SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2012 – French cyclist Thomas Voeckler is a favorite among fans. They were delighted to see his unexpected win of Stage 10 today at the Tour de France.
Voeckler gets the second home nation win of this year’s tour with a gritty ride in a tough Alpine stage of 120 miles. Jens Voight of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek put in a great effort to try and catch Voeckler, but he didn’t panic, held steady and got the victory.
Voeckler was delighted and emotional crossing the line for his win. He wasn’t even sure he would be riding this year due to knee problems. He also won Stage 10 in the mountains last year.
Voeckler joined a breakaway group early in the race of 23 riders including a few top names including Peter Sagan of Liquigas, Michele Scarponi of Lampre, Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank, and Voight.
As riders reached the big climb of the day up the Col de Grand Colombier, the time gap began to fall and riders began to crack and drop back. But Voeckler, Scarponi, Voigt, and Sanchez hung on. Vicenzo Nibali of Liquigas made an effort to get away from the leading peloton group containing race leaders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome of Team Sky and Cadel Evans of BMC, but he was unsuccessful in gaining time. Belgium’s Jurgen Van Den Broeck attacked on the final descent of the day and it was a smart move. He gained 32 seconds on the leader Wiggins, although he is still five minutes back.
Today’s top finishers were:
1. Thomas Voeckler (France) Team Europcar 4:46:26
2. Michele Scarponi (Italy) Lampre - ISD
3. Jens Voigt (Germany) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain) Rabobank
5. Dries Devenyns (Belgium) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6. Sandy Casar (France) FDJ-Big Mat
7. Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spain) Euskaltel - Euskadi
8. Pierre Rolland (France) Team Europcar
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto Belisol Team
10. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kazhakstan) Astana
The top ten riders only saw two changes, with Van Den Broeck gaining time and moving up to eighth place. Tejay van Garderen lost 16 seconds on the lead group after he struggled on the climb. But the GC leaders are safe to climb another day. No one was a hero, but no one showed any weaknesses.
The overall leaders list after Stage 10:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) Team Sky
2. Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC (1:53)
3. Chris Froome (Great Britain) Team Sky (2:07)
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Liquigas-Cannondale (2:23)
5. Denis Menchov (Russia) Katusha (3:02)
6. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (3:19)
7. Maxime Monfort (Belgium) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (4:23)
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto-Belisol (4:48)
9. Nicolas Roche (Ireland) AG2R (5:29)
10. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC (5:31)
In the jersey competitions, Tejay van Garderen did enough to retain the young rider’s white jersey. The big change sees Thomas Voeckler getting the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and deservedly so. The green sprinter’s jersey remains with Peter Sagan, who lost the sprint today to his rival Matthew Goss, but he put in a great effort at the side of teammate Vincenzo Nibali. If this young rider develops some mountain climbing skills, he will be a force in future grand Tours.
Not unexpected, Tony Martin of Omega-Pharma-QuickStep has ended his Tour after riding nearly a week with a broken wrist. Remy DiGregorio of Cofidis and Matthew Lloyd of Lampre also abandoned, leaving 175 riders of the starting field of 198 in the Tour.
Wednesday’s Stage 10 starts at the home of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville and covers 91 miles to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, ending with the first summit finish in this year’s Tour. There will be some seriously challenging climbs today. Riders who lost seconds or minutes on Monday’s time trial may try to gain some time back here.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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