Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway, front, leading the breakaway group during the eleventh stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday. (Christophe Ena/The Associated Press)
FOIX, France: On paper, CSC-Saxo Bank seemed to be the strongest team in the 95th Tour de France, leading the team classification and with two riders in the top 10 of the overall individual competition.
But 10 days into the Tour, CSC was without a stage victory - until Wednesday, when Kurt-Asle Arvesen, the Norwegian national road cycling champion, outsprinted two of his 11 companions by less than the width of a racing tire to win the 11th stage, which wound through the foothills of the Pyrenees and over one high climb of the Portel pass.
The photo finish was Arvesen's first victory in the Tour de France, after finishing second in a stage in 2006. He finished the 167.5 kilometers, or 104 miles, in three hours 58 minutes and 13 seconds, for an average speed of 42.2 kilometers per hour.
Second in the stage was Martin Elmiger, a Swiss rider for Ag2R-La Mondiale, and third was Alessandro Ballan, an Italian with Lampre.
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