Stage 10 of the 2011 Tour de France is up and down for its entire route with a number of categorized climbs, but almost guarantees a bunch sprint, one of the last opportunities for the likes of Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi to get a win before the race hits the Champs-Elysees. With a new yellow jersey, a strong green jersey leader in Phillipe Gilbert and the showdown on Luz Ardiden looming, these two days of transition are going to offer some exciting racing.
And exited he should be. On a long day in a fast breakaway, Thomas Voeckler has again taken the yellow jersey, his first since 2004 when he held onto yellow for a full ten days before having it wretched away from him by an unstoppable Lance Armstrong. For the majority of that week and a half, the very, very French Voeckler courageously surprised all the experts by fighting to hold the Golden Fleece, even on high mountain stages that saw him lose chunks of time to the GC favorites like Armstrong. Voeckler became a French national hero, a legacy he has cemented by replacing his 2010 French national champion jersey (which he lost this year to Sylvain Chavanel) with his second run in yellow.