94th Tour de France - ProT
France, July 7-29, 2007
Results & report
Stage 11 - Thursday, July 19: Marseille - Montpellier, 182.5km
Live commentary by Shane Stokes and Bjorn Haake
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:15 CEST
Welcome back to the Cyclingnews live coverage from the Tour de France.
Today's stage 11 over 182.5 kilometres from Marseille to Montpellier is expected
to be one for the sprinters, as it's their last chance before the risk of getting
eliminated in the Pyrénées. But green jersey leader Tom Boonen
wants to make it to Paris, so is looking for another win to add more points
to his cushion. There is a long neutral start today (25 minutes). The Départ
réel is in about ten minutes.
We expect a few more readers from
Germany as the public TV channels have stopped broadcasting the race as of yesterday,
following the news that T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz was tested positive
for testosterone in his A-sample. ARD and ZDF said they would
not broadcast until the result of the B-sample is known, which may come in only
after the Tour.
Yesterday's tenth stage marked the
halfway point in the race and saw eleven riders go clear and fight it out for
the stage win. When hostilities commenced in the last hour of race five forged
ahead and in the final dash for the line, Cedric Vasseur (Quickstep Innergetic)
came out ahead of his fellow Frenchman Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux).
Michael Albasini (Liquigas), Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole) and Jens Voigt
(CSC) were also in the final-kilometre scrap but they were not quick enough
for the win.
Vasseur won a stage [and held yellow for five days]
back in 1997, ten years ago. So he's going out in style in what is his last
We want to point out once again our
new SRM and GPS data feature, thanks to our partners SRM and the sponsor of
the live telemetry, T-Mobile. On the bottom of the screen there is a link titled
"Click here to see Live Rider Data and Positioning." From there you can see
live data from several riders. Watts, heart rate, speed and cadence, along with
GPS data where the riders are.
We hope that this feature will
help you better judge the performances of the riders and hopefully also better
track the riders on the route
Please note the SRM and T-Mobile telemetry
needs the latest version of the Java runtime environment to be installed on
the user's system. If you don't have this - and it's useful, non-invasive software
needed for many web-based applications - please visit the Sun website for the
page. When the telemetry page opens, please select a rider and then wait
a few moments for the data to begin to load. Each day we will update the riders
using this equipment, as the group of riders who are connected each day will
change. In addition to today's group, other riders who may also be connected
in subsequent stages include Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile), Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile),
Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) and Christian Vande Velde (CSC) .
feel free to email us to the commentary box what you think about the live data.
The real start is happening right
As was seen yesterday, these long,
hot transition stages are perfect for breaks to succeed. The riders are starting
to tire at this point and so for many in the peloton, a slightly easier day
is just the ticket. The green jersey competition is also a factor; Tom Boonen's
Quickstep team didn't want to chase yesterday as that would expose Boonen to
losing a chunk of points if anything had gone wrong. In the end he finished
second in the bunch gallop, slightly fortifying his lead over closest maillot
vert rival Erik Zabel (Milram).
Of course, Vasseur is also from
Boonen's team so it all worked out well for the squad.
Former pro Marcel Wüst, who
won a total of 14 stages in all three Grand Tours combined, answered questions
from Spiegel readers today and talked briefly about the wattage to be
expected from a sprinter. Read more in our Latest
Immediately after the start of racing
Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) attacked. He was joined by former KOM leader Stéphane
Augé (Cofidis) and the two Frenchmen tried to steal a march. However this was
nullified at km 2.
The peloton has split thanks to the
fast start. There are a lot of tired legs out there.
There's perhaps 20 riders in the
front group. If it stays clear we'll give you some names.
13:29 CEST 7km/175.5km to go
The leaders have
an advantage of approximately 15 seconds now.
The riders of the T-Mobile team have
been dealing with yesterday's news about Patrik Sinkewitz' positive A sample.
He was tested while at the team training camp on June 8th and reportedly had
a testosterone level 6 times greater than the maximum permitted threshold.
Sinkewitz is not officially positive until the B sample confirms the first reading,
but there is seldom a difference between the two. It is likely that an IRMS
evaluation will be carried out to determine if the testosterone was indeed from
an artificial source. One idea for anti-doping authorities would be to randomly
subject a certain number of urine samples to this specific test. If for example
one in five of tests were screened for artificial testosterone (whether or not
it was above the 4:1 threshold) it would appear to be one way to drastically
reduce the use of the substance.
No SRM data for Patrik Sinkewitz
is available, today, of course. It would be quite interesting to see his heart
rate display these days.
The T-Mobile team has this year introduced
a lot of testing plus a very rigorous ethical code. The remaining T-Mobile riders
at the Tour were reportedly very angry and disappointed at yesterday's news,
knowing that it puts a question mark over the future of the team.
Given that it is one of the leaders in the anti-doping fight, it would seem
to be very unfortunate if it did indeed stop because of what one rider may have
done. 28 other riders, the team staff and their families would effectively pay
the price for the actions of one, after all.
The situation: At km 12.5 nine riders
were ahead, namely David Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne), Jens Voigt (CSC), Daniele
Bennati (Lampre - Fondital), Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner), Pierrick Fédrigo
(Bouygues Telecom), Sylvain Chavanel and Nick Nuyens (Cofidis), Benoit Vaugrenard
(Française des Jeux) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Barloworld).
are 19 chasers.
13:49 CEST 25km/157.5km to go
The peloton caught
the chasers and is now approximately 50" behind the nine leaders.
Voigt is clearly annoyed at having
missed out yesterday, and has gone up the road again. He was strong during the
stage to Marseille but couldn't shake off the others.
French champion Christophe Moreau
Photo ©: Cyclingnews.com
The riders follow a mainly westerly
route today, initially moving north out of Marseille in the direction of the
beautiful city of Avignon, but then veering off towards Arles and Montpellier,
the finish point. It's really very flat, with just one categorised climb coming
38 km after the start. This is the fourth category Calissanne and won't pose
much problems to the heavier bodies in the field.
Just before that,
there is a sprint at La Fare Les Oliviers (km 31.5) and then another at Arles
(km 96.5). Immediately after that the riders hit the feed zone for some nosh.
13:58 CEST 31km/151.5km to go
the French champion and leader of the Ag2r team, crashed but is back on his
bike. Meanwhile in the break, Bennati beat Nuyens and Fédrigo in the first sprint
of the day.
Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown is on the
course and reports that the weather is a bit cooler today. It's about 30 degrees
Celsius out there, so that will give respite to the riders.
14:04 CEST 38km/144.5km to go
At the Côte de
Calissanne (km 38), Siutsou took top points ahead of Fédrigo and Nuyens.
The gap is now up to 1'45.
The nine leaders have covered 50.8
kilometres in the first hour of racing.
Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital)
told Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown before the start that he was hoping to
be in a break today. He expected tomorrow's stage to be harder than today, but
the bottom line for him is that "I need to try everyday." As he found out yesterday,
though, where he tried multiple times but missed the right move that stayed
clear, things don't always work out as planned to be in the break. It is instead
his teammate Daniele Bennati who couldn't wait for the sprint and is now in
that 9-man break.
Ballan rolls over the line
Photo ©: Sirotti
14:24 CEST 57km/125.5km to go
Simon Gerrans also fell in the crash with Moreau. We presume he has been able
Meanwhile, Milram, Predictor Lotto, Rabobank and Euskaltel
are chasing behind. Zabel is second in the points classification and so Milram
want to give him every chance in that competition.
Given that he
is quite a good climber when compared to other sprinters, tomorrow's stage may
be his best chance. There is a second category climb with 48 kilometres to go
and then quite a lumpy parcours for another 20 kilometres or so. If Boonen gets
left behind Zabel might have a chance.
- David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne), Jens Voigt (Team CSC), Daniele Bennati
(Lampre-Fondital), Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner), Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues
Telecom), Sylvain Chavanel and Nick Nuyens (Cofidis), Benoît Vaugrenard (Française
Des Jeux) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Barloworld)
- Peloton at 1.20
14:32 CEST 63km/119.5km to go
The gap is falling;
it's now just 55"
Hans Michael Holczer, the team director
of the Gerolsteiner team, is following the break, which contains Heinrich Haussler.
Holczer said that the break has one problem, it's called Arroyo. "Well, the
problem is his GC standing, he's only about 7 and 1/2 minutes back, so this
is not a break that will get 15 or 20 minutes." Holczer has seen the chase going
on for about 60 kilometres at some 50 km/h.
Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r Prévoyance)
has pulled out of the race. He won a stage last year but like his team-mate
Cyril Dessel, didn't make much of an impression this year. Dessel finished seventh
overall in 2006, 8'41 behind the did he/didn't he winner Floyd Landis, but this
year he is now 153rd overall, 1 hour 34'50 back.
continues. He looks fine but his shorts are not doing too well...they are quite
tattered after his fall. Fortunately they preserve his modesty; we wonder what
would happen otherwise. Do team cars carry spares in case of emergencies?
There are now three leaders; Chavanel
is clear with Vaugrenard and Bennati. They have shaken off Arroyo so that will
help their chances.
We just passed some fans with Viking
hats on and the Norwegian flag on hand. We guess that may be supporters of Hagar
the Horrible, or maybe of Thor Hushovd, the nice guy. He wouldn't talk to Cyclingnews
or anybody else, however, before the start and his game face on. It was teammate
Julian Dean who revealed the tactic to Gregor Brown. "We want to have someone
in the break. I will work for Thor in the sprint."
14:46 CEST 70km/112.5km to go
They attacked the
others at km 65. Eight others were then chasing, namely Vincente Garcia Acosta
(Caisse d’Epargne), Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC), Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel Euskadi),
Alessandro Ballan (Lampre Fondital), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) , Enrico
Poitschke (Milram), 1998 King of the Mountains Christophe Rinero and Saunier
Duval sprinter Fran Ventoso.
14:48 CEST 79.5km/103km to go
The chasers have
been caught and the three leaders are now giving up. Savoldelli (Astana) is
riding back through the cars after puncturing.
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner)
attacked the peloton just before the three were hauled back.
- Benoît Vaugrenard (Française Des Jeux), Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) and Daniele
- Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner)
- Peloton at 0.10
14:50 CEST 81km/101.5km to go
Chavanel has attacked
on his own, going just before they were reeled in.
Of all things, German TV is now showing
a cooking programme instead of the Tour de France. Even with Sinkewitz' positive
A sample, that could lead to a few complaints!
14:54 CEST 83km/99.5km to go
It's all over for
Chavanel. He's been caught.
On the theme of doping in sports,
golf player Gary Player yesterday called for testing in pro golf. There is currently
none taking place, despite the huge prize money involved. Player said that growth
hormones and steroids are being used.
After Chavanel's recapture, there
are now four riders clear on what has been a very aggressive stage thus far.
They are Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Philippe
Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) and Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom).
David Millar (Saunier Duval Prodir) is chasing alone.
Hans-Michael Holczer had some more
words about the TV mess in Germany and said that it affects the teams financially
because the sponsors need to TV exposure, otherwise they won't support cycling.
He also thought that riders who dope should have to be prosecuted (there is
no law right now in Germany against 'sports cheating', unlike for example in
Italy). Holczer also said that SAT 1, a cable channel, has taken over
the. coverage and he thought it'd be interesting to see how they do, given that
they had to do it from one day to the other. As he spoke, the T-Mobile car drove
by and Bob Stapleton said hi.
15:08 CEST 95.5km/87km to go
In the peloton,
white jersey Alberto Contador chats to fellow Spaniard Iker Camaño (Saunier
Duval-Prodir). The peloton has taken the foot off the gas and is 3'03 back.
Millar, meanwhile, is still chasing. He is 31 seconds behind the four leaders.
It's probably in their interests that he gets up as he will help drive this
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
15:10 CEST 96.7km/85.8km to go
Millar is closing
the gap. He is just 15" back now. He's a strong time trialist and so should
have the horsepower to do it.
The leaders went through Arles a
couple of minutes ago, where the first sprint was taking place.
Millar now catches them. He'll sit on for a while and get his energy back, then
start going through.
By the way, Florencio, Wegmann and Gilbert
were the first three over the line in that intermediate sprint.
David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Photo ©: AFP
Millar has been reportedly suffering
from what has been described as a 'sun allergy'. We are not sure how this differs
from sunburn, but he's having bad sleep because of it.
For those of you who might be watching
French television, they can't seem to make up their minds if they are covering
the Tour de France or local tourist hotspots! The cameras have wandered off
to show images of Arles' ancient outdoor theatre. It's interesting stuff, but
they are spending more time on such forays than on the race itself!
From the Hindenberg IV and its trusty
pirate's telescope, we can spot Christophe Moreau getting some attention from
the race doctor. He is disinfecting the skin grazes he has, but his injuries
don't look serious. Probably more a precaution than anything else.
15:18 CEST 102.5km/80km to go
There is a stall
in the bunch and the riders are across the road. Rabobank, Milram and T-Mobile
are on the front. The gap should increase considerably as a result.
15:23 CEST 106.5km/76km to go
When Millar performed
below par in the prologue, he vowed to win a stage. This would appear to be
his chance today.
The peloton are crossing the Rhône now. The river
beings at the Rhône Glacier in Valais, Switzerland, and flows down through France.
It's 800 kilometres in length and passes such places as Brig, Sion and Geneva
in Switzerland, and Lyon, Montélimar, Avignon and Arles in France.
The gap is over six minutes now.
CyclingNews' Brecht Decaluwé,
who has finally shaven yesterday following the unfortunate break-in into the
Cyclingnews team car, is now aerodynamic enough that he was able to catch
up with sprinter Bernhard Eisel before the start. Eisel said that Patrik Sinkewitz
is a good friend of his and he won't "make red cross over his name just because
of what happened." He wants to stay friends and called Sinkewitz "a great guy,"
but did acknowledge that "Patrik wasn't very smart and he did something really
- Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole) and Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Philippe
Gilbert (Française Des Jeux), David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Xavier
Florencio (Bouygues Telecom)
- Peloton at 6.51
France certainly has a huge amount
of historic and cultural sights. Little wonder it's the most visited country
in the world. It had 75 million foreign tourists back in 2003 and we presume
that number has increased since. The Tour de France must certainly add to that,
given that the TV images are a moving postcard for viewers all around the world.
Millar is working so he's recovered
from his effort.
According to Cyclingnews' Brecht
Decaluwé, the two German channels who pulled out of live coverage yesterday
(ARD and ZDF) were forced to give in their accreditation today, presumably by
the Tour organisers. As mentioned above, SAT1 has taken over the broadcasting
For more details on Slipstream read
this interview with Jonathan Vaughters.
15:32 CEST 111.5km/71km to go
The Astana team
have now hit the front and are really ramping up the pace! There are some side
winds and they are trying to split the field. Vinokourov is also rolling through,
so we can only guess he is feeling better.
Riders at the back of
the peloton are losing contact now.
Igor Anton (Euskaltel Euskadi)
There are echelons forming at the
back of the race; we don't know yet if any major players have been isolated.
Astana are driving it, with occasional assistance from Caisse d'Epargne.
Discovery are also driving it. There
is a sizeable dropped group now. We estimate that the front bunch is down to
perhaps 70 to 90 riders now.
The riders will continue to turn the
screw, hoping that more get dropped. The bunch is really splitting, and Christophe
Moreau has been left behind! He is riding to try to get back on, but has a ten
second gap to close.
15:39 CEST 117.5km/65km to go
That elastic has
snapped, methinks. He could lose a lot of time here if he is not careful.....
Caisse d'Epargne are now driving it. Vinokourov is clearly feeling somewhat
better as he was right up there.
The AG2R riders are on the front,
four of them riding for Moreau.
Rasmussen, Hincapie, Contador and
Boonen are amongst those up front.
The leaders are now just 5 minutes
ahead. Their chances may well be affected by the riding behind. The groups are
not trying to bring them back, but rather shell some of the favourites.
This transition stage got a whole lot more exciting!
The Rasmussen/Vinokourov peloton
with many of the race favourites is 4'47 behind the break. Moreau's group is
5'14 back, thus 27 seconds down, and another big group containing Thor Hushovd
and others is at 6'18.
15:43 CEST 119.5km/63km to go
The Moreau group
appears to have cracked. He is doing a lot of riding but they seem to be moving
quite a bit slower.
The Astana riders must have spotted
that Moreau was towards the back of the field after his visit to the doctor's
car, and decided to take advantage of that. Halgand (Credit Agricole) and Michael
Boogerd (Rabobank) are also in the Moreau group.
Moreau's group have slipped back
rather dramatically. They are over a minute back now. The peloton is 3'18 behind
the break, with Moreau 4'33 in arrears. Hushovd's group is 5'45 down.
15:50 CEST 125.5km/57km to go
It's still Astana
doing the bulk of the work.
Martin Elmiger and Jose Luis Arrieta
are back with Moreau, riding for him.
The break is losing time here.
That's unfortunate for them.
There's still quite a way to go to
the finish. If this continues, Moreau could lose five minutes.
Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) grits
Photo ©: AFP
This morning, Moreau started sixth
overall, 3'18 behind maillot jauneMichael Rasmussen.
has now told his team to stop working! He is annoyed that no other teams are
riding. So Moreau may have been handed a lifeline.
It is up to the other teams now to
decide if they want to ride, or if they are happy for a regrouping to take place.
Robert Hunter (Barloworld) on the left
Photo ©: AFP
Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé points
out that the riders are passing through the Camargue regional park. He says
it is a windy river delta near the coast with bulls, Camargue horses, flamingos...and
15:58 CEST 129.5km/53km to go
Quickstep - Innergetic
and Barloworld are now riding. They clearly want this to keep going. Quickstep
will be riding for Boonen and his stage-win chances, while the Barloworld guys
have Robert Hunter as their fast man.
The peloton is 2'07 behind the break,
which looks likely to be caught if this continues. Moreau's group is 3'31 back
so he is still in trouble.
Barloworld and Quickstep can now
be dreaming of an easier win, as the other sprinters such as Zabel, Hushovd
and Förster are back in the second peloton.
Vinokourov is Astana's captain but
they also have Andreas Klöden for the overall; he started today 8th overall,
3'50 back. Vino is 21st overall, 8'05 down. Those gaps sounds considerable but
if you look at the time gaps between everyone bar Rasmussen (in other words,
where all the other contenders are), second-placed Valverde is 2'35 back.
Time trialists Klöden and Vinokourov are therefore 1'15 and 5'30 behind Valverde,
and should make up time on him in the TT. If Rasmussen loses considerable time
in Saturday's time trial (as is expected), things could be quite a bit tighter
heading into the next mountain stages.
There is also another time
trial to come later in the race so Astana know that they still have a strong
chance of doing something overall.
It all depends on how Klöden and
Vinokourov are recovering from their injuries.
Watch out for Cadel
Evans, though; he's a strong time trialist and is clearly going well.
Sven Krauss is at the back of the
second peloton, which is strung out in one ling line. It's not a good place
to be. Lose the wheel in front of you and you are gone. The only way to come
back is to hang onto the team car and accept a time penalty...
16:09 CEST 138.5km/44km to go
Moreau is now 1'50
behind the yellow jersey group. Barloworld and Quickstep remain on the front,
pushing for a sprint finish.
The break is now just a minute ahead.
Millar is talking to his team car and takes on bottles; that's clever, because
once they are caught he can hand them over to others on the team. It'll save
somebody else going back to the cars later and having to chase back on.
16:10 CEST 139.5km/43km to go
The group of Moreau
and the 2nd peloton have now rejoined. Good news for Moreau, who can now count
on many helpers, like Credit Agricole and Milram, who want their sprinters to
get back up to the front.
16:12 CEST 141.5km/41km to go
The break is doomed.
The riders there are now just 34 seconds ahead.
With Zabel in the chasing group,
a win by Boonen would give him a considerable lead in the green jersey competition.
Ag2r are still doing almost all of the work behind.
The yellow jersey
group is now just 11" behind the break. Moreau is 2'14. Millar has already sat
up, deciding to save some energy. He is caught and the others also get reeled
The peloton is passing near the walled
city of Aigues Mortes. French TV are off again, violins a-playin' in the background...
16:19 CEST 147km/35.5km to go
is in the front group, including George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer. We also
presume Cadel Evans is in there, but he tends to get very aerodynamic and is
hard to spot. Vladimir Gusev was one of the guys stuck in the second peloton
earlier. At some point today he carried 10 bottles, that may have been his down
We have a rather neat solar-powered
TV set in the Hindenburg; at times we can only fly so close, you know... The
Tour has fixed wing craft and helicopters, so it can get quite crowded.
16:23 CEST 150.5km/32km to go
Ag2r continue their
chase behind, with some assistance from a Lampre rider. However the gap is coming
down now, 1'32. Realising that, Astana get back on the front.
Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
is also stuck in the back group, whereas Cadel Evans can count on teammate Chris
Horner, who is in the front.
A rider from Saunier Duval-Prodir
is also up there at the head of the peloton. They have a sprinter who could
do well, Francisco Ventoso.
The peloton heads through Saint Just.
It's a nice town with sandstone-coloured buildings.
16:26 CEST 152.4km/30.1km to go
Dario Cioni is
taking on some bottles for his Predictor teammates. It is not as warm as yesterday,
but with the real race on now, the riders still lose a lot of fluids.
Boonen is near the front, smiling.
He can smell the bunch sprint.
Astana's driving has pushed the gap
back up a little. It's now 1'44. Simon Gerrans is assisting the chase, so he
is clearly also okay after his earlier fall.
Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r Prévoyance)
is riding on the front, trying to get his captain back into overall contention.
He often trains in this area, but would have imagined a quieter day for riding
in his backyard.
Française des Jeux are also helping
Ag2r at this point.
The fields on the side of the road
have been mostly harvested already, which makes the countryside look a bit bleak.
Some trees line the left hand side
of the road and provide some shade for the few spectators who decided to come
out to watch the stage, instead of hopping into the nearby ocean, which the
field has done on occasions.
16:34 CEST 159.5km/23km to go
Quite a few teams
have sent riders to the front of the peloton now, so the gap should go up again.
The gap now is 1'56; Moreau may have lost all chance of winning the Tour today.
Alexandre Botcharov (Crédit Agricole)
has taken over the last spot from Sven Krauss, but neither is a threat to Vansevenant
for the last place overall
Both fields are riding through Mauguio
at 50 kilometres an hour. That's about the speed limit so they can't ride faster.
Somebody reported the peloton to
the police in the Giro a few years ago for speeding. Jan Ullrich once got a
ticket in Berlin while motor pacing.
16:40 CEST 164.5km/18km to go
Gerdemann is also
in the front part of the field. He has lost both jerseys he had, but is still
in good spirits. The field is going through a gigantic roundabout.
16:41 CEST 165.5km/17km to go
We are on one long
straight road, next to a canal. It will be very hard for someone trying a break
off the front now, as the sprinters are trying to control it.
16:43 CEST 167.5km/15km to go
Quickstep and Barloworld
are still the teams to do most of the work. And of course Ag2r, but in the second
field. Milram is also putting in some work to get Zabel up front, but it will
be hard. Hunter finished second to Hushovd last week. If it stays like this
he will beat the Norwegian today, but can he get past Boonen?
And traffic for another roundabout.
The Tour would certainly look different if we wouldn't have those.
- first Peloton with Rasmussen, Vinokourov, Boonen
- second Peloton with Moreau, Hushovd, Zabel at 2.09
Tom Boonen (Quickstep-Innergetic)
Photo ©: Cyclingnews.com
16:48 CEST 170.5km/12km to go
The winner gets
35 points today and Zabel will likely not get any as only the first 25 score
at the finish. More good news for Boonen, who is in the front group that now
passes a tree lined road.
Riders from Saunier Duval, QuickStep,
Liquigas, Barloworld and Discovery Channel are on the front.
16:50 CEST 172.5km/10km to go
Ag2r continue their
forlorn chase but it's a losing battle now.
Barloworld are very
focussed. They've taken one stage win so far in the race; confidence is high
and a second would be welcome.
The Tour isn't won today but it certainly
can be lost any day, even in the flats. Moreau will lose over two minutes today
and lose his sixth place, where Tadej Valjavec (Lampre-Fondital) will drop out
of the top 20
The riders are already in Montpellier,
threading their way along the streets. The roads are nice and wide here.
The CSC riders are wearing neon yellow
numbers. They are the leading team thanks to Voigt's ride yesterday.
Moreau goes through. It's been a hard day for the team. He and Simon Gerrans
crashed, they had two punctures and Calzati pulled out.
Chris Horner is perhaps 20 riders
back in the yellow jersey group. They no longer have Robbie McEwen for the sprints,
but Freddy Rodriguez might go okay.
16:57 CEST 177.7km/4.8km to go
1998 King of the
Mountains Christophe Rinero jumped clear but was brought back. QuickStep are
on the front with Boonen third wheel. However another rider goes; Vinokourov!
He is clearly feeling better. He
has got about 2" so far but the whole peloton is behind him.
The DS for Predictor told Cyclingnews
that in a sprint Fast Freddie Rodriguez can have a go, but it is now all for
Cadel Evans and the overall. Rodriguez still has bandages, but is going better
He's been caught again. However it
looks like he is coming around again after his crash. Don't forget that in last
year's Vuelta, he was in patchy form in the first week but got stronger towards
the end. So if he recovers completely from his injuries and also follows this
pattern, he could do some damage.
Boonen is in sixth position.
16:59 CEST 181.5km/1km to go
A CSC rider tries
to go. No joy.
Some riders went down on a bad bend;
Boonen is not there any more.
Liquigas are up there, T-Mobile...
And Hunter goes!
He gets it!
with four or five others. Ventoso went down, also Schleck.
Correction - Boonen didn't actually
fall...He got brought off to one side, though, when the riders went too fast
into a tight roundabout.
Cancellara came right up on Hunter
at the end, nearly getting it...
The Moreau group just rounded the
corner where the crash was, and had to avoid the ambulance there.
Ouch..they are over three minutes
That's a great ride by Hunter! Cancellara
was a close second, then Fischer, Pozzato..
So two wins in three days for Barloworld!
They were originally a South African-based team and still have four riders from
there. A reshuffling of team management happened at the end of 2005 with John
Robertson leaving and Claudio Corti taking over. This led to a dilution of the
South African contingent, but they still have strong riders from the country.
The main sponsor also originates from there, even though it is now a global
That's the first South African win
in the history of the race. Well done to Hunter..
He was with the
Phonak team last year but moved to Barloworld when the Swiss squad folded.
A T-Mobile rider was right up there
with 500 metres to go but seemed to mis-time his move, going too early. We think
it was their sprinter Bernhard Eisel, but not sure as yet. Kim Kirchen got tenth,
Kirchen has been riding strongly
and should fare well overall.
Boonen nearly hit the barriers but
got his foot down in time. That roundabout was very dangerous and the guys on
the front of the peloton got the entry wrong.
He is okay, but will
rue the missed opportunity to build a big lead in the points competition. 35
points were on offer today to the winner. As a result of this, Hunter moves
to within 11 points of him in that classification.
So Rasmussen continues in yellow
for now. The only significant change in the top ten was clearly Moreau's loss
today. He is now very unlikely to win this race. That's unfortunate for him,
as it seems that it was his crash and resulting medical treatment which ultimately
led to him being in a vulnerable position in the bunch.
from sixth place to dropping out of top ten, with Astarloza moving up from his
overnight position of eleventh.
That completes our live coverage
of today's eleventh stage of the race. Thanks for reading! It was quite an exciting
day thanks to that Astana move in the crosswinds.
in pace cost Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner),
Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux), Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom) and
David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir) their chance. They were unlucky to be
caught in the crossfire of the GC battle.
1 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC
3 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
4 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
5 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
6 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
7 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française Des Jeux
9 William Bonnet (Fra) Crédit Agricole
10 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.35
3 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2.39
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 2.41
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.08
6 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 3.39
7 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 3.50
8 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.53
9 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 5.06
10 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 5.20
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