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Tour de France

Stage 7 – By the Numbers

Stage 7, Brioude to Aurillac, 159km Weather: Sunny in morning, building clouds on climbs, cooler, late showers, strong cross and headwinds, highs in 60s. Stage winner: Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne) worked into a four-man breakaway that was neutralized by a lead pack of GC favorites only to counter-attack to victory six seconds clear. He saluted to the heavens for his fallen brother, who died in a quad accident a few years ago, as he crossed the line winner of a Tour stage for the first time of his career.

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By Andrew Hood

Stage 7, Brioude to Aurillac, 159km

Weather: Sunny in morning, building clouds on climbs, cooler, late showers, strong cross and headwinds, highs in 60s.

Stage winner: Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne) worked into a four-man breakaway that was neutralized by a lead pack of GC favorites only to counter-attack to victory six seconds clear. He saluted to the heavens for his fallen brother, who died in a quad accident a few years ago, as he crossed the line winner of a Tour stage for the first time of his career.

Yellow jersey: Kim Kirchen (Columbia) sprinted to fourth in a lead group of 22 riders to retain the overall leader’s jersey. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) remained in second at six seconds back while Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) won the bunch sprint to remain third at 16 seconds back.

Green jersey: Kirchen widened his grip on the points lead, with 119 points to 91 to Oscar Freire (Rabobank), who climbed from third to second. Thor Husvhod (Credit Agricole) slots into third with 90 points.

King of the Mountains: David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) won first-place points over the three final climbs of the stage to climb into the polka-dot jersey. He now leads overnight leader Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), 28 to 27 points.

Most aggressive rider: Sánchez won the day’s honors.

Best Young Rider: Sánchez won the day, while Thomas Lovkvist (Columbia) retained the white jersey, now 37 seconds ahead of Andy Schleck (CSC).

Best team: Caisse d’Epargne won the stage and Team CSC-Saxo Bank slotted into the lead after putting three riders into the day’s top group. Garmin-Chipotle lost its hold on the team GC, slipping to 14th.

Top American: Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) finished ninth in the stage and remained fourth overall at 44 seconds back.

Lanterne Rouge: Magnus Backstedt (Garmin-Chipotle) finished last in the stage. Wim Vansevenant (Silence-Lotto) remains last at 57:45 back.

The peloton: Mauro Facci (Quick Step), John Gadret (Ag2r), Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) and Lilian Jegou (FDJeux) – DNF; Magnus Backstedt (Garmin-Chipotle) missed time cut; 171 riders remain

Medical report: Lilian Jegou (FDJeux), crash at 67km – traumatism of brain, loss of consciousness, compound fracture of two bones in left arm, taken to local hospital, scheduled for operation and further brain and back scans; Damiano Cunego (Lampre), crash at 60km – light cuts and scrapes.

Jury report: Dario Cioni (Silence-Lotto), fined 30 euros, 5 points and 10-second penalty for push at 96km; 120 euro fine for DS Roberto Damiani (Silence-Lotto); Gerald Ciolek (Columbia), fined 30 euros for irregular feed; DS Brian Holm (Columbia), fined 120 euros; Julien Jurdie (Ag2r), fined 120 euros for not respecting the commissaires; Magnus Backstedt (Garmin-Chipotle), missed time cut – time of winner: 3h52:53; time cut: 4:20:50; Backstedt’s time: 4h25:18

Forecast: Chance of showers, westerly winds up to 30kph, with temperatures in the low 70s