PROUD: Garmin-Sharp rider's stage win a huge boost to team morale
BRITAIN'S David Millar claimed his fourth Tour de France stage, and first since 2003, after dominating a two-up sprint with Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud on Friday.
Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins finished nearly eight minutes behind a leading group of five to retain his race lead after the 226 km 12th stage between Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne and Annonay in the Ardeche.
Wiggins' Sky teammate Chris Froome stayed second overall at 2min 05sec with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) in third at 2:23 and Australia's Cadel Evans (BMC) fourth at 3:19.
On what was termed a 'transition' stage before the peloton heads into the Pyrenees, Wiggins had little to worry him as the breakaway stretched their lead at the front.
The biggest drama was his decision to make a small attack before the summit of the final climb, but he explained it had been purely to prevent Frenchman Jerome Coppel slipping away.
"It was just a way of neutralising the Jerome Coppel/Christophe Kern attack because Coppel was at 12 minutes (behind) and we didn't want him joining the front group and gaining a lot of time," said Wiggins.
Millar's fourth career stage on the race comes in the wake of a "horrific" Tour campaign for his Garmin-Sharp team who have lost several riders, including team leader Ryder Hesjedal.
"It's massive. It's been an horrific Tour for us so far," said Millar.
"I really wanted to do something... prove that we're still here and show that Garmin-Sharp are one of the best cycling teams in the world." AFP