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Tour de France 2012 Results: Stage 17 Victory Goes To Alejandro Valverde Of Movistar

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The 2012 Tour de France continued on Thursday with a daunting ride from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Peyragudes in Stage 17, and Alejandro Valverde of Movistar emerged with the top time of the day. He edged out overall leaders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome of Team Sky Procycling.

Wiggins still has the yellow jersey, but as Chris Fontecchio of Podium Cafe points out, Valverde would not be denied the stage victory on Thursday:

Valverde attacked before the top of the penultimate climb, the Port de Bales, past his teammate Rui Costa and Euskaltel's Egoi Martinez, then managed to gain enough time to hold on, despite nearly cracking before the stage flattened out in the last kilometer.

The only riders capable of possibly reeling in the Spaniard were overall leaders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome of Sky, and Froome seemed quite keen to do so, urging his yellow-clad captain to grab his wheel for a final surge. Wiggins could only just do so, by which time it was too late, leaving the stage to Valverde and denying Froome the chance for glory.

Here is how the top-10 standings look for Stage 17 (click here for complete standings):

Pos. Rider Time Gap
1 Alejandro Valverde 04h 12' 11''
2 Christopher Froome 04h 12' 30'' + 00' 19''
3 Bradley Wiggins 04h 12' 30'' + 00' 19''
4 Thibaut Pinot 04h 12' 33'' + 00' 22''
5 Pierre Rolland 04h 12' 37'' + 00' 26''
6 Jurgen Van Den Broeck 04h 12' 37'' + 00' 26''
7 Vincenzo Nibali 04h 12' 48'' + 00' 37''
8 Tejay Van Garderen 04h 13' 05'' + 00' 54''
9 Christopher Horner 04h 13' 13'' + 01' 02''
10 Daniel Martin 04h 13' 22'' + 01' 11''

For more information on this stage, including maps and other route details, check out the Tour's website.

For more on the Tour de France, please be sure to check out cycling blog Podium Cafe and SB Nation Chicago for all the latest news and updates. More coverage can be found in SB Nation's Tour de France StoryStream.