Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Tour de France, Stage 11 Results

If there was any lingering doubt about the strength of the Sky team, then wonder no more: the British outfit is the dominant force in the 99th Tour de France. The stage to La Tourssuire might have been won by a Frenchman - with Pierre Rolland pulling off another tremendous climbing coup to go alongside his triumph at Alpe d'Huez from the 2011 Tour - but Great Britain is in complete command of the general classification. Wiggins increased his advantage over last year's champion, Cadel Evans, after the Australian suffered a little crisis on the final climb and had to be nursed home by the leader of the youth classification Tejay van Garderen. While Evans battled his way up the last mountain, Rolland danced ahead to an emphatic victory and then came the battle for second and third place on GC, which was won by Christopher Froome who now moves up to second overall, 18 seconds ahead of another of today's aggressors, Vincenzo Nibali. The result sheet tells much of the story but it was a race with many attacks, several winners and quite a few losers.

Early on the second climb of the Col de la Croix de Fer, there was a regrouping of a lead group at the front and 22 were in the lead: Moinard, Horner, Kern, Rolland, Scarponi, Marzano, Basso, Martin, Kadri, Trofimov, Ten Dam, Valverde, Kiryienka, Sorensen, Kessiakoff, Kisierlovski, Vinokourov, Leipheimer, Veltis and Weening. They led the peloton by 2'30”. Scarponi, Marzano and Moinard were the first to drop out of the lead group. With 15km to climb Leipheimer also quit his efforts in the lead group, then Valverde and Basso. At 79km, van Garderen (BMC) attacked the yellow jersey's group but there was no reaction from Wiggins et al. It was clearly a plan hatched by the team of the defending champion for, at 81km, Evans launched an attack and soon caught his team mate. They worked together to build a maximum advantage on the yellow jersey of 20” but were caught after 5km on the attack. Rogers was responsible for the capture, leading Wiggins, Porte and Froome up to Evans and the white jersey without once getting out of the saddle to increase his tempo. Rolland took the ‘Souvenir Henri Desgrange' by beating Kessiakoff atop the highest pass in the Alps. The yellow jersey was 2'10” behind at the top of the col de Croix de Fer.

On the final climb to La Toussuire, Nibali attacked the yellow jersey with 12km to go, eliminating all but Evans, Wiggins, Froome, Schleck and Van Garderen from the yellow jersey group. He was caught after 1.5km but the Italian attacked again with 10km to go. He joined van den Broeck, Brajkovic and Pinot. With 6.5km to go, Evans was dropped from the yellow jersey group.

Once Wiggins and company caught Nibali (around 4.5km to go) there seemed to be a discussion between the Sky riders and Froome attacked shortly afterwards. Pinot reacted quickly and so too did the others but Wiggins couldn't match the pace. Froome quickly quit his effort but still this group was able to gain time on Evans who was struggling to hold the wheel of van Garderen. Eventually the Australian would lose 1'26” to the overall leader meaning he slipped down the rankings and Sky assumed first and second place overall, with Froome finishing two seconds ahead of his leader, Wiggins.

Bradley Wiggins said after the stage that he felt an overwhelming sense of relief that he could put the day that he believed would be the most difficult of the 2012 Tour behind him.

Vincenzo Nibali, now having moved into third place (2’23” from Wiggins, 18” from Froome, and ahead of Evans by 56"), said immediately after the stage, "Today was a real important stage. I didn´t expect to drop Cadel Evans, who is a great champion. We all know that. And an off day can happen to anyone. It was a really difficult stage. I tried to attack a few different times because Wiggins still had a lot of teammates but it was tough to put him in difficulty. Today was also a little bit different, as I found a few guys to go with me like Van den Broeck. People expect me to give it all my heart, so I´m happy to give this to them and this is what I´ll do until Paris".

Cadel Evans' team mate Tejay van Garderen waited for the defending Tour de France champion and paced him the remaining six kilometers to finish 11th on the day, 1:26 behind Wiggins. "Cadel is mentally tough so he's not going to let this day get him down," van Garderen said. "He's going to keep fighting. If Sky continues on a decline with their strength in numbers and Cadel shakes off today and has a better day in the coming days, we can get the time back." Tejay continued, "It was a tough day. I hoped Cadel's legs would be better, especially since Sky was put under so much pressure throughout the day. This was the first time we saw Wiggins isolated. If we can do that again on the next mountain stage and Cadel's legs come around, anything is possible. There's a long way to go."

Lampre-ISD had a very bad day with Alessandro Petacchi crashing heavily on the descent of the Col de la Croix de Fer. Tomorrow, Petacchi will be back to Italy to be examined for the injuries he suffered; he and Yuriy Krivstov both finished over the time limit and will not start tomorrow. The team will start stage 12 with only five riders: Bole, Hondo, Marzano, Scarponi and Stortoni.

Tomorrow: Stage 12, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne-Annonay Davézieux 226 km. TdF analysis by Jean-François Pescheux: "Yet another strategic stage, one which could tip the balance in the points classification on its own. Why? Because we have adorned the first part of this long stage (226 km) with the Col de Grand Cucheron and the Col du Granier. The latter will be climbed on its most difficult side. A high pace will knock out the sprinters, favouring riders who are fast and capable of hanging onto the bunch on climbs. We will insist that time limits be applied strictly, so I bet many riders will get fidgety, and some of them will not forget the finish in Annonay any time soon..."

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 48:43:53
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:03:19
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:04:48
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:06:15
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:06:57
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:07:30
9 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:08:31
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:08:51
11 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:09:29
12 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:09:45
13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:49
14 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:11:27
15 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:12:41
16 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:16:20
17 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:17:41
18 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:18:10
19 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:19:02
20 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:20:12
21 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:20:32
22 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:25:53
23 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:27:04
24 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:27:37
25 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team 0:28:43
26 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:30:41
27 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:30:46
28 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:30:47
29 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:31:18
30 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:31:59
31 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:32:57
32 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:33:59
33 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:37:48
34 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:40:36
35 Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:41:49
36 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:45:20
37 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:47:17
38 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:50:04
39 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:50:36
40 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:51:24
41 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:56:23
42 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:56:30
43 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:56:52
44 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team 0:56:58
45 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:59:02
46 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:59:32
47 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:59:39
48 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar 0:59:49
49 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 1:00:23
50 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:00:49
51 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Sharp 1:01:10
52 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 1:02:16
53 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 1:03:15
54 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1:03:50
55 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:04:13
56 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 1:04:16
57 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 1:04:58
58 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 1:05:01
59 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:05:21
60 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 1:05:23
61 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1:05:59
62 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 1:06:36
63 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp 1:06:58
64 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan 1:07:01
65 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 1:07:59
66 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:08:38
67 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 1:08:50
68 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 1:08:59
69 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1:09:09
70 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:09:11
71 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:11:36
72 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:11:41
73 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:12:05
74 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:12:06
75 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 1:12:33
76 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 1:13:47
77 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:13:49
78 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISD 1:14:23
79 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:15:27
80 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:16:11
81 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:16:56
82 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 1:17:24
83 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan 1:18:44
84 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:19:10
85 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team 1:21:09
86 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:21:11
87 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team 1:22:46
88 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1:23:18
89 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:23:55
90 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar 1:24:16
91 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1:24:27
92 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp 1:25:00
93 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Sharp 1:26:26
94 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:27:11
95 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre - ISD 1:27:17
96 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling 1:28:10
97 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1:28:24
98 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD 1:28:59
99 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 1:29:11
100 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar 1:29:52
101 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 1:33:27
102 Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1:33:45
103 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1:34:07
104 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:34:44
105 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:34:52
106 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team 1:34:53
107 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:35:23
108 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:36:18
109 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 1:37:21
110 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1:37:56
111 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:38:04
112 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale 1:38:06
113 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos - Shimano 1:38:10
114 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 1:39:38
115 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:39:46
116 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team 1:40:01
117 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 1:41:00
118 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha Team 1:41:12
119 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:43:09
120 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:44:06
121 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:44:57
122 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1:45:11
123 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:45:20
124 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team 1:45:21
125 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:47:35
126 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:47:54
127 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 1:49:30
128 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:50:42
129 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 1:51:02
130 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 1:51:52
131 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 1:52:01
132 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:52:17
133 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 1:52:19
134 Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:52:37
135 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:52:40
136 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar 1:52:55
137 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar 1:53:05
138 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:53:55
139 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:54:20
140 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:55:02
141 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 1:55:22
142 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:55:39
143 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1:55:59
144 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 1:56:33
145 Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos - Shimano 1:56:36
146 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano 1:56:46
147 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 1:57:59
148 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 1:58:30
149 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:59:10
150 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 1:59:22
151 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 2:00:26
152 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 2:00:30
153 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 2:01:59
154 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2:02:30
155 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:03:03
156 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos - Shimano 2:03:11
157 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD 2:05:21
158 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos - Shimano 2:05:22
159 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 2:06:02
160 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 2:07:00
161 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team 2:09:29
162 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 2:10:04
163 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos - Shimano 2:10:42
164 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos - Shimano 2:11:25
165 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Sharp 2:12:35
166 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 2:20:35
167 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp 2:20:40

Photos: Bettini

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