Switzerland’s Laurent Dufaux won the 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, with Bjarne Riis of Denmark finishing second and holding his overall lead with four days to go.
As the cycling classic moved into Spain and ran into minor protests from Basque separatists, security was stepped up along the 164-mile leg.
Five-time defending champion Miguel Indurain of Spain, who conceded defeat after losing more than 2 minutes to Riis in Tuesday’s climbing stage, lost more than 8 minutes through the Pyrenees Mountains and fell more than 15 minutes behind Riis.
Indurain, who turned 32 Tuesday, struggled again Wednesday in the second straight climbing stage in the Pyrenees. He faded as Riis, Dufaux and the best climbers among the racers pulled away in steep climbs early in the day.
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