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95th Tour de France - GT

France, July 5-27, 2008

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Stage 1 - Saturday, July 5: Brest - Plumelec, 197.5km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:20 CEST

12:50 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live commentary of the 2008 Tour de France. This year, Tour de France kicks off without a prologue (or time trial) for the first time since 1967; instead it starts with a rolling 195-kilometre road stage.
The riders started at 12:10 this morning under sunny, but windy conditions. Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme had all the national champions line-up on the start line at the front, along with Australian and second last year, Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto). There were such champions as Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Fränk Schleck (CSC-Saxo Bank) and Julian Dean (Garmin Chipotle - H30).

Along the first eight kilometres of neutral zone we could see the wind was a factor as the white and black Breton flags were waving wildly.

Australian Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

12:51 CEST    16.8km/180.7km to go
We have a breakaway of about six men with 3'22". We will get you an update on the riders in the move in one moment.

12:53 CEST    18.5km/179km to go
After crossing four fourth category climbs the stage finishes at the top of the Côte de Cadoual – locally known as the Breton Alpe d'Huez. As there will be no time bonuses available on the stage, the first yellow jersey will securely be taken by the stage winner. The hilltop finish though, means that this is unlikely to be one for the pure sprinters.

Brest, a sub-prefecture of the department of Finistère and the most westerly city in mainland France, is a stage town for the 29th time and will host the Grand Départ for the third time – after 1952 and 1974. Its other big claim to cycling fame is of course the fact that it is the turning point of the epic 1200-kilometre Paris-Brest-Paris endurance event.

Cycling mad Plumelec hosts a stage finish for the third time, as well as hosting the prologue on 1985 when local boy Bernard Hinault won. The last time the Tour finished here the stage was won by Erik Zabel (then Telekom, now Milram) who overcame a youthful Frank Vandenbroucke (Mapei-GB) who misjudged the length of the climb to the finishing line.

Race favourite Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) was interviewed at the start line this morning. The 31 year-old said he was "calm," but not looking forward to a nervous day and first week.

"This route is good, but not perfect," he said of the 95th edition. "There are going to be a lot of favourites that will do well and some unknowns."

12:59 CEST   
The escape consists of Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), José Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale), Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), Björn Schröder (Team Milram), Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux), David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis).

13:01 CEST    24.5km/173km to go
The escape almost has six minutes, at 5'48".

13:02 CEST   
"We decided to come to Brest, we have not been here for a while," noted Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme at the start this morning. "No prologue and it is not really a sprinters stage [today], it finishes with a climb up to the town of Plumelec."

He made a note on Radio Tour. "This year, we will wait for a clear 30 seconds before announcing that the break-away has gone. We have made mistakes in the past."

Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

13:07 CEST   
"There are riders like Philippe Gilbert, who can go well in this first day," noted 2006 Milan-Sanremo winner Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) at the start. "I hope to have my chances, but also there are riders like Thor Hushovd."

He added of the day, "There will be a lot of wind, we will have to wait... It will be a difficult stage."

13:09 CEST    28.5km/169km to go
The escapees have 7'22" in hand. Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) leads the move as it rotates in a clockwise motion.

13:12 CEST   
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) jams off for the first mountains points – Côte de Ty-Jopic (at 29.5km) – of the 95th Tour de France. It is a drag race here...

Björn Schröder (Team Milram) gets it! Voeckler has to be satisfied for second. We think Spaniard David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) is third.

The points are 3, 2 and 1.

13:26 CEST   
Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé reports that Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) was nervous at the start because his team's bus got held up in traffic and only made it to the race 30 minutes ahead of the start. Cyclingnews was caught behind the Agritubel bus and suffered a time loss as well!

13:27 CEST    41.5km/156km to go
The gap is now near eight minutes. Green machine Crédit Agricole is leading the chase and keeping the gap at a manageable margin.

13:30 CEST    44.5km/153km to go
Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) is celebrating a birthday today, turning 26. His team-mate, Lilian Jégou, is the local lad in the escape. There are six Bretons racing in this year's race. The province is a cycling-mad area and also home of Bernard Hinault.

Other numbers: There are 43 riders riding their first Tour de France this year (54 in 2007).

13:32 CEST   
"I finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Plumelec one time and it is a finish that suites me," John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) noted to Brecht Decaluwé. "However, it will be a battle against the wind. There is a lot of wind."

"There is a part along the course where the peloton will turn into the head wind, and the peloton should break up there."

13:36 CEST    47.5km/150km to go
Wim Vansevenant (Silence-Lotto), the flamme rouge in the past has some plays on repeating for 2008. "It is not a goal, but why not?" he stated to compatriot Decaluwé at the day's start in Brest. He warned is not all that easy to be the last placed rider by the race's finish in Paris, "You need to do something for it."

Vansevenant's team-mate Van Summeren joked, "wasn't there a day when you fell before the finish to gain time on your rivals!"

If you are enjoying our coverage please e-mail in and let us know (e-mail below).

13:36 CEST   
Here comes the Côte de Kerivarc'h (at 48.5km)...

13:37 CEST   
Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) goes long for this one...

13:37 CEST   
It looks like Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) nabbed the points over Björn Schröder (Team Milram).

13:38 CEST   
Baffled by the foreign terminology of the Tour? Procycling explains the key words and phrases? Read Tour lexicon.

13:45 CEST    53.5km/144km to go
The gap is at 6'39"

Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

13:53 CEST   
Simon Gerrans (Crédit Agricole) explained the team's job today to Shane Stokes of Cyclingnews. "I have been feeling good," said the stage winner of the Route du Sud. "A day like today will be very important to have someone in the break as well has men to help Thor Hushovd for the finish, in case the group does stay away."

"Thor is still our man for the finish because it is going to be a really power type climb, it is not a climbers' finish by any means. He is still our best chance, if it is all together we will be trying to get Thor up there at the end."

He added, "It will be a tough day with quite a bit of wind, so a break could be likely."

"My form is good and I am happy with how I feel," Norwegian Thor Hushovd said to Stokes. "We will se how things go. Too tough? Maybe not, I feel good. I will try."

13:55 CEST    61.5km/136km to go
The gap is down to 5'51"

13:59 CEST    62.5km/135km to go
Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) takes the points at the intermediate sprint in Plonevez-du-Faou over Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux).

14:00 CEST   
Another Australian, Mark Renshaw, rides in the Crédit Agricole green machine. We have not seen him today, but we will try to retrieve an update on him.

14:06 CEST   
The roads are straight and surrounded by the green pastures of Brittany. This is the second largest cider-producing region in France! The skies above are partly cloudy. What a great day for racing for the first day of the Tour de France and our eight men who are fighting for freedom and glory.

14:07 CEST    68.5km/129km to go
The gap is at 5'30". We see Caisse and Liquigas helping out Crédit Agricole in the peloton's muscle-work.

Italy's Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

14:18 CEST    76.5km/121km to go
The gap is at 4'49" to the Rabobank-led peloton. The race is approaching Kerfranc. We see Saunier Duval's Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli at the back of the peloton. They are riding in the new predominately white kit. It sure is exciting to have this Italian duo here in France. Riccò has a style of his own. Did you about the tattoo on his abdomen? It is of an elf giving the middle finger; what punch this young rider from Formigine (Modena) has.

14:27 CEST    53.5km/144km to go
The gap to Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), José Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale), Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), Björn Schröder (Team Milram), Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux), David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) is coming down. The eight have just over four minutes and must now know that their chances are doomed.

What will happen? It is likely two of the escapees will attack off the front for a better chance at survival.

14:32 CEST    85.1km/112.4km to go
Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) takes a dig off the front on a slight uphill run of Col de Toullaëron.

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

14:33 CEST   
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) busts a move. He is charging hard for Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux), but is unable to catch him. It is Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) and Björn Schröder (Team Milram) over the top (3-2-1 points).

14:38 CEST    89.7km/107.8km to go
The mountains points so far are
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) 7
Björn Schröder (Team Milram) 6
Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) 3
David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) 2
Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) 1

These boys are fighting to win the maillot blanc à pois rouges of best mountain climber. There is one more climb left, the Côte de Guenervé, and then we will know who will don the first climber's jersey of the 95th Tour de France.

The gap is at 4'52".

14:44 CEST   
The sprint in Gourin went to Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) over Stéphane Augé (Cofidis). The leader of this competition will hold take the maillot vert at the end of the stage.

Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) 12
Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) 6
Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) 4
Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 2

There is one more intermediate sprint at km 157 and then the final sprint that will help decide the points for the maillot vert.

14:54 CEST   
The peloton is a colourful affair; it is led by the lime green team of Liquigas, the black and reds of Caisse and splashes of orange from Rabobank and Euskaltel-Euskadi.

The escapee enters the feed-zone in Moulin-Trancher. We see Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) digging into his musette. The 32 year-old Frenchman looking for some food that will supply the energy he needs to make it to the stage finish.

Jégou has been a professional since 2002, starting with Crédit Agricole before moving to his current team at the beginning of 2005.

14:54 CEST    101.5km/96km to go
The gap is at 4'22" through the feed-zone.

14:55 CEST   
The race has its first crash!

14:56 CEST   
Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis) took a trouble in the feed-zone, maybe hitting a water bottle or getting his feed bag caught in the bike's wheel.

14:59 CEST   
It does not look good for the 28 year-old Frenchman. His Tour de France could be over after only 100 kilometres of racing.

The race doctor is looking at Hervé Duclos-Lassalle's left hand. He now puts a wrist brace on the rider, whose Tour de France is over.

15:00 CEST   
He appeared to touch his wheel with another rider while passing through the feed-zone.

15:02 CEST    106.9km/90.6km to go
Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto) is treated while holding on to the race doctor's car. He has blood running down the back side of his right knee.

15:05 CEST    108.9km/88.6km to go
Our eight leaders are holding on to the four minutes' advantage over the peloton. The gap is being managed perfectly by the teams; if they catch the escape too soon they risk other riders attacking.

Gap at 4'22"

15:06 CEST    109.7km/87.8km to go
USA's Danny Pate (Garmin Chipotle - H30) looks smooth here at the back of the peloton. Compatriot William Frischkorn (Garmin Chipotle - H30) comes up to hand 'Dan' some food.

David De la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir) in the 2006 Tour de France
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

15:18 CEST   
Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis) is reported with a broken left wrist. Apparently a musette from another rider was caught in his front wheel. His DS called it a "stupid crash."

15:19 CEST    119.2km/78.3km to go
David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) finished second in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias stage four this year, but you might remember him from 2006. That year he took the maillot blanc à pois rouges for a few days and was voted the most aggressive rider by race end.

15:24 CEST   
Where were David Millar and his Garmin mates in June? The first day of June was the last day of the Giro d'Italia and Millar, Ryder Hesjedal, Christian Vande Velde and Danny Pate left for Switzerland's St. Moritz the day after.

"I am looking forward to having a break now. The four guys that are here, we are going up to St. Moritz tomorrow, go up to altitude for ten days to rest and recover," Millar noted June 1. The city is just over the border from Italy and rests at 1822 metres altitude. "... And then we are going to Gerona for a couple of days and then over to the Pyrenees to train over there. Basically, we just have a permanent training camp until the Tour. I will race nationals, but that is it."

David Millar (Garmin Chipotle - H30)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

15:29 CEST    126.5km/71km to go
The flat countryside has changed to become thick forest. The riders are dwarfed by trees as they make their way east to Plumelec.

The gap is 3'48" to the lead eight men.

15:33 CEST   
The final climb, the Côte de Guenervé, is about 15 kilometres away. Will Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) or German Björn Schröder (Team Milram) be the rider to take the maillot blanc à pois rouges?

15:48 CEST    139.9km/57.6km to go
Water bottles are flying left and right here as the pace ramps. Riders are franticly taking sips and keeping hydrated before the stressful finale into Plumelec. It is fair game today, win the stage and you take the race leader's maillot jaune. Favourites include Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), ...

Forget about this eight-man move, which now has 3'12", it is going to get wiped clean.

15:54 CEST    144.8km/52.7km to go
'Pippo' Pozzato's Liquigas team leads the peloton with two of its men.

Also watch out for GC contender Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and two-time time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC-Saxo Bank). The Columbia boys are no clowns; it is too hard of a finish for Mark Cavendish, but maybe USA's George Hincapie could steal the show. Remember his dash in the Dauphiné Libéré?

Gap at 3'13".

15:54 CEST    145.1km/52.4km to go
Yaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto) and Jimmy Casper (Agritubel) are involved in a crash.

15:55 CEST   
Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) was in the mix too. German Champ Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) is rolling back to the peloton, but we don't know if he was part of the crash.

15:56 CEST    146.3km/51.2km to go
José Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale) leads out for the final climb...

15:59 CEST   
Björn Schröder (Team Milram) and David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) takes over... The Spaniard gets the Côte de Guenervé over Björn Schröder (Team Milram) and Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom).

Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) and Björn Schröder (Team Milram) are tied for mountain points and the jersey will be decided on a count back at the finish (we think, or maybe an arm-wrestling match).

16:02 CEST    150km/47.5km to go
'Popo' Popovych (Silence-Lotto) is licking his wounds at the back of the pack. Team captain Evans will be concerned for his mountains lieutenant; losing a team-mate in the early stages of the Tour de France could jeopardise the entire French campaign.

Dario Cioni is back there with Popo and getting a status check.

16:06 CEST    153.7km/43.8km to go
The maillot blanc is up for grabs at the finish. The highest placed youngster today will win the white jersey of best under 25 year-old racer. Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott)?

16:10 CEST    156.7km/40.8km to go
Less than five kilometres to the final intermediate sprint, in Remungol.

16:15 CEST    159.5km/38km to go
There is harmony amongst the eight men, but this has to change now that the peloton is breathing down their backs.

Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) lead over the sprint. The points gained here are small compared to the 25 (we believe) on the finish line. Therefore, you can almost expect that the stage winner will take the maillot vert as well as the maillot jaune, and maybe even the maillot blanc if he is 25 years old or under.

16:19 CEST   
Spaniard David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) leaps up the road.

16:20 CEST    33.8km/163.7km to go
The aggressive rider is joined by local-kid Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux). The duo has a slight advantage over the other six.

16:23 CEST   
I see a bad moon rising: Has the gap been closed too soon?

We are asking about in the Cyclingnews' research department and the boys there tell us that 'yes' this move is risky and that other opportunists will fire up the road at any moment.

16:24 CEST    167.5km/30km to go
Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) is holding up the rear of the peloton as the race enters the final 30 kilometres.

16:29 CEST   
The 27 year-old Spaniard and the 32 year-old Breton are looking aggressive; both have their hands in the handlebars' drops.

16:30 CEST    171.5km/26km to go
The gruppo loses time while dodging roundabouts; riders going left and riders going right – some going over.

16:32 CEST    172.3km/25.2km to go
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), José Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale), Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), Björn Schröder (Team Milram) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) are pulled in by the peloton. Only David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) remain free.

16:32 CEST    172.5km/25km to go
The duo passes the 25km to go banner.

16:35 CEST    174.3km/23.2km to go
The finale is dodgy at best. Just after the 2km mark there is a tight bridge crossing. "Speed is the key," but also positioning.

The duo has 1'32" in hand.

16:36 CEST   
There is a strong wind coming on the riders' right. This opening stage of the 95th Tour de France is really a difficult one.

16:39 CEST   
Stéphane Goubert (AG2R La Mondiale) and Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom) crash at the back end of the peloton. They are back up and going...

16:40 CEST   
Marcus Burghardt (Columbia) is near the front. Is the German working for USA's George Hincapie (Columbia)?

16:41 CEST    179km/18.5km to go
Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) and David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) are working out their tactics. They will need some master plan as they have 1'28" over the speed machine behind.

16:43 CEST    179.9km/17.6km to go
A small move gets with Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas) is making its way back onto the peloton.

Prepare yourself for some fireworks here. We are in the first day of the Tour de France and there is a lot on the line in Plumelec.

16:45 CEST    181.5km/16km to go
There are some rain drops coming down, but it looks like anything serious will wait for the Tour's first stage to finish.

OH, but if it does rain we are going to have a dicey finish. Look for Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) or Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) to excel.

16:45 CEST    182.5km/15km to go
The duo has 48".

16:46 CEST   
The peloton backs off the pace, letting the gap stay at a reasonable amount before pouncing on its prey.

16:48 CEST    182.5km/15km to go
The gap is 33 " as the peloton passes the 15km banner. Silence-Lotto and Crédit Agricole are near the front of the chase.

16:51 CEST    186km/11.5km to go
Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto) is tapping out the rhythm on the front. The tall Belgian will be working for Evans and McEwen; keeping the former out of danger and the latter up front for the sprint.

16:52 CEST    187km/10.5km to go
Félix Rafael Cárdenas (Barloworld) is at the front with the teams of Quick Step and Silence-Lotto.

16:52 CEST    187.5km/10km to go
Gap is now at 13".

16:53 CEST    188.2km/9.3km to go
Six Silence-Lotto men are on the front along with one Quick Step rider.

We have another crash...

16:54 CEST   
Oh no! Colombian Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) is down. Two team-mates stop to check if he is okay.

Soler in 2007
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

16:54 CEST   
Bad luck for Barloworld, however, the winner of last year's maillot blanc à pois rouges is back on his bike and riding.

16:56 CEST    7.1km to go
The duo is caught.

16:58 CEST    191.2km/6.3km to go
David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) roll back through the fast-moving peloton.

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) seems to be very nervous, he over-cooks a bend and nearly hits a barrier. The Barloworld boys are trying to bring him back into the mix so he does not fall too far out of the GC.

16:58 CEST   
Here we go. Place your bets!

16:59 CEST   
Lotto continues to lead the peloton.

Soler has two men working for him.

16:59 CEST    193.1km/4.4km to go
Columbia takes over the pace-making... for Hincapie?

17:00 CEST    194km/3.5km to go
They look strong here, but it won't be a finish for Mark Cavendish (Columbia). They lead with five or six men.

17:01 CEST    194.7km/2.8km to go
Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner) rides in the grass on the left side of the road.

Julian Dean (Garmin Chipotle - H30) and Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto) are near the front.

17:01 CEST   
Columbia still leads. Quick Step for Gert Steegmans is moving to the fore.

17:02 CEST   
You got to keep the pace high and on the front if you want to win...

17:02 CEST   
Lilian Jégou (Française des Jeux) is the most aggressive rider of the day we hear.

17:03 CEST    196.3km/1.2km to go
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is still near the front, trying to stay out of trouble.

17:03 CEST   
An Agritubel rider rides up the right side of the road.

17:03 CEST   
It is Romain Feillu (Agritubel).

17:04 CEST    196.5km/1km to go
Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) moves up in the final K.

The road is kicking up. The German looks good.

17:04 CEST   
Someone needs to mark him or he is gone!

17:04 CEST   
A Columbia rider is chasing it back.

17:04 CEST   
Kim Kirchen (Columbia) catches and passes!

17:04 CEST   
Ballan is chasing...

17:05 CEST   
Ballan fades.

17:05 CEST   
Kirchen is going to get this!

17:05 CEST   
Valverde kicks!

17:05 CEST   
The Spanish Champ catches and passes!

17:05 CEST   
The Green Bullet Fires and wins the opening stage of the 95th Tour de France.

17:06 CEST   
He takes the maillot jaune and the stage victory. What a punch by the 28 year-old Spaniard.

17:07 CEST   
Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) struggles home. He wil have time losses galore.

17:07 CEST   
Cavendish and other riders are finishing as well.

17:09 CEST   
Kim Kirchen (Columbia) really had a good gap on that last right bend, but Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was unstoppable after hitching on in the final 200 metres.

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) loses 3'10", and maybe the Tour de France!

17:09 CEST   
Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) second and Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) took third.

17:11 CEST   
Viva España! One week after claiming the Spanish Champs, on the same day Spain took the Europe Cup in football, Valverde rockets to the finish over Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux).

17:13 CEST   
The rain now starts to come down! What timing and luck with this finish.

17:14 CEST   
Valverde gained one second on the others in that finish.

17:14 CEST   
Evans and Riccò were safely up in the finish.

17:16 CEST   
Thanks for joining us today. Please come back for full results, photos and reporting.

Provisional results

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
3 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
4 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia
5 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto
7 Fränk Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank
8 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
9 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
10 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
General classification after stage 1
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
3 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
4 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia
5 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott

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