Friday 6 December 2019

Voeckler takes scenic route

Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen more than made up for his stinging defeat on Tuesday with a fine solo victory yesterday, while yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler emerged unscathed after a hair-raising skid off-road on a perilous high-speed descent.

Attempting to chase an increasingly aggressive Alberto Contador on a narrow, twisting and badly cambered descent, Voeckler misjudged a sweeping left-hand bend and, after a two-wheeled jump down a further drop, came to rest -- miraculously upright -- in a paved garden.

The Europcar rider managed to regain contact with a chasing group containing double Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.

Contador, however, was long gone, and the Spaniard, together with the Schleck brothers Andy and Frank, Samuel Sanchez and Cadel Evans, gained nearly 30 seconds on the Frenchman. Voeckler emphasised afterwards that he could not be disappointed, because "I'm lucky not to be in an ambulance".

"When I realised I wasn't going to get round the corner, I realised I would have to jump and then I almost closed my eyes. I opened them again, saw I was still in one piece, saw the race was still going on and got back into it."

Voeckler said it had been his fault he had spun off the road -- in a carbon copy of a skid into the same garden by fellow Frenchman Jonathan Hivert a few minutes earlier -- because he had been riding too fast.

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