FDJ-Bigmat rider Pierrick Fedrigo of France holds up his arms ahead of Garmin-Sharp Christian Van de Velde of the U.S as he wins the 15th stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race between Samatan and Pau, July 16, 2012. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
PAU, France, July 16 (Reuters) – Pierrick Fedrigo earned France their fourth Tour de France stage win this year when the FDJ rider took victory in the 15th, a 158.5-km ride from Samatan, on Monday.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey when he finished safe in the main bunch almost 12 minutes adrift.
Fedrigo, who won in Pau two years ago, claimed his fourth Tour stage victory by beating American Christian Vande Velde at the end of a long-range breakaway.
France’s Thomas Voeckler, who won the 10th stage, was third, 12 seconds behind.
Thibaut Pinot and Pierre Rolland won the eighth and 11th stages respectively.
“There are days when you feel something can happen,” said Fedrigo, whose 2011 season was almost wiped out because of a virus.
Tuesday is a rest day before the peloton tackle the last two mountain stages in the Pyrenees.