Pierre Rolland of France won the hardest Alpine stage in the Tour de France on Thursday, and Bradley Wiggins dusted defending champion Cadel Evans in the final climb to extend his overall lead.

Rolland gave the Europcar team its second straight stage win after the 148-kilometer ride in the Alps from Albertville that ended with a gruelling ascent to the ski resort of La Toussuire.

In collecting his second Tour stage victory after another tough uphill finish last year at the fabled Alpe d’Huez, Rolland won by about a minute from second-placed countryman Thibaut Pinot and third-placed Christopher Froome of Britain.

Attacks repelled

Wiggins, along with Froome and other Sky teammates, repelled repeated attacks by his rivals for the overall title over three huge ascents in the ride.

Evans fell from second place overall, possibly seeing his repeat hopes vanish after losing more than a minute to Wiggins.

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