Pierre Rolland confirmed his huge talent and gave Colnago a second consecutive stage victory at the Tour de France by conquering the Alps and his breakaway rivals to win the stage to La Toussuire.
Thomas Voeckler was the first rider to win at the Tour de France on the new Colnago C59 Team Edition bike on Wednesday. His victory inspired his younger French teammate and Rolland won riding a Colnago M10 S in Team Edition colors. Rolland celebrated victory by lifting his Colnago above his head just after crossing the line.
Rolland attacked on the first climb of the short but testing stage, the Col de la Madeleine, and got across to the break of the day with teammate Christophe Kern. Davide Malacarne was already in the move, giving Team Europcar the power to force the breakaway clear. Kern worked hard to help Rolland on the Col de la Croix de Fer, reducing the break to just a few riders.
Rolland crashed on the testing descent of the Col du Mollard but picked himself up and battled on, determined to win. He caught the riders in front on the early part of the climb to the finish and fought back the pain as he was cheered to victory by the French crowd along the roadside.
“This stage had become a nightmare for me. I’ve been dreaming about it for six months. I really went for it but I didn’t have the legs and only won because of my mental strength,” Rolland said.
“Last year I won the stage to L’Alpe d’Huez thanks to my tactics. But this time I was the favourite in the breakaway. I’ve been so unlucky in this Tour de France but I didn’t let it get to me and was determined to win.”
Thanks to his incredible performance, Rolland also moved up into the top ten overall in the Tour de France. He is now ninth, 8:31 behind overall race leader Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky.