It was Voeckler's second stage win this year and fourth overall. He pulled away in the final climb up Col de Peyresourde and cruised down the mountain for the final 9 miles overcoming the field and temperatures that soared into the 90s Fahrenheit.
The route included two uncharacterized climbs and a pair of Category 1 climbs. It was during the final climb that Voeckler separated himself from the other riders but he was first to reach the summit of each of the four climbs Wednesday.
He completed the 122.4-mile run from Pau through the Pyrenees to Bagneres-de-Luchon in 5 hours, 35 minutes, 1 second. Chris Anker Sorensen finished second, 1 minute, 40 seconds behind Voeckler and Gorka Izaguirre and Alexandre Vinokourov were both timed 3:22 back of Voeckler in finishing third and fourth, respectively.
The top riders in the overall classification rode much of Wednesday as a three-man group and crossed in the Top 10 for the stage. That left overall leader Bradley Wiggins with a 2 minute, 5 second-lead over Christopher Froome with Vincenzo Nibali in third, 2:23 off the pace.
Thursday's Stage 17 begins at Bagneres-de-Luchon and concludes at the ski resort of Peyragudes. The riders must cover 89.2 miles in the mountains.
The route involves two Category 1 climbs -- the second right at the race's end -- and one uncharacterized climb about two-thirds of the way through the stage. The final climb covers 9.5 miles at a 5.1 percent grade to the finish line.
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