Edvald Boassen Hagen made it two in a row for Norway, winning Wednesday's stage 17 a day after finishing second to countryman Thor Hushovd on stage 16. The victory is Boassen Hagen's second this year and brings Norway's 2011 Tour de France total to four. Stage 17, which featured two climbs on the race's second stage in the Alps, saw no major changes in GC standings as major contenders Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador, Samuel Sanchez, and the Schleck brothers finished together. Contador, whose coach Bjarne Riis believes is in career-best form, attacked on the day's final category two climb up Côte de Pramartino but was reeled in on the descent and flat final kilometer. Race leader Thomas Voeckler lost no ground climbing Côte de Pramartino but nearly crashed twice on the descent, eventually losing 27 seconds. Elsewhere, Alexandr Kolobnov's B-sample from a test recorded on stage six came back positive. He faces a two-year ban. Stage 18 will be a day for the true climbers: it features a mountain-top finish and two HC climbs, including a 24-kilometer ascent of the Col Agnel, at 9,002 feet the highest peak in this year's race.
Read more at Velo News
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