Another day in the high mountains for the riders on stage 17 which was 143.5kms long and from Bagnères-de-Luchon to the mountain-top finish at Peyragudes.
Monfort (RNT), Taaramae (COF), Plaza (MOV), Valverde (MOV), Voeckler (EUC), Rolland (EUC), Martin (GRS), Peraud (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Feillu (SAU), Jeandesboz (SAU), Vanendert (LTB) Menchov (KAT), Trofimov (KAT), Casar (FDJ), Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff (AST) and Leipheimer (OPQ got away early and it was no surprise that King Of The Mountains leader Tommy Voeckler took the points on the first climb of the day at the category-one Col de Mente.
Vincenzo Nibali who is third in the General Classification behind Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome attacked and got clear but after shaking hands with Valverde he waited for the peloton to make up the 25 seconds.
Voeckler (EUC), Martinez (EUS), Nibali (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Casar (FDJ), Valverde (MOV), Costa (MOV) and Kessiakoff (AST) took over on the front.
With 88kms gone, the escapers went over the summit of the Col des Ares on the D816, some 1.50 ahead of the peloton and for the sixth climb in a row, Thomas Voeckler was the first man over.
With 30kms to go, Valverde of Movistar made his move and rode away to win.