Gerardmer, France • In a solo breakaway, Blel Kadri gave France its first stage winner at this year's Tour de France in the entree to the Vosges mountains on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Vincent Nibali extended his lead over his biggest rivals except an important one: Two-time champion Alberto Contador, who sped ahead thinking he might win the stage and trying to test the response of the Italian in the yellow jersey. Contador dueled with Nibali to capture second place at the uphill finish of a rainy 100-mile eighth stage from Tomblaine to Gerardmer La Mauselaine ski resort. Contador reduced his 21/2-minute deficit by only a few seconds, but the threat was loud and clear.
"I wanted to see a bit how he was doing. It was a surprise for me to see that he stayed hooked onto me until the end," Contador said, adding he felt good about the stage. He finished second in Saturday's stage, more than 2 minutes behind Kadri.