Despite Punishing Fall, Pierre Rolland Emerges Victorious At Stage 11 Of The Tour De France

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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.

“I’d been dreaming about this stage for six months. I got all sorts of messages this morning saying ’It’s your turn, it’s your turn,’” Rolland said. “My second victory in the Alps in two years — I don’t have the words to describe the feeling.”

Further back in the pack, there was plenty of drama with the overall race leader and the top contenders. Oakley rider Bradley Wiggins cruised in the peloton surrounded by his Team Sky teammates for most of the day. On his back tire for most of the stage, defending champion, Cadel Evans, of Team BMC, gave Wiggins a run for his money early. Guided by his teammate in the white jersey, Tejay Van Garderen, Evans hoped to make up some time in the general classification standings. Unfortunately for Evans, Wiggins was being paced by his Kenyan-born teammate, Chris Froome, who has proven already he means business, after winning Stage 7. At the end of the day, the Team Sky duo proved too much for the BMC boys, crossing the finish line in third and fourth place respectively, over a minute earlier, dragging a much-improved Frank Schleck, of RadioShack-Nissan behind them for fifth.

The rapid finish by the Team Sky Pro Racing duo had huge implications on the overall individual time classification standings. Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, already in the maillot jaune, increased his lead over perpetual challenger, Cadel Evans to three minutes, 19 seconds. Chris Froome’s gritty performance propelled him into second place in the overall standings, sending Evans down to forth. Fellow Oakley rider, Tejay Van Garderen will remain in the white jersey, as the best young rider, for yet another day as he outlasted Thibaut Pinot, his next closest competitor. While the Team Sky riders crossed the finish line together, RadioShack-Nissan had another day of impressive riding, remaining atop the team classification leaderboard.

Congratulations to Pierre Rolland and all the other Oakley riders on another impressive day at the Tour de France. Stage 12 begins not far from the finish line of today’s race and will cover 226km. It includes two first category climbs before finishing in a first time stage town – Annonay Davezieux. Best of luck to all of the riders as they depart from the Alps.

1.GBR WIGGINS Bradley 101 SKY PROCYCLING 48h 43’ 53’’
2.GBR FROOME Christopher 105 SKY PROCYCLING 48h 45’ 58’’ + 02’ 05’’
3.ITA NIBALI Vincenzo 51 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 48h 46’ 16’’ + 02’ 23’’
4.AUS EVANS Cadel 1 BMC RACING TEAM 48h 47’ 12’’ + 03’ 19’’
5.BEL VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 111 LOTTO-BELISOL 48h 48’ 41’’ + 04’ 48’’
6.ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar 19 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 48h 50’ 08’’ + 06’ 15’’
7.USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay 9 BMC RACING TEAM 48h 50’ 50’’ + 06’ 57’’
8.SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez 181 ASTANA PRO TEAM 48h 51’ 23’’ + 07’ 30’’
9.FRA ROLLAND Pierre 29 TEAM EUROPCAR 48h 52’ 24’’ + 08’ 31’’
10.FRA PINOT Thibaut 146 FDJ-BIGMAT 48h 52’ 44’’ + 08’ 51’’
11.GER KLÖDEN Andréas 15 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 48h 53’ 22’’ + 09’ 29’’
12.LUX SCHLECK Frank 11 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 48h 53’ 38’’ + 09’ 45’’
13.IRL ROCHE Nicolas 79 AG2R LA MONDIALE 48h 54’ 42’’ + 10’ 49’’1
4.FRA COPPEL Jérôme 91 SAUR-SOJASUN 48h 55’ 20’’ + 11’ 27’’
15.USA HORNER Chris 14 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 48h 56’ 34’’ + 12’ 41’’