David Millar won his first Tour de France stage in nine years, beating Jean-Christophe Peraud in a sprint after almost a six-hour ride.
Millar, a Briton with the Garmin-Sharp team, pumped his fist as he beat the Frenchman to finish the 141-mile (226 kilometers) stage in 5 hours, 42 seconds. It was the longest stage of this year’s race.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, who holds the yellow jersey as race leader, kept a 2-minute, 5-second advantage over Team Sky teammate Chris Froome after the 12th of 20 stages.
The other time gaps atop the overall classification also remain unchanged with Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas 18 seconds further back in third place. BMC Racing’s defending champion Cadel Evans is 3:19 behind Wiggins in fourth place.
Riders crossed two climbs within the first 50 miles before heading out of the Alps and onto flatter terrain in the Ardeche region. There was a smaller 3.7-mile climb to the Cote d’Ardoux near the end.
Millar was part of a five-man group that built a 10-minute lead on the main pack with two miles left. The quintet slowed and watched each other as they waited for the best moment to attack.
Millar and Peraud, who rides for AG2R La Mondiale, broke free of the others and the 35-year-old Briton won in a dash for the line. He lay on the road to recover for a few seconds after his victory.
“He showed what an old soldier he was,” Garmin-Sharp sports director Allan Peiper told Eurosport. “He needed a lot of experience to pull it off.”
Millar won three stages between 2000 and 2003 before a two-year ban for doping that ended in May 2006.
The Tour continues tomorrow with a 135-mile ride on mainly flat terrain between Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and Le Cap d’Agde. The race ends July 22 in Paris.