Gallopin defends Tour de France lead on stage 10

Stage winner France's Tony Gallopin, center rear in red shirt, Spain's Daniel Navarro, leading, and Netherland's Steven Kruijswijk, center in green shirt, climb during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 170 kilometers (105.6 miles) with start in Gerardmer and finish in Mulhouse, France, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Stage winner France's Tony Gallopin, center rear in red shirt, Spain's Daniel Navarro, leading, and Netherland's Steven Kruijswijk, center in green shirt, climb during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 170 kilometers (105.6 miles) with start in Gerardmer and finish in Mulhouse, France, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

MULHOUSE, France (AP) — Frenchman Tony Gallopin defends the yellow jersey on the 10th stage of the Tour de France with a testing day of climbing ahead on Bastille Day — France’s national day.

The 161.5-kilometer (100-mile) trek from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles features four steep Category 1 climbs and is the toughest stage so far.

Gallopin will be hard pushed to keep the jersey and faces still competition from Italian Vincenzo Nibali — who starts the stage 1 minute, 34 seconds behind in second — and from two-time champion Alberto Contador, who is 4:08 back in ninth.

The last section of the final ascent up to Belles Filles features a punishing 20 percent gradient that could shake up the pack and give a clearer indication of this year’s genuine contenders.

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