91st Tour de France - July 3-25, 2004
& Results Stage
Profile Complete Live
Stage 11 - Thursday July 15: St Flour - Figeac, 164 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney and
Latest live report
Live coverage starts: 12:35 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:46 CEST
A short and difficult stage with hardly any flat road, today's stage starts
in Saint Flour. Not all of the today's climbs are all that steep, but the constant
undulating could cause a few splits in the peloton. The riders that suffered
yesterday will be finding it hard to recover over this particular stage, with
the constant attacks expected. It will be the brave and aggressive riders that
conquer this stage. The finish line is located in Figeac.
Today's stage contains five categorised climbs: Cote des Ternes (Cat. 4, 1.4
km at 7.1% after 6.5 km), Cote de Therondels (Cat. 3, 3.8 km at 5.1% after 48.5
km), Cote de Mur-de-Barrez (Cat. 4. 2.3 km at 5.4% after 62 km), Cote de Montsalvy
(8 km at 6% after 99.5 km) and Cote de Bagnac (Cat. 4, 1.2 km at 7.8% after
148 km). There's also a 4 km climb averaging 3% with 10 km to go to the finish,
but this is not categorised. The last 500m is uphill as well.
There are only two intermediate sprints today, at Montsalvy (103.5 km) and Maurs
The weather is perfect: It's warm and sunny with little wind, and temperatures
are expected to reach 30 degrees towards the end of the stage.
12:42 CEST 1km/163km to go
The peloton has just
ridden raced through the 2.6 km neutral section
before Jean-Marie Leblanc drops the flag on the outskirts of St Flour to officially
start the stage. It's pretty well all uphill from the start, and this is going
to hurt after yesterday.
12:48 CEST 4km/160km to go
It's been a quick start, but the peloton is hanging together after catching
the first attack from Sylvain Calzati (RAGT), Jens Voigt (CSC) and Koos Moerenhout
(Lotto-Domo). The riders are now racing up the Cat. 4 Cote des Ternes. There's
only three points on offer for this climb, so we'll see if Virenque chooses
to go for them to increase his lead in the KOM classification, or save his legs
after yesterday's enormous effort.
12:54 CEST 9km/155km to go
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step), Marcos Serrano
(Liberty), Yuri Krivtsov (Ag2r) and Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) are the next riders
to attack, and it's Wegmann who takes the points on the climb ahead of Mercado
Nicolas Jalabert kicks back
Two riders who didn't start today are Sébastien Hinault (Credit Agricole), who
abandoned yesterday after a crash, and Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile), who crashed
hard on a descent and broke a rib. He finished the stage, but his injuries were
considered too bad to continue.
Photo ©: Chris Henry/CN
12:57 CEST 12km/152km to go
The front group has grown to 20 riders, and Armstrong, Ullrich, Hamilton and
Mayo are all in it. But Voeckler and Virenque are in a second group, chasing
at 15 seconds.
12:58 CEST 15km/149km to go
Jakob Piil (CSC) and Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears) have attacked the
front group, which is still 15 seconds clear of the yellow jersey peloton.
13:01 CEST 17km/147km to go
Voeckler's group is riding hard to catch the front group of 20. The gap is only
8 seconds between the two pelotons. Piil and Garcia Acosta have 5 seconds lead
on the front group.
13:02 CEST 19km/145km to go
It's all come back together after 18 km, but Voeckler would have been a little
13:05 CEST 20km/144km to go
It doesn't take long for a new attack to go, this time with Jens Voigt (CSC),
Xabier Zandio (Illes Balears) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo). They
are joined by Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) and Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole).
Meanwhile, Gerrit Glomser (Saeco) is reported to be in trouble and is off the
back of the peloton along with green jersey wearer Robbie McEwen and Thierry
13:10 CEST 22km/142km to go
US Postal are leading the peloton at the moment, trying to control things in
the midst of all the attacks. The five leaders have 10 seconds.
McEwen and Marichal are still chasing the yellow jersey peloton.
13:14 CEST 25km/139km to go
Yuri Krivstov bridges up to the leaders, but it's come back together again,
save for McEwen and Marichal, who are still chasing.
13:21 CEST 30km/134km to go
Voigt is on a mission today. He attacks again, with Oscar Pereiro (Phonak),
Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel), Vladimir Karpets and Aitor Osa (Illes Balears),
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Dariusz Baranowski (Liberty Seguros) for company.
13:22 CEST 32km/132km to go
...And again the break is caught. Peloton complete after 32 km, including Robbie
13:29 CEST 39km/125km to go
The peloton has covered 39 km so far in this stage, but still no breakaway has
been able to establish itself. The next climb coming up is the Cat. 3 Cote de
Therondels (3.8 km at 5.1%), starting at km 44.
13:33 CEST 43km/121km to go
Nicolas Portal (Ag2r) is now on the move, being chased by Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel),
Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo) and Michael "Dodger" Rogers (Quick.Step-Davitamon).
The quartet have 10 seconds lead over the compact peloton.
13:36 CEST 45km/119km to go
The four leaders have been caught by Jens Voigt (who else?) and Allan Davis
(Liberty), with the peloton back at 15 seconds. The Cote de Therondels is starting
13:45 CEST 48km/116km to go
Andreas Klöden (T-Mobile) has bridged up to the six man break on the climb,
but the peloton catches them just before the top. 47 kilometres have been covered
in the first hour, helped by a moderate wind from the northwest (the stage is
heading southwest today). All the attacks have put pressure on Brioches la Boulangère
and US Postal, who have had to cover the breaks.
13:48 CEST 52km/112km to go
At the top of the climb, it's Richard Virenque who takes the four points ahead
of Christophe Moreau (CA), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel) and Michele Bartoli (CSC).
Egoi Martinez continues on the descent, and is joined by David Moncoutié (Cofidis),
opening up a 15 second lead over the peloton.
13:53 CEST 56km/108km to go
Martinez and Moncoutié have 25 seconds lead on the peloton, with Flecha trying
to bridge up to them. Incredibly, Jens Voigt isn't in the break. The German,
who is probably a little too dangerous to let go, is using the brute force tactic
to get into the escapes today. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
We'll also keep you posted on the cow situation as the stage unfolds, as that's
clearly what's in the forefront of our readers' minds, judging by the emails!
Speaking of cows, Virenque won a cow for his exploit yesterday, and he was presented
it at the start this morning. Apparently there wasn't much room in the Quick.Step
car, so the cow had to be tied to the roof (allegedly).
13:57 CEST 60km/104km to go
Flecha has now joined the two leaders, who have 30 seconds lead on the bunch
at the foot of the Cat. 4 Cote de Mur-de-Barrez. None of the riders present
a threat to Voeckler's treasured maillot jaune, so they might be allowed
a bit of rope. Moncoutié is the best placed on GC in 60th at 18'20 down.
14:01 CEST 62km/102km to go
The lead trio now have a minute on the bunch, and are near the top of the de
Mur-de-Barrez. Brioches and US Postal seem to be content to let them go.
14:04 CEST 64km/100km to go
David Moncoutié wins the points on the climb ahead of Martinez and Flecha. The
peloton has now stepped off the gas and is 2 minutes back.
14:10 CEST 69km/95km to go
The three leaders will start to descend soon, down to the feed zone at Entraygues
(km 88). Then they will tackle the Cat. 2 Cote de Montsalvy.
14:17 CEST 73.5km/90.5km to go
It's up to three minutes now as Flecha, Moncoutié and Martinez work smoothly
together. They're almost in Prentegarde (707m), before dropping down 450m in
10 km to the feed zone.
14:27 CEST 82km/82km to go
The peloton seems to have called a temporary halt to today's proceedings to
address matters particular to "watering the horses". It's hard to think of too
many euphemisms without destroying our PG rating.
Anyway, the three leaders now have 6'10 at halfway.
14:30 CEST 86km/78km to go
The sun is out in full force as Flecha, Martinez and Moncoutié fly down this
10km descent towards the feed zone at km 88. Moncoutié picks up a few water
bottles from the Aquarel moto.
The peloton is fairly relaxed still, led by the fabulous baker boys, Brioches
14:32 CEST 88km/76km to go
It's pretty spectacular country here, with a big ravine on the left side of
the riders on this descent. Certainly no cows around, even special mountain
The leaders have 6'49, and are looking good.
14:36 CEST 90.5km/73.5km to go
The gap is up to 6'53 as the leaders ride on the flat just before the Cat. 2
de Montsalvy (8 km at 6%). Moncoutié is the best placed on GC, at 18'20 down,
so there is no real desire to chase the break yet. The sprinters teams might
think about it after this climb, depending on how knocked about riders like
Boonen and McEwen are. Both were in trouble early in the stage, but are now
in the peloton.
14:38 CEST 92km/72km to go
Martinez does a turn at the foot of the climb with Moncoutié and Flecha on his
wheel, riding at a good tempo with the peloton at 7'10.
The peloton is riding through the Gorges de la Truyere, slowing down at the
feed zone to grab bags of goodies. There aren't so many people out to watch
today, as it's fairly remote country.
Jakob Piil takes a turn off the front of the peloton, but doesn't go hard and
is re caught. Brioches la Boulangère is on the front with three men and Andreas
Klöden and Jan Ullrich sitting right on their wheels.
14:45 CEST 95km/69km to go
McEwen has moved to the front of the peloton to try and avoid getting dropped
on this climb. The scenery is still spectacular, as the bunch rides past the
13th century Chateau d'Entraygues at the foot of the climb, 7'40 behind the
Sylvain Calzati (RAGT) is having problems following the bunch on the climb,
and is tailed off.
14:51 CEST 97km/67km to go
This stage seems to have plenty of flora but is distinctly lacking in fauna.
No cows, no goats, no horses, no dogs. The management apologises for raising
reader expectations too high.
Jimmy Casper is being shelled from the peloton, which now trails Flecha, Martinez
and Moncoutié by 7'48. It looks like these three will go all the way to the
Ullrich looks pretty comfy next to Voeckler. Armstrong is also near the front
of the bunch, keeping an eye on things.
14:54 CEST 98km/66km to go
Although the chase isn't really on, there are still riders being dropped by
the peloton on this 8 km climb, which is on fairly wide roads at the moment.
Aart Vierhouten and JP Nazon are the next to go off the back.
14:56 CEST 99km/65km to go
The three leaders are just 1 km from the summit of the Cote de Montsalvy.
Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) flats, and will have some difficulty in getting
back to the bunch.
Mikel Pradera (Illes Balears), who crashed the other day, is also being dropped.
14:58 CEST 99.5km/64.5km to go
Giuseppe Guerini is off the back too, but it looks like it's for a mechanical
problem as he's quickly coming back to the bunch.
At the top of the climb, it's Moncoutié taking the points ahead of Flecha and
Martinez. 64 km to race with a 7'48 lead and a lot of downhill. These three
should stay clear. No-one else wants to kill themselves on this hot day before
the next two tough Pyrenean stages.
15:01 CEST 102km/62km to go
Voeckler has dropped back in the peloton as his teammates continue the pace
setting. He doesn't look to be in trouble though. It will be very interesting
to see how he handles the next two stages - he's young but he's overcome all
the difficulties so far.
The gap has come down to 7'17. It's not over yet...
15:05 CEST 103.5km/60.5km to go
The three leaders reach the sprint at Montsalvy (km 103.5) with Moncoutié, Martinez
and Flecha crossing in that order.
Meanwhile, Virenque (spotted Dick, anyone?) accelerates from the peloton with
teammate Dufaux following to take the fourth place on the climb, 6'42 behind
the three leaders. Rinero was sixth.
Voeckler has made his way up to the front of the bunch again.
15:08 CEST 105km/59km to go
The leaders are now flying down the 6 km descent, which could be a bit tricky
in this heat. These asphalt roads aren't well known for remaining 100 percent
solid when it gets warm.
15:14 CEST 111km/53km to go
The descent over, the road goes up again for another 7 km and the three leaders
are struggling a bit with 53 km to go. But they have 6'50 lead on the peloton,
which has most of the Brioches team at the front.
By the way, the real Spotted Dick is an English dessert that is basically a
suet pudding with sultanas/raisins in it. Disclaimer: all connotations are the
responsibility of the reader.
15:22 CEST 115km/49km to go
Just under 50 km to go for our three leaders, and as there has been no reaction
from the peloton yet we can assume that they'll probably stay away to the finish.
Flecha has already been in a break in Stage 6, and was the last rider caught
at the now infamous 1 km to go banner. He has a great motor, so we'll see if
he can put it to good use today.
Speaking of fauna, or the lack thereof, Glenn from Texas writes that we should
be looking out for the famous yet elusive Pyrenean Goat Monkeys. Hmm. There
might be one hiding in that tree there, but it's a tricky angle and it could
well be Virenque's cow. Or possibly a gendarme.
15:28 CEST 120km/44km to go
Rous and Charteau take their turns in front of the peloton, keeping a steady
tempo behind the three man break. Up front, Moncoutié looks comfortable while
Flecha asks for a couple of water bottles. With temps of 30 degrees today, it's
going to be crucial to stay hydrated.
7'33 with 44 km to go. They're not going to get caught.
COW ALERT!!! Six cows are on the road in front of the peloton (seriously). But
there is no drama, and the cows trundle along in front for a while, doing a
turn before they get off the road. Charteau and his Brioches teammates chuckle
after surviving being stampeded.
I have been reliably informed that Spotted Dick is suet pudding, not sponge
pudding. My apologies.
15:36 CEST 124km/40km to go
The peloton is unchanged, with Brioches la Boulangère leading followed by US
Postal and T-Mobile, with Armstrong and Ullrich well placed near the front.
It's mooving along 8'04 behind the three man break of Egoi Martinez, David Moncoutié
and Juan Antonio Flecha, who attacked after 49 km and have been in front for
the last 75 km.
The three leaders ride past a couple of fans mounted on donkeys, who loudly
cheer the riders on.
15:42 CEST 128km/36km to go
Voeckler has five of his teammates towing the bunch at the moment, protecting
both him and co-leader Sylvain Chavanel. Today won't really test the strength
of the team, but the heat will take the sting out of their legs before tomorrow.
The aim is to get to the end of today using as little energy as possible.
Armstrong looks fairly comfortable in the bunch as he does a few neck stretches.
Mick Rogers (Quick.Step) is right behind him.
Magnus Bäckstedt (Alessio-Bianchi) has abandoned.
15:45 CEST 131km/33km to go
The speed has picked up a notch in the bunch as it gets to the 40 km to go point,
but the leaders (with over 8 minutes still) are past the 35 km to go, and will
be starting to think about the finale now.
The peloton now passes the two donkeys.
15:48 CEST 132km/32km to go
Mikel Astarloza (Ag2r) punctures, and gets a good wheel change. No panic and
he's off in pursuit of the peloton.
Our readers our worried that the elusive Pyrenean Goat monkeys have been
displaced out of their traditional breeding grounds into Central France (yes,
we are in the Massif Central still).
15:52 CEST 134km/30km to go
It's status quo with 30 km to go for the three leaders (Martinez, Moncoutié
and Flecha), who have 7'59 over the subdued peloton. The finale today is a bit
lumpy, but the green jersey candidate teams will probably try to control the
bunch to set their sprinters up in Figeac.
Speaking of the green jersey, McEwen is riding near the front of the bunch now.
15:57 CEST 139.5km/24.5km to go
The leaders are now at the second last sprint of the day at Maurs, which will
be of no consequence except for the 800 euros on offer for first place. There
are a couple more climbs following this sprint - the cat. 4 Cote de Bagnac and
an uncategorised climb with 10 km to go.
Moncoutié takes the points uncontested ahead of Flecha and Martinez.
16:02 CEST 142km/22km to go
Nardello passes a water bottle to a teammate in the peloton, which still has
an 8'07 deficit to the three leaders.
By the way, Flecha won the Tour stage last year that finished in Toulouse. None
of the three leaders are really considered "sprinters" in the road sense, and
surely one of them will try to attack on the last climb to finish solo.
16:05 CEST 144km/20km to go
The trio pass under the 20 km to go Aquarel banner, with another 3 km of flat
before the next climb. It's only 1.2 km, but with a gradient of 7.8%, it could
be an ideal place for an attack. Maybe Moncoutié?
16:06 CEST 146km/18km to go
The peloton is more than 5 km behind the break. Didier Rous has a big bottle
of water that he passes around to his teammates. The young Anthony Charteau
is doing a great job for Voeckler, as he has done for the last six stages.
16:08 CEST 147km/17km to go
The leaders hit the Cat. 4 Cote de Bagnac, still riding steadily together. It's
very watchful, with Flecha lurking at the back.
Flecha comes through for his turn, out of the saddle. Egoi takes over with Moncoutié
on his wheel. Flecha looks to be suffering a bit, but the other two haven't
taken advantage with an attack yet.
16:12 CEST 148km/16km to go
The climb steepens towards the top but the three leaders remain together. Moncoutié
leads Martinez and Flecha to the top.
16:14 CEST 150km/14km to go
Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) is being brought back to the peloton by his teammates.
It's still Brioches riding tempo on the front with US Postal, T-Mobile, Moreau
(CA) and Casar (FDJeux) well placed. Rolf Aldag is there too, which is a good
sign for the German who crashed a few times earlier in the Tour and has had
The leaders tackle the short and non-technical descent down to Lauzeral, with
7'55 lead to the peloton.
On a sad note, Tyler Hamilton is riding with his dog Tugboat's tag around his
neck (as he was yesterday). Poor old Tugboat was diagnosed with cancer a few
days ago and had to be put down.
16:18 CEST 152km/12km to go
In the peloton, Matt Wilson and JP Nazon are being dropped on the Cote de Bagnac,
along with De Groot, Knaven, Marichal, Vansevenant, Arvesen.... They're already
a fair way off the back.
Bertolini and Marinangeli are also being tailed off, as Brioches la Boulangère
continue to ride a solid tempo. The summit is reached, and there is no panic,
although some US Postal jerseys are getting towards the front now. The back
of the peloton is strung out in pursuit.
Xabier Zandio (Illes Balears) punctures.
16:21 CEST 155km/9km to go
Martinez leads Moncoutié and Flecha under the 10 km to go banner, with signs
of "Allez Thomas Voeckler" decorating the road. It's uphill for the next 4.5
16:21 CEST 155km/9km to go
Egoi Martinez chases him down, then Moncoutié counters. Flecha doesn't want
to chase, and Martinez looks at him. Meanwhile, Moncoutié has got a very nice
16:22 CEST 156km/8km to go
Moncoutié grits his teeth and hammers up this not-particularly-steep-but-long-enough
climb. He can sense a stage win. He has 15 seconds, and Martinez and Flecha
don't look like chasing him down.
The peloton has brought back the gap to 6'25, as Egoi Martinez and Juan Antonio
Flecha ride steadily behind the solo Moncoutié. No-one will catch the Frenchman
now, surely. He has 32 seconds.
16:26 CEST 157.5km/6.5km to go
Moncoutié is flying away from Flecha and Martinez. 44 seconds already!
Martinez and Flecha are still working, but not as hard as Moncoutié.
16:27 CEST 158km/6km to go
The peloton rolls under the 10 km to go banner 6'19 behind Moncoutié and 5'19
behind Martinez and Flecha. Moncoutié has almost reached the top of this non-categorised
climb, and is flying.
16:30 CEST 160km/4km to go
Moncoutié is clearly the man with the legs today, and he's on track to a nice
stage win in the Tour, his first. He should pick up a few places on GC as well.
He's on the descent now inside the last 4 km.
16:31 CEST 161km/3km to go
Flecha and Martinez are cooperating still, but they will be going for 2nd place
as Moncoutié has 1'30 lead with 3 km to go.
16:32 CEST 162km/2km to go
Martinez still looks happy, despite the winner of this stage behind over a kilometre
up the road. 2 km left for David. He's in Figeac now.
16:33 CEST 163km/1km to go
Moncoutié rides along the flat in the last kilometre and a half, taking a right
hand turn across a bridge over the river Cele, then another right off the other
16:35 CEST 164km/0km to go
Moncoutié rides up the finishing straight to the applause of thousands of fans,
winning the 11th stage of the Tour in 3:54:58. He has plenty of time to celebrate
and he starts with 150m to go, clenching his fists in triumph as he crosses
the line, before being swarmed by his team handlers and the media.
Flecha leads Martinez up to the last little uphill kick for the line. Martinez
slowly cruises up next to the Fassa Bortolo rider, but waits and waits... They
sprint side by side with 150m to go and it's Flecha who takes second comfortably
US Postal leads the peloton into the final kilometres to keep Armstrong out
of trouble. Zabel is right up there too, as is McEwen, Hushovd, Hondo, O'Grady...
Wrolich leads out the sprint then Ivanov powers up with Zabel on his wheel.
Zabel looks back and waits, and Bettini gets in front but Zabel comes round
him with 150m to go, but is in turn passed by Hushovd who takes 4th today. Zabel
fifth and McEwen sixth.
1 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 3.54.58
2 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 2.15
3 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2.17
4 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 5.58
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team
6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon
8 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone
General classification after stage 11
1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère
2 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 3.00
3 Sandy Casar (Fra) Fdjeux.com 4.13
4 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick Step-Davitamon 6.52
5 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC 7.31
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 9.35
7 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 9.58
the commentary team