Voeckler Breaks Away to Victory in Stage 10 of Tour de France
Thomas Voeckler's (Europcar) feistiness has endeared him to his compatriots.
Thomas Voeckler's (Europcar) feistiness has endeared him to his compatriots. The Frenchman's attacking style has given him four Tour de France stage wins and 20 stages in the yellow jersey. The Europcar man earned his latest stage win in Stage 10 of the Tour, a mountainous, 194.5-km ride from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, in 4:46:26. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) finished second at 0:04, and Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) took third at 0:07. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) remains the maillot jaune.
From the start, the riders attacked. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Andriy Grivko (Astana), and Cyril Lemoine (Saur-Sojasun) made the first sally. Lemoine dropped back, but 20 other riders replaced him. They were Marcus Burghardt and Steve Cummings (both from BMC); Voigt and Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack-Nissan); Voeckler and Yukiya Arashiro (both from Europcar); Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi); Scarponi (Lampre-ISD); David Millar and David Zabriskie (both from Garmin-Sharp); Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale); Fabrice Jeandesboz (Saur-Sojasun); Joan Horrach (Katusha); Sandy Casar, Yauheni Hutarovich, and Matthieu Ladagnous (all from FDJ-BigMat); Karsten Kroon and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff); Dmitri Fofonov (Astana); Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank); Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick Step); and Simon Gerrans and Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge). The peloton did not pursue, and the gaggle ran up a seven-minute lead.
On the hors categorie Col du Grand Colombier, Scarponi accelerated. The Italian's move reduced the break to himself, Sanchez, Devenyns, and Voeckler. Voeckler launched a number of attacks, but the Europcar man could not escape his companions.
Behind, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) attacked from the peloton. On the descent of the Colombier, the Italian led the field by about a minute. He linked up with teammate Sagan, who had been dropped from the break. Jurgen van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) also attacked the bunch, and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) joined him; the pair would take gain 0:32 by the finish. The Sky-led groupe maillot jaune, however, would reel in Nibali before the base of the day's final climb, the Category 3 Col de Richemond.
On the descent of the Colombier, Voigt left the peloton and joined the fugitives. The German joined and attacked the break with 10 km remaining. Voeckler chased down Voigt's move and every other move that his companions made. Clearly, the Frenchman was the strongest man in the group.
Devenyns had a go, and Voigt set out after the Belgian. With 1.5 km left, Voeckler bolted away from Scarponi and Sanchez and proved to have everyone's measure.
In the overall, Wiggins leads Cadel Evans (BMC) by 1:53 and Chris Froome (Sky) by 2:07. Stage 11 could be a standing shaker. The 148-km ride from Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles will feature the hors categorie Cols de la Madeleine and de la Croix de Fer before ending on the Category 1 ascent to the finish. Look for an early break followed by a battle royal on the last climb. Who will win? Wiggins? Evans? Froome? Nibali? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!