For the second day in a row, the winner of the stage has also claimed the yellow jersey. Michael Rasmussen (RAB) leads Linus Gerdemann in the general classification by 43" after eight stages.
Michael Rasmussen has won his third stage of the Tour de France. He will end the day with the polka-dot jersey and also the overall lead.
The top 10 in stage eight is:
1. Michael Rasmussen (DEN) RAB - 165km in 4h49’40" (34.177km/h)
2. Iban Mayo (ESP) SDV - at 2’47"
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) GCE - at 3’12"
4. Christophe Moreau (DEN) RAB - at 3’12"
5. Frank Schleck (LUX) CSC - at 3’12"
6. Cadel Evans (AUS) PRL - at 3’12"
7. Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ) AST - at 3’12"
8. Alberto Contador (ESP) DSC - at 3’31"
9. Denis Menchov (RUS) RAB - at 3’35"
10. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC - at3’35"
Gerdemann has lost the yellow jersey. He finished the stage 5’05" behind Rasmussen who is the new overall leader of the Tour de France.
Valverde has finished the stage in third place after attacking the Moreau group in the final 200 meters.
Mayo has finished in second place in stage eight. He is 2’47" behind Rasmussen.
Valverde has rejoined the Moreau group that is now in the final kilometer of the stage.
Mayo is determined to beat his rivals to the line. He has shifted up to the big chainring... but his antics shouldn’t overshadow the achievements of Michael Rasmussen who has achieved yet another major coup on the day of his stage victory.
Michael Rasmussen has won his third stage of the Tour de France. He is the most aggressive rider of the day and is likely to also end up with the yellow jersey for his efforts en route to Tignes.
Rasmussen is going to win again. He is less than 1,000m from the finish. Mayo has attacked the Moreau group and opened up a good gap on: Moreau, Kashechkin, Schleck and Evans. Valverde has been dropped.
Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Schleck (CSC), Mayo (SDV) and Kashechkin (AST) are about 4’00" behind Rasmussen. Mayo is on the attack again.
Contador is not waiting around Menchov and Sastre. He is intent on rejoined the Moreau group after his mechanical problems.
Sastre and Menchov have attacked the Vinokourov group. They are now with Contador and in pursuit of Moreau, Evans, Schleck, Kashechkin, Mayo, Arroyo and Valverde.
With 4km to go, Arroyo has been caught by the group that contains his team leader, Valverde.
Vinokourov’s group had Contador in it for a matter of moments. The Spanish Discovery Channel rider has attacked and is now in pursuit of Moreau’s group.
Contador has dropped out of the Moreau group because of problems with his bike. He’s how riding with Leipheimer, Kloden, Vinokourov et al.
Gerdemann has just lost contact with the Vinokourov group. He is 4’45" behind the stage leader.
Kloden, Vinokourov, Menchov, Sastre, Cobo, Leipheimer, Valjavec and perhaps even Pereiro are the riders now in pursuit of Moreau’s group.
Rasmussen is 4’05" ahead of Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Schleck (CSC), Mayo (SDV) and Kashechkin (AST). Vinokourov is at 4’55".
The riders in Vino’s group are: Vinokourov, Kloden, Sastre, Menchov, Gerdemann, Kirchen...
Arroyo is 2’55" behind Rasmussen who is now within the final 5km of the stage.
Moreau has attacked again. Valverde is, once again, the first to respond. The others have now closed the gap to the French champion.
Popovych was with Moreau’s group for a while but he’s been caught by Vinokourov’s group.
There is one minute between Moreau’s group and the Vinokourov group. The stage is going to be won by Rasmussen but the most animated group is that of the French champion which consists of: Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Schleck (CSC), Mayo (SDV) and Kashechkin (AST).
Rasmussen has been on the attack since the 89km mark. He now leads the stage by 2’35" over Arroyo, with an advantage of over five minutes on Gerdemann, is destined to inherit the yellow jersey at the end of the eighth stage.
Valverde (GCE), Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Schleck (CSC), Mayo (SDV) and Kashechkin (AST) are now 1’10" ahead of Vinokourov, Kloden, Menchov, Boogerd, Gerdemann...
Moreau’s group also contains Alejandro Valverde.
Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Schleck (CSC), Mayo (SDV) and Kashechkin (AST)... this is the most animated group on the final climb. Despite the numerous attacks, they remain, for the most part, together. They are now 10km from the finish of the stage. They are 4’15" behind Rasmussen.
Mayo has caught and passed Moreau. Kashechkin, Valverde, Contador, Schleck and Evans have responded.
Christophe Moreau is on fire today. As soon as the others settle onhis wheel the French champion attacks again.
Gerdemann is still in the group that’s being led by the Astana team - including Vino and Kloden. They are 40" behind Moreau’s group.
Rasmussen has 10km to go in the stage. He began his assault with 10km to climb on the Cormet de Roseland and is destined to win his third Tour stage.
Moreau and Valverde have attacked again. This pair has a lead of about 30 meters on Schleck, Evans, Contador and Mayo. Popovych has been dropped.
Valverde (GCE), Mayo (SDV), Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Popovych (DSC), Schleck (CSC) and Kashechkin (AST) are the riders who are in pursuit of Colom (AST), Arroyo (GCE) and Rasmussen.
Mayo is now riding along with Moreau, Valverde, Schleck et al. They are 4’05" behind the Danish stage leader, Rasmussen.
The Moreau group is 15km from the finish of the stage. It is composed of Moreau (A2R), Evans (PRL), Contador (DSC), Popovych (DSC), Schleck (CSC) and Kashechkin (AST).
Mayo leads Contador, Popovych, Moreau, Evans, Kashechkin, Valverde by 12" and Vinokourov’s group by 40".
Rasmussen is 5’00" ahead of the Moreau group that’s now 20" ahead of ’Vino’ and Kloden’s group.
Rasmussen is 40" ahead of Arroyo and Colom and on his way to victory in stage eight.
Mayo is now 18" ahead of the Moreau/Evans/Contador group.
Popovych is also in the Moreau group that’s now about 100m ahead of a group that includes Vinokourov, Kloden and Leipheimer.
Moreau, Evans, Valverde, Kashechkin, Contador, Voigt... are the riders now in pursuit of Mayo.
Mayo has opened up a big lead with one strong blow. He is now 100m ahead of the Moreau group.
Moreau continues his effort. Valverde has him covered and Contador and Schleck are said to have also responded.
Moreau’s attack has promted a big reaction. The men capable of following him are: Valverde, Evans, Goubert, Mayo, Kashechkin...
Moreau has promoted a big reaction on the final rise. Mayo, Valverde, Evans and Kashechkin have reacted to Moreau’s acceleration.
The French champion has attacked the peloton.
Rasmussen is out of the saddle and dancing ahead of Colom and Arroyo. This trio has 16km to go in the stage.
Cuesta is back on his bike and riding again after his recent crash.
Rasmussen is destined to claim the yellow jersey if he continues at this rate. He continues to lead Colom and Arroyo and is currently on the final ascent with a lead of 6’05" on the peloton that’s being led by the Astana team.
There has been another crash in the peloton. This time it’s Inigo Cuesta.
The Astana team is at the front of the peloton that’s 6’15" behind Rasmussen at the top of the Montee d’Hautville.
At the summit of the fifth climb the minor points were claimed by:
4. Paulinho (DSC) 9pts - at 4’55"
5. Hincapie (DSC) 8pts
6. Gutierrez (GCE) 7pts
7. Txurruka (EUS) 6pts
8. Le Mevel (C.A) 5pts
Kohl has attacked the second group just as the leading trio reach the 25km to go mark.
With their team leader, Michael Rogers, now riding in the team car the T-Mobile riders in the peloton are setting the tempo again.
At the top of the Montee d’Hautville, the points were won by:
1. Rasmussen (RAB) 15pts
2. Colom (AST) 13pts
3. Arroyo (GCE) 11pts
Rogers has pulled over and is now being consoled by his team director. The race doctor believed he might be able to make it to the finish but the Australian appears ready to abandon the Tour de France...
Rasmussen’s group is currently 5’05" ahead of the yellow jersey. The only Dane in the Tour this year began the stage in 39th place overall, 4’42" behind Gerdemann. It seems certain that the Rabobank rider will inherit the yellow jersey at the end of the stage. ’Chicken’ has been doing all the work...
Dr Porte has spoken to France Television about the injuries of the two fallen Australian riders. Michael Rogers has a sort right shoulder but the race doctor believes he’ll be able to make it to the finish of the stage albeit in a lot of pain. Stuart O’Grady, on the other hand, is on his way to hospital in Moutier in an ambulance. He has complained of severe back pain and will undergo further examinations in the hospital.
Rasmussen has done ALL the work of the lead group since his attack began in Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Colom and Arroyo have not done a turn of pace at all on the 5th climb.
Michael Rogers is now holding on to the race doctor’s car and being examined by Dr Gerard Porte.
Rogers has been caught by the main peloton. At one stage he was 4’50" ahead but then he crashed on the descent and he appears ready to step off his bike... but he’s pushing on despite the pain of the injuries he’s sustained.
Stuart O’Grady’s 11th Tour has come to an end. The winner of Paris-Roubaix this year crashed on the descent of the Cormet de Roseland and is now in an ambulance.
Ivan Parra of the Cofidis squad had abandoned the Tour de France.
Verdugo, Txurruka, Gutierrez, Hincapie, Le Mevel, Paulinho and Voigt have just caught and passed Rogers.
At the 128km mark, the peloton is 4’30" behind Rasmussen’s trio.
The fifth rider in the stage, Le Mevel (C.A) is 3’20" behind Rasmussen’s trio.
Rasmussen, Goubert and Colom are 8km from the top of the fifth climb. They are 2’30" ahead of Rogers who doesn’t appear to be in a good way.
Of the three riders in the lead of the stage, Rasmussen is doing all the work. Colom and Goubert can do nothing but follow the Rabobank rider who has twice won the King of the Mountains crown.
Rogers has been fighting a knee injury for most of the season. He said at the start of the Tour that he was just getting over it but, after the recent crash, he has abrasions on the left knee and it seems that it’s causing him a lot of grief. He had been the virtual leader of the Tour for a few minutes but then overshot a lefthand turn and tumbled to the ground.
Rasmussen, Colom and Arroyo are 50" ahead of Goubert and Kohl.
Rogers has been dropped from the lead group and is riding onhis own 2’19" behind the stage leaders.
At the 154km mark, the peloton is 3’45" behind Rasmussen, Colom and Arroyo.
The race doctor is being called for Rabobank’s Niermann. It seems he is one of several riders to crash on the descent of the Cormet de Roseland.
There are two riders from the Lampre team at the head of the peloton. They are joined by an AG2R recruit and a Gerolsteiner rider. Then come two Predictor-Lotto riders, Cioni and Evans.
There are three in the lead of the stage: Rasmussen, Colom and Arroyo. They have a lead of about 100 meters on Goubert and Kohl. Rogers has been dropped by the lead group. The peloton is at 3’40".
Rogers has sustained a facial injury in his crash. He has been droped by Kohl and Goubert at the front of the race.
The rider from CSC who crashed on the descent is, in fact, O’Grady. We are waiting news about his condition but haven’t seen anything of the incident.
Leipheimer attacked the peloton on the descent. He dropped a chain and had to change bikes in Bourg-St-Maurice. He is now working his way back through the convoy.
The stage leaders are 15km from the top of the 5th climb of the day.
The fallen CSC rider is Voigt not O’Grady as reported in a previous flash.
A CSC rider has crashed in the peloton. It’s Stuart O’Grady and although there’s talk of it on race radio we haven’t seen the incident...
Rogers and Arroyo have caught up with the Rasmussen group. They crashed at the 110km mark and rejoined the lead 8km later.
Rogers and Arroyo are now just 10" behind Rasmussen’s quartet with 45km to go in the stage.
Rogers and Arroyo are 35" behind Rasmussen, Colom, Goubert and Kohl.
Rasmussen, Colom, Kohl and Goubert are in the lead of the stage. Next up are Rogers then Arroyo.
After his crash, Rogers quickly remounted. He is about 300 meters ahead of the other crash victim Arroyo.
Arroyo is back on the bike but we can’t see what has happened to Rogers. He appeared uninjured but we await confirmation of this.
Two of the stage leaders have crashed!
The peloton that includes the yellow jersey is at the top of the Cormet de Roseland, 5’10" behind the Rogers group.
The peloton is being led by Ballan (LAM) 5’05" behind the stage leaders.
The peloton has just past the 1km to climb sign.
At the top of the 19.9km long, 1,967m high Cormet de Roseland the points were won by:
1. Michael Rasmussen (RAB) 15pts
2. Bernhard Kohl (GST) 13pts
3. Stephane Goubert (A2R) 11pts
4. David Arroyo (GCE) 9pts
5. Michael Rogers (TMO) 8pts
6. Antonio Colom (AST) 7pts
7. Christophe Le Mevel (C.A) 6pts - 52"
8. George Hincapie (DSC) 5pts - at 1’25"
Rasmussen et al are 1km from the summit. The Rabobank rider is setting the pace of the lead group but the man with the most to gain is T-Mobile’s designated leader Michael Rogers who began the day in 14th overall, 4’03" behind his team-mate.
Both Rasmussen (RAB) and Rogers (TMO) have been setting the tempo for the lead group (that also includes: Arroyo (GCE), Goubert (A2R), Kohl (GST) and Colom (AST). They are 1’15" ahead of Guitierrez (GCE), Voigt (CSC), Txurruka and Verdugo (EUS), Hincapie and Paulinho (DSC) and Moreni (COF).
The peloton is at 4’50".
Astarloza, Vila, Barredo and Cardenas are 3’00" behind the stage leaders. In between is a group of seven: Gutierrez, Voigt, Txurruka, Verdugo, Hincapie, Paulinho and Moreni.
The peloton is currently 4’10" behind the Rogers’ group. This means that the Australian T-Mobile rider is the virtual leader of the Tour de France.
Paulinho has caught up with his team-mate Hincapie. The two Discovery Channel riders are in a group that includes two Euskaltel riders, Voigt (CSC) and Moreni (COF).
Le Mevel has been dropped by the lead group which now contains six riders: Rasmussen - who is setting the pace - Colom, Rogers, Goubert, Kohl and Arroyo.
Colom, Le Mevel and Kohl have been caught by Rasmussen, Rogers, Goubert and Arroyo at the 93.5km mark.
Kohl has been caught by Colom and Le Mevel at the 93km mark.
Contador is in pursuit of Cardenas and Vila just ahead of the peloton.
Kohl is 11" ahead of Colom and Le Mevel.
The only Barloworld rider to have previously won a stage of the Tour de France is Felix Cardenas. He has attacked the peloton and has been joined by Vila (LAM). Garate (QSI) is in pursuit of this pair.
The current situation has Kohl in the lead. Next on the road are Colom and Le Mevel. Then comes Rogers, Rasmussen, Arroyo and Goubert...
The Rasmussen quintet are 1’25" behind Kohl.
Kohl has a lead of 3’10" over the peloton that contains Gerdemann.
There are five riders in the Rasmussen group: Rogers, Arroyo, Gutierrez, Goubert and the two-time King of the Mountains.
Kohl leads Colom by 25" and Le Mevel by 30" with 10km to climb.
Rasmussen’s group has just caught up with the Rogers’ group. He has gone straight past and Rogers has responded.
Burghardt continues to lead the peloton. Behind him is Patrick Sinkewitz... they are setting the pace for their colleague, Mr Linus Gerdemann who is wearing the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.
Schumacher was one of the early aggressors today but the Gerolsteiner rider in on his way back to the ’grupetto’. He has been dropped by the peloton.
One of the riders who was in the escape group that formed at the 30km mark, Jorge Azanza (EUS) has just been caught by the peloton.
Kohl is 12km from the top of the Cormet de Roseland. The Gerolsteiner rider began the stage in 36th place overall, 4’31" behind Gerdemann.
Rasmussen (RAB), Arroyo (GCE), Paulinho (DSC), Txurruka (EUS) and Mercado (AGR) are 1’50" behind Kohl. The peloton is at 2’30".
Schumacher and Vaugrenard have been swallowed up by the peloton that’s splitting to pieces on the Cormet de Roseland.
There are five riders in the Rasmussen group including: Arroyo (GCE), Paulinho (DSC), Txurruka (EUS) and Mercado (AGR).
The peloton is being led by the winner of Gent-Wevelgem this year, Marcus Burghardt.
Rasmussen has set off from the front of the peloton. He has caught Vaugrenard and Schumacher (who are about to be caught by the peloton). David Arroyo is the Caisse d’Epargne rider who has matched the pace of Rasmussen.
Bernhard Kohl (GST) is leading the stage by 20".
In second place is Christophe Le Mevel (C.A)
The remnants of the escape group is 35".
The pace of the peloton is causing numerous riders to drop behind. This group includes Zabriskie, Grabsche, Canada, Wiggins, Boonen, Casar...
One of the two Gerolsteiner riders in the lead group has accelerated. Kohl now lead a group of 13 by 30".
There are now 16 men in the lead group. Millar is 1’00" behind after his bike change and Vaugrenard has been dropped.
The fact that Rasmussen has marked the move by the (as yet unidentified) Barloworld rider, is reason for the peloton to up its pace to chase down the handful who have joined the two-time King of the Mountains.
One of the Barloworld riders has accelerated ahead of the peloton. He has prompted Rasmussen, Burghardt and a number of other riders to come across.
The Saunier Duval representative in the escape, David Millar, has just stopped to change bikes. There are now 17 men in the lead of the stage.
At the base of the Cormet de Roseland, the peloton’s deficit to Rogers’ group was 1’45".
The escapees have 20km of climbing ahead of them. They are at the 79km mark and the summit of the 19.9km long Cormet de Roseland is at 99km.
The peloton is 1’45" behind Gutierrez (GCE), Rogers (TMO), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Goubert and Arrieta (A2R), Azanza and Verdugo (EUS), Schumacher and Kohl (GST), Le Mevel (C.A), Hincapie (DSC), Auge and Moreni (COF), Willems (LIQ), Jegou and Vaugrenard (FDJ), Millar (SDV) and Voeckler (BTL).
The escapees are now in Beaufort at the 77km mark.
Bernhard Eisel has come around the Rabobank riders at the head of the peloton and waved for the motorcycle carrying a television cameraman to move further forward and not offer any slipstream for the chase group to follow.
This is the ninth time that the Tour de France’s itinerary has included the category-one Cormet de Roseland climb. The most recent winners of the points at the top of this 1,967m high mountain were:
1992 - Claudio Chiappucci
1995 - Alex Zulle
1996 - Udo Bolts
2002 - Mario Aerts
2005 - Laurent Brochard
Of this selection, only one rider is in the 2007 Tour. Mario Aerts is that man and the Belgian is the Predictor-Lotto team’s representative in the 18-man escape group.
The Rabobank team is ensuring that Rogers’ group doesn’t get too far ahead. The leaders are 1’45" ahead of the peloton and both Pieter Weening and Grischa Niermann can take credit for the fact that the advantage hasn’t grown much beyond 2’10".
Yesterday’s winner said that his main objective today would be to help his T-Mobile team leader, Mick Rogers. The Australian is currently in the escape group that’s 1’50" ahead of the peloton. He’s the best-placed on GC of the 18 leaders.
No matter what happens in the Tour, Rogers’ life is destined to change in the last half of 2007. His wife, Alessia is expecting twins in September.
Of the 18 riders in the lead, three have previously won a stage of the Tour de France. Jens Voigt’s most recent success was in stage 13 last year in Montelimar. George Hincapie won the 16th stage of the 2005 Tour. And David Millar has won three stages: two time trials (on in 2000, the other in 2003). He also won a stage in Bezier between his other victories.
The 18 escapees are still 2’00" ahead of the peloton. So far 65km have been ridden and the main threat to Gerdemann’s yellow jersey is his team-mate Mick Rogers who began the day in 14th overall, 4’03" behind the 24-year-old German.
The counter-attackers have all been caught by the peloton. Now there are 18 riders ahead of the peloton. They are: Gutierrez (GCE), Rogers (TMO), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Goubert and Arrieta (A2R), Azanza and Verdugo (EUS), Schumacher and Kohl (GST), Le Mevel (C.A), Hincapie (DSC), Auge and Moreni (COF), Willems (LIQ), Vaugrenard (FDJ), Millar (SDV) and Voeckler (BTL).
Jegou and Geslin were in the counter-attack but they have been reeled in by the peloton which is now led by three Rabobank riders and has a deficit of 2’05" to the 18 escapees.
The five counter-attackers are 1’45" behind the 18 escapees and the peloton is at 2’05".
1. Willems (LIQ) 6pts/6"
2. Schumacher (GST) 4pts/4"
3. Colom (GCE) 2pts/2"
The escapees are about to contest the 2nd intermediate sprint of the stage. Schumacher is leading the 17 others to the line in Albertville.
The Rabobank team had been leading the peloton but now there are six T-Mobile riders at the front of the main pack that’s 2’00" behind Rogers’ group.
The escape group is about to contest the 2nd intermediate sprint. They are already in Albertville. The advantage over the peloton is around two minutes.
Garcia-Acosta (GCE), Perez (EUS), Righi (LAM), Geslin (BTL) and Jegou (FDJ) are the riders in between the 18-man escape group and the peloton.
The finish today is similar to the one at Pla-de-Beret in the Pyrenees last year when Denis Menchov won the stage. So does the Rabobank director believe that a repeat is possible today? “Again, it all depends on the situation,” said Breukink. “Last year it happened that way because we found ourselves in the right situation to be aggressive. We had a few guys in the lead group and we could dictate terms on the final climb. But you can’t see into the future and know what the situation will be. It’s impossible to plan something like that in advance… this is the Tour and numerous scenarios can be presented. If we’re in the final with a few guys, and if we see that someone – one of the favorites – is suffering then I expect that we’ll take a chance and be bold.”
The escape group is about 1’30" ahead of five chasers and 1’50" ahead of the peloton at the 53km mark.
“There are a few teams that are really strong and we also have some good riders for the mountain stages,” said the directeur sportif of the Rabobank team, Erik Breukink. “I think the strongest are Discovery Channel, Caisse d’Epargne and Astana… but there are quite a few teams that can have a few riders there for the the final. It’s my hope that Menchov and Rasmussen will also be there.”
When asked if it’s a day for Rasmussen to launch and attack early as he’s done for one day in the past two editions of the Tour, Breukink was a little hesitant but explained that it really does depend on the situation. “It’s a possibility,” said the Dutchman, “the big mountains are here. It was a different situation yesterday because there was only one climb with a lot of points. After 70km today, we’ll see what’s happening and then if he can take points then he might try his luck.”
The peloton has reached the top of the third climb with a deficit of 1’30" to the 18 escapees.
Voeckler attacked the lead group to try and gain first place at the Col de Tamie (at the 46.5km mark). The points were won by:
1. Voeckler (BTL) 10pts
2. Schumacher (GST) 9pts
3. Goubert (A2R) 8pts
4. Millar (SDV) 7pts
5. Kohl (GST) 6pts
6. Rogers (TMO) 5pts
The escapees covered 42.4km in the first hour of racing.
The 18-man escape group is in the final kilometer of the category-two Col de Tamie. Rogers (TMO) has the most to gain if the escape succeeds and he has been setting the pace but Moreni (COF) is now taking charge.
Rogers’ group is now 1’30" ahead of the peloton which continues to be be led by Weening of the Rabobank squad.
Of the 18 riders in the lead of stage eight, the best placed in general classification is Michael Rogers (TMO). He began the day in 14thplace overall, 4’03" behind his team-mate Gerdemann.
There are now 179 riders still in the 94th Tour. The latest retirement is the youngest rider in the race, Mark Cavendish of the T-Mobile squad. He was the ’Lanterne Rouge’ at the start of the day, 44’44" behind his team-mate Gerdemann.
Jegou has dropped out of the lead group.
Weening (RAB) is leading the peloton. Behind him are three T-Mobile riders.
The leaders are 1’05" ahead of the peloton with 5km to climb.
The one name missing from the list posted in the previous flash is Colom of the Astana squad.
Gutierrez (GCE), Rogers (TMO), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Goubert and Arrieta (A2R), Azanza and Verdugo (EUS), Schumacher and Kohl (GST), Le Mevel (C.A), Hincapie (DSC), Auge and Moreni (COF), Willems (LIQ), Jegou and Vaugrenard (FDJ), Millar (SDV) and Voeckler (BTL).
They are 40" ahead of the peloton.
Voeckler has been caught by the chase group with 6.5km to climb to the 3rd summit.
There are 19 riders in pursuit of Voeckler. They include the leaders of the T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner teams, Rogers and Schumacher. The advantage of Voeckler over the chase group is 20" and the peloton is at 30".
The stage leader is about to begin the ascent of the Col de Tamie. Voeckler is at the 38.5km mark.
Voeckler leads a group of about 20 riders. The chase group includes: Rogers (TMO), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Arrieta and Goubert (A2R), Azanza and Verdugo (EUS), Schumacher and Kohl (GST), Le Mevel (C.A), Jegou and Vaugrenard (FDJ), Hincapie (DSC). They are 20" behind while the peloton is at 40".
1. Thomas Voeckler (BTL) 6pts/6"
2. Lilian Jegou (FDJ) 4pts/4"
3. Stephane Goubert (A2R) 2pts/2"
Arroyo, Guttierez, Rogers, Vandevelde, Voigt, Aerts, Evans, Moreau, Arrieta, Goubert, Zubeldia, Azanza, Verdugo, Bruseghin, Vila, Schumacher, Fothen, Kohl, Le Mevel, Hincapie, Martinez, Popovych, Auge, Moreni, Willems, Casar, Jegou, Garate, Colom, Kashechkin, Kloden, Millar, Efimkin are the riders who are now chasing Voeckler. The Rabobank team is in charge of the peloton.
Another rider ahead of the peloton is Vaugrenard (FDJ). He is about to catch Voeckler.
Hincapie (DSC), Gutierrez (GCE), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Arrieta (A2R), Goubert (A2R), Verdugo (EUS), Bruseghin (LAM), Schumacher (GST), Kohl (GST), Vogondy (AGR), Casar (FDJ), Garate (QSI), Colom (AST) and Millar (SDV) are still in pursuit of Voeckler who has a lead of 18". The first intermediate sprint is due soon.
Voeckler continues to lead the stage. His advantage over a chase group of 15 riders - including Hincapie (DSC), Gutierrez (GCE), Voigt (CSC), Aerts (PRL), Arrieta (A2R), Goubert (A2R), Verdugo (EUS), Bruseghin (LAM), Schumacher (GST), Kohl (GST), Vogondy (AGR), Casar (FDJ), Garate (QSI), Colom (AST) and Millar (SDV) - is 20".
Casar, Vaugrenard, Voigt, Garate, Millar, Bruseghin... and a handful of others are attempting to catch the stage leader - Thomas Voeckler.
Gutierrez, Hincapie, Colom, Voigt and a number of other riders are trying to bridge the gap to the stage leader, Voeckler who is 8" ahead.
Voeckler is making his attack stick. He has a lead of 100m on the other aggressors. The chase group includes about 25 riders.
Voeckler (BTL) is now trying his luck with an escape. He has a lead of about 75 meters on Jens Voigt (CSC).
Verdugo (EUS) and Goubert are now trying to establish an escape. They are setting a rapid tempo on the descent of the Cote du Bouchet.
All the riders from the original escape have been caught by the peloton.
1. Schumacher (GST) 4pts
2. Garate (QSI) 3pts
3. Verdugo (EUS) 2pts
4. Goubert (A2R) 1pt
Schumacher is the only rider from the original escape who is still in the lead of the stage. He led over the second summit with an advantage of 20".
Schumacher is intent on making his move stick. While Jens Voigt and Juan Manuel Garate catch up wtih Jegou, the Gerolsteiner team leader has a lead of 10" on the peloton.
Sieberg and Jegou have been dropped because of the pace being set by Schumacher in the lead of the stage. The German still has two others with him... Efimkin and Auge.
Martinez (DSC) has led the peloton up to Pineau. There are now just five riders ahead of the peloton. The advantage of the quintet is 30".
Schumacher’s group is now 2km from the top of the Cote du Bouchet. They are 25" ahead of Pineau and 35" ahead of the peloton.
The peloton is 25" behind Schumacher, Efimkin, Auge, Sieberg and Jegou at the 19km mark. Pineau (BTL) has been able to break free of the bunch and is now in pursuit of the five escapees.
The points for the first climb in stage eight were won by:
1. Stefan Schumacher (GST) 3pts
2. Alexandre Efimkin (BAR) 2pts
3. Marcel Sieberg (MRM) 1pt
The peloton is riding a rapid tempo and a number of riders are trying to bridge the gap to the five escapees but T-Mobile is in making sure it’s in control of the pack that’s now 20" behind.
The escapees are 1km from the first summit. They are being pursued by Goubert (A2R) who is 20" behind.
The pace has claimed some early casualties on the Cote du Marais. McEwen (PRM), Feillu (AGR) and Cavendish (TMO) have already been dropped.
The five escapees are being chased by about 20 riders who have been able to break free of the peloton. The advantage for Schumacher et al is 15".
On the first climb of the stage, Schumacher is setting the pace ahead of Efimkin. Jens Voigt (CSC) is part of a move that’s now attacking the peloton.
The peloton is at the 11km mark. It is 35" behind Auge, Jegou, Efimkin, Schumacher and Sieberg.
The five escapees are now on the first ascent of the day. They have a lead of 30" on the peloton which is being controlled by the T-Mobile squad.
Today’s stage concludes at the top of a mountains. The second stage in the Alps boasts a total of six climbs. They are:
- Cat-4 Col du Marais (3.8km long at 4.1%)
- Cat-3 Cote de Bouchet-Mont-Charvin (2km at 7.1%)
- Cat-2 Col de Temie (9.5km at 4.0%)
- Cat-1 Cormet de Roseland (19.9km at 6.0%)
- Cat-1 Montee d’Hauteville (15.3km at 4.7%)
- And the final ascent: the cat-1 Montee de Tignes (18.0km at 5.4%)
The overall leader Linus Gerdemann is also on top of the youth classification rankings. He has a lead of 3’05” on the rider who finished fifth in stage seven, Juan Mauricio Soler of the Barloworld team. The Colombian will, however, wear the white jersey today because Gerdemann is in the yellow jersey.
In third place in the category that’s open to riders born after 1 January 1982, is the former wearer of the white jersey, Vladimir Gusev (DSC).
Riders from the T-Mobile team are at the head of the peloton that’s now 20" behind the escapees.
Jegou’s group is 15" ahead of the peloton. Each rider in the lead is working hard to establish a decent advantage.
There are five riders with a small advantage over the peloton. The move was instigated by Lilian Jego at the 1km mark. He has been joined by Schumacher (GST), Auge (COF), Sieberg (MRM) and Efimkin (BAR).
The first 8km of the 165km stage are downhill. The profile shows that the road drops from an altitude of 950m to 637m before the road begins to rise again. Jegou is now being pursued by riders from Gerolsteiner, Barloworld and Milram.
The official start time of the 8th stage is 12.52pm. There are 180 riders in the race with no overnight retirements. The first attack has come from Lilian Jegou of the FDJ team.
Sylvain Chavanel’s lead in the mountains classification is under threat today but the Frenchman still has a lead of 12 points over yesterday’s winner Linus Gerdemann. The Cofidis rider had originally said that he wouldn’t be able to defend the polka-dot jersey but he’s changed his mind after the seventh stage. “Even if I lose the polka-dot jersey in the Alps, there’ll still be enough possibilities to get it back again," said Chavanel. "Now that I’m carrying it, I really want to defend it.”
In third place in the climbers category is David De La Fuente (SDV) who is also 12 points behind Chavanel while another French rider retains fourth place – Laurent Lefevre (BTL) with a tally of 27 points.
Tom Boonen (QSI) may have finished 156th in the stage to Le Grand-Bornand, 22’47” behind the winner but the Belgian continues to lead the points classification. The winner of stage six has a tally of 147pts for the green jersey. In second place is Erik Zabel (MRM) who has 134pts while the only South African in the 2007 Tour, Robbie Hunter (BAR), is ranked third in the sprinters category with 103pts.
After a week of racing, the Tour finally got a new overall leader after the stage to Le Grand-Bornand. The winner of stage seven, Linus Gerdemenn (TMO) now leads the general classification by 1’24”. In second place is the runner-up from yesterday Inigo Landaluze (EUS) while third place is held by last year’s Most Aggressive rider David De La Fuente (SDV) who is 2’45” behind the 24-year-old German.
Fabian Cancellara (CSC) finished 148th, 22’47” behind Gerdemann. The former race leader is now ranked 108th in the general classification.
The peloton has left the site of the ’depart fictif’. It is currently rolling through the 2.8km neutral zone on a bright, sunny day at Le Grand-Bornand. The temperature is a warm 30 degrees Celsius and this is expected to rise significantly through the day with maximum forecast in the mid-30s.
The second day of racing in the Alps is due to begin at 12.45pm. The peloton faces a tough day of climbing from Le Grand-Bornand to Tignes, the ski station in the Savoie department that makes its debut as a site for a Tour stage finish. Today there are six climbs - one cat-4, one cat-3, one cat-2... followed by three cat-1 ascents including the final rise to an altitude of 2,068m after 165km of racing.
There is a 2.8km neutral zone before the peloton reaches the site of the official start. Live coverage of the stage will commence shortly.