- Tour de France, Stage 10
Voeckler wins, Wiggins stays in control
Bradley Wiggins came through the first real mountain test in the Tour de France relatively unscathed, as his Sky team shut down attacks from Vincenzo Nibali and Jurgen van den Broeck on a punishing Stage 10.
A break of four were ignored by the race favourites and it was Thomas Voeckler who won the battle for stage glory at the finish in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
The focus, though, was on how Wiggins' team would control the race. They did so superbly. The likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Rogers and Richie Porte set to tempo on the big climb up the Col du Colombier.
Nibali is not the greatest climber, but his descending skills are exemplary and he pulled out a lead of almost a minute. The Sky team did not panic and reined him in on the final climb up the Col de Richemond.
At that point, Van den Broeck made his bid - suggesting the teams are not prepared to accept Wiggins will win without a fight - and he eked out a lead of almost 50 seconds. But the Sky team again kept their cool to limit the losses for Wiggins to 31 seconds - leaving the Brit still well in control of the race.
Great credit goes to Europcar's Voeckler, who led the charge over the two big climbs of the day and fought off attacks from Michele Scarponi, Jens Voigt, Luis León Sanchez and Dries Devenyns to win what was a slowmotion sprint finish.
Stage Ten result
1 Thomas Voecker (FR) Europcar - 04:46:26
2 Michele Scarponi (IT) Lampre - 0:03
3 Jens Voigt (GER) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:03
4 Luis León Sanchez (ESP) Rabobank - 0:23
5 Dries Devenyns (GER) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:30
6 Sandy Casar (FR) FDJ-BigMat - 02:44
7 Egoi Martinez (ESP) Euskaltel-Euskadi - 02:44
8 Pierre Rolland (FR) Europcar - 02:44
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol - 02:44
10 Dmitry Fofonov (KAZ) Astana - 02:52
1 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky Procycling - 43:59:02
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - 0:01:53
3 Christopher Froome (GB) Sky Procycling - 0:02:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:02:23
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team - 0:03:02
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:03:19
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:04:23
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team - 0:04:48
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale - 0:05:29
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing - 0:05:31