Cofidis rider David Moncoutie gave the home crowds added reason to celebrate on Bastille Day by winning stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday.
Sandy Casar, another Frenchman, claimed second spot on the 187km ride from Briancon to Digne-les-Bains after holding off Spain's Angel Vicioso.
Lance Armstrong retained the overall lead but lost team-mate Manuel Beltran in a crash early on in the stage.
The Spaniard quit after falling on the Col des Demoiselles Coiffees climb.
Moncoutie became the 15th Frenchman since World War II to win on France's national holiday.
"It's fabulous. I was really bad in the Alps and I wanted to take my revenge in this stage, " said Moncoutie, who was claiming his second stage win in five Tours.
"I wanted it so badly to salvage my Tour. To win on July 14 is just great. I'm so happy."
Moncoutie took the lead on the Col du Corobin, the fourth of five climbs and cycled alone to the finish past cheering crowds.
Armstrong cruised in with his main rivals in a group more than 10 minutes back but stayed top of the rankings.
Beltran, 34, got back on his bike after his crash but quit after receiving treatment from a Tour doctor, Discovery Channel team spokesman Jogi Muller said.
Beltran, who has been part of the American's Tour-winning team since 2003, is a specialist mountain climber and will be missed by Armstrong when the race heads into the Pyrenees on Saturday.
Stage results (top 10)
1. David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis 4hrs 20mins 06secs
2. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux +57s
3. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros
4. Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole
5. Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa) Illes Balears
6. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
7. Axel Merckx (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto
8. Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval
9. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole +3:15
10. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis
Overall standings (top 10)
1. Lance Armstrong (US) Discovery) 46:30:36"
2. Mickael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank +38s
3. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole +2:34
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC +2:40
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears +3:16
6. Santiago Botero (Col) Phonak +3:48
7. Levi Leipheimer (US) Gerolsteiner +3:58
8. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears +4:00
9. Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile +4:02
10. Andreas Kloeden (Ger) T-Mobile +4:16