[19.07 18:25] There was no place to hide on today’s 143 kilometer long 17th stage of Tour de France where five grueling mountain tops challenged the peloton. Already on the first climb, a large group including Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Dane, Chris Anker Sørensen broke clear but an early chasing Team Sky who ripped the pack apart a large number of riders were parked on the very first slope with 120 kilometers to go.
The group was neutralized shortly before reaching the first summit and on the descent, a new and smaller group was allowed to cruise away and was soon shadowed by a chase group including Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank climber, Chris Anker Sørensen. On the descent, Liquigas’ Vincenzo Nibali was in the front group but sat up and waited for the field to inhale him.
In the front, Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Dane, Chris Anker Sørensen was unfortunate to get his fingers caught in the front wheel and was forced to drop back to the field where he was yo-yoing back and forth.
Up the road, Rui Costa (Movistar) soloed his way towards the top of Port de Bales as a launching pad for teammate, Alejandro Valverde who flew right by him and was alone at the foot of the final climb where the rest of the escapees were towed in by a hard-working Liquigas led by Ivan Basso.
On the final kilometers of the stage, the leading rider Bradley Wiggins and teammate, Chris Froome went to the front of the small group of favorites and created the crucial gap to all other contenders demonstrating their absolute dominance of the race but Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took the stage win followed by Team Sky’s Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.
Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s Chris Anker Sørensen had an extremely unfortunate day on this final mountain stage:
“Chris had the misfortune of getting a newspaper stuck in his front wheel and as he tried to get rid of it with his left hand, he had some deep cuts in his ring finger and little finger that were bandaged during the stage. After consultancy with the race surgeon, we’re now rushing to the hospital in Toulouse where he’s to undergo surgery on his fingers. It’s still too early to determine whether or or not he’ll be on the start line tomorrow,” says press officer, Anders Damgaard.