Italian Alps Bring Contador Closer, Stage Victory for Norway

July 20, 2011
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A finish in the Italian city of Pinerelo was sure to add spice to the Tour de Francia, as it is called

Edvald Boasson Hagen at the summit of the last col, Pinerelo, Italy (C) Benepe

here.

For one, the Carabinieri are nicer, the fans are relaxed, and the whole atmosphere is like one big Italian party.

Perhaps fitting that the young man from the Sky Team Edvald Boasson Hagen should win the stage in a triumphant break before the summit, and steam his way to the finish line.

“I was thinking about this stage when I was training a few weeks ago and now that I’ve won it, it’s really great,” said Boassan Hagen.

Indeed, the Norwegian had studied the technical turns on the descent of the Cote de Pramartino by watching a video of the course in the team bus that morning. He had also planned ahead that this was the stage he wanted to win.

Fans waiting on the summit in Pinerelo

It was the Sky Team’s second stage win, and the fourth for a Norwegian: Thor Hushovd has also won two stages in this year’s Tour.

The category 2 Pramartino was dotted with Italians of all ages, and its very narrow ascent and descent are evocative more of a tiny forest path than a race course.

Team cars barely could barely make it through the road’s edges as they raced through the area bordered on both sides by dense trees.

And even the slightest move in the wrong direction on the twisting descent could send riders into the sidelines.

Alberto Contador also showed some of his strength in the final climb for the day. In a pack with the favorites which included Voeckler, Evans, and Ansy Schleck, five kilometers from the finish he launched a series of attacks. Only Sanchez was able to stay with him from the climb to within about a kilometer to the finish, and gained 27 seconds to Voelcker.

Voeckler crashed once and then went off the road on the descent, which Cyclists International descended.

Contador showed his prowess by pedaling down the road that Voeckler fell off of. But Voeckler retained the Yellow Jersey in the end despite his losses.

The top GC standings are the same, with Voeckler in the lead, Evans second, Frank Schleck and his brother Andy third and fourth, and Sanchez and Contador fifth and sixth.

OVERALL STANDINGS AT END OF STAGE 17: Source ASO

1. VOECKLER Thomas 181 TEAM EUROPCAR 73h 23′ 49″
2. EVANS Cadel 141 BMC RACING TEAM 73h 25′ 07″ + 01′ 18″
3. SCHLECK Frank 18 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 73h 25′ 11″ + 01′ 22″
4. SCHLECK Andy 11 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 73h 26′ 25″ + 02′ 36″
5. SANCHEZ Samuel 21 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 73h 26′ 48″ + 02′ 59″
6. CONTADOR Alberto 1 SAXO BANK SUNGARD 73h 27′ 04″ + 03′ 15″
7. CUNEGO Damiano 161 LAMPRE – ISD 73h 27′ 23″ + 03′ 34″
8. BASSO Ivan 91 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 73h 27′ 38″ + 03′ 49″
9. DANIELSON Tom 52 TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO 73h 29′ 53″ + 06′ 04″
10. URAN Rigoberto 118 SKY PROCYCLING 73h 31′ 25″ + 07′ 36″
11. PERAUD Jean-Christophe 108 AG2R LA MONDIALE 73h 31′ 42″ + 07′ 53″
12. DE WEERT Kevin 124 QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 73h 31′ 56″ + 08′ 07″
13. TAARAMAE Rein 151 COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 73h 32′ 24″ + 08′ 35″
14. ROLLAND Pierre 188 TEAM EUROPCAR 73h 33′ 52″ + 10′ 03″
15. CASAR Sandy 131 FDJ 73h 34′ 22″ + 10′ 33″
16. ZUBELDIA Haimar 79 TEAM RADIOSHACK 73h 34′ 27″ + 10′ 38″
17. JEANNESSON Arnold 134 FDJ 73h 34′ 41″ + 10′ 52″
18. VANENDERT Jelle 38 OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO 73h 35′ 28″ + 11′ 39″

STAGE STANDINGS, END OF STAGE 17: Source: ASO

1. HAGEN Edvald Boasson 114 SKY PROCYCLING 4h 18′ 00″
2. MOLLEMA Bauke 45 RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM 4h 18′ 40″ + 00′ 40″
3. CASAR Sandy 131 FDJ 4h 18′ 50″ + 00′ 50″
4. EL FARES Julien 155 COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 4h 18′ 50″ + 00′ 50″
5. CHAVANEL Sylvain 121 QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 4h 18′ 50″ + 00′ 50″
6. FOFONOV Dmitriy 63 PRO TEAM ASTANA 4h 19′ 10″ + 01′ 10″
7. PATERSKI Maciej 96 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 4h 19′ 10″ + 01′ 10″
8. MURAVYEV Dmitriy 76 TEAM RADIOSHACK 4h 19′ 10″ + 01′ 10″
9. HIVERT Jonathan 216 SAUR-SOJASUN 4h 19′ 15″ + 01′ 15″
10. BOZIC Borut 202 VACANSOLEIL-DCM 4h 20′ 20″ + 02′ 20″
11. AMADOR Andrey 82 MOVISTAR TEAM 4h 20′ 20″ + 02′ 20″
12. PEREZ MORENO Ruben 25 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 4h 20′ 37″ + 02′ 37″
13. LEUKEMANS Bjorn 205 VACANSOLEIL-DCM 4h 21′ 35″ + 03′ 35″
14. ROCHE Nicolas 101 AG2R LA MONDIALE 4h 22′ 00″ + 04′ 00″
15. TJALLINGII Maarten 49 RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM 4h 22′ 00″ + 04′ 00″
16. DE WEERT Kevin 124 QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 4h 22′ 00″ + 04′ 00″
17. SCHLECK Frank 18 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
18. CUNEGO Damiano 161 LAMPRE – ISD 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
19. SANCHEZ Samuel 21 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
20. EVANS Cadel 141 BMC RACING TEAM 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
21. PERAUD Jean-Christophe 108 AG2R LA MONDIALE 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
22. CONTADOR Alberto 1 SAXO BANK SUNGARD 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
23. TAARAMAE Rein 151 COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
24. SCHLECK Andy 11 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 4h 22′ 26″ + 04′ 26″
25. VANENDERT Jelle

 

 

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