Wiggins needed bike change at start of today's stage

Bradley Wiggins was dubbed 'Le Gentleman' after Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins required a bike change at the start of stage 15 today as the peloton were recovering from a sabotage attack.

After an investigation was opened into how a spectator managed to throw tacks in the road on yesterday's 14th stage, causing around 30 punctures.

Wiggins began his 8th day in the Tour leader's yellow jersey needing to stop almost as soon as the peloton rolled out of the neutralised zone and the 158.5-kilometre route from Samatan to Pau began.

Wiggins, praised for neutralising the peloton on stage 14 and nicknamed Le Gentleman, received a new bike, complete with yellow handlebars and yellow paint.

He was paced back to the main bunch by three Team Sky colleagues, while up ahead three riders made an early attempt to form the day's breakaway.

They were Arthur Vichot (FDJ-Bigmat), Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Rafael Valls (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) bridged the gap to make the escape six strong after 10km of racing, but the gap was closing all the time.

The day's route featured two category four climbs and a category three ascent, with a sprint finish in Pau likely prior to tomorrow's rest day and two big mountain days in the Pyrenees on Wednesday and Thursday.