91st Tour de France - July 3-25, 2004
& Results Stage
Live Report Results
Stage 9 - Tuesday July 13: St Leonard de Noblat - Guéret, 160.5 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney and
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 13:34 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:10 CEST
Race leader Thomas Voeckler
Photo ©: Chris Henry/CN
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Tour de France. After yesterday's
rest day in Limoges, everyone is champing at the bit to get going again for
the Tour's second half. Today is not too difficult, and is actually the shortest
non-time trial stage: 160.5 km from St-Leonard-de-Noblat to Gueret, in the departement
of Creuse. These towns are a first for the Tour, and the starting place is best
known for being the hometown of Raymond Poulidor, who finished 2nd three times
and 3rd five times in the Tour between 1962 and 1976, without ever actually
Although it's a fairly lumpy stage today, there are only two Cat. 4 climbs:
the Cote de la Croix de Mapertuis (5.5 km at 3.5%) at the 34 km mark, and the
Cote d'Aubusson (3.5 km at 4.2%) after 92 km. Today's three sprints are at Gentioux
(km 55.5), Felletin (km 77.5) and Pontarion (km 116). The finish is ever so
slightly uphill, and there is a wide 90 degree right hand corner with about
250m to go. It will definitely be a race to that final corner.
The weather should be fairly good. It's cool, overcast with little wind, and
temperatures are in the low 20's. The rain should hold off today.
There will be three non-starters: Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r), who broke his elbow
in a crash near the end of Stage 8, and Martin Hvastija (Alessio-Bianchi) and
Stefano Casagranda (Saeco), who were ejected on the rest day after the Tour
organisers learned that they were involved in as yet unresolved doping investigations
13:43 CEST 5km/155.5km to go
The start was given at 13:34, with 173 riders leaving down the Rue Raymond Poulidor.
After 5 km, the peloton is still together. Race leader Thomas Voeckler got himself
into an early break of eight, but it was brought back.
13:48 CEST 10km/150.5km to go
The attacks continue as Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) and Marcos Serrano (Liberty)
get a small gap. It's only 6 seconds though.
13:50 CEST 12km/148.5km to go
Etxebarria and Serrano are joined by the relentless Jens Voigt (CSC), Daniel
Becke (Illes Balears) and Cyclingnews diarist Scott Sunderland (Alessio-Bianchi),
but the gap is still very small - just 10 seconds.
After 11 km, the five leaders have been recaptured by the peloton.
13:57 CEST 16km/144.5km to go
The escape attempts continue, but no-one is able to break clear yet. There are
a lot of fresh legs in the peloton, and everyone is keen to get in the early
14:01 CEST 19km/141.5km to go
Richard Virenque (Quick.Step) has gone on the attack, and is being pursued at
various intervals by a) Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole) b) the peloton in
general and c) Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r)
14:03 CEST 21km/139.5km to go
Virenque has 16 seconds now on the peloton.
Correction: Kirsipuu is not chasing the break. He has been dropped.
14:07 CEST 23.5km/137km to go
Virenque has been caught. It's all back together again, save for the hapless
Kirsipuu. The climb of the cote de la Croix de Mapertuis starts in about 5 km.
14:12 CEST 28km/132.5km to go
Kirsipuu is still off the back as the attacks continue up front, with Alessio-Bianchi
being particularly active. The Estonian hasn't been doing well in the last few
days, and it's clear that the rest day wasn't enough to set him right.
14:15 CEST 29km/131.5km to go
After 27 km, a group of 20 riders or so has escaped, but the gap between it
and the main peloton is only a handful of seconds.
14:17 CEST 30km/130.5km to go
The group has been caught as the first climb starts. Flecha, Halgand, Totschnig,
Chavanel and Klöden were in it.
14:20 CEST 32km/128.5km to go
Benoît Salmon (CA) and Jean-Cyril Robin (FDJeux.com) have attacked on the climb.
Kirsipuu is now accompanied by Gerrit Glomser off the back of the peloton.
14:25 CEST 35km/125.5km to go
Virenque catches Salmon and Robin before the top of the climb and takes the
three points on offer. His teammate Paolo Bettini is in the mountains jersey
at the moment, and will now keep it until the end of tomorrow.
14:29 CEST 39km/121.5km to go
The full results of the Cote de la Croix de Mapertuis: 1 Richard Virenque (Quick.Step),
2 Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) and 3 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty Seguros).
Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel) and Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze) have attacked,
and have 12 seconds lead.
14:30 CEST 40km/120.5km to go
Simeoni and Landaluze now have 20 seconds after 40 km. The road is still going
uphill, although it's not too steep.
14:34 CEST 42km/118.5km to go
Landaluze and Simeoni still have 22 seconds, as the peloton maintains its tempo.
The first sprint is due in 14 km, so the sprinters teams will be interested
in keeping their men in contention.
14:36 CEST 44km/116.5km to go
Brioches la Boulangère is leading the peloton 57 seconds behind Simeoni and
Landaluze, as Alessandro Bertolini and a Fassa Bortolo rider attack in pursuit.
The peloton is right on their wheels.
Of the two leaders, Landaluze is the best placed on GC, lying in 126th at 20'18,
so he's not really a threat to Voeckler. And Simeoni certainly isn't: he's 169th
14:43 CEST 49km/111.5km to go
Simeoni and Landaluze are working well together and have built up a lead of
1'18 as the peloton continues to roll along, with Brioches having a bit of trouble
controlling everything. Jens Voigt (CSC) attacks at the top of a small climb.
14:45 CEST 50km/110.5km to go
Tombak counters Voigt but gets the whole peloton for company. It's very fast,
and the peloton is in one very long line. Two RAGT riders are bringing up the
Scott Sunderland (Alessio) accelerates from the front, but straight away two
Brioches riders are on him.
14:47 CEST 53km/107.5km to go
The pace reduces in the bunch as the gap comes down to a minute again. It looks
like these two leaders will stay away for some time, certainly until the first
sprint at Gentioux.
14:50 CEST 54km/106.5km to go
44.9 km have been covered in the first hour, which has included climbing 400m
(net). The leaders have 1'43.
Santi Botero has gone off the back to look for his team car and a few water
bottles. He takes eight - that's a quick way to add four kilos!
14:53 CEST 56km/104.5km to go
Landaluze takes the sprint from Simeoni uncontested. Meanwhile, Tombak attacks
to try and prevent Hushovd from taking the last 2 points, but McEwen is right
on his wheel and goes past Hushovd to take the left overs.
Kirsipuu, who was in difficulty early, abandoned at the 30 km mark.
14:54 CEST 59km/101.5km to go
McEwen, still heavily bandaged, starts stretching. Jens Voigt and Erik Dekker
try to counter attack, with Hushovd and the peloton in tow.
The two leaders have 1'30. The road starts to descend now.
The speed has dropped again in the peloton, which will allow the two leaders
more room to get away. Armstrong has moved to the front as several riders, led
by Ullrich, stop for a nature break.
14:59 CEST 62km/98.5km to go
Karsten Kroon (Rabobank) attacks, but the gap is now 2'31 and he will have problems
closing it by himself. Landaluze and Simeoni are working very well.
15:04 CEST 66km/94.5km to go
Kroon is now 45 seconds clear of the peloton, which is moving along steadily,
but still 2'39 behind the break. He will probably sit out in the middle until
he gives up the attempt.
Brioches la Boulangère has assumed the position at the front of the bunch, riding
15:13 CEST 74km/86.5km to go
Mountains leader Paolo Bettini is back with the race doctor to get some treatment
on his left hand, which he injured in a crash last week.
Jan Ullrich has a mechanical problem with his saddle, and it takes a while to
fix, but he's calm and he's back on the bike. The peloton is not travelling
very fast at the moment, and the two leaders, Iñigo Landaluze and Filippo Simeoni
(Domina Vacanze) have 5'25 over the peloton and 3'42 over Karsten Kroon.
The second sprint at Felletin (km 77) is approaching soon.
Ullrich is now making his way back through the caravan, helped by two teammates.
Then another Guerini drops back to help.
15:16 CEST 77km/83.5km to go
Landaluze, Simeoni and Kroon will soak up all the sprint points in Felletin,
which means there'll be no attempt by McEwen, Hushovd and O'Grady to go for
The leading pair now have over 6 minutes on the peloton, while Kroon is still
in no-man's land at 4 minutes behind the leaders.
15:20 CEST 80km/80.5km to go
Simeoni takes the points in Felletin ahead of Landaluze, and Kroon will take
the 2 points for third. The leading pair now have 7'02 over the sluggish peloton,
and 4'32 over Kroon. As today is such a short stage, they must be thinking about
their chances of staying away now.
15:26 CEST 82km/78.5km to go
There's still no hurry in the peloton as Didier Rous leads the bunch across
at the sprint in Felletin, nearly 8 minutes behind the two leaders. Kroon is
now 5'00 from the front riders and 3'00 from the peloton.
15:30 CEST 87km/73.5km to go
Maillot jaune Thomas Voeckler takes a few gulps of his bidon as he comfortably
sits at the front of the peloton. Still no chase yet, although Credit Agricole
jerseys are moving towards the front now. They'd better decide soon, or the
two leaders will ride away with the stage.
Landaluze opens a can of drink (possibly coke) and sucks it down. He and Simeoni
are now 8'48 ahead of the bunch, and they're over halfway.
The roads today are very narrow, and the terrain is constantly up and down.
Kroon is now on the small climb just after the feed zone, while the two leaders
are on the day's second climb, the Cote d'Aubusson, a 3.5 km ascent at 4.5%.
15:36 CEST 90km/70.5km to go
Brioches la Boulangère are still leading the main group, with Phonak right next
to them protecting Hamilton. Serguei Ivanov (T-Mobile) is sitting next to Voeckler,
while Armstrong is further back in the peloton.
The gaps: Landaluze and Simeoni have 6'03 to Kroon and 9'12 to the peloton.
The Brioches boys are leading the pack through the feed zone now. It looks as
though the two leaders will go all the way today.
15:38 CEST 91km/69.5km to go
Landaluze is leading Simeoni on the Cote d'Aubusson, looking pretty comfortable.
These two have done a great job after attacking shortly before 40 km. They are
not really threatening on GC, so it's up to the sprinters teams to chase.
15:41 CEST 93km/67.5km to go
Landaluze takes the points at the top of the climb just as Simeoni comes through
for his turn. Kroon will certainly take third place, and that will be it for
the mountain points today.
The sun is out today, and the riders will welcome it. They're passing along
the Creuse river at the moment.
15:45 CEST 95km/65.5km to go
The two leaders now have 10'01 with 65 km to go. They will definitely stay away
unless something untoward happens. There appears to be no interest in chasing
them by the sprinters teams. That's a little bit surprising, as the sprinters
don't have too many chances left in this Tour.
15:47 CEST 97km/63.5km to go
Kroon takes the remaining point on the Cote d'Aubusson, but he's still only
2'30 ahead of the peloton. This is a suicide move if ever I saw one. It's possible
he may stay away for third, but if anyone in the peloton starts riding (and
they will), then he'll be swallowed up.
Kroon has realised it - he pulls over for a pit stop and will wait until the
peloton gets him again.
15:51 CEST 100km/60.5km to go
Armstrong and Ullrich are keeping out of trouble today, and are happy to let
Brioches/Voeckler take control of the stage.
Credit Agricole has put a couple of riders on the front now as the pace increases.
The two leaders have 9'56 and Kroon, who has just grabbed a water bottle to
replace what he recently rid himself of (we hope it's a different flavour),
is caught by the peloton.
15:53 CEST 101km/59.5km to go
Better late than never... With 60 km to go, FDJeux.com and Credit Agricole have
stepped up the tempo, together with Brioches la Boulangère. They have to pull
back 10 minutes in 60 km, which is not easy.
15:55 CEST 103km/57.5km to go
The average speed for the second hour was a brisk 45.5 km/h, which makes the
overall average of the stage 45.3 km/h. They're definitely not moseying along
Knaven and Bramati are the Quick.Step riders in front, and the gap is come down
15:57 CEST 105km/55.5km to go
If the break maintains its current speed of 45 km/h, the peloton will have to
ride at nearly 52 km/h to catch them. Not completely out of the question, but
it will take a very committed chase.
16:00 CEST 106km/54.5km to go
Bettini has joined the Quick.Step chasers, along with Fedrigo and Moreau (CA)
and La Boulangère. Armstrong is moving towards the front, sheltered by his teammate
Pavel Padrnos. Tom Boonen is ahead of him, sitting on Voeckler's wheel.
Photo ©: Chris Henry/CN
9'02 with 54 km to go. Tricky.
16:03 CEST 109km/51.5km to go
The peloton is stretching out again as the pursuit of the two leaders gets serious.
All the time it's Credit Agricole, Quick.Step and Brioches doing the chasing.
Most of the US Postal team is in a line behind the front section of the peloton.
It looks like Dufaux is up there for Quick.Step, along with Bettini, Knaven
and Bramati and the two Credit Agricole riders. The gap is down to 8'29, with
just over 50 km to go.
16:04 CEST 110km/50.5km to go
Brioches has given up the chase, as it's really up to the sprinters teams. A
Lotto Domo rider has joined in the fun too, to work for McEwen's chances. And
now there's a third Credit Agricole rider. That makes eight chasers all up and
16:06 CEST 112km/48.5km to go
Landaluze and Simeoni are now descending towards the final sprint at Pontarion
(km 116). From then on, it's fairly flat to the finish.
The peloton is moving very rapidly at the moment, with a very loong string in
front. Marichal and Vansevenant are the Lotto riders in front.
16:09 CEST 114km/46.5km to go
Vansevenant does a strong turn on the front, followed by Seb Hinault (CA). There
are 10 riders chasing the two leaders, who are maintaining their speed as they
descend off a plateau.
16:11 CEST 116km/44.5km to go
Hinault munches on some food as he rolls through for his turn at 50 km/h. The
chase is very organised, and it's still possible to haul the leaders back. It's
7'00 as the leaders hit the sprint in Pontarion, with Simeoni rolling across
first ahead of Landaluze.
A herd of cows shows absolutely no interest in the peloton as it flashes by,
unlike the many people out in Pontarion.
16:13 CEST 117km/43.5km to go
A clarification: by 10 chasers, we meant that there are 10 riders working on
the front of the peloton. It's all Quick.Step, Credit Agricole and Lotto-Domo
on the front.
16:15 CEST 119km/41.5km to go
If the peloton keeps this pace, it will catch the two leaders. 6'30 with 42
km to go, and there are no signs that the chase will abate. Halgand comes through
for Credit Agricole, followed by Fedrigo.
The two leaders hit a small climb and start to suffer a bit.
16:18 CEST 121km/39.5km to go
Jimmy Casper apparates like a ghost from the peloton to take the remaining sprint
points in Pontarion. The Cofidis rider has effectively prevented McEwen from
taking any more. He does a track stand just before the line, but cheekily takes
it just before the peloton.
16:20 CEST 122km/38.5km to go
The leaders have 39 clicks to go as Landaluze signals to his team car for another
bidon or three. He gets a bottle and some free advice from his team director.
16:21 CEST 123km/37.5km to go
Dufaux, Fedrigo and Hinault tow the peloton, which has four Quick.Steps, four
Credit Agricoles and two Lotto-Domos leading the pursuit of Simeoni and Landaluze.
The gap is under 6 minutes with 37 km to go.
16:23 CEST 124km/36.5km to go
The peloton is maintaining an average speed of over 51 km/h (assuming that the
leaders are averaging 45) and are still on track to catch them. But it's touch
and go at the moment. 5'51 with 36 km left to race.
16:28 CEST 127km/33.5km to go
Knaven and Bramati motor along on the front of the peloton, which has reduced
the gap to the two leaders to 5'30 with 34 km left. This chase will go right
to the line, it looks like. Credit Agricole and Quick.Step are obviously confident
in the chances of Hushovd and Boonen, while Lotto-Domo obviously wants to keep
McEwen's chances alive.
Voeckler is a fair way back in the peloton, looking to relieve himself.
Richard Virenque is even helping out the Quick.Step train.
16:30 CEST 130km/30.5km to go
Voeckler makes his way back to the front of the peloton now, job done.
4'48 with 30 km to go.
Landaluze and Simeoni hit another undulation and Landaluze works hard to keep
the speed up. The pair are getting a bit tired now, having been in front since
before km 40.
Two Cofidis riders are now helping the chase. Engoulvent is one of them. Servais
Knaven is still doing an impressive amount of work, as are Bramati, Vansevenant,
16:33 CEST 132km/28.5km to go
The GC teams of US Postal and T-Mobile are massing behind the chasers in front
of the peloton. Aldag drops back to the team car to grab a few bottles for his
16:36 CEST 134km/26.5km to go
Virenque does another strong turn, then Joly and Dufaux. The gap is coming down
rapidly, but will the speed be sufficient? The sprinters teams certainly didn't
make it easy for themselves, leaving it so late.
4'10 with 26 km to go.
16:37 CEST 135km/25.5km to go
Landaluze is driving the break, looking the stronger of the two. He has his
arms draped over the tops of the bars as they reach the 25 km to go banner.
It's a little bit downhill for the next few kms.
There are five Quick.Steps towing the peloton at over 60 km/h on a slight descent,
with Cofidis and Credit Agricole also taking part in this chase. The gap was
once over 10 minutes. It's now 3'50.
16:41 CEST 137.5km/23km to go
US Postal has positioned itself right behind the working riders in front of
the peloton. Bettini hammers so hard that he catches the TV motorbike!
25 km to go for the peloton, and it's 3'30.
16:42 CEST 139km/21.5km to go
If the relative speeds remain the same, the peloton should catch the break in
the last kilometre. But normally the bunch moves relatively faster than the
break in the closing kilometres. This will still be an extremely close finish.
16:43 CEST 140.5km/20km to go
As the bunch riders through Ahun, one rider stops on a corner with a mechanical
problem. It looked like and FDJ rider.
20 km left for the leaders, who are working harder now with 3'07 of their advantage
16:45 CEST 142km/18.5km to go
Moreau has joined in the party at the front of the peloton, helping drive the
speed up. The peloton is in one very long, thin line. 2'54 with 18 km left.
It's going to be tricky for the leaders to hang on.
Carlos Da Cruz was the rider with the mechanical problem. He's chasing back
through the caravan now.
Bettini leads the peloton past the 20km banner at 2'45 behind the two leaders.
Bramati does a massive turn.
Landaluze looks to be the best of the two leaders.
16:49 CEST 145km/15.5km to go
Moreau and Knaven drive the peloton as a couple of Domina riders move up to
try and disrupt the chase. The leaders have 2'28 with 15 km to go. Very tight.
Still the same chasers, and Engoulvent is a bit annoyed at the Domina rider
who is getting in the way. Bettini has dropped to the back of the peloton now.
16:52 CEST 147km/13.5km to go
Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner) is lurking behind the front riders in the peloton,
right next to the Posties who have Armstrong well protected. Ullrich is up there
too, but on the other side.
As the peloton passes the 15 km to go banner, the gap is 2'13.
16:54 CEST 148km/12.5km to go
The bunch will have to get moving a bit now, but it looks as though there is
some more support from FJDeux.com. Matt Wilson does a turn on the front, then
Casper. There's also a Gerolsteiner rider up there. It's 1'56 with 12 km to
16:55 CEST 150km/10.5km to go
The two leaders Landaluze and Simeoni are doing just enough to stay clear of
the wild hunt, which is now being led by Cofidis, Credit Agricole and FDJeux.com.
There's one Gerolsteiner rider there. Casper(?) pushes a Domina rider out of
the train, and will probably get fined.
16:56 CEST 150.5km/10km to go
1'40 with 10 km left. It's still too close to call.
16:59 CEST 152km/8.5km to go
the leaders pass through St Feyre with 10 km left, Landaluze driving the break.
Simeoni is a good candidate for the win as he's by far the more experienced.
Landaluze has yet to win a race.
The peloton comes through 10 km to go just 1'24 behind the leading pair. The
traffic islands cause a crash. Marcos Serrano and Kurt Arvesen are down. He's
lying there still.
17:00 CEST 152.5km/8km to go
Arvesen slowly gets up, puts his helmet and glasses on, and looks a bit disgruntled.
He's riding again though.
Meanwhile, the two leaders are 1'10 in front with 8km to go.
Flecha attacks on a climb! He takes Tombak and a Domina rider with him.
17:02 CEST 154km/6.5km to go
Axel Merckx bridges the gap with two others. Rogers and Wegmann it looks like.
Jens Voigt, Uwe Peschel and Michael Boogerd are chasing after the crash.
17:03 CEST 155.5km/5km to go
5 km left and the gap is 48 seconds. The peloton reforms after that attack.
17:04 CEST 156km/4.5km to go
The US Postal team takes the long way around a roundabout, losing much ground.
Boogerd, Peschel and Voigt will not get the peloton.
42 seconds to the two leaders, as the attacks continue.
Landaluze and Simeoni have 39 seconds with 4 km to go. Very very close. But
the chase isn't organised behind them.
17:05 CEST 157km/3.5km to go
Landaluze does a big turn with Simeoni on his wheel. FDJuex.com's Da Cruz is
now leading the chase, with Kroon on his wheel. The two have a small gap to
the peloton, which is getting organised.
30 seconds with 3 km to go....
17:06 CEST 158.5km/2km to go
Da Cruz and Pereiro (Phonak) are at the front of affairs, with the rest of the
peloton just off their heels. Simeoni and Landaluze have just 2 km to go and
have 25 seconds!
17:07 CEST 159km/1.5km to go
The two leaders are continuing to cooperate 20 seconds ahead of the peloton,
which is in a mess.
17:07 CEST 159.5km/1km to go
The leaders take the second last corner about 15 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Surely they'll stay away...
1 km left
Da Cruz drives the peloton and the gap is still 17 seconds.
Ahead, Landaluze is behind Simeoni and doesn't want to come through. Simeoni
17:09 CEST 158.5km/2km to go
Da Cruz and Pereiro (Phonak) are at the front of affairs, with the rest of the
peloton just off their heels. Simeoni and Landaluze have just 2 km to go and
have 25 seconds!
17:10 CEST 160.5km/0km to go
Simeoni leads but Landaluze won't come round. He waits and waits, then goes
with 200m to go. But the sprinters come by and it's McEwen who gets it from
Hushovd and O'Grady...
Pineau takes fourth ahead of Zabel it looks like. That was incredibly close.
McEwen is very happy with his win.
As for Landaluze, he waited far too long to jump - when he did he gave it full
gas. He finished top 10, but he will probably be replaying this sprint in his
head many times tonight.
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 3.32.55
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone
4 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team
6 Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon
8 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Sergio Marinangeli (Ita) Domina Vacanze
10 Iñigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
General classification after stage 9
1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 36.36.31
2 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 2.53
3 Sandy Casar (Fra) Fdjeux.com 4.06
4 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Alessio-Bianchi 6.27
5 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC 7.09
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 9.35
7 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 9.45
8 Jose Azevedo (Por) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 9.57
9 José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.02
10 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 10.06
the commentary team