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Tacks thrown on road mar stage

FOIX, France — It seems nothing can break Bradley Wiggins' stranglehold on the Tour de France. Not even tacks and nails.

On a day of sabotage in the Pyrenees, Wiggins avoided the chaos and had another trouble-free stage to keep his yellow jersey.

At least 30 riders were disrupted by tire punctures after tacks and small nails were tossed on the road during the 14th stage. Tour officials asked police to investigate.

Defending champion Cadel Evans was caught in the havoc. He had to wait three times for assistance and lost nearly two minutes before teammates arrived and gave him a rear wheel.

But Wiggins honored cycling etiquette, not capitalizing on Evans' misfortune. He urged the peloton to slow to let Evans return to the pack. Wiggins and Evans finished in the same time, 18 minutes, 15 seconds behind Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez, who won the 119-mile stage between Limoux and Foix.

Wiggins kept his lead of 2:05 over Sky teammate Christopher Froome. Vincenzo Nibali was third, 2:23 back, and Evans fourth, 3:19 behind.

"There's nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening," Wiggins said of the sabotage. "It's sad. … If that happened in a football stadium, or wherever, you'd be arrested."

Astana's Robert Kiserlovski dropped out of the race after breaking his collarbone in an accident related to the tacks. Pierre Rolland of France was the only rider who attacked after Evans' puncture. Rolland said he was not aware of what had happened.

Tacks thrown on road mar stage 07/15/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 15, 2012 7:32pm]
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