After a much-needed day of rest, it was the Frenchman Thomas Voeckler who took full advantage. He won the 194.5 kilometer Stage 10 of the Tour de France with a time of four hours, 46 minutes and 26 seconds on Wednesday.
Italian Michele Scarponi (plus-00:03) finished second and German Jens Voigt (plus-00:07) rounded out the top three.
Although Great Britain’s Bradley Wiggins only finished 13th (00:03:16 behind Voeckler), he retained his overall lead over the defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia by one minute and 53 seconds.
The stage led riders from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, a treacherous stretch that included a climb up the Grand Colombier pass—which is 17.4 kilometers.
It was a day where most of the leaders choose to save their energy, with the much more grueling Stage 11 looming. Wednesday was almost like a tune-up for Thursday, with many of the overall leaders sticking together.
Evans attempted to make a run past Wiggins and his Sky team, but he was unable to put a dent into the lead of Wiggins
After the race, Wiggins sounded incredibly pleased with the way Wednesday played out (via Richard Williams of Guardian.uk): “It all went to the script today. We were waiting for it to come, and it worked out.”
General Classification Leaderboard (Courtesy letour.fr)
1. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, 43:59:02
2. Cadel Evans, BMC Racing, +01:53
3. Christopher Froome, Sky, +02:07
4. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale, +02:23
5. Denis Menchov, Katusha, +03:02
6. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre, RadioShack-Nissan, +03:19
7. Maxime Monfort, RadioShack-Nissan, +04:23
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto-Belisol, +04:48
9. Nicolas Roche, AG2R La Mondiale, +05:29
10.Tejay van Garderen, BMC Racing, +05:31
Today’s event was rather uneventful, with no major crashes to speak of.
The top 10 of the overall standings stayed relatively the same, as only a few riders were able to gain ground on the top riders.
It was a treat to see the emotional finish of Voeckler, who looked to be KO’ed from the Tour after suffering a knee injury during the first week. Give him plenty of credit for powering through and emerging victorious.
This is where things get interesting.
The path through Stage 11 takes the riders through two outside classification mountains and a Category 1 mountaintop to finish the race.
There are three mountains that stand at 1,600 meters or more on deck Thursday, in a stage that will really test the power and endurance of the contestants.
This is a course where we could see a drastic change among the top 10 on the leaderboard.