Ryder attacks up Alpe d’Huez as Garmin defends top-10, GC lead
Garmin-Cervélo kept all their top GC riders in good position in the 109.5km stage. Danielson and Hesjedal rode with the Evans chase group over the Galibier summit while Christian Vande Velde was well-positioned in the yellow jersey group.
Danielson and Hejsedal erased a 31-second gap on the descent to regain contact with the attacking Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck to form a 14-rider grow to set up an exciting duel up the 21 switchbacks on cycling’s most famous climb.
Hesjedal shot out in a daring attack at the base of Alpe d’Huez and later helped pace Danielson to the line.
Vande Velde later crossed the line 19th to strengthen the team’s grip on the team classification with just two stages left to go.
Garmin-Cervélo now leads Ag2r-La Mondiale by 11:58. With a strong time trial performance Saturday, the team is poised to lock up the prestigious team classification.
The 98th Tour continues Saturday with the penultimate stage in the 43.5km individual time trial at Grenoble.
The rolling course will provide Garmin-Cervélo with a chance to seal its GC standing going into Sunday’s finale down the Champs-Élysées, when Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd will have another shot at victory.