins of Britain dusted defending champion Cadel Evans in the final climb to extend his overall lead.
Rolland gave the Europcar team its second straight stage win after the 92-mile ride in the Alps from Albertville that ended with a grueling ascent to the ski resort of La Toussuire.
Rolland won by about a minute and was followed by Thibaut Pinot of France and Christopher Froome of Britain. This was the second stage victory in the Tour for Rolland following last year's tough uphill finish at Alpe d'Huez.
Wiggins was assisted by Froome and other Sky teammates during three huge climbs in repelling repeated attacks by rivals for the overall title.
Evans lost more than a minute to Wiggins. The Australian fell from second place overall, possibly seeing his hopes vanish for a second straight title.