I expected the favorites to make a move, and they did, however the aggressive move by Contador and Sanchez didn’t distance the Schlecks, as they time trialed their way back to them and caught up with them. They finished in the same time, so Contador didn’t really get any time on them. However, this did put a lot of pressure on the peloton, and actually forced Voeckler to make some key mistakes on the way down the Côte de Pramartino. He misread one corner, the same corner that caused Hivert to crash a few minutes earlier, and went into the same car park as Hivert. While Voeckler didn’t crash, he lost precious time on the Schlecks, Contador and Evans (27″). It was strange because he lost time on the descent, not the climb.
The effort that Contador and Sanchez put in was substantial, however the Schlecks were in a small group, so they might actually try and break Contador tomorrow. They don’t have much time left, because there are only two stages left before the time trial in Grenoble.
The stage was the first in the Alps of this year, and it was definitely interesting. For once, the favorites really got into it, something that we have seen before, thanks to the two-pronged attack of the Schlecks on Contador. However, it didn’t work out as planned, as this time around, Contador was relentless in his attacks. He failed a bunch of times before succeeding in getting away. Evans and Sanchez were hot on his wheel while Andy Schleck dropped back to the peloton. His brother Frank paced the Leopard Trek boys home. It was a disaster for Leopard Trek, and an all out win for BMC, as Evans sped away from even Contador in the last few kilometers of this stage. The GC has barely changed, but this bodes well for this week. The favorites seem to have forgotten that Voeckler has the maillot jaune and will continue to wear it with a good lead.