Hushovd smashes breakaway for second stage win

Gap is a good place for riders who like to toil off the front of the bunch and once again the day's break produced the stage winner, with Thor Hushovd prevailing in the city at the base of the Alps. It was his second victory in this year's Tour and came after a massive effort in the day's escape group.

The Garmin-Cervélo rider managed to take his place in the much-anticipated move off the front of the peloton – which was at a premium today – and benefited from the presence of his teammate Ryder Hesjedal in the finale to overcome countryman Edvald Boasson Hagen, with the Canadian in third.

It was also the second time the two Norwegians finished in the top three on a stage, after Boasson Hagen's stage win in Lisieux 12 days ago, when Hushovd finished third.

"It's unreal," said Hushovd after the finish. "It started well with the team time trial and seven days in the yellow jersey, then I won the stage alone and now I've won the stage today against my countryman and with my teammate Hesjedal behind me.

"I was thinking that it was a bit like a national championships, which is incredible. We're the only two Norwegians in the race and we're fighting it out for the win."

Hesjedal was a vital support in the final 10km and in particular the last three kilometres, where he made life very difficult for Boasson Hagen.

"It wasn't that complicated in the finale; it was two against one and Thor and Edvald are a lot faster than me," said Hesjedal after the stage. "I just had to keep the pace high and it was up to me to ensure Thor had the best chance at the finish.

"It was an unreal day – so hard from the start – but we showed that there's no better team than Garmin-Cervélo in terms of teamwork. Four stage wins and it keeps getting better," he added.

It was also the day Cadel Evans showed what he's got in terms of the general classification, joining Alberto Contador and Samuel Sanchez in a late-stage move that netted the Australian time over his closest rivals – Ivan Basso, Andy and Frank Schleck plus Thomas Voeckler – ahead of the next few days in the Alps, where the overall title fight will become intensify.

Evans is well poised overall and now sits 1:45 behind Thomas Voeckler, with the elder Schleck a further four seconds back and his younger brother facing a deficit of 3:03 to the race leader and a massive task ahead of him in the coming days.

Better late than never

After two weeks of hectic racing the peloton was hesitant to end its rest day as it took over 100km for the day's break to finally flee the bunch. Despite numerous attempts there was no consensus on who should be in the move until finally a group got away with about 60km remaining in the stage.

The chosen few were: Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo), Alan Perez Lezaun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervélo), Dries Devenyns (Quickstep), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ).

With the cord finally broken, the break had an advantage of 1:03 with 56km remaining; a nature break allowed the escapees to gain a more comprehensive gap on the peloton and a kilometre later it had grown by 50 seconds. And with 52 clicks to the finish that had blown out to 3:17, continuing to grow rapidly.

Consequently, the gap hit six minutes with 45km before the finish in Gap until Ignatiev, tried his luck flying solo with 20km to go before the day's final climb, similar to his effort in stage 15, although with so much quality on his tail the move wasn't going to reap rewards. Devenyns ensured that would be the case.

Hesjedal picked up where Ignatiev and Devenyns left off, maintaining the electric tempo at the head of the break and eyeing the teams fourth stage win in what has been a productive run for Garmin-Cervélo at this year's Tour.

Once, twice, three times the champion

With 15km to go and with the focus on the break, defending champion Alberto Contador took the opportunity to attack the bunch as it hit the day's final climb. It forced the big names from BMC Racing and Leopard-Trek plus maillot jaune Voeckler into action.

And with Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, Samuel Sanchez and Voeckler keeping Contador company the move didn't achieve what the Spaniard had maybe hoped, although in reality it was never going to be a killer blow with so many rivals keeping themselves so close to the Saxo Bank-Sungard captain.

Not content with the result of his previous sortie, several kilometres later Contador was at it again, forcing Evans, Schleck, Sanchez and Voeckler to chase hard for a second time. The attack had more venom to it this time and consequently only the Australian and Euskaltel-Euskadi captain could follow. The former took over the pace making in an attempt to drop the race leader and Leopard-Trek's Luxembourger brothers.

Ahead of the theatrics, Hesjedal continued his lone run to the line in the atrocious conditions, although Boasson Hagen, keen to grab another stage win, and his countryman Hushovd – also with a victory under his belt this Tour – were hot on his heels and caught the Canadian on the descent with nine kilometres remaining.

Showing all of the climbing prowess and daring that have netted him six grand tour victories, Contador hit Sanchez and Evans with another attack – his third of the afternoon – to make life just a little more difficult for the pair, although they demonstrated they were up to the task and stayed with the defending champion.

Stand up, Mr Evans…

On the descent of the Col de Manse it was Evans looking more suited to the title of champion elect however, pushing hard downhill to gain more than 30 seconds on the likes of Fränk Schleck and Voeckler, while brother Andy was timid on the descent and finished 48 seconds back, ushered to the line by teammate Maxime Monfort.

"I wasn't expecting so much [splitting] on the climb; I was prepared for everything on the downhill because it was a little bit dangerous and so on," said Evans after the finish. "Last year when we came here I had a broken arm and that downhill really scared me.

"This year I was up front, alone, followed the moves and the guys – George [Hincapie] and Burghy [Marcus Burghardt] got me in the right position at the bottom of the second last climb. From there I just had to play my cards right… It's all a bit of a blur right now but I think it was a good move and a good day."

At the head of proceedings, Hushovd was torn; he had to counter the threat of young countryman and friend Boasson Hagen whilst trying to protect his own interests and those of teammate Hesjedal. The younger Norwegian tried his luck with 2.5km remaining and entering the final kilometre the trio remained together.

After Hesjedal had opened the sprint in the final 500 metres it was always going to be the two Norwegians fighting for line honours and it was the more experienced, reigning world champion, who took the prize, his second of the 2011 Tour de France.

About three minutes later, and approaching the final three kilometres, Evans decided it was time to further stamp his authority on this year's Tour by going alone and attacking on the flat, leaving Contador and Sanchez scratching their heads and forcing Leopard-Trek to its panic station in an attempt to minimise the losses for both Schlecks.

Whilst he maintained his rage until the line and gained only three seconds over Contador, it was a clear message that he'll be a solid force in the coming days as the Tour de France reaches a crescendo with stern Alpine tests and the Grenoble time trial before the final day in Paris.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo3:31:38
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:02
4Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:00:38
5Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:52
6Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:25
7Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJRow 6 - Cell 2
8Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:55
9Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana0:01:58
11Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:04:23
12Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard0:04:26
13Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:44
15Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 14 - Cell 2
16Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 15 - Cell 2
17Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-HighroadRow 16 - Cell 2
18Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 20 - Cell 2
22Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard TrekRow 21 - Cell 2
23Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 25 - Cell 2
27Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJRow 26 - Cell 2
28Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:05:02
29Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team0:05:17
30Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 29 - Cell 2
31Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 30 - Cell 2
32Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 32 - Cell 2
34Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 33 - Cell 2
35Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek0:05:32
36Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard TrekRow 35 - Cell 2
37Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioShackRow 36 - Cell 2
38Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 37 - Cell 2
39Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 38 - Cell 2
40Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:18
41David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 41 - Cell 2
43Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad0:06:48
44Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team RadioShack0:06:54
45Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 44 - Cell 2
46Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:07:05
47Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Katusha Team0:07:12
48Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:07:21
49Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 48 - Cell 2
50Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 49 - Cell 2
51Yuriy Trofimov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:07:26
53Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 52 - Cell 2
54Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Pro Team AstanaRow 53 - Cell 2
55Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 54 - Cell 2
56Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJRow 55 - Cell 2
57Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 56 - Cell 2
58Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 58 - Cell 2
60Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 59 - Cell 2
61Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 60 - Cell 2
62George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:07:34
65Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek0:08:08
66Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 65 - Cell 2
67Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 66 - Cell 2
68Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShackRow 67 - Cell 2
69Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 68 - Cell 2
70Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 69 - Cell 2
71Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Jens Voigt (Ger) Leopard TrekRow 71 - Cell 2
73Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 72 - Cell 2
74Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team0:08:43
75Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:47
76Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:09:12
77David Loosli (Swi) Lampre - ISD0:09:22
78Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 77 - Cell 2
79Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:09:59
80Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-HighroadRow 79 - Cell 2
81Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 80 - Cell 2
82Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:10:35
83Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 82 - Cell 2
84Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 83 - Cell 2
85Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team0:12:14
86Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 87 - Cell 2
89Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 88 - Cell 2
90Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 90 - Cell 2
92Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 91 - Cell 2
93Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard TrekRow 93 - Cell 2
95Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:12:18
96Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:12:30
97Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 96 - Cell 2
98Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 98 - Cell 2
100Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana0:14:02
101Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 100 - Cell 2
102Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 101 - Cell 2
103Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShackRow 103 - Cell 2
105David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 104 - Cell 2
106Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD0:14:14
107Christian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 106 - Cell 2
108Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:15:06
109Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 108 - Cell 2
110Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 109 - Cell 2
111Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 112 - Cell 2
114Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team AstanaRow 113 - Cell 2
115Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 114 - Cell 2
116Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 115 - Cell 2
117André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 116 - Cell 2
118Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 117 - Cell 2
119Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 118 - Cell 2
120Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 119 - Cell 2
121Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 120 - Cell 2
122José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
123Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJRow 122 - Cell 2
124Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISDRow 124 - Cell 2
126Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 125 - Cell 2
127Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 126 - Cell 2
128Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 128 - Cell 2
130Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 129 - Cell 2
131Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 130 - Cell 2
132Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 131 - Cell 2
133Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 132 - Cell 2
134Ben Swift (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 133 - Cell 2
135Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard TrekRow 135 - Cell 2
137Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 136 - Cell 2
138Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 137 - Cell 2
139Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 138 - Cell 2
140Danny Pate (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 139 - Cell 2
141Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:15:25
144Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 143 - Cell 2
145Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 145 - Cell 2
147Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJRow 146 - Cell 2
148Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 147 - Cell 2
149Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 148 - Cell 2
150Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 149 - Cell 2
151Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 150 - Cell 2
152Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 151 - Cell 2
153Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 152 - Cell 2
154Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Team RadioShackRow 153 - Cell 2
155Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 154 - Cell 2
156Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 155 - Cell 2
157Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 156 - Cell 2
158Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 157 - Cell 2
159Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 158 - Cell 2
160Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
161David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 160 - Cell 2
162Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 161 - Cell 2
163Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 162 - Cell 2
164Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
165Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 164 - Cell 2
166Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 165 - Cell 2
167Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:15:36
168Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar0:15:51
169Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 168 - Cell 2
170Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:16:47
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo30pts
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling25Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo22Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad19Row 3 - Cell 3
5Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team17Row 4 - Cell 3
6Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi15Row 5 - Cell 3
7Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ13Row 6 - Cell 3
8Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team11Row 7 - Cell 3
9Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team9Row 8 - Cell 3
10Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana7Row 9 - Cell 3
11Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team6Row 10 - Cell 3
12Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard5Row 11 - Cell 3
13Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi4Row 12 - Cell 3
14Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2Row 14 - Cell 3
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Intermediate sprint - Veynes, km. 117.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team20pts
2Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo13Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Col de Manse - 151.0 Km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo5pts
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling3Row 1 - Cell 3