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Sprint finish: Voeckler takes 10th stage

The Frenchman gains the polka dot jersey while Britain’s Bradley Wiggins holds onto yellow after today’s race into the Alps.

Mark Cavendish of Britain adjusts his helmet as he rides in the pack during the 10th stage.
Mark Cavendish of Britain adjusts his helmet as he rides in the pack during the 10th stage.
Image: Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association Images

Result: THOMAS VOECKLER CLINCHED the 10th stage of the Tour de France in front of his home fans today.

The Frenchman recorded a third career stage win after the 194.5km ride from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, finishing in a time of 04:46: 26 – three seconds quicker than second-placed Michele Scarponi with German Jens Voigt a further four seconds back.

Here’s how it happened: The 33-year-old Team Europcar rider was part of a 25-man breakaway which went clear early on before five riders shook off the rest in the closing stages.

In the run-in, Voeckler and Voigt chased down Dries Devenyns and, 1.5kms out, Voeckler went in front and held on to the end.

Italian contender Vincenzo Nibali had attempted to attack Britain’s Bradley Wiggins on the descent from Grand Colombier by building up a minute lead but was caught at the base of the final climb some 20km out and Wiggins retains the yellow jersey.

The big winner: Voeckler. Having spent 10 days in the yellow jersey during last year’s race, he suffered a series of set-backs this time out – injuring his knee and suffering a number of crashes in the first week. Today was one to remember, however.

I really didn’t think I would win the stage until I was about five metres from the finish line,” a beaming Voekler told AFP. ”I was in extreme pain at the end. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew the others were feeling the same.”

Who’s wearing what jersey?

  • Yellow (Overall): Bradley Wiggins
  • Green (Points): Peter Sagan
  • Polka-Dot (Mountains): Thomas Voeckler
  • White (Young Rider): Tejay Van Garderen

What about the Irish? Nicholas Roche finished in 14th place, 3:16 behind Voeckler, while Dan Martin was down in 90th.

So what happens tomorrow then? Thursday’s 148km 11th stage, takes the peloton from Albertville over 73 km of climbing to the summit of La Toussuire ski station.

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Ben Blake

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