TDF Stage 15 Winner

20 Jul

Although I wrote an earlier post on Stage 15, it would not be right to ignore the sensational ride today by Thomas Voeckler (Bbox).

Voeckler is one of my favorite riders because he rides with courage and tenacity. In the 2004 Tour de France, Voeckler held the yellow jersey for 10 days – when he was often referred to as “little” Tommy Voeckler. He quickly became a Tour favorite of both the fans and the riders.

Although other riders may have more outright talent, Voeckler makes up for it with his heart and craftiness – and he simply does not quit.

Voeckler got away in a ten man breakaway at about 100km out, including Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Transitions), Sergei Ivanov (Katusha), Alessandro Ballan (BMC), Francesco Reda (Quick Step), Aitor Perez Arrieta (Footon), Lloyd Mondory (AG2R), Thomas Voeckler and Sebastian Turgot (both Bbox) and Alan Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) .

The breakaway had a gap of as much as 10:50 on the peloton, who after the tortuous pace of Stage 14, were happy to ride a moderate tempo. Once the breakaway was on the climb of the HC (beyond category) Port de Bales, riders started to drop.

Of the original ten riders, six continued to work together on the climb. Voeckler attacked in the steepest part – with gradients in excess of 10% – crossing the summit alone.

After the 20km descent, Voeckler, in his French champion’s jersey, claimed his much deserved, second Tour stage win.

Overall, Stage 15 had plenty of exciting racing and tactical maneuvering. Saxo Bank was impressive with the tempo they maintained on the climb of the Port de Bales.

Schleck never seemed in danger, and in fact seemed in control of the race – until the “chain reaction”.

Stage 16 will be a hotly contested stage. Both Schleck and Contador have something to prove and the other riders will be trying to do something positive with the stage too.

Tomorrow does not get any easier – there are two category 1 climbs and two HC (beyond category).  No doubt, Stage 16 will be another exciting, suspenseful day of racing in the Pyrenees.

*pictures are from Getty Images

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3 Responses to “TDF Stage 15 Winner”

  1. Tri Girl July 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    That was a great stage! I am so happy for Voeckler. He’s a classy guy and I’ve always liked him. It’s nice to see a home-country boy get a great win like this. Kudos!

    Now I’m not so thrilled about the instance with Contador and Schleck. I think it was poor sportsmanship on Contador’s part. Like attacking on a “nature break”, I think attacking on a mechanical is not classy. Of course, I don’t particularly care for Contador, and I really like Schleck- so that *may* have something to do with my feelings on the matter. 😉

    Today’s stage will surely be a teeth-grinder!

  2. Susan July 20, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    I haven’t liked Contador in past, but as I’ve read more/seen interviews I was disliking him a lot less 🙂 and even starting to like him. That changed yesterday – I did not like the move, but the fact that he apologized, I guess as Lance says, we should all move on. It’s just disappointing because of the racing/tactics we missed getting played out. Bummer.

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