PINEROLO, Italy — Defending champ Alberto Contador couldn't shake his multiple shadows on a dangerous descent in the Tour de France's first day in the Alps, but yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler of France got a taste of the sharp end of the race, losing time to almost all the big contenders.
Contador made repeated attempts to break away, hoping to emulate the gains the Spaniard made over brothers Andy and Frank Schleck a day earlier. But he finished alongside the brothers from Luxembourg, Australian Cadel Evans and Spain's Samuel Sanchez.
Only Voeckler, who dropped back after several mistakes on the final descent, and Italy's Ivan Basso lost time. Voeckler still holds the yellow jersey of race leader, but now it's only 1 minute 18 seconds over Evans.
"I tried to attack in the downhill because I wanted to gain some seconds, and instead, I lost some. But that's my style: to try," said Voeckler.
The 17th stage, 111 miles across the Alps from Gap to the Italian town of Pinerolo, was won by Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen, his second victory of the race.