Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins victim of stage 14 sabotage


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The Independent Online

Sabotage struck the Tour de France today as leader Bradley Wiggins was forced to call a truce on stage 14 as a result of around 30 punctures caused by tacks on the road.

The riders were hit by the tacks - the race director confirmed their presence afterwards - towards the end of an absorbing stage.

At the summit of the Mur de Peguere, the second of two category one climbs on the day's 191-kilometre route from Limoux to Foix, Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) were among those to suffer flat tyres.

As Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) broke free of the day's escape to solo to victory, Wiggins called for the peloton to neutralise their effort to allow Evans to return to the group as they finished more than 18 minutes behind.

It left the top of the general classification unchanged and with Wiggins facing six more days' racing to keep the maillot jaune on a permanent basis as the Tour's first British winner.

Wiggins retained a two minute five seconds-lead over Team Sky colleague and compatriot Chris Froome ahead of the July 22 finish in Paris, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2mins 23secs adrift in third.

Evans began the day 3:19 behind ahead of tomorrow's 158.5km 15th stage from Samatan to Pau, which features two category four climbs and a category three ascent and could end in a sprint finish.