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Le Tour 2001
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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

Main page    Stage profile    Start List    Results

Stage 8 - Sunday July 14: St-Martin de Landelles - Plouay, 217.5 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:45 CEST

12:30 CEST
Welcome to the live coverage of Stage 8 of the Tour de France, 217.5 km from St-Martin de Landelles to Plouay. Held on Bastille Day, today's stage is sure to see the French riders on the attack, hoping to win on their national day as Laurent Jalabert did last year.

Oscar Freire
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

Mapei team management this morning told Cyclingnews.com's Tim Maloney that Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire will not be starting stage 8 due to injuries to his back from the crash in the final kilometres of stage 7 yesterday. Freire was involved in a crash yesterday only four kilometres from the finish. Another of the fallen riders was Bonjour's Didier Rous, who suffered a broken collarbone and has abandoned. Freire has been plagued with back injuries for at least two seasons but it is not known how yesterday's crash will affect the remainder of his season.

12:38 CEST - 38 km
It's been another very fast start, with several groups getting away but none successful. The first sprint in Bazouges-la-Perouse was won by Robbie McEwen (Lotto), in front of Erik Zabel (Telekom) and Nicolas Vogondy (FDJ). Vogondy carried on his own for a while, before being recaught by the peloton.

12:56 CEST - 44 km
The attacks continue with Jean Cyril Robin (FDJ) now in front with Raivis Belohvosciks (Lampre). The pair have 35 seconds.

A little more on Freire, who strained his psoas muscle in the crash yesterday. "Yeah I'm really disappointed, I was going for the win yesterday. I'm sorry to have to go home in my first Tour de France," he said.

Also, Lotto-Adecco's Aart Vierhouten was sick with a stomach bug yesterday and barely finished the stage. He was over 20 minutes down at the end and did not start this morning. That means there are 182 riders in the race.

13:10 CEST - 55 km
Belohvosciks and Robin are still 30 seconds in front of the peloton, which is now being led by CSC-Tiscali.

13:15 CEST - 59 km
The CSC-Tiscali chase has recaptured Belohvosciks and Robin at the 59 kilometre mark. The peloton is back together...for now.

13:28 CEST - 70 km
The still compact peloton is approaching the first of three Cat. 4 climbs today, the Côte de Becherel. FDJeux.com's Christophe Mengin leads in the mountains classification by 13 points over Ag2r's Stéphane Berges. With three Cat. 4 climbs on offer today, carrying 5, 3, 1 points for the first three riders, it's unlikely that Mengin will lose his polka dot jersey until stage 10 or 11.

13:36 CEST - 80 km
The results of the first climb: 1. Ruslan Ivanov (Alessio), 2. Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com), 3. Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour). Mengin now has a 16 point buffer to second place.

48 kilometres were covered in the first hour, and they are still flying.

13:44 CEST - 85 km
A group of 12 riders now have a 40 second lead on the peloton, after attacking at km 82: Pavel Padrnos (US Postal Service), Toni Tauler (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Arvis Piziks (CSC-Tiscali), Fred Rodriguez (Domo-Farm Frites), Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com), Franck Bouyer, Sylvain Chavanel and Jerome Pineau (all Bonjour), Fabian De Waele (Mapei-Quick Step), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2R Prevoyance), Cristian Moreni (Alessio), Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour).

The best placed rider is Padrnos, who is 22nd at 1'46.

We spoke with Cristian Moreni before the start, and the Alessio rider was nursing a bandaged forearm. "I was caught in a crash 5 km from the end, in the same crash as Freire. But I ended up on the right side of the road."

It's too bad because the team worked very well at the end and I felt good too. I got a few scratches and bruises but my legs are still good."

" Today we'll see how it goes in the race. It's a long undulating stage. With the finale in Plouay it's a really nice stage. I hope to do something in the finale but for sure the French riders are going to attack."

13:51 CEST - 90 km
The 12 man group, which contains three Bonjour riders, is being chased hard by the peloton. However, they were away for the second sprint in Montauban-de-Bretagne (km 82), which was won by Sandy Casar (FDJ) from Antonio Tauler (Kelme) and Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour).

14:02 CEST - 99 km
After splitting up, the group has been caught by the bunch again. Nearly 100 kilometres have been covered in the first two hours of racing. Something must give...

Some riders are looking more to tomorrow's crucial individual time trial, and will try to save themselves as much as possible today. We spoke to Fassa Bortolo's Serguei Gontchar this morning, who won the World Time Trial Championships in Plouay in 2000.

"I'm feeling pretty good and I'm ready for the time trial tomorrow," he said.

When asked about whether he would attack on the Cote de Ty-Marrec today (near the finish), he was doubtful: "Well we'll see, but I'm really just focused on tomorrow."

14:19 CEST - 111 km/106 km to go
The riders are over halfway through the stage, and there has been no let up in the pace. The first two hours were covered at an average speed of 49.3 km/h. For the record, the fastest ever road stage in the Tour was in 1999, when Mario Cipollini averaged 50.335 km/h to win in Blois.

A new break, with Sébastien Hinault (Credit Agricole), Servais Knaven (Domo-Farm Frites), Erik Dekker (Rabobank), Karsten Kroon (Rabobank), Franck Rénier (Bonjour), Raivis Belohvosciks (Lampre Daikin), and Stephane Augé (Jean Delatour) has gotten clear. David Millar (Cofidis) tried to chase, but didn't make it across. The seven leaders have a gap of 1'00.

The most dangerous rider in the break is Renier, who is 86th at 4'39. Remember him from yesterday?

14:34 CEST - 124 km/93 km to go
The seven leaders have stretched their advantage to 2'55 as the peloton finally slows down for a while. The high speed at the beginning of the stage was helped by a tailwind, but this will turn round to a light headwind as the riders head into Plouay for the finish.

We spoke with Piotr Wadecki (Domo) before the start today, and the Pole was sounding positive. "It's nice weather so I feel good. I hear it's up and down all day. The finale is really difficult so we will try something in the last few kilometres with Axel, Bruylandts and Richard. The French guys are motivated today."

14:43 CEST - 132 km/85 km to go
The gap has grown to 3'34, as ONCE control the pace in the peloton. There are three Dutchmen in the break, including Rabobank teammates Dekker and Kroon, and Domo's Servais Knaven. Also Franck Renier (Bonjour) is there, despite being in front all day yesterday. And Raivis Belohvosciks (Lampre), Stéphane Auge (Jean Delatour) and Sabastien Hinault (CA).

Yesterday's stage winner Brad McGee had an enjoyable evening to celebrate his first Tour de France win. "I had a few beers and drank a glass of champagne. We had a good time at the dinner table," he said this morning. Look out for a diary update from Brad later tonight.

14:57 CEST - 141 km/76 km to go
Igor Gonzalez takes the opportunity to have a nature stop, as his teammates drop back to help him. The tempo in the peloton stays calm this time, unlike two days ago when Rabobank and Domo started to drive the tempo. But this time, Dekker, Kroon and Knaven are 4'51 up the road.

Franck Renier (Bonjour) is now the virtual yellow jersey.

15:09 CEST - 150 km/67 km to go
The seven leaders, Renier, Dekker, Kroon, Knaven, Hinault, Belohvosciks and Auge have 6 minutes on the ONCE led peloton, which is showing no signs of speeding up. To stay in yellow, Igor Gonzalez has to limit the damage to around 4'40 (unless Renier wins the stage). That's quite possible.

The sprinters teams may not be interested in chasing today, as the finale isn't really suited to a bunch sprint.

Cyclingnews spoke with Floyd Landis this morning about today's stage and how he was feeling. "Hangin' in there," he said. "I feel good but we'll see. It's a long day. I had a good sleep - I should be fine."

"Hopefully ONCE will defend again and the sooner a break goes the better. I'd take it easier today if possible but it's going to be hard. It's Bastille Day and they're crazy about cycling in Plouay. It won't be pretty."

15:15 CEST - 154 km/63 km to go
Now some of the Ag2r riders, including Agnolutto and Stephane Berges, have got to the front of the peloton to help ONCE chase. It's effective, bringing the gap down to 5'45. But they'll have to keep it up.

15:21 CEST - 160.5 km/57 km to go
Ag2r's chase, despite only having three men, has had a big impact on the break's lead, bringing it down to 4'59 with under 60 km to go.

The leaders hit the third and final sprint of the day in Noyal-Pontivy (km 160.5), and Hinault takes it in front of Kroon and Knaven.

15:26 CEST - 163 km/54 km to go
Brad McGee (FDJ) drops back to the team car for a bite to eat, and quickly makes his way back through the peloton. The gap has fallen to 4'42. Renier's time in virtual yellow is limited once again. Ag2r now have five men on the front.

15:37 CEST - 171 km/46 km to go
With around 1 hour of racing to go, the seven leaders Franck Renier, Erik Dekker, Karsten Kroon, Servais Knaven, Sebastien Hinault, Raivis Belohvosciks and Stephane Auge have a gap of 4'10, to a peloton led by Ag2r riders, who may fancy Jaan Kirsipuu's chances in a sprint.

Massive crowds are lining the route on France's national day Quatorze juillet, and are enjoying the sunny conditions and fast racing.

15:46 CEST - 177 km/40 km to go
It's coming down slowly, but is it fast enough? The peloton is now 3'50 behind the seven leaders with 40 km to go. Only Ag2r is doing the chasing, but now have some help from Fassa Bortolo.

15:56 CEST - 185 km/32 km to go

Bobet museum
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

The Ag2r riders are getting tired, and are still getting no help. The gap remains at 3'50, and time is running out to chase the leaders down. Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo) is doing the occasional turn as well. The leaders are on the Cat. 4 Côte De Kervalan.

Earlier in the day, the riders passed the museum of Louison Bobet in Saint-Meen-Le-Grand (km 102). Chris Henry snapped a quick pic of the museum en route.

15:59 CEST - 188 km/29 km to go
Ag2r's Oriol drops out the back of the peloton, his work finished. The gap at the top of the climb is 3'46. Too late?

The points on the climb were taken by Raivis Belohvosciks (Lampre) from Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Karsten Kroon (Rabobank).

16:05 CEST - 192 km/25 km to go
Who's going to win in Plouay? It looks like one of these leading seven riders, as the peloton hasn't decided to close the gap in time. Erik Dekker has to be a favourite, although he is still not at top form - he knows how to win. Also he has his teammate Karsten Kroon, which will help them tactically. The other Dutchman in the break is Servais Knaven.

On the other hand, there are three very motivated Frenchmen there: Franck Renier (Bonjour), Stephane Auge (Jean Delatour) and Sebastien Hinault (CA), all of whom would love to win on the national holiday.

Finally there is Latvian champion Raivis Belohvoschiks (Lampre), who will be dangerous if allowed to escape alone, as he's a good time trialist.

The gap is 3'20.

16:10 CEST - 196 km/21 km to go
The leaders have 3'16 with around half an hour to race, as Karsten Kroon makes the first attack in the breakaway. It's unsuccessful.

Ag2r has given up the chase, and ONCE are now in front. They won't try and close it down.

16:15 CEST - 199 km/18 km to go
Belohvosciks pulls off the front and Dekker attacks. But everyone accelerates as he's the big danger man in this group. Still 3'25. All ONCE has to do is keep it to 4'20 or so, and Igor will stay in yellow.

Kroon and Renier attack on a descent with 16 km to go. It doesn't work.

16:20 CEST - 204 km/13 km to go
Belohvosciks attacks as they reach Plouay, but everyone is quickly on the Latvian's wheel.

US Postal have got to the front to set the tempo, and keep Armstrong out of trouble.

16:22 CEST - 205 km/12 km to go
The leaders are on the well known Circuit Jean-Yves Perron with 12 km to go. The peloton follows at 3'20 and will be fighting out 8th place today.

Belohvosciks attacks again, quite hard, but only succeeds in getting rid of Dekker. And then there were six.

16:28 CEST - 210 km/7 km to go
Dekker is trying, without luck, to get back to the leaders. Belohvosciks attacks again - Hinault chases him down, and the others follow.

The gap is now 2'52, with the peloton still led by US Postal.

16:30 CEST - 212 km/5 km to go
Belohvosciks attacks again. The others chase and he is caught before the Ty Marrec. Now the race begins in earnest.

Auge attacks, Dekker almost gets on the back but is dropped again. Auge is caught by Belohvosciks.

16:32 CEST - 213 km/4 km to go
Dekker catches them again as they slow. Not bad going...

It's cat and mouse though, as Belohvosciks leads the way up the Cote de Ty Marrec

Dekker attacks, sort of. More to help his teammate Kroon. It's a smart move, as he makes it to the top with the leaders.

16:34 CEST - 214 km/3 km to go
Belohvosciks attacks at the top, and gets Kroon on his wheel. They slow, and Dekker chases them down. But here goes Knaven - Belohvosciks chases him down.

Dekker attacks, and Hinault follows. Belohvosciks has to drag the other five up.

16:36 CEST - 215 km/2 km to go
Belohvosciks attacks. But surprisingly can't get away. Still seven...

16:36 CEST - 217 km/0 km to go
He goes again from 500m out. Dekker follows - but it's Kroon who gets it in the sprint from Knaven and Dekker. What a finish... Dutch 1-2-3.

Meanwhile, Tafi attacks the peloton with 1 km to go as he said he would. He gets Hondo and Dierckxsens with him. McGee chases them down with Cooke on his wheel. Cooke goes, but McEwen, Zabel, O'Grady roll him.


1 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank                           4.36.52
2 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites
3 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
4 Franck Rénier (Fra) Bonjour
5 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole
6 Stephane Augé (Fra) Jean Delatour
7 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Lampre Daikin
8 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                          1.55
9 Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
10 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
11 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole

General classification after stage 8

1 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski           32.18.46
2 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                           0.04
3 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski                            0.12
4 Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                           0.22
5 Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                            0.27
6 José Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski                            0.28
7 Marcos A.Serrano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                        0.30
8 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service                   0.34
9 Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC-Tiscali                          0.53
10 Andrea Peron (Ita) CSC-Tiscali


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