Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tommy takes first Tour stage win

(pic from

And you should’ve heard the crowd as they cheered their boy home.

Thomas Voeckler broke away in the early kilometres of the stage with five others - Ignatiev, Geslin, Hutarovich, Sapa, and Timmer – their lead reaching a maximum of around 10 mins. At 25kms to go, the gap was around 40-55 secs but the escapees clenched on to their lead. With 4.8kms remaining, Voeckler pounced, sneaking up the left hand side of the group to ride to his first Tour stage win.

The wind again had its way with the peloton. At around the 60kms to go mark it split into two – the GC contenders not missing the move today – reformed, then split into four, then reformed again. The peloton pedalled home 11 seconds behind Voeckler, Katusha sprinter Ignatiev holding on to his break to pip Cav for second.

Mick Rogers was again critical of the other sprint teams saying (SBS interview after stage) “Other teams (have got to) wake up and learn….only Garmin helped…(we) can’t close every gap on our own…got to help us if they want a sprint finish.”

One team who didn’t do just that was Cervelo. Brett Lancaster said “we just can’t get it together.” Now this is probably where Gerrans could’ve helped them.

Voeckler’s first stage win comes well after the 2004 Tour when he wore yellow for ten days. Considering the wind, it was a classy ride. As Renshaw tweeted “How did the break go from 55sec to 1.30sec with 25km to go in a headwind?”

Voeckler’s comments: "I thought we'd be caught in the final 30km…Then when I heard through my race radio that Astana were leading the chase with Saxo Bank I knew the wind conditions must have changed and that the sprinters' teams had lost interest. That's when I knew we had a chance."

Boonen got a puncture when the peloton first split and Rabobank’s Gesink limped home about 9mins behind the peloton after a fall. Silence Lotto again had trouble staying on their bikes with Matty Lloyd and Scheirlinckx tumbling.

Mick Rogers also told SBS he’s not going for GC.

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