TDF 2012: Stage 16 Voeckler Wins in the Pyrenees

By Jen Benepe, July 18, 2012

Defending Champion Evans Dropped, Slips to 7th

Frank Schleck Abandons

Coming back from a bad knee and a poor spring season, Thomas Voeckler showed his fighting spirit today as he led though the toughest climbs of the Pyrenees, and keeping his lead, won the stage into Bagneres de Luchon.

The sprightly Frenchman also scooped up the Polka Dot climber’s jersey by cresting the Col d’Aspin and the Col de Peyresoude in front.

Sadly, Cadel Evans lost time on those two tough climbs, and is now out of the top 3 of the general classification. Vincenzo Nibali, who was in fourth position at the start of the stage, attacked relentlessly on the final climb to Peyresoude, but neither Wiggins, the Yellow Jersey holder, nor Chris Froome, second in the GC, would let him go.

Even at 350 km to the finish line, Wiggins would not give a second to Nibali as he sprinted for the finish, the three 11 minutes behind Voeckler into Luchon.

Evan’s teammate Tejay Van Garderen stayed with a chase team to the lead Wiggins group which shed all of the chase riders in the final climb up the Peyresoude, the final climb before the finish.

Van Garderen donned the white jersey showing that he could stay with the best, among them Jurgen Van den Broeck, and Nicolas Roche. He also finally left behind his team leader, Cadel Evans as the team realized Evans could no longer defend his placement in the top echelon of the general classfication.

George Hincapie, another BMC teammate stayed with Evans, even though he had sustained injuries in a crash descending from the col de Tourmalet.

“I think he just had a bad day, I think he had some stomach issues this morning,” Hincapie said of Evans. “But he’s a fighter.” Hincapie also confirmed that is was a team decision to let van Garderen go ahead and preserve the White Jersey.

Frank Schleck  of the RadioShack Nissan Team who started out this year as one of the favorites, and was third in Paris last year, abandoned the Tour this morning.

General Classification at End of Stage 16 (ASO)

rank rider rider No. team times gap
1. GBRWIGGINS Bradley 101 SKY PROCYCLING 74h 15′ 32”
2. GBRFROOME Christopher 105 SKY PROCYCLING 74h 17′ 37” + 02′ 05”
3. ITANIBALI Vincenzo 51 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 74h 17′ 55” + 02′ 23”
4. BELVAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 111 LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 74h 21′ 18” + 05′ 46”
5. ESPZUBELDIA Haimar 19 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 74h 22′ 45” + 07′ 13”
6. USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay 9 BMC RACING TEAM 74h 23′ 27” + 07′ 55”
7. AUSEVANS Cadel 1 BMC RACING TEAM 74h 23′ 38” + 08′ 06”
8. SLOBRAJKOVIC Janez 181 ASTANA PRO TEAM 74h 24′ 41” + 09′ 09”
9. FRAROLLAND Pierre 29 TEAM EUROPCAR 74h 25′ 42” + 10′ 10”
10. FRAPINOT Thibaut 146 FDJ-BIGMAT 74h 27′ 15” + 11′ 43”
11. IRLROCHE Nicolas 79 AG2R LA MONDIALE 74h 27′ 19” + 11′ 47”
12. GERKLÖDEN Andréas 15 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 74h 28′ 46” + 13′ 14”
13. USAHORNER Christopher 14 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 74h 29′ 11” + 13′ 39”
14. DENSORENSEN Chris Anker 178 TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK 74h 30′ 15” + 14′ 43”
15. FRACOPPEL Jérôme 91 SAUR-SOJASUN 74h 35′ 44” + 20′ 12”
16. RUSMENCHOV Denis 131 KATUSHA TEAM 74h 36′ 38” + 21′ 06”
17. BELMONFORT Maxime 16 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 74h 36′ 58” + 21′ 26”
18. ESPMARTINEZ Egoi 35 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 74h 37′ 13” + 21′ 41”
19. PORCOSTA Rui Alberto 163 MOVISTAR TEAM 74h 38′ 19” + 22′ 47”
20. RUSVORGANOV Eduard 139 KATUSHA TEAM 74h 39′ 52” + 24′ 20”

 

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