Dec 9th, 13. Crowd favourite German cyclist Jens Voigt will make his 11th appearance at the ... read more
Dec 8th, 13. Reta Trotman and Grayson Napier were impressive winners in the elite women’s and ... read more
Dec 5th, 13. Injured cyclist Eddie Dawkins will take his place in the team sprint combination ... read more
Victory by Voeckler Voigt and van den Broeck
Jul 12th, 12. Stage 10 may have included a brand new HC climb, but it was the traditional fan favourites who lit up the Tour de France today where Thomas Voeckler was victorious.
"I always wanted to win the stage today," an emotional Voeckler said in his post stage interview. "What an amazing finish that was."
Voeckler (Europcar), who was one of the heroes of last year's Tour but who was in doubt to start this year due to a knee injury, was part of a 25 rider breakaway which broke free after the super fast first hour of racing where 49.8km were covered.
Up the Grand Columbier 17km Hors Category climb the Frenchman rode away with three companions and took the KOM honours, but he had another goal in mind - the stage win 43km later at the end of the 194.5km stage from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
After they went up and over the day's final climb together with 20km to ride, the leading four faced a new challenge - Jens Voigt. The 40 year old RadioShack Nissan Trek rider was on a solo hunt. With 8.7km to go the German bridged to the quartet and did a classic Jens move - he went straight by them!
Voeckler was not accepting that and brought him back only to have Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma Quickstep) launch an almighty attack in the final 3km. Voigt shook his head as if to say 'well it was worth a try', then must have thought about it again, and he took off in pursuit.
In the draining 500m climb to the finish line, Voigt got within 20m of Devenyns, but it was Voeckler who came flying past to take the victory - his third in ten Tours de France. For his exploits, Voeckler was named today's Most Aggressive Rider.
"Ok that [was] officially a very hard day, gotta admit. More than once I yelled at my legs 'shut up legs', believe on that," Voigt twittered, repeating his most often quoted saying.
Michele Scarponi (Lampre ISD) had a final burst of speed which moved earned him into 2nd place with Voigt 3rd, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) 4th and in the end Devenyns had to settle for 5th.
Wiggins keeps Evans in check as van den Broeck steals seconds
Behind Voeckler's group the GC battle was kept in check by Team Sky. Edvald Boasson Hagen did an incredible job of controlling the pace up the Grand Colombier - he led the peloton for 12 of the 17km.
Lotto Belisol's GC rider Jurgen van den Broeck twice tried to break free up the climb, but each time he was denied by Team Sky who did not look under any threat until the descent.
On the long run down from the Grand Colombier summit, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas Cannondale) showed his superior downhill skills to distance himself from his rivals. He got help when he caught up with his teammate Peter Sagan who was in the original break, but after gaining a time gap of 50sec, he was eventually pulled into line by Wiggins' team
On the final descent, off the Cat 3 Col du Richmonde with 15km to go, van den Broeck finally got clear. With him was Voeckler's Europcar teammate Pierre Rolland. The two worked hard to distance themselves from the GC group who did not seem too concerned as these two started the day with decent time gaps.
Van den Broeck finished 31sec ahead of his rivals and moved one place up on the General Classification from 9th to 8th +4m48s behind Wiggins.
Cadel Evans (BMC) crossed the finish line one place in front of Wiggins in a group with the other Top 5 GC riders. They were 3m16s behind Voeckler who earned the KOM jersey today for his efforts.
Tweet Follow @roadcycling
Support RoadCycling.co.nz Advertisers