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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 6-28, 2002
Complete Live Report
Start time: 12:00 CEST
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
12:56 CEST - 44 km
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
13:15 CEST - 59 km
13:28 CEST - 70 km
13:36 CEST - 80 km
48 kilometres were covered in the first hour, and they are still flying.
13:44 CEST - 85 km
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
14:02 CEST - 99 km
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
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
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
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
Franck Renier (Bonjour) is now the virtual yellow jersey.
15:09 CEST - 150 km/67 km to go
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
15:21 CEST - 160.5 km/57 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
15:37 CEST - 171 km/46 km to go
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
15:56 CEST - 185 km/32 km to go
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The gap is now 2'52, with the peloton still led by US Postal.
16:30 CEST - 212 km/5 km to go
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
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
Dekker attacks, and Hinault follows. Belohvosciks has to drag the other five up.
16:36 CEST - 215 km/2 km to go
16:36 CEST - 217 km/0 km to go
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.
Provisional 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