Italian Rinaldo Nocentini took the Tour de France’s yellow leader’s jersey in the race’s first trip into the mountains today, while Spaniard Alberto Contador made an excellent case for being the strongest overall rider with a powerful attack on the day’s final climb. In the overall standings, Contador now sits six seconds behind Nocentini. Lance Armstrong is just two seconds behind Contador in the third spot.

Hometown boys Brad Wiggins and Christian Vande Velde, both from Boulder’s Garmin-Slipstream squad, finished in the group with Armstrong and most of the other race leaders. Garmin team director Jonathan Vaughters says Wiggins is the now the race’s dark horse, and although Vande Velde is not 100 percent, “He will be by the end [of the race]. I promise.”

Wiggins is  fifth overall; Vande Velde sits in eighth.