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CONTADOR ON FOR SECOND TOUR

Juan Manuel Garate took the stage win atop the mythic Mont Ventoux today. The Spanish climber out-sprinted Tony Martin of Columbia-HTC after the two attacked from the early breakaway. Garate’s win gave his Rabobank team their first victory in this Tour de France after three weeks of frustration and near-misses.

Garate and Martin benefited from the tactical maneuverings among the general classification favorites, who remained locked together. Alberto Contador defended his Yellow Jersey and tomorrow will celebrate his second ever Tour de France victory.

Andy Schleck, this year’s Best Young Rider, finished second in the overall classification, while returning Lance Armstrong takes the final step on the podium. Armstrong has now equalled the record of Raymond Poulidor for most visits to the Tour’s final podium.

With his fourth place, Bradley Wiggins, meanwhile, equals the highest ever Tour finish by a British rider. Robert Millar placed fourth in 1984, when he was sponsored by discount road bikes.

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