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The Day Andy Conquered the Galibier
22 Jul, 2011

The brothers Schleck stamped their mark on the Tour de France by finishing an incredible one-two on the Queen Stage of the 2011 Tour de France. Andy Schleck soloed to victory atop the Galibier in a magnificent display of strength and defiance. Sixty kilometers from the mountaintop finish, Andy broke away from the other race favorites on Col dIzoard and stayed away to the line.

I like to have a plan, said Andy. I like it even more when it works out like this.  This is by far the most beautiful win of my career. The team has done incredible work so far in the Tour, and I dedicate the victory to them.

Two minutes back, Frnk Schleck finished second after jumping from a group of four that included Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and the hard working Cadel Evans (BMC) who time trialled up the Galibier at the head of the chase with the Australian receiving little or no help from his rivals,

The time the brothers picked up today translated to real movement on the general classification. Andys brave move propelled him into second overall, 15 seconds outside the race lead. Frnk remains in third place, now 53 seconds behind his brother. 

I said before that I wanted to come alive on the Galibier, Andy said. We are in a perfect position for Alpe dHuez. Im second overall, and Im ready to go again tomorrow. I will look for more opportunities to attack. I want to prolong the efforts from today and increase my time gap before the tough time trial on Saturday. 

More than half the peloton, 89 of 168 riders, didn't make the cut the top within the time limit.  They could have been eliminated, but the race jury exercised its option of keeping them in the race.  Each rider in the group lost 20 points in the points ranking, including green jersey Mark Cavendish.  He now has 300 points, with Joaquin Jose Rojas (Movistar), who finished within the time limit and thus lost no points, in second place in the ranking with 285 points.

Click to enlarge...

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