Tour de France

Rolland wins epic TDF stage

2012-07-12 18:20
Pierre Rolland (AFP)

La Toussuire - Frenchman Pierre Rolland claimed an epic 11th stage victory on the Tour de France Thursday as race leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain took another step towards overall victory.

Rolland soloed over the finish line after an epic day of racing to claim his second victory in the race a year after his maiden win at Alpe d'Huez to hand Europcar their second win in as many days.

The yellow jersey group of Wiggins came over the finish line of the 148km stage from Albertville 57sec later. It included Italian contender Vincenzo Nibali and Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck.

Wiggins came under attack several times on the final 18km climb to La Toussuire - notably by Nibali and Van den Broeck.

But thanks to the help of Sky team-mate Chris Froome the Englishman was ultimately able to reel them in and then drop defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia.

Evans, the 2011 champion, ran out of steam in the final kilometres of the climb to finish over a minute behind Wiggins and see his bid for a successful defence severely compromised.

Evans started the day in second place with a deficit of 1min 53sec to Wiggins but dropped to fourth overall at 3:19.

Wiggins now leads teammate Froome by 2:05, with Nibali third but still at 2:23 and Van den Broeck fifth at 4:48.

"It was another great day for the team," said Wiggins.

"It certainly lived up to its reputation as the hardest stage. Once Cadel had got dropped and we were in that little group the sense of relief was overwhelming really.

"Taking more time off Cadel, I don't think we really expected that this morning."

Although Evans' chances of closing his gap to Wiggins now look slim as there are few mountain stages remaining in the race, his BMC teammate Tejay Van Garderen - who looked stronger than his team leader - was defiant.

"He wasn't on his best day... normally he would be ripping the legs off of me," said the American, who defended his lead in the white jersey classification for the best placed riders aged 25 and under.

"All it would have taken was for Cadel to have the legs for that last push, but he didn't have it.

"But he'll shake it off and come back fighting. Nothing changes. We'll all stand behind our leader."

Rolland's victory comes a day after team-mate Thomas Voeckler claimed his first stage win this year at Bellegarde-Sur-Valserine.

And it came in emphatic style.

After fighting to get into an early breakaway the Frenchman toiled with a number of rivals over the Col de la Croix de Fer summit, where he lost a €5000 prize to Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff, and then bounced back from a crash on a tight hairpin bend on the descent of the Col du Mollard.

On the last, 18km climb to the summit of La Toussuire the Europcar man played his tactics perfectly, attacking and counter-attacking a four-man leading group before pulling away on his own with over 10km to race.

"I really dug as deep as I could, both mentally and physically. It's unbelievable," said Rolland.

"All I could think about was all the training I've done, all the sacrifices I've made and all the people I haven't seen all those months away. I want to say thanks to everyone for all their support."

He added: "In three weeks you go through every emotion on the Tour de France. You cry with joy and with pain.

"In 10 days I've gone from immense pain to a joy that I can't describe."

Results from the 11th stage of Tour de France a 148km ride from Albertville to La Toussuire on Thursday:

1. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 4h43min 54sec
(average: 31.3 km/h)
2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) at 0:55.
3. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:55.
4. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 0:57.
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 0:57.
6. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 0:57.
7. Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 1:08.
8. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/AST) 1:58.
9. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/MOV) 2:13.
10. Frank Schleck (LUX/RSH) 2:23.
11. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 2:23.
12. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 2:23.
13. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 3:53.
14. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 3:53.
15. Jerome Coppel (FRA/SAU) 3:53.
16. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 3:53.
17. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (ESP/MOV) 3:53.
18. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/AST) 3:53.
19. Nicolas Roche (EIR/ALM) 6:17.
20. Laurens ten Dam (NED/RAB) 7:27.
21. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 8:02.
22. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 8:21.
23. Blel Kadri (FRA/ALM) 10:21.
24. Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ/AST) 10:21.
25. Dominik Nerz (GER/LIQ) 11:19.
26. Egoi Martinez (ESP/EUS) 12:04.
27. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/RAB) 12:04.
28. Mickael Cherel (FRA/ALM) 12:30.
29. Sandy Casar (FRA/FDJ) 13:06.
30. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE/AST) 13:06.
31. Rafael Valls (ESP/VAC) 14:13.
32. Rui Costa (POR/MOV) 14:13.
33. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 14:15.
34. Pieter Weening (NED/GEC) 14:15.
35. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 14:15.
36. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 14:15.
37. Jelle Vanendert (BEL/LTB) 14:15.
38. Kevin De Weert (BEL/OPQ) 14:15.
39. Cyril Gautier (FRA/EUC) 14:15.
40. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 14:15.
41. Denis Menchov (RUS/KAT) 14:15.
42. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) 14:15.
43. Eduard Vorganov (RUS/KAT) 14:15.
44. Fabrice Jeandesboz (FRA/SAU) 14:43.
45. Giampaolo Caruso (ITA/KAT) 15:28.
46. Christian Vande Velde (USA/GRM) 15:50.
47. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 15:50.
48. Michael Rogers (AUS/SKY) 18:31.
49. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 18:31.
50. Amael Moinard (FRA/BMC) 18:31.
51. George Hincapie (USA/BMC) 18:31.
52. Michael Schar (SUI/BMC) 18:31.
53. Vladimir Karpets (RUS/MOV) 18:59.
54. Christophe Kern (FRA/EUC) 19:40.
55. Maxime Bouet (FRA/ALM) 21:50.
56. Johnny Hoogerland (NED/VAC) 22:23.
57. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 23:44.
58. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 23:48.
59. Levi Leipheimer (USA/OPQ) 23:58.
60. Marco Marzano (ITA/LAM) 23:58.
61. Sylvester Szmyd (POL/LIQ) 23:58.
62. Guillaume Levarlet (FRA/SAU) 23:58.
63. Brice Feillu (FRA/SAU) 23:58.
64. Vladimir Gusev (RUS/KAT) 23:58.
65. Romain Zingle (BEL/COF) 23:58.
66. Simone Stortoni (ITA/LAM) 25:34.
67. Jorge Azanza (ESP/EUS) 25:43.
68. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/EUS) 25:43.
69. Davide Malacarne (ITA/EUC) 25:48.
70. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 25:48.
71. Christian Knees (GER/SKY) 25:48.
72. Francis de Greef (BEL/LTB) 26:11.
73. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 27:30.
74. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 28:10.
75. Marco Marcato (ITA/VAC) 29:32.
76. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 29:32.
77. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA/FDJ) 29:32.
78. Federico Canuti (ITA/LIQ) 29:32.
79. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 29:32.
80. Manuel Quinziato (ITA/BMC) 29:32.
81. David Moncoutie (FRA/COF) 29:32.
82. Sebastien Minard (FRA/ALM) 29:32.
83. Jerome Pineau (FRA/OPQ) 29:32.
84. Dmitriy Fofonov (KAZ/AST) 29:32.
85. Ruben Plaza (ESP/MOV) 29:32.
86. Pablo Urtasun (ESP/EUS) 29:32.
87. Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA/FDJ) 32:25.
88. Anthony Roux (FRA/FDJ) 32:25.
89. Sergio Paulinho (POR/SAX) 32:25.
90. Nicki Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 32:25.
91. Stuart O'Grady (AUS/GEC) 33:20.
92. Michael Morkov (DEN/SAX) 33:20.
93. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR/RSH) 33:20.
94. Jens Voigt (GER/RSH) 33:20.
95. Roy Curvers (NED/ARG) 33:20.
96. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) 33:20.
97. Matthew Goss (AUS/GEC) 33:20.
98. Julien Simon (FRA/SAU) 33:20.
99. Daryl Impey (RSA/GEC) 33:20.
100. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 33:20.
101. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN/LTB) 33:20.
102. Daniel Oss (ITA/LIQ) 33:20.
103. Koen de Kort (NED/ARG) 33:20.
104. Cedric Pineau (FRA/FDJ) 33:20.
105. Martin Velits (SVK/OPQ) 33:20.
106. Kristjan Koren (SLO/LIQ) 33:20.
107. Albert Timmer (NED/ARG) 33:20.
108. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 33:20.
109. Simon Gerrans (AUS/GEC) 33:20.
110. Nick Nuyens (BEL/SAX) 33:20.
111. Jimmy Engoulvent (FRA/SAU) 33:20.
112. Peter Sagan (SVK/LIQ) 33:20.
113. Jrgen Roelandts (BEL/LTB) 33:20.
114. Andr Greipel (GER/LTB) 33:20.
115. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/RAB) 33:20.
116. Adam Hansen (AUS/LTB) 33:20.
117. Stephen Cummings (GBR/BMC) 33:20.
118. Grega Bole (SLO/LAM) 33:20.
119. Yann Huguet (FRA/ARG) 33:20.
120. Sebastien Hinault (FRA/ALM) 33:20.
121. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 33:20.
122. Ruben Perez Moreno (ESP/EUS) 33:20.
123. Karsten Kroon (NED/SAX) 33:20.
124. Anders Lund (DEN/SAX) 33:20.
125. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/SKY) 33:20.
126. Giovanni Bernaudeau (FRA/EUC) 33:20.
127. Cyril Lemoine (FRA/SAU) 33:20.
128. David Zabriskie (USA/GRM) 33:20.
129. Joan Horrach (ESP/KAT) 33:20.
130. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ/AST) 33:20.
131. Vincent Jerome (FRA/EUC) 33:20.
132. Dries Devenyns (BEL/OPQ) 33:20.
133. Luca Paolini (ITA/KAT) 33:20.
134. Jonathan Cantwell (AUS/SAX) 33:20.
135. Patrick Gretsch (GER/ARG) 33:20.
136. Brett Lancaster (AUS/GEC) 33:20.
137. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 33:20.
138. Johan Van Summeren (BEL/GRM) 33:20.
139. Greg Henderson (NZL/LTB) 33:20.
140. Andrei Kashechkin (KAZ/AST) 33:20.
141. Jean-Marc Marino (FRA/SAU) 33:20.
142. Kris Boeckmans (BEL/VAC) 33:20.
143. Mathieu Sprick (FRA/ARG) 33:20.
144. Julien Fouchard (FRA/COF) 33:20.
145. Michael Albasini (SWI/GEC) 33:20.
146. Danilo Hondo (GER/LAM) 33:20.
147. Baden Cooke (AUS/GEC) 33:20.
148. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) 33:20.
149. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/COF) 33:20.
150. Sebastian Langeveld (NED/GEC) 33:20.
151. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BMC) 33:20.
152. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/SKY) 33:35.
153. Tom Veelers (NED/ARG) 33:35.
154. Mark Cavendish (GBR/SKY) 33:35.
155. Jan Ghyselinck (BEL/COF) 33:35.
156. Bram Tankink (NED/RAB) 33:35.
157. Yohann Gene (FRA/EUC) 33:35.
158. Marcel Sieberg (GER/LTB) 33:35.
159. Luis Angel Mate (ESP/COF) 33:44.
160. Bert Grabsch (GER/OPQ) 34:08.
161. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/EUC) 34:11.
162. Alessandro Vanotti (ITA/LIQ) 34:15.
163. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR/FDJ) 34:15.
164. Tyler Farrar (USA/GRM) 34:26.
165. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG/SAX) 34:51.
166. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR/KAT) 34:55.
167. Kenny van Hummel (NED/VAC) 36:35.
. Yuriy Krivtsov (UKR/LAM) .
. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) .
. Gustav Erik Larsson (SWE/VAC) Retired
. Mark Renshaw (AUS/RAB) Retired
. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) Retired
. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) Retired
. Rob Ruijgh (NED/VAC) Retired
. Fabian Cancellara (SWI/RSH) Withdrawn

Read more on:    tdf  |  cycling
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