94th Tour de France - ProT
France, July 7-29, 2007
Results & report
Stage 8 - Sunday, July 15: Le-Grand-Bornand - Tignes, 165km
Live commentary by Laura Weislo, Shane Stokes and Bjorn Haake
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Bonjour again on the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 2007 Tour de France.
After yesterday's little teaser in the mountains with a downhill finish today
is the first real showdown where all the favourites will have to show their
cards. The stage is only 165 kilometres long, but good luck finding any flat
piece of road between Le Grand-Bornand and Tignes. Almost half of the stage,
a total of around 70 kilometres, is uphill. The downhills then require the highest
of concentration. An additional handicap will be the temperatures, which are
again expected to be on the warm side, with the high predicted at around 30
The start happened right on time
We have currently five guys in front.
The initial attack came from Lilian Jegou (Française Des Jeux) who was then
joined by Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Marcel
Sieberg (Team Milram) and Alexander Efimkin (Barloworld). The field is currently
21 seconds behind
Attack from Liquigas! Barloworld
is covering in the front.
Vino is towards the back of the main
field. Multiple riders go after the Liquigas rider.
13:08 CEST 3km/162km to go
by Liquigas has increased the pace in the peloton and brought the gap down to
just 14". Now Ag2r is setting pace on the front.
The front of the peloton is split
into pieces with small groups trying to go across to the leaders. An Astana
rider goes and is covered then countered by Jens Voigt.
They're all on the first category
4 climb of the day and the pace is hot hot hot! Lots of action at the front
of the peloton, and behind our five we have a large group that has split up
the Col du Marais. 1km to go until the top.
Voigt is hammering on the front and
Hincapie is right behind - he's looking all around to see if there is a gap,
but it's all coming back together.
13:12 CEST 15km/150km to go
Ag2r rider launches a big move on the left and gets a solid gap.
Schumi takes the points at the top
ahead of Efimkin - the Barloworld rider is just one of the many aggressive men
on this team who are proving that they were worthy of the invitation to the
The jerseys were all unzipped, but
after the top the jerseys are zipped up again.
There's another attack from the bunch,
and it's a Quickstep rider who's quickly marked by an FdJ in protection of his
man up front. The polka dot jersey can be seen at the front.
13:16 CEST 18km/147km to go
There is another
category 3 climb in just 4km - and Chavanel will be hoping to pick up some points
if the break doesn't stay clear.
T-Mobile is back to controlling the
main field. It is still a very nervous beginning, with several attacks. The
fast pace is bad for the sprinters. McEwen, Cavendish and Feillu are off the
Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom)
has attacked from the field and is the latest person to attempt to bridge to
our smoothly working break of five. They're 2km from the top with only 21"
The road is uphill again and the
jerseys unzipped. It is another really hot day in the Alps.
Chavanel is being closely shadowed
by Rabobank - there are only 4 paying places at the top of the category 3 climb,
so Rasmussen and Chavanel won't have much to fight for.
caught as a surge comes from Discovery. The tall man pulls a group of about
eight off the front of the field with Pineau struggling to get on terms.
Stefan Schumacher presses on and
it breaks up. Only Efimkin and Augé are the only ones whop can follow the German.
Schumacher has distanced his two
companions as the break shatters with 400m to go to the top. The field catches
Voigt is pulling a small group in
the front, about a dozen guys.
13:23 CEST 22km/143km to go
Now all of the break
is absorbed except Schumi, who takes the mountain sprint with the peloton hot
on his heels less than 10" behind.
The sprinters in the back continue
to have a hard time. Now it's Bernhard Eisel of T-Mobile to lose contact.
The second group that had split off
came all back together - and Garate, Verdugo and Goubert were second, third
and fourth over the top having completely swamped the efforts of other polka
dot jersey competitors.
Stefan Schumacher said before the
start that he has trouble with the weather changes, which is why he was suffering
yesterday. Now being back in GC he has hopes to maybe get into the break. He
was also very impressed with the ride of teammate Fabian Wegmann yesterday and
thinks it should be Gerolsteiner's after T-Mobile yesterday.
13:26 CEST 24km/141km to go
Now Thomas Voeckler
goes - the scrappy little Frenchman has worn the yellow jersey for more days
than any rider in the race, all of them in one year.
The three sprinters in the back continue
to have trouble. The cars have passed them. Not a good sign. Sven Krauss of
Gerolsteiner was at the back of the main field.
The group with Voigt has split up.
It is now a group of four and then about six riders. Schumacher got caught over
Voeckler is on the front now, with
a large chase group behind. They are on the descent.
13:31 CEST 29km/136km to go
To recap, on the
first climb, the order was
1 Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
Alexander Efimkin (Barloworld)
3 Marcel Sieberg (Team Milram)
On the second climb it was
1 Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
Juan Manuel Garate (Quickstep)
3 Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
4 Stéphane Goubert (AG2r Prévoyance)
Voeckler is bombing the descent,
but it's a fast one and the chasing peloton is screaming around a hairpin bend.
13:31 CEST 29km/136km to go
Voeckler has around
17 seconds on the six chasers.
After the group of six there are
nine riders behind.
Voeckler is going all-out on this
very narrow road. He has the advantage of taking his own line, unlike the chasers.
But it looks dangerous.
Big George Hincapie comes to the
front flashing his stars and bars - he's bombing this one and opening a gap
on the riders behind. The peloton is single file just flying down these twisty
There are bike paths in Belgium that
are wider than these roads, but now Voeckler is on a wider road - he takes a
hard right and the peloton, all together, is just over ten seconds back.
A photographer is lying in a ditch
to get the best shot of the field coming down one of the narrow hairpin turns.
13:37 CEST 33km/132km to go
There appeared to
actually be a split in the peloton - a large group of 30 or more riders are
in pursuit of Voeckler and getting close.
Benoît Vaugrenard (Française
des Jeux) distances the large group and is in between them and Voeckler - all
within 200m of each other.
It looks windy out there today and
the echelons are starting to form. There are quite a few teal blue Astana jerseys
in that first chase, and in the second group being led by Rabobank - could be
Menchov has missed this split.
Voeckler is still hammering on, keeping
his slim gap at the first intermediate sprint of the day - he gets the bonus
time and money. Now the group behind him of 30 was swallowed by the Rabo led
13:42 CEST 37km/128km to go
large group is still ahead of the peloton - and it contains Andreas Klöden and
his team-mate Kashechkin as well as Moreau, Hincapie and Popovych... dangerous!
13:45 CEST 39km/126km to go
Voeckler is on the
third climb, the second category Tamiè pass. It's 9.5km long.
Rogers is also in this group - good on ya, mate!
13:46 CEST 40km/125km to go
Hincapie pulls through
and lets a Credit Agricole rider come through. Voigt is up here, as is Schumacher.
They're right behind Voeckler now. The Rabo led field is getting much closer
- 10 seconds or so with 7km to go before the top.
T-Mobile, oddly, is setting tempo
at the front of the peloton now, even though leader Mick Rogers is in the split,
but they do have that yellow jersey to think about...
13:52 CEST 42km/123km to go
Still 5kms to go
to the top of the Cold de Tamiè, and the split now has Voeckler in it's fold
and a substantial 1'00 gap to the Rabo-led chasers. Sweat is pouring off all
the riders - it's a sweltering day.
A Rabobank rider is leading the group
right now and not happy with a fan who is waving a small T-Mobile flag. He pushes
it out of the way.
Mario Aerts is up here but no Cadel
Evans, and David Millar is standing out like a canary in a coal mine in his
Saunier Duval kit.
A few years ago the ASO changed the regulation
that forced teams who are normally clad in yellow to change their colours for
the Tour. Back in the day of ONCE and Mercatone Uno, those teams switched to
pink for the Tour.
13:56 CEST 121km/44km to go
José Ivan Gutierrez
(Caisse d'Epargne) is in the split along with Cristian Moreni (Cofidis). The
moto comes up with bottles for the sweaty men up front.
Off the back,
Boonen is back in the team cars getting bottles.
T-Mobile's young sprinter Mark Cavendish
has abandoned. He was banged up in a succession of crashes and has finally decided
that enough is enough.
So our list of abandons so far is
- Stage 1: DNF Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) Agritubel - broken collarbone
- Stage 3: DNS Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Discovery Channel - broken thumb stage
- Stage 4: DNF Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne - broken collarbone
- Stage 5: DNS Rémy Di Grégorio (Fra) Française des Jeux - broken elbow stage
- Stage 5: DNF Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram - sciatica
- Stage 6: DNS Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Cofidis - multiple injuries
- Stage 7: DNS Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
- Stage 7: DNS Ruben Lobato (Spa) Saunier Duval
- Stage 8: DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
Expect more before the end of this hideously difficult stage.
14:00 CEST 47km/118km to go
As the break comes
near the top, Voeckler launches another attack and gets closed on by Schumacher
at the line - it's a sprint for the line and it's close!
Stéphane Goubert (AG2r) took third
over the top, then T-Mobile led the peloton across 1'46 down.
Five are chasing behind the front
group right now with Garcia Acosta, Tanking, Rubén Pérez, Daniele Righi and
fifth rider. They are about 1'19 min behind.
Correction, it is not Bram Tanking,
but Lilian Jegou (Française Des Jeux) who is among the five chasers.
To recap, after the third climb of
the day, our lone leader Voeckler was caught by a large group: José Ivan Gutierrez
(Caisse d'Epargne), Michael Rogers (T-Mobile), Jens Voigt (CSC), Mario Aerts
(Predictor - Lotto), José Luis Arrieta and Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r), Jorge Azanza
Soto and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
and Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), Christophe Le Mével (Crédit Agricole), George
Hincapie (Discovery Channel), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Cristian Moreni
(Cofidis), Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux),
Antonio Colom (Astana) and David Millar (Saunier Duval).
being pursued by Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux), José Vicente Garcia (Caisse
d'Epargne), Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Daniele Righi (Lampre)
and Anthony Geslin (Bouygues Telecom).
14:16 CEST 60km/105km to go
T-Mobile is still
leading the peloton, which is a bit of a surprise, as they have overall contender
Michael Rogers in the front group.
14:17 CEST 60km/105km to go
At the second sprint
of the day in Albertville, the group of leaders battled the heat and the headwind
on the long run in through town. The well oiled pace line rolled through the
sprint line with Liquigas' Willems at the helm.
14:19 CEST 61km/104km to go
Mick Rogers is the
best placed rider in this group, but was 4'03 down on his team-mate on GC this
morning. He hasn't taken over that yellow jersey on the road yet - they only
Already the lead bunch is heading uphill - it's a long,
long false flat to the base of the Cormet de Roselend at km 99.5
A flurry of actions going on. The
results over the category 2 climb over the Tamié are as follows:
Voeckler in front of Schumacher, then Goubert, Millar and Kohl. Rogers got sixth
and received 5 points for that.
Rabobank is helping out on the front
occasionally. They want Rasmussen to get more points for the mountains classification.
Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
and Daniele Righi (Lampre) gave up on the attempt to bridge and are caught by
Michael Rogers is putting in a strong
pull on the front. David Millar takes over from the Australian. The group is
working well together now.
The rest of that group of chasers
have been caught by the now Rabobank-led peloton.
Up in the break,
Millar has yellow bandages on his elbows - nice to match, although they're a
bit darker than the lemon yellow of his kit and the neon yellow of those whacky
Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
14:27 CEST 65km/100km to go
100kms to go in the
race today - just a nice Sunday spin... however, it's a spin that includes more
than 43 kilometres of climbing.
Greeting the riders at this point
is a sign with a lovely cow portrait advertising the local cheese.
14:34 CEST 70km/95km to go
At the back of the
peloton we see former best young rider Vladimir Gusev. He's back there with
Sastre, Cancellara and Flecha. Up front Gusev's team-mate Hincapie is pulling
through on the front of that group. Hincapie is the only Disco rider up here,
as Popovych, who was in the larger split that was in pursuit of Voeckler, went
backwards with a dozen or so other riders.
The break now has 1'50.
Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
Stefan Schumacher was disappointed
yesterday but is making up for it today. He took already a few mountain points
and has been in the break all day.
14:38 CEST 72km/93km to go
Gutiérrez is putting
in a strong pull on the front. The Caisse d'Epargne rider is happy to be in
Many riders have their jerseys zipped
open. The peloton is now riding along a forested area and is getting at least
a little bit of shade. But there are still some hard kilometres ahead of them.
14:45 CEST 76km/89km to go
The lime green number
of Michael Rogers is lighting up in the front group. Besides taking over the
yellow and white jersey as well as taking the stage and the most aggressive
rider award, T-Mobile is also leading the teams classification, which gives
them the honour to wear the bright back numbers.
Rabobank continues to pull at the
front with domestiques Peter Weening and Grischa Niermann. They are riding through
a beautiful valley right now, with the steep climbs looming on the left and
fields and farmhouses to the right.
14:49 CEST 77km/88km to go
The break is now in
the feed zone. They are taking on the musettes. Today there will be more liquids
and power gels on the menu. When it is really hot it is hard to get solid foods
down, especially when the race is on.
The main field has more hectic, as
many soigneurs await the riders with the bag. It's always nerve-wrecking to
get the musettes from those in the centre of the pack. But it all worked find
this time. Rabobank and T-Mobile have the luxury of riding in the front and
they have plenty of space.
The break is soon starting to hit
the Roselend, a 20-kilometre climb at an average of six percent.
has technical difficulties! He dropped back off the front group.
14:54 CEST 80km/85km to go
Millar has to stop
and get a front wheel. It will be hard for the Scot to get back into the break.
The gap is only 1'38" to the main
field, so they can't really wait around for Millar.
Attacks in the peloton as the climb
starts. It is a Barloworld rider, followed by Michael Rasmussen.
Steegmans and a few FdJ rider can't
keep up and drop back.
14:57 CEST 81.5km/83.5km to go
There are currently
seven guys off the front of the peloton
Bernhard Kohl does a lot of the pace-making
it, while Vaugrenard is dropping back.
15:01 CEST 83km/82km to go
Boonen is off the
back, drinking as much as he can to not completely bonk. There is not a real
autobus formed yet. But the main field is breaking up now.
Sandy Casar, Leif Hoste and Mario
Aerts have trouble also.
A group with Eisel and Wiggins is
dropped. This could become the autobus.
Bernhard Kohl attacked of the front
15:04 CEST 85km/80km to go
The front group is
breaking up now. Kohl is leading.
15:05 CEST 85.2km/79.8km to go
Colom is now attacking
off the front group as well.
Schumacher is dropped. So he still
wasn't feeling too well. Rasmussen passes Schumacher.
Kohl has 1'55" over the main field,
but with 'Chicken' Rasmussen chasing behind for the mountain points this could
be not enough.
15:09 CEST 86km/79km to go
T-Mobile is leading
the main field again, chasing for..., for what? They have Rogers in the front
The break is just disintegrating
on this climb - Rogers is still up there, but Schumi and several others are
already back in the peloton. Sergio Paulinho (Discovery Channel), Amets Txurruka
(Euskaltel - Euskadi), Juan Miguel Mercado (Agritubel), David Arroyo (Caisse
d'Epargne) and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) are the chasers, and still have
1'52 to go to get to Kohl.
15:13 CEST 87.5km/77.5km to go
Kohl is out of
the saddle. He has twelve more kilometres to the top.
15:13 CEST 88km/77km to go
Azanza is now caught
by the peloton, and there are a lot of tired looking riders going backwards
from that original split.
Valverde is sitting comfortably in
the main group.
As Kohl powers on ahead, the remnants
of the break are scattered all over the road. We're trying to determine exactly
who is where, but the yellow jersey group is 3'03 behind the leader. The chasing
group of five is now splitting apart as Rasmussen picks up a group with Hincapie
and just blasts by them.
Rogers is in this group, and he tries
to get on the wheel of 'the chicken'.
15:22 CEST 90km/75km to go
The group has quickly
disintegrated, leaving Rasmussen and Rogers plus three others on the front while
Hincapie and Paulinho drop back
Gutiérrez gets dropped as well
Christophe Le Mevel (Crédit Agricole)
is on the pursuit of Kohl.
Le Mevel is joined by Antonio Colom.
15:25 CEST 92km/73km to go
Colom and Le Mevel
are nearing Kohl - they've gotten together and as they head down a short descent,
they will get up to Kohl, who is zipping up his jersey. They're coming over
the top of the Le Meraillet pass - a shoulder of the big climb ahead.
15:27 CEST 93km/72km to go
The category one climb
is taking its toll on everyone now. Riders are all over the place. Rasmussen's
group is 12 seconds behind the leaders now. Kohl has been joined by Le Mevel
15:28 CEST 94km/71km to go
The group with Rogers
has the Kohl group in sight as they head up the start of the Roselend - Spanish
flags are flying as Landaluze is now in pursuit of the front of the race.
The riders have to go around the
Lac de Roselend now, but it is still all uphill. A false flat gave a temporary
So the long, gradual ascent to the
Le Meraillet Pass spelled the end of that large group of riders, who shattered
on the way up. With Rogers now in the lead break, T-Mobile is still on the front
of the chasing peloton in a profoundly baffling display of team tactics.
Our lead break is now Bernhard Kohl
(Gerolsteiner), Colom (Astana) and Christophe Le Mével (Crédit Agricole), David
Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne), Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r) and Michael Rogers (T-Mobile)
and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) with a chaser behind.
bigger group with Hincapie, Guti, Voigt, Paulinho, etc. behind them and several
minutes to the peloton.
15:33 CEST 96km/69km to go
They're passing the
Lac de Roselend, a lovely mountain gem that will look mighty refreshing to our
sweaty, parched peloton.
Cristian Moreni (Cofidis) crashes!
He was in that chasing group and touched a wheel and tumbled over. He's OK and
up and riding - a silly little wreck on his part.
Now T-Mobile has finally decided
that Rogers is their team leader and has taken a back seat to the Lampre and
Ag2r teams. Moreau is sitting near the front with Wegmann. There are lots of
open jerseys here on this hot day.
The leaders have 1'06 on the chasing
group with Hincapie.
The race is on the side of the mountain
now, and there are a few riders dangling in between groups - the front group
of five has 4'23 on the peloton.
Six guys up front, rather - Rogers
is looking comfortable with 2km to go to the top. They've got seven chasers
behind at 1'13.
15:42 CEST 98km/67km to go
Kohl, who was dropped
a few kilometres ago while we were dreaming about swimming in the blue waters
of Lac du Roselend, is now absorbed by the peloton and gets a pat on the back
from his teammate Wegmann.
15:43 CEST 99km/66km to go
Oh lord, there's a
naked Borat imitator waving a Kazakh flag - well, nearly naked, but still, we
didn't need to see that. ugh.
The seven in the front pass the top
of the climb.
The second group is led over the
top by American George Hincapie. Gutiérrez is frantically waving at his team
car. He wants something to drink before plunging down.
So the Gerolsteiner rider we saw
coming back to the peloton was NOT Kohl - who took second over the top of the
climb. He's still going strong with Rogers et al.
The order over the top of the climb
1 Michael Rasmussen 15pts
2 Bernhard Kohl 13pts
4 David Arroyo 9pts
5 Michael Rogers 8pts
7 Christophe Le Mevel 6pts
8 George Hincapie 5pts
15:55 CEST 107km/58km to go
Sigh - there are
riders all over this mountain and things are bound to change on this descent.
The Hincapie group is getting some feeds from the cars, while the four chasers
Astarloza, Cardenas, Vila and Barredo are paying attention to bombing the descent.
Lampre is leading the field behind with a strong Predictor-Lotto presence behind.
The yellow jersey on the road has passed to Rogers now...
15:57 CEST 111km/54km to go
A CRASH! Rogers is
down! Arroyo went over the barrier into the ditch - he has to climb out of the
Arroyo gets going... - he totally
missed a bend and flipped over a barrier.
Brakes are screeching on the twisty
descent - we're going to lose sight of the front riders until they get to the
bottom. Le Mevel is in the group with Moreni now.
This descent is wicked - it looks
like a Pyrenean road - very tight, very twisty - dangerous!
Rogers is bombing the descent now,
tucked in an aero tuck with his chin very close to the bars - the peloton is
being slowed by switchback after switchback with Lampre still leading.
The Lampre rider nearly misses the
apex and stays on the road only by centimetres. The land drops severely away
from the pavement and could spell disaster for a rider who miscalculates.
16:05 CEST 119km/46km to go
Live from the Cyclingnews
Audi - a dissatisfying replacement for the Ferarri which was the target of petty
thieves drawn in by a tempting bucket of lollipops - we're reaching the bottom
of the descent and now heading uphill again. Rasmussen is on the lead of our
front group with our chasers speeding downhill still behind.
The riders have a stiff headwind
now, making their chase all that much more difficult. They're still quite a
ways from the official start to the Hauteville climb, but the road tilts upward
well before the published start.
Several readers have asked about
David Zabriskie. He has been doing a lot of work on the front for his team leaders
Carlos Sastre and Frank Schleck. That means sometimes he drops back towards
the end of a race, when his work is done. He doesn't mind losing a few minutes
as he is not contending the overall. All that is important for him is to finish
crash-free and inside the time limit.
Arroyo got banged up and is now treated
from the medical motorbike. He gets a bandage.
16:09 CEST 121km/44km to go
Leipheimer has lost
his chain! His chain is broken or derailleur broken - and a Liquigas rider has
crashed! Wegelius is lying on the side of the road...
16:10 CEST 121.5km/43.5km to go
a quick bike change from the Disco mechanic and is up and riding...
Rogers and Arroyo have rejoined the
leaders - phew!
Leipheimer is back in the group.
The team cars are double-file as everyone is getting bottles. Leipheimer has
to squeeze by.
16:14 CEST 123km/42km to go
As the riders hit
the lower slops of the penultimate climb, we still have Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner),
Antonio Colom (Astana), Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r), and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank),
Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) and David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) at the front of
the race being pursued by the Hincapie group.
The yellow jersey group
is now 3'33 behind the leaders - the T-mobile leader Rogers his chin bloody
from the crash, is getting shelled from the leaders.
Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r) and Bernhard
Kohl (Gerolsteiner) are the next to lose contact as Rasmussen ups the pace on
O'Grady crashed on the descent too
- his second wreck of the Tour after his prologue accident.
Wegmann storms back to the field
at an enormous pace, bottles safely stacked in his back pocket. Team duty for
the German champion.
16:18 CEST 125km/40km to go
Just 40km to go and
still more than 23kms of official climbing to go, and we've got 3'43 to the
peloton led by Lampre - it's single file now as the pace rises.
16:19 CEST 125.5km/39.5km to go
The grade is
only a 4.7% average for this next climb, but already it appears to be nearly
that steep. Ag2r, Predictor-Lotto and Lampre are at the front, and are chasing
3'50 behind Rasmussen, Colom and Arroyo who lead.
Rogers and the
rest of that break have been dropped now.
16:22 CEST 127km/38km to go
Currently it looks
like the T-Mobile tactics with putting team leader Michael Rogers into the break,
then keeping the gap down by his own teammates is not working out to well. He
even did a Jan Ulrich and landed in the ditch. He looks pretty bad now, with
blood dripping. Not a good day for him.
Christophe Moreau has promised fireworks
today, but the gap to the leaders isn't coming down yet - it's still going out.
Neither one of the climbs today reaches the type of gradient of the Pyrenees
- the averages are 4.7% and 5.4%, but the explosions will likely come with 5km
to go when it kicks up to 12.5%.
It is nine more kilometres to the
top of Hauteville, which means high town. It is indeed straight up, to over
The gap between the front trio and
the peloton has stabilized to around four minutes.
Rogers is getting a drink from the
team car. He is around 1'38" back now.
Astana has moved Vinokourov up near
the front - Klödi, too with Kashechkin.
Tadej Valjavec (Lampre - Fondital)
has also moved up, wearing the Slovenian champions' jersey.
Rasmussen is doing all the work - all of it. Neither Colom nor Arroyo have taken
a single pull.
Rogers has called it quits - he's
gotten a fresh bottle and is soft pedaling his way back to the field.
16:28 CEST 129km/36km to go
Rogers is visibly
in pain now, favouring his right wrist. He grimaces as he struggles along.
Lampre is still pulling on the front,
but the gap is now going out. It's currently at 4'25"
That's a shame for Rogers, who was
going well. He pulled out of the Tour de Suisse due to a knee injury sustained
in the Volta a Catalunya. He is now with the chasers, and has been dropped by
Rasmussen is still pulling on the
front. He doesn't care towing two guys behind him. All he wants is the mountain
If Rogers does lose significant time
today (and we hope not) then leadership of the team will likely transfer to
Kim Kirchen and/or Patrik Sinkewitz. Linus Gerdemann is of course in yellow,
but it's unsure how he will fare over the remaining stages in the Tour. He is
very young, after all.
The Hincapie group is now over three
minutes behind. The Dane's pace in the front is incredible.
Of course, Gerdemann will be given
Aerts is getting dropped off the
main field. And the T-Mobile guys are amassing towards the back of the field
now as well.
Rogers is passed by the group including
Astana with Vino.
Rogers has been dropped and has gone
back to the doctor
- Antonio Colom (Astana), Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) and David Arroyo (Caisse
- Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r) and Michael Rogers
(T-Mobile) at 1.38
- Christophe Le Mével (Crédit Agricole), Christian Moreni (Cofidis), Amets
Txurruka and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
and Jens Voigt (Team CSC), Sergio Paulinho and George Hincapie (Discovery
Channel) at 2.09
- Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Patxi Vila (Lampre - Fondital), Carlos
Barredo (Quickstep), Félix Cardenas (Barloworld) at 3.20
- Peloton at 4.38
The medic is examining him now. He
seems to be looking at his collarbone but we are not sure.
Up front, Rasmussen continues to
drive the pace. The other two are just sitting on.
It will be interesting to see if
Rogers dropped back through the bunch in order to see the doctor; in other words,
once he has received the treatment, will he be able to rejoin the bunch?
16:39 CEST 134km/31km to go
It is three more
kilometres to the top. While the drama with Rogers unfolds in the back, Rasmussen
is storming up the front.
16:41 CEST 135km/30km to go
The gap is now 5'09
between the leaders and the yellow jersey group.
The race doctor, Gerard Porte, is
a very busy man today. He reports that O'Grady is not doing too bad following
his crash. He's is conscious, just his back hurts. He will get X-rayed in a
nearby hospital. The other Australian, Rogers, can at least finish the stage.
But further examinations will have to show what the damage is.
They are nearing the top of the Hauteville
climb. Chicken is doing his best to roast the others.
Rogers has a team car with him now.
He's pedalling quite slowly. Aww..he is stopping.
Ivan Parra of Cofidis has abandoned
Rogers looks very emotional as he
abandons. That is a huge shame for him and the team.
The commentators are saying that
they think the Australian has broken his collarbone. He gets into the team car
and his bike goes on the roof.
Barloworld has attacked out of the
peloton. They are trying to be aggressive.
Rasmussen leads them over the line
for 1 km to the summit.
16:45 CEST 136.5km/28.5km to go
that was the top. Rasmussen took top points, with Colom and Arroyo next.
Bernhard Kohl is chasing behind Chicken
Rasmussen. He has dropped his other two companions, but is now over four minutes
behind the front trio.
Voigt is sitting at the back of the
chase group, looking a bit rough.
T-Mobile has to change the tactics.
With the abandoning of Rogers, they have hit the front again to defend the jersey
of Gerdemann, who looks solid.
Vinokourov lurks near the front,
as does Klöden. They both seem to be feeling better today. Or are playing poker
with the others who said they would attack them on this stage?
16:48 CEST 140km/25km to go
Kohl is now not too
far ahead of the group and will get passed pretty soon after the long break
16:50 CEST 141.5km/23.5km to go
group has swallowed Kohl and passes the summit, led by Discovery Channel.
And now Astana hit the front. They
are taking food at this point.
The Astana-led, yellow jersey group
hit the top of the climb 6'13 back. They are now on the descent, which starts
off with a relatively straight section before more snaking curves kick in.
The field is heading down towards
the town Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, with Astana on the front. They play it safe.
The race doctor was busy enough today.
Rasmussen accelerates out of a turn.
The other two have some trouble, but claw their way back.
16:54 CEST 145km/20km to go
Another crash! Iñigo
Cuesta (Team CSC) goes down and fortunately the others avoid him - he is the
second CSC rider to go down today. Bad luck!
The order over the top of the climb
was as follows:
1 Michael Rasmussen 15pts
2 Antonio Colom 13pts
3 David Arroyo 11pts
4 Sergio Paulinho 9pts
5 George Hincapie 8pts
6 Iván Gutiérrez 7pts
7 Amets Txurruka 6pts
8 Christophe Le Mével
O'Grady has already abandoned, and
Cuesta is standing on the road with his shorts hitched up to his hip from the
impact. He gets up and starts riding, and is attended to by his team car. He's
not looking motivated to rejoin the main bunch and will head back to the gruppetto.
Most of the day's dangers are behind
the riders, but the final climb is looming. This will surely shuffle the GC.
It is pretty steep with sections up to 15.1 percent.
16:59 CEST 146km/19km to go
Colom may get a time
penalty as he got a feed inside the 20 kilometres. But today may make an exception,
as it is a hard today
17:00 CEST 147km/18km to go
Rasmussen is attacking
- Colom is gritting his teeth to get on terms, but the chicken has flown the
coop! (you knew that was coming)
Christophe Moreau has attacked out
if the main field!
He passes Hincapie, who is now out
of the chase group.
Moreau has Goubert up the road and
latches onto his wheel. He drives it. Meanwhile Mayo is leading the case. This
group has blown to bits...
Karpets is off the back... he is,
we would suggest, gooooooooone
- Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
- Antonio Colom (Astana) and David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne)
- Christophe Moreau and Stéphane Goubert (AG2r Prévoyance), Iban Mayo (Saunier
Duval), Cadel Evans (Predictor - Lotto), Andrey Kashechkin (Astana)
Savoldelli is driving the pace behind,
with Vino and Klöden on his wheel.
Moreau attacks again!
17:04 CEST 149km/16km to go
Mayo and Evans are
trying to come to terms with Moreau.
Now Mayo goes!!
Mayo looks very strong and gets a
big lead. It's Lazarus stuff here from a guy whose career looked to be on the
Gerdemann is suffering towards the
back of the Vino group.
Several riders have bridged to Moreau. Two
Discovery Channel guys are there. Savoldelli continues to ride hard behind to
limit their gains.
Vino's jersey is zipped right down
and his pulse monitor strap is on display.
Mayo, meanwhile, looks
very focussed. He's clear of the Moreau group, and is doing what he can to build
a good lead. He is now 4'57 behind Rasmussen.
Leipheimer is near the front behind
Astana that still has Klöden and Vino in the front. Gerdemann is towards the
17:12 CEST 152.5km/12.5km to go
The Moreau group
also contains Popovych and Contador (Discovery), Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne),
Schleck (CSC), Kashechkin (Astana) and Evans (Predictor Lotto).
The Moreau-led group are coming back
to Mayo now. Popovych has blown, it looks like.
They have caught
Mayo drops to the back of the group.
Popovych is still there, hanging on. Moreau leads.
suggests he will be the quickest if they are together at the line. But there
is still quite a way to go as yet...
Gerdemann is sitting towards the
back of the Astana group. He looks relatively composed for now.
- Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
- Antonio Colom (Astana) and David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) Iban Mayo (Saunier
Duval-Prodir), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Frank Schleck (CSC),
Christophe Moreau (Ag2r), Alberto Contador and Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery
Channel), Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) at 4.45
- Peloton at 5.32
17:16 CEST 154.5km/10.5km to go
Moreau is towing
this group along. He's clearly strong, but he shouldn't do too much because
he will leave himself open to attack.
Sure enough, he drops back.
Oh..then goes straight back to the front again and attacks. Valverde springs
17:17 CEST 155km/10km to go
Rasmussen goes under
the 10km to go arch. Further down the mountain, Moreau and Valverde are about
4" clear of the others. Contador and Evans are going after them. Now Kash goes.
In the yellow jersey group, Rabobank
are driving it for Menchov. He is their GC guy.
Karpets has made
it back to this group.
The others got back to Moreau, sans Popovych,
who was dropped a couple of minutes ago. He tries to go again but has been caught.
Mayo goes. Moreau chases and gets his wheel. He's strong, but probably playing
his cards too early...
Horner is moving up in the yellow
jersey group. His leader Evans is up the road, though, so he can't do much.
There are a lot of cat and mouse tactics going on now.
Schleck is now leading the Moreau
group. The Frenchman is feeling antsy, though, and goes back to the front.
Rasmussen is well clear and could possibly take yellow. He was 4'42 back starting
Astana is back on the front, chasing
for Vino. Jens Voigt is at the back of this group and looking a bit rough.
17:25 CEST 157.2km/7.8km to go
Mayo (and his
mullet) hit the front, then eased back.
The Moreau group are all
rotating now, so it's a cease fire for now. Moreau goes back to the front.
At 5 km to go the climb kicks up to 12.5%.
17:28 CEST 157.7km/7.3km to go
Valverde had a
small attack but energiser bunny Moreau caught him.
He is on Klöden's wheel; the German is now leading their group.
Further up the mountain, Rasmussen crosses by a big dam. We are not sure of
the name..perhaps it's the Jean Claude Van dam. Ouch..sorry about that...!
17:28 CEST 159km/6km to go
Moreau went again
for his zillionth attack on the climb. Kash closed him down, Mayo was last to
get back on.
Popovych has been dropped by the
yellow jersey group. So too Gerdemann. He's paying the price for his efforts
17:30 CEST 160km/5km to go
Rasmussen has 5 km
left to go. Meanwhile Gerdemann has blown and slips back. Klöden continues to
drive the chase group, which has dropped right down in numbers. Leipheimer,
Menchov, Vino, Sastre and a few others are here.
The forgotten man Arroyo is still
in second, running 2'55 back. He's been getting zilch attention from TV of late.
17:32 CEST 161km/4km to go
Valverde had a go
but Moreau got him back and returned to the front. He's 24 hours late for Bastille
Day, but is going well...
The Moreau group is 4'13 back.
17:35 CEST 161.8km/3.2km to go
Rasmussen is pulling
off his usual trick; a long distance break which mops up a load of KOM points
and puts him in the position of winning the stage.
Moreau is very
strong. He is still driving the group. Kash is sitting at the back.
The Klöden/Vino/Menchov/Sastre group
looks to be coming back to the others, although the gap is still there. Contador
had a mechanical and dropped back to them. He got that sorted out and has zoomed
back up to the Moreau group.
Vino and Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas)
have been dropped from this chase group.
Sastre and Menchov have
joined Contador. Sastre goes right by his compatriot.
Vino is toiling up this climb, but
fighting to limit his losses. He's clawing his way back up to some of those
who were in his group.
17:40 CEST 163km/2km to go
Chicken Boy is getting
close to a fine win. Moreau is doing 90% of the work behind.
didn't actually close back up to the Moreau group before being caught by Sastre
and Menchov. He's taken off like a scalded cat, though, and does what he can
to get back up there.
17:40 CEST 163.6km/1.4km to go
He's got 3 seconds on Moreau and the rest. Has the Frenchman done too much?
Evans now moves to the front of the
group, chasing Mayo. The Spaniard was all washed up as a Grand Tour contender
12 months ago, but is back at or near his best form.
Moreau is back
on the front of that group.
Rasmussen is getting close to the
He does it! Great win for the Danish
climber. He's got his stage win and a commanding grip on the KOM jersey.
Mayo is well clear of the others..wow...
They are looking at each other, losing time.
Vinokourov and his
tennis-ball shades have rejoined Klöden.
Mayo zips up his jersey. He is coming
in to take second on the stage, Arroyo having blown up towards the end.
Mayo sprints in for second on the
As expected, Valverde jumps clear
and is first of that chasing group. Moreau, Schleck and Evans are next.
Leipheimer comes in approximately
3'58 behind Rasmussen. Vino and Klöden finish in a group four and a half minutes
Gerdemann fights all the way but
it looks like Rasmussen is in yellow. The young German came in 5'06 down.
He's ridden very well on what was
a hard stage; surely a GC contender for the future.
Rasmussen has been confirmed as the
new yellow jersey, 43" ahead of Gerdemann. Mayo is next, third overall. Stay
tuned for time gaps...
That concludes our coverage for today.
It's been a very eventful second day in the mountains, with that old combination
Chicken and Mayo heading the field.
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 4.49.40
2 Iban Mayo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 2.48
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 3.11
4 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance
5 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel
8 Denis Menchov (Spa) Rabobank
9 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
10 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
11 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel
12 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
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