TOUR DE FRANCE

Martin wins stage 11 of Tour, Froome extends lead

AFP

German rider Tony Martin (pictured) won the 11th stage of the Tour de France while second-placed Chris Froome finished way ahead of his main rivals to significantly strengthen his overall lead on Wednesday.

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Tour de France leader Chris Froome tightened his grip on the yellow jersey Wednesday after finishing second in the 11th stage time trial, won by world champion Tony Martin.

As the two-time defending world time trial champion, Martin did not disappoint during the 33km route in Normandy from Avranches to the medieval city of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Froome was quicker over the first two time splits but slowed down in the last section and rolled in 12 seconds behind Martin.

While Martin is not a Tour challenger, others who are supposed to be slipped further behind.

Alejandro Valverde and two-time former champion Alberto Contador were more than two minutes slower than Froome, while 2010 champ Andy Schleck and 2011 winner Cadel Evans all lost massive time.

"No one's won the Tour de France yet and no one's lost it. We have to get to Paris yet,'' Contador said.

"It's true that Chris Froome is in impressive form and is a great climber, but there are still many stages left.''

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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