Pierrick Fedrigo claimed France's fourth win of the Tour de France on stage 15 to Pau today as the peloton opted for a day of respite.
Following an eventful race to date, including a 14th stage marred by sabotage, a six-man escape group contested the 158.5-kilometre route from Samatan and Fedrigo beat Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) in a sprint finish. Thomas Voeckler was third.
Nicolas Roche finished in 26th, almost 12 minutes behind Fedrigo and stays in 13th overall, 10' 49" off the race leader. Dan Martin came in in 136th position and is 65th overall.
The Tour resumes following tomorrow's second rest day with Wednesday's 197km 16th stage from Pau to Bagners-de-Luchon, which is the first of two big Pyrenean days which will go a long way to deciding if Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins can become the first British winner in Paris on Sunday.
The peloton rode in 11 minutes 50 seconds behind, with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) winning the dash for the line on his 30th birthday.
The general classification contenders were safely among them and the top of the rankings were unchanged.
Wiggins retained the Tour leader's yellow jersey and a lead of 2mins 5secs over Team Sky colleague Chris Froome in second place.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) remained third, 2:23 behind, with defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) fourth, 3:19 adrift.
Five days of racing remain, but Wednesday and Thursday's Pyrenean stages and Saturday's penultimate day time-trial are set to determine the holder of the maillot jaune come the finale in Paris on Sunday.