L’ALPE D’HUEZ, France — Christophe Riblon became the first Frenchman to win a Tour de France stage this year and Chris Froome boosted his overall lead despite a late struggle on Thursday.
Riblon caught American Tejay van Garderen with about a mile left on the second ride up L’Alpe d’Huez, one of the Tour’s most famed climbs.
Riblon threw his hands up and pumped his fists after clinching the second Tour stage win of his career. Van Garderen finished 59 seconds behind in second, and Italian Moreno Moser was 1:27 behind in third.
Froome, 3:18 back in seventh, extended his comfortable lead over his main rival Alberto Contador to more than 5 minutes with just three stages remaining. He is edging closer to becoming the second British rider to win the Tour, following Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins’ success last year.
The 107-mile route from Gap to L’Alpe d’Huez featured two HC ascents of L’Alpe d’Huez — meaning they were so tough they were beyond classification, known as Hors Categorie.
Contador was dropped by Froome on the second ascent of L’Alpe d’Huez and finished 11th. The two-time former champion just held on to second place overall, but 5:11 behind Froome.
Colombian climber Nairo Quintana moved up to third overall and 21 seconds behind Contador.
With about 8 miles to go on the last climb, Froome launched one of his trademark attacks. About a mile later, he attacked again and only Quintana could keep up with him as Contador dropped away.
But then Froome called for assistance with about 2 miles to go with what looked to be bike trouble. No team car could get up to help him because of fans in the way. So teammate Richie Porte gave him what looked like an energy bar to eat.
Fans jammed the 21 hairpin bends on L’Alpe d’Huez in a chaotic atmosphere. Many were in fancy dress: Vicars, super heroes and other outfits of more dubious taste.
But there was still a degree of organization within the mayhem, with certain corners reserved for fans from certain countries.
One of those is known as “Dutch Corner” and several hundred screaming, shouting Dutch men and women formed a vortex that sucked the riders in amid a surreal cacophony of indecipherable shrieks, howls and wails.
Several dozen Norwegians, some in plastic Viking helmets, formed a human shield around one corner near the top. Elsewhere, a dozen or so Colombians marched uphill singing songs and carrying a giant national flag.
There were British Union Jack flags, Irish tricolors, Australian fans dressed in kangaroo suits and some dressed as inflatable giant flowers.
Occasionally, a distressed looking police officer would blow a whistle, trying to stop fans from getting too close to the riders. One got too close to Riblon, who elbowed him in the chest to get him away, and a young boy ran in front of Froome, who just about avoided him.
Barricades were erected on the last part of the climb to give the riders some room.
- Local Sports
Miller, Mtn. Ridge shut out Alco, 2-0
George no-hits Frankfort
Brandon George fired a no-hitter and Trevor Harman’s two-run base hit in the seventh lifted fifth-ranked Petersburg over Frankfort 2-1 Tuesday evening at Frankfort High School.
ACM whips Wesleyan JVs twice
Allegany College of Maryland scored nine runs in its first at bats of the day, setting the tone for the Trojans to outscore West Virginia Wesleyan’s junior varsity 34-6 during a doubleheader sweep Tuesday at Allegany College.
Potomac splits with Frederick
Britani Chambers and Shayna Vetter homered to lead Potomac State to a 7-5 win and a split of a doubleheader with Frederick on Tuesday afternoon.
- Sports Roundup - 04/23/2014
- Sports Calendar - 04/23/2014
Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors beat Nets 100-95
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double and the Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
From Marathon Meb to the ‘beacon’ of Beacon St
Meb Keflezighi fled the East African nation of Eritrea as a 12-year-old boy, coming to the United States to escape war and poverty. Tatyana McFadden was 6 and sickly when an American woman adopted her from a Russian orphanag
Redskins’ Snyder says team name is ‘not an issue’
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said Tuesday it’s time for people to “focus on reality” concerning Native American matters instead of criticizing the team’s nickname.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Miller, Mtn. Ridge shut out Alco, 2-0