Gallopin defends Tour de France lead on stage 10 - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Gallopin defends Tour de France lead on stage 10

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(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

MULHOUSE, France (AP) - Frenchman Tony Gallopin defends the yellow jersey on the 10th stage of the Tour de France with a testing day of climbing ahead on Bastille Day - France's national day.

The 161.5-kilometer (100-mile) trek from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles features four steep Category 1 climbs and is the toughest stage so far.

Gallopin will be hard pushed to keep the jersey and faces still competition from Italian Vincenzo Nibali - who starts the stage 1 minute, 34 seconds behind in second - and from two-time champion Alberto Contador, who is 4:08 back in ninth.

The last section of the final ascent up to Belles Filles features a punishing 20 percent gradient that could shake up the pack and give a clearer indication of this year's genuine contenders.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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