French Chavanel reclaims yellow jersey

Chavanel, who led for one day after the second stage, attacked on the penultimate climb of the first mountain stage in this Tour to catch a group of early escapees and then dropped them on the final climb to snatch his second stage victory.

The Frenchman, who also led a winning solitary break in the stage to Spa on Tuesday, won ahead of two Spaniards, Rafael Valls and Juan Manuel Garate.

Chavanel surged ahead when he saw that Swiss Fabian Cancellara, the man who had taken the yellow jersey from him on the cobblestones in the third stage, was struggling and losing ground.

Overall, Chavanel leads world champion Cadel Evans of Australia by one minute 25 seconds and Canada's Ryder Hesjedal by 1.32.

“The more the Tour went on, the more I regretted having lost the yellow jersey,” Chavanel said.

Chavanel's second stage victory came at the end of a day when the peloton decided to relax after multiple crashes on roads made slippery by the rain.

The contenders for final victory were content with staying together on Saturday in the first real climbs of the Tour, waiting for the Alps and a potentially decisive 189-km eighth stage to Morzine on Sunday.

Lance Armstrong's lawyer, meanwhile, has advised US authorities to investigate disgraced rider Floyd Landis rather than doping allegations against the seven-time Tour de France champion.

Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title following a positive dope test, has accused former team-mate Armstrong and several other American riders of using performance-enhancing drugs before retiring in 2005.
Armstrong has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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