Recent Tour de France News
French rider Pierrick Fedrigo collected his fourth career Tour de France stage victory on Monday and his second in Pau. The 158.5km (99-mile) Stage 15 from Samatan to Pau was mostly flat, leading most race followers to believe that sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel would be racing for the stage victory. This wasn’t the case however; as a lead group of six riders (not including the aforementioned sprinters) went out from the get go, ultimately leaving Fedrigo and Garmin-Sharp’s Christian Vande Velde to fight it out for the sprint finish. With 200-meters to go, Fedrigo took off and Vande Velde could not counter.
As NBC’s Tour de France commentator, Phil Liggett said during Friday’s Stage 12, “About 99 times out of 100, the lead group gets caught by the peloton (before the finish line).” David Millar, of the Garmin-Sharp team, wanted Friday’s race to be that one time out of 100. The Scottish rider shot out with a group of four other men roughly 15km into the longest stage of the Tour. The fivesome lead the race for over 211km, a feat in itself. With less than 1km left in the race, Millar made his move. Only Jean-Christophe Peraud could counter, but in the end, Millar had the strength for the victory, edging Peraud at the finish line. Millar’s win was the 35th victory of his career, the fourth stage win of this year’s Tour for British riders and the American Garmin-Sharp team’s first of the 2012 Tour de France.
The old adage goes: “If you fall, get up and try again.” French Europcar rider Pierre Rolland was a shining example of getting back up and trying again in Thursday’s Stage 11 of the Tour de France. The young cyclist was in the lead group of three riders on the final decent of the grueling Stage 11 when he misjudged a turn and went sliding to the ground. With his left hip torn open and blood spilling from his left elbow, Rolland exhibited the gutsiest performance of the day, pedaling himself back up to the lead. Rolland, sporting a custom pair of Oakley Radar Path sunglasses with True Digital prescription lenses, caught the two in front of him and shot out to a commanding 59-second lead, ultimately cruising to the victory. His win at La Toussuire, was his second Tour de France stage victory and marked back-to-back French/Team Europcar victories, as Thomas Voeckler won the 10th stage just a day before.