Tour de France: Boasson Hagen wins for Sky as Voeckler suffers on fast descent

 

Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen more than made up for his stinging defeat on Tuesday with a fine solo victory yesterday whilst yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler emerged unscathed after a hair-raising skid off-road on a perilous high-speed descent.

Attempting to chase an increasingly aggressive Alberto Contador on a narrow, twisting and badly cambered descent, Voeckler misjudged a sweeping left-hand bend and, after a two-wheeled jump down a further drop, came to rest – miraculously upright – in a paved garden.

Aided back onto the road by the owner – who presumably will be dining out on how he "once had that Thomas Voeckler in my back garden" for some time to come – the Europcar rider managed to regain contact with a chasing group containing double Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.

Contador, however, was long gone, and the Spaniard, together with the Schleck brothers, Samuel Sanchez, and Cadel Evans, gained nearly 30 seconds on the Frenchman. Voeckler emphasised afterwards that he could not be disappointed, because "I'm lucky not to be in an ambulance."

"When I realised I wasn't going to get round the corner, I realised I would have to jump and then I almost closed my eyes. I opened them again, saw I was still in one piece, saw the race was still going on and got back into it."

After almost crashing once, Voeckler said it had been his fault he had spun off the road – in a carbon copy of a skid into the same garden by Frenchman Jonathan Hivert a few minutes before – because he had been riding too fast.

"I knew I had to be in front, I had to go down that climb like a mad dog to keep in contact. When I made that mistake, it was very difficult to continue. Besides, mountain biking isn't my speciality."

Successfully on the attack for the second day running, Contador was delighted at a return to form in the nick of time for today's crucial assault on the Galibier. "It's important to pull back time every single day," the Spaniard said. "Voeckler's a great rider and I can't let any opportunities go by."

Boasson Hagen and Sky's second stage win of the race was driven by much the same logic, albeit on a different scale, with the Norwegian explaining that "today was my last chance, I knew I had to go for it."

Frustrated when he was outsprinted on Tuesday by compatriot and World Champion Thor Hushovd, the 24-year-old went clear of a 14-rider break close to the summit of the tree-lined Col de Pramartino.

Although the Sky rider's wheels visibly juddered on the worst corners of the downhill, Boasson Hagen was clearly more confident than most – in large part due to Sky's reconnaissance this spring. "Knowing it well was a help, and also losing yesterday [Tuesday] made me stronger," he explained – exactly the philosophy that has driven Sky since Bradley Wiggins abandoned in the first week, and which yesterday once more saw them strike gold.

Stage details and standings

Stage 17 (Gap-Pinerolo, 179km):

1 E Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 4hr 18min

2 B Mollema (Neth) Rabobank Cycling Team at 0.40sec

3 S Casar (Fr) FDJ at 0.50

4 J El Fares (Fr) Cofidis, Le Crédit En Ligne at same time

5 S Chavanel (Fr) Quickstep Cycling Team at same time

6 D Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana at 1.10

7 M Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at same time

8 D Muravyev (Kaz) Team RadioShack at same time

9 J Hivert (Fr) Saur-Sojasun at 1.15

10 B Bozic (Sloven) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team at 2.20

Selected others

70 G Thomas (GB) Sky Procycling at 4hr 30min 36sec

154 B Swift (GB) Sky Procycling at 14min 15sec

165 D Millar (GB) Team Garmin-Cervelo at same time

166 M Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at same time

Overall

1 T Voeckler (Fr) Team Europcar 73hr 23min 49sec.

2 C Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 01min 18sec.

3 F Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek at 01.22.

4 A Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek at 02.36.

5 S Sanchez Gonzalez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadiat 02.59.

6 A Contador (Sp) Saxo Bank Sungard at 03.15.

7 D Cunego (It) Lampre - ISD at 03.34.

8 I Basso (It) Liquigas-Cannondale at 03.49.

9 T Danielson (US) Team Garmin-Cervelo at 06.04.

10 R Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling at 07.36.

King of the Mountains 1 J Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 74; 2 S Sanchez 72; 3 J Roy (FDJ) 45; 4 S Chavanel (Quick Step) 38; 5 A Schleck 28.

Green Jersey 1 M Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) 320; 2 J Rojas (Movistar) 285; 3 P Gilbert (Omega) 250; 4 T Hushovd (Garmin) 235; 5 EB Hagen (Sky) 173.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

Recruitment Genius: Implementation Consultant

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...

Recruitment Genius: Implementation Consultant

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Coordinator

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent