With his eighth place in the stage, Cadel Evans has pushed his way into the lead of the Tour de France. He has an advantage of one second over Frank Schleck.
As we wait for Kirchen’s arrival, we can confirm the top 10 in stage 10.
1. Leonardo Piepoli (ITA) SDV - 156km in 4h19’27"
2. Juan Jose Cobo (ESP) SDV - at same time
3. Frank Schleck (LUX) CSC at 28"
4. Bernhard Kohl (AUT) GST at 1’06"
5. Vladimir Efimkin (RUS) ALM at 2’05"
6. Riccardo Ricco (ITA) SDV at 2’17"
7. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC at 2’17"
8. Cadel Evans (AUS) SIL at 2’17"
9. Denis Menchov (RUS) RAB at 2’17"
10. Christian Vande Velde (USA) TSL at 2’17"
Evans has finished the stage 2’17" behind Piepoli.
Kohl has finished fourth in the stage, 1’05’ behind Piepoli.
Schleck is third in the stage, 27" behind Piepoli.
Piepoli and Cobo have celebrated first and second in the stage. It’s a coup for Saunier Duval.
At the 1km to go banner, Schleck was about 20" behind Cobo and Piepoli. The Evans group has reached the same mark about 2’00" behind. Schleck and Evans are going to be at the top of the general classification at the end of the 10th stage but exactly what order we don’t yet know.
The deficit from Cobo and Piepoli to the Evans group with 2km to climb is 2’05".
Evans has been leading his group most of the time for the last few kilometers. Menchov did more forward briefly but now it’s Evans again.
Cobo and Piepoli are going to arrive at the finish to claim first and second. They are eight seconds ahead of Frank Schleck with 2km to go.
Cobo and Piepoli have dropped Schleck. The Saunier Duval pair are racing on two what looks likely to be the squad’s third stage win this year.
Cobo continues to lead Schleck and Piepoli. They are 3km from the finish and one thing is virtually certain: Piepoli is preparing for a mighty attack. He’s been following his team-mate and the virtual leader of the Tour de France, Schleck, for the past two kilometers.
Evans is setting the pace for the next group (that’s 1’55" behind) and stuck in the middle of Schleck’s trio and Evans’ septet is Efimkin.
Frank Schleck is 1’55" ahead of Evans group with 4km to climb. At this stage, Schleck is the new leader of the Tour de France. He began the stage 1’50" behind the Australian who was 6" behind Kirchen at the start of the stage.
Cobo, Piepoli and Schleck are now 4km from the finish. Evans is leading a group of seven in the chase group but Efimkin is still ahead of this septet.
Piepoli had been on the attack but he has been caught by Cobo and Schleck 5km from the finish. This trio is 35" ahead of Efimkin, 1’40" ahead of Menchov, Evans, Ricco, Vande Velde, Duenas Nevado, Sastre...
Another minute back is an isolated Kim Kirchen.
There are now six riders in the Evans group: Cadel, Menchov, Duenas Nevado, Ricco, Sastre, Vande Velde... they are 1’29" behind Piepoli.
Cobo has attacked Frank Schleck and Piepoli. Now Piepoli is riding after his team-mate at the front of the stage.
Kohl and Efimkin have been dropped from the lead group and now Menchov is attacking the Evans group. There is 1’10" between the leaders and the Evans’ group.
There has been another attack from Ricco. He is being matched by Menchov, Evans, Sastre, Vande Velde and Nibali each time.
The riders in Evans group are: Menchov, Ricco, Sastre, Nibali and Vande Velde...
Evans has been caught by Sastre, Vande Velde et al. The surge didn’t last long and now Ricco is attacking.
With Kirchen climbing back near Evans group, the Australian has attacked. He has caught Astarloza.
Evans, Goubert, Sastre, Nibali, Astarloza, Duenas Nevado, Vande Velde, Ricco and Menchov are the riders in the first chase group.
There is 20" between the five stage leader and Evans, Sastre, Duenas Nevado, Menchov and Ricco.
There are five riders in the lead of the stage, they are: Cobo, Piepoli, Schleck, Kohl and Efimkin. They are 50" ahead of the yellow jersey. The best of the quintet in GC is Frank Schleck who began the stage 1’56" behind Kirchen.
Valverde has been helped with a mechanical problem by a spectator. The winner of stage one is now back on his bike but he’s well out of contention today.
Evans is now out of the saddle and riding alongside Menchov and Sastre while Frank Schleck leads the stage under the 10km to go sign.
Ricco has been dropped in a bout of action that has seen Frank Schleck, Piepoli and Efimkin burst into the lead of the stage.
Schleck has gone and he is being followed by Piepoli. There has been no reaction from Evans or Sastre.
Sastra is now on the attack! He wasn’t able to drop Menchov or Evans who responded quickly... now it’s Schleck’s time.
Cobo has attacked now and he is being followed by Sastre, Kohl and Evans.
Frank Schleck has done a huge turn and it’s caused a lot of damage. Kirchen has been dropped. The yellow jersey has Goubert and Astarloza with him.
Di Gregorio has been caught 12km from the finish.
Voigt has dropped from the yellow jersey’s group and now Frank Schleck is attacking.
Voigt is chomping the bars as he grimaces with effort to try and set up his leaders on the final climb. ’Jensie’ is leading the group that’s now just 15" behind Di Gregorio.
Freire and Roy are the first to be dropped from the yellow jersey’s group which is led by Voigt.
With 15km to go in the stage, Valverde’s group is 2’35" behind that of Kirchen.
At the base of the Hautacam climb, the yellow jersey is 40" behind Di Gregorio.
Repeating the names of those in the yellow jersey’s bunch that is now 55" behind Di Gregorio with 15km to go:
Evans (SIL), Sastre, Cancellara, Schleck, Schleck, Voigt (CSC), Kirchen (THR), Duenas Nevado (BAR), Nibali (LIQ), Fothen and Kohl (GST), Menchov and Freire (RAB), Ricco, Cobo and Piepoli (SDV) and Vande Velde (TSL), Astarloza (EUS), Dupont, Efimkin and Goubert (ALM), Roy (FDJ) and Duque (COF).
There are six other riders in the lead group. They are: Astarloza (EUS), Dupont, Efimkin and Goubert (ALM), Roy (FDJ) and Duque (COF).
The 18 riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton are: Evans (SIL), Sastre, Cancellara, Schleck, Schleck, Voigt (CSC), Kirchen (THR), Duenas Nevado (BAR), Nibali (LIQ), Fothen and Kohl (GST), Menchov and Freire (RAB), Ricco, Cobo and Piepoli (SDV) and Vande Velde (TSL).
The yellow jersey’s peloton has just caught Dupont and Roy. Now only Di Gregorio is ahead of the CSC-led pack. The advantage is 2’02".
It’s proving awkward to try and identify all the riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton but we can say that Voigt has been driving the pack that also includes the rider ranked second (Evans). We’ll report a full list when we can.
We can confirm that Ricco is also in the peloton that’s being led by a dominant CSC squad. They are about 22km from the finish of the 10th stage. The final 14.4km are uphill. Their group is currently 2’45" behind Di Gregorio who has 20km to go in the stage.
Valverde has been drifting down the right side of the chasing paceline and chatting with numerous riders as he goes. He then comes forward to do a turn of pace in the group that also includes at least one of his team-mates and the leader of Lampre, Damiano Cunego.
There are about 20 riders in Kirchen’s group, they include: Cancellara, Voigt, Schleck, Schleck, Sastre, Freire, Evans, Vande Velde, Efimkin, Cobo, Menchov, Kirchen... They are 3’20" behind at the 25km to go mark.
Cancellara is now part of the CSC troop that leads the yellow jersey’s peloton. They are setting a furiously fast pace and closing in quickly on Di Gregorio who is 25km from the finish. The yellow jersey’s peloton is 4’10" behind the stage leader 1’00" ahead of the Valverde group.
Roy, Dupont and Duque are 1’55" behind Di Gregorio with 25km to go in the stage.
At the 30km to go mark the Kirchen group is 5’30" behind Di Gregorio.
Valverde lost almost a minute to Kirchen on the climb but he’s made up a lot of that time on the descent. He is now 15" behind the overall leader.
Roy (FDJ), Duque (COF) and Dupont (ALM) are the riders in second, third and fourth place in the stage. They are 29km from the finish with a deficit of 2’10".
Di Gregorio is in the lead of the stage with an advantage of 2’25" on the three chasers. We can also report that Valverde is now 25" behind the yellow jersey’s group.
Valverde is 55" behind the yellow jersey’s peloton.
Di Gregorio continues to lead the stage. He is 6’10" ahead of the yellow jersey’s group on the descent of the Tourmalet.
1. Di Gregorio 20pts
2. Roy 18pts - at 2’10"
3. Dupont 16pts
4. Duque 14pts
5. Fothen 12pts - at 3’10"
6. Cancellara 10pts - at 3’45"
7. Freire 8pts - at 4’30"
8. Ricco 7pts - at 6’00"
9. Voigt 6pts
10. Sastre 5pts
Valverde has reached the top 50" behind Kirchen’s group.
Ricco has led the yellow jersey’s peloton over the top of the Tourmalet 5’50" behind Di Gregorio.
There are 14 riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton. They are: Voigt, Sastre, Menchov, Cobo, Evans, Efimkin, Kohl, Schleck, Schleck, Ricco, Piepoli, Kirchen, Vande Velde and Duenas Nevado.
Voigt, Sastre, Menchov, Cobo, Evans, Efimkin, Kohl, Schleck, Schleck, Ricco, Piepoli, Kirchen, Vande Velde are some of the riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton. We believe there are 18 in this group...
Roy and Dupont were 2nd and 3rd at the top, 2’09" behind Di Gregorio.
There are 18 riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton which is now in the final 2km of the Tourmalet ascent. Voigt is leading and we’ll attempt to name those present in a moment.
Remy Di Gregorio has just claimed the ’Souvenir Jacques Goddet’ and 20 points in the climbing classication as the first rider over the Col du Tourmalet summit.
Kirchen has not yet been dropped, despite what was reported in the previous flash. He is moving to the back of the CSC-led group but is hanging in there for the moment.
The yellow jersey has lost contact with the group that has been led by riders from the CSC team all the way up the Tourmalet climb.
Valverde has also lost contact with the yellow jersey’s peloton.
Cunego has been dropped by the yellow jersey’s peloton.
The two riders with "13" on the dossard - Cancellara and Fothen (who have both got one of their two race numbers turned upside down) - have just lost contact with the first chase group.
All the riders who had escaped the peloton before the Tourmalet are still ahead of the yellow jersey’s bunch with 3km to climb. Bichot has just reached the 3km to go sign with a deficit of 6’45".
The peloton is 7’10" behind Di Gregorio at the same point.
Samuel Sanchez and Stefan Schumacher are to riders to recently be dropped by the yellow jersey’s peloton.
This is the first ’Hors Category’ climb of the 2008 Tour. The points for the climbing classification are: 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, and 5 for the first 10 at the top.
With 3km to climb, Freire is the seventh best rider in the stage. He is 2’45" behind Di Gregorio.
Di Gregorio’s advantage over Cancellara’s quintet is 1’45" with 5km to climb.
The yellow jersey’s group is 7’45" behind Di Gregorio as it passes the 5km to climb sign.
The CSC team has always had riders at the head of the yellow jersey’s peloton on the Tourmalet climb. The latest to arrive at the front of this selection is Arvesen. They are 7’45" behind Di Gregorio.
Cancellara, Fothen, Duque, Roy and Dupont are at the 101.5km mark. This is 4.5km before the top of the Tourmalet climb.
Two of the riders to lose contact with the yellow jersey’s peloton recently were Gustov (CSC) and Fofonov (C.A).
Cancellara, Dupont, Duque, Roy and Fothen are still all together and in pursuit of Di Gregorio with about 5km to climb. They have a deficit of over a minute to the stage leader from FDJ.
Kirchen, Evans, Cioni, Ricco, Vandevelde, Valverde, Arvesen, Schleck, Schleck, Sastre, Gustov, Montfort, Barredo, are some of the riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton. They are 7’50" behind Di Gregorio who is less than 5km from the summit.
CSC has Gustov, Voigt, the Schleck brothers and Sastre in the lead of the yellow jersey’s peloton. Other riders that can be seen in Kirchen’s selection are:
Evans, Cioni, Cobo... and about 35 others but, for the moment, we’re not getting any images of this group. Stay tuned... an elite selection is forming. Won’t be long before we get the full list.
There are about 40 riders in the yellow jersey’s peloton. CSC riders continue to lead this selection which is 7’50" behind the stage leader (Di Gregorio).
Luis Sanchez and Popovych are the latest riders to be dropped. They have been joined by Zubeldia behind the yellow jersey’s group.
The rider ranked fourth overall has just lost contact with the lead group. Farewell Schumacher... see you at the finish.
Kim Kirchen’s group is now 7’45" behind the stage leader Remy Di Gregorio.
There have been a lot of riders dropping from the yellow jersey’s peloton early on the Tourmalet climb. Currently Voigt and another CSC rider leads their team captain Sastre. Behind him is Cobo (CSC) followed by Andy Schleck. Their pace has claimed the scalp of De La Fuente who is the latest to lose contact with the group that still contains all the riders from the top 10 of general classification.
There are two CSC riders ahead of Sastre at the head of the peloton that is now 8’10" behind the stage leader, Di Gregorio.
Augustyn and Txurruka maintains a slight gain on the peloton with 15km to climb. They are 7’35" behind Di Gregorio and the peloton is at 8’10".
Di Gregorio is in the lead of the stage. His advantage on the remnants of the escape group is 45".
Amets Txurruka has attacked the peloton and is in pursuit of Barloworld’s Augustyn who attacked the peloton early on the Tourmalet climb.
Gorka Gerrikagoitia of the Euskaltel team recently explained what his team plas to do today when contacted by LeTour.fr. ‚ÄúToday is the stage that our riders are targeting. We have great aspirations. In this battle, I believe Mikel [Astarloza] and Samuel [Sanchez] will do their most to gain some time.
‚ÄúOr goal is to consolidate and perhaps improve their position in the general classification. It will be difficult to win a stage like today. There are players like Ricco and others who will make it hard. Yesterday was a long stage. We are not too disappointed so far.‚ÄĚ
Voeckler is one rider attempting to gain time on the peloton. He’s not been able to break free but he’s showing signs of aggression. He has been joined by Jufre (SDV).
Up front, Di Gregorio has attacked the lead group and has 11km to climb.
About 15 rider have formed a group that’s about 100m ahead of the peloton. We can confirm that Jufre (SDV) started the move. He has a team-mate also in the move but the bunch is reponding...
Two riders from Saunier Duval have attacked the peloton at the base of the Col du Tourmalet. It’s Josep Jufre and a colleague. They are followed by Voigt (CSC) and a rider from Barloworld.
The peloton is at the base of the Tourmalet. McEwen and Cooke are at the front of the pack that is now 9’40" behind the seven escapees.
Th counter-attacker, Freddy Bichot (AGR) is now just 30" behind Cancellara, Freire, Dupont, Roy, Di Gregorio, Duque and Fothen.
As it arrived in the feedzone, the peloton was 8’40" behind the seven escapees.
The seven escapees and one counter-attacker are now on the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet. This 2,115m high ascent is 17.7km long with an average gradient of 7.5 percent. The souvenir Jacques Goddet is awarded to the first rider at the summit. This special prime is worth 5,000 Euros for the winner.
"I’m so very happy," said the winner of stage nine yesterday. Riccardo Ricco has already won two stages of his second Tour but he insists he’s not yet finished with. "This triumph’s been great. I’d like to thank my teammates for their great job.
"My special thanks goes to Piepoli, whose help in the last climb was decisive. I wasn’t planning to charge, but I felt fine, so I decided to crank up the pace and then I just couldn’t stop before cresting the Aspin. Descending involved some technical difficulties at the beginning, but then it was just a matter of pedalling hard. I was tired, but I sort of time-trialed it to the finish line.
"I’m not thinking of the GC. I know I can’t win the Tour. You have to be ready for it, train like other riders have done. My goal was scoring a stage win and it’s been accomplished. What happened today was completely unexpected; it took even me by surprise. I won’t give up, however, and I’ll score more wins if I can. Tomorrow I’d like to work for Piepoli, for the race to Hautacam is perfect for him. As I’ve been saying all along, I’m here to gain experience this year, so that I can come back in 2009 for the overall lead."
The counter-attack by Bichot has losted 12km so far. He is still chasing but closing in on the seven leaders. The Agritubel rider is 1’00" behind Cancellara’s group.
"It was a fairly exciting stage," said Bjarne Riis, the manager of the CSC team that now has a rider in the white jersey (Andy Schleck). "It wasn’t as tough as we’d anticipated, but it’s not unlikely that some of the riders in the peloton might be a bit worn out. [Tomorrow] we have a more important stage ahead of us. Tourmalet and Hautacam are climbs of an entirely different caliber than those today so we’re going to be much more aggressive tomorrow."
The Escaped Seven are now in the feedzone in Campan at the 84km mark. They are 1’40" ahead of Freddy Bichot who continues to ride along in no-man’s land between the leaders and the ubnch that is almost seven minutes behind.
The escape group is composed of:
Oscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
Jeremy Roy (FRA) and Remy Di Gregorio (FRA) Francaise des Jeux
Markus Fothen (GER) Gerolsteiner
Fabian Cancellara (SUI) CSC
Hubert Dupont (FRA) AG2R
Leonardo Duque (COL) Cofidis
Oscar Freire has just returned to his team car to change shoes. But he’s about to rejoin his fellow escapees who are now 6’18" ahead of the peloton.
At Bagnere-de-Bigorre, with 80km to go in the stage, the peloton is 5’00" behind Freire, Roy, Di Gregorio, Fothen, Cancellara, Dupont and Duque. In between the seven stage leaders and the main bunch is Freddy Bichot, at 1’45".
Yury Trofimov of the Bouygues Telecom team has just quit his first Tour de France. There are 169 riders still in the race.
The winner of two stages this year, Mark Cavendish (THR) crashed early today. He has already had a wound on his left shoulder dressed by the race doctor (during a consultation in the final kilometer of the first climb). He has returned the Tour’s medical car to have the doctor look at other injuries.
The bunch has decided to let the seven escapees push on, for the time being, without any dramatic chase. The advantage of the Freire/Cancellara group is 2’55". Freddy Bichot is stuck in between 1’30" behind the seven stage leaders.
The points for the second intermediate sprint of stage 10 were won by:
1. Oscar Freire (RAB) 6pts
2. Leonardo Duque (COF) 4pts
3. Jeremy Roy (FDJ) 2pts
Freire’s group is about to contest the sprint in Pouzac. This is at the 74.5km mark of the 156km 10th stage.
Freddy Bichot has decided to try and catch the seven leaders. He has attacked the peloton just before a truce in the chase has been declared. There are a number of riders now at the side of the road answering nature’s call.
Hushovd has given up the hope of catching the seven escapees before the 2nd sprint. He has been caught by the peloton.
The seven escapees have a lead of 40" on Hushovd and 1’00" on the peloton with 5km to go until the 2nd intermediate sprint.
Hushovd has led the peloton over the 2nd climb, 35" behind the seven escapees. The Credit Agricole rider is now attempting to bridge the gap to the lead group that includes the rider in the green jersey, Oscar Freire.
The points at the top of the category-three Loucrup climb (at 67km) were won by:
1. Leonardo Duque (COF) 4pts
2. Remy Di Gregorio (FDJ) 3pts
3. Markus Fothen (GST) 2pts
4. Jeremy Roy (FDJ) 1pt
Freire, Roy, Di Gregorio, Fothen, Cancellara, Dupont and Duque are 1km from the top of the second climb. It is a 2km ascent with an average gradient of 6.9 percent. They are 50" ahead of the peloton.
The advantage of the seven escapees is 25".
Cancellara (CSC), Dupont (ALM), Fothen (GST), Freire (RAB), Roy and Di Gregorio (FDJ), and Duque (COF) are the seven who are insisting with the escape. The other 17 have been caught by the peloton at the 63km mark.
Seven riders lead the remnants of the escape by 10" and the peloton 40".
Milram and Garmin appear to get what they’re working for. The bunch is now just 30" behind the escapees. The start of the 10th stage has been raced at a phenomenal speed... almost as though the riders don’t care about the obstacles that lie ahead.
Cancellara, Fothen, Dupont, Freire, Di Gregorio, Roy and Duque are pushing on with their attack while the others have been dropped.
The advantage of the 24 escapees has diminished. The Milram and Garmin teams are closing in with the latest check putting Popovych’s group 40" ahead.
The peloton is now in Lourdes at the 52.5km mark. There has been only one stage finish in this twon the Haute-Pyrenees in the past. That was in 1948 when Gino Bartali won the stage. It was a 219km stage from Biarritz. He beat Jean Robic in a two-man sprint while another champion of the Tour, Louison Bobet finished third three-seconds behind.
The maximum gain of the 24 escapees was 1’40", that was before Milram realized it didn’t have a representative in the move that started at the 10km mark. The German-registered team is now swapping off with Garmin at the head of the peloton that is now around the 50km mark with a deficit of 1’05".
There are riders from two of the teams not represented in the escape at the front of the peloton. Milram and Garmin recruits are swapping off at the head of the bunch that is now 1’10" behind the 24 escapees.
With the six points he earned at the first intermediate sprint of the stage, Freire is now in the lead of the green jersey category. He has 125 points, two more than Kim Kirchen.
The escapees covered 44.4km in the first hour of racing.
1. Oscar Freire (RAB) 6pts
2. Roman Feillu (AGR) 4pts
3. Filippo Pozzato (LIQ) 2pts
The green jersey is near the head of the escape group as it approaches the first intermediate sprint of the stage.
The 24 escapees began their move at the 10km mark. The riders involved are: Popovych (SIL), Cancellara (CSC), Gutierrez (GCE), Burghardt (THR), Augustyn and Cheula (BAR), Pozzato (LIQ), Le Mevel (C.A), Tosatto (QST), Dupont (ALM), Fothen, Lang and Wegmann (GST), Feillu and Vogondy (AGR), Freire (RAB), Fedrigo (BTL), Chavanel, Di Gregorio and Roy (FDJ), Bertogliati and De La Fuente (SDV) and Duque (COF).
Of the 20 teams in the Tour only three don’t have a rider present in the lead group today. The absent squads are: Milram, Garmin and Lampre.
David De La Fuente raced to the lead of the escape group to add another four points to his taly in the climbing classification. The points for the first ascent of stage 10 were won by:
1. David De La Fuente (SDV) 4pts
2. Filippo Pozzato (LIQ) 3pts
3. Leonardo Duque (COF) 2pts
4. Pierrick Fedrigo (BTL) 1pt
The peloton was 1’15" behind at the 38.5km mark.
The Milram riders who were chasing the escapees for 10km have retreated into the peloton. Now it’s men from Garmin-Chipotle who are at the head of the main pack that is now 1’15" behind the 24 escapees.
The 24 escapees are 1km from the top of the first climb. They are 1’10" ahead of the peloton at the 37.5km mark.
‚ÄúThe thing I want most is a good night‚Äôs rest,‚ÄĚ concluded Cadel Evans when he spoke to LeTour.fr at 10.30pm yesterday. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm a little sore after the crash. But the pain in my head has gone; I‚Äôm sure I copped quit a knock. I had a good treatment from my osteopath after dinner and that helped me relax a little. I wanted to know that my body was okay because during the final part of the stage I was in a lot of pain.
‚ÄúI was counting pedal strokes to the finish and I just wanted to get a good check-up.‚ÄĚ
On the national holiday in France for Bastille Day, there are eight French riders in the lead group of 24. They are just 1’00" ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by the Milram team. The "locals" are: Fedrigo, Le Mevel, Dupont, Vogondy, Feillu, Roy, Di Gregorio and Sebastian Chavanel.
The first ascent of stage 10 is a category-three rise. The Cote the Benejacq is 2.6km long with an average gradient of 6.9 percent. Its summit is at the 38.5km mark.
The peloton is now 1’12" behind the 24 escapees. The Milram squad has no riders in the lead of the stage and it is intent on catching the riders who attacked at the 10km mark.
After his bike change, Wegmann has been able to return to the lead group.
The peloton is closing in on the 24 escapees who have just reached the 27km mark. They are 1’30" ahead of the main bunch that continues to be led by riders from the Milram team.
Fabian Wegmann is one of the men in the escape. He appeared to be having issues with his gears today and seemed unable to shift from the big chainring. He has just pulled over, tossed his bike to the side of the road and grabbed a new one from his Gerolsteiner team car.
Mark Cavendish has returned to the peloton after his crash. The bunch is at the 21km mark with a deficit of 1’40" to the 24 escapees.
There are two riders from the Milram team at the head of the peloton. They don’t have any team-mates in the escape and they appear intent on reducing the advantage of the 24 escapees.
The 24 escapees have pushed their advantage on the peloton up to 1’35". Popovych has slotted into last position in the lead group and refuses to go through and do a turn of pace.
The peloton is easing off the pace a little. It is 1’05" behind the escape group of 24. Of the men in the lead of stage 10, the best placed in general classification after nine stage is Yaroslav Popovych of the Silence-Lotto team. He began the stage ranked 27th overall, 4’34" behind Kirchen.
The 24 escapees are 35" ahead of the peloton at the 17km mark.
There was a crash in the peloton involving Danny Pate (TSL) and Mark Cavendish (THR). They are both back on their bikes and chasing the peloton.
The riders who escaped at the 10km mark are:
Augustyn and Cheula (BAR)
Le Mevel (C.A)
Fothen, Lang and Wegmann (GST)
Feillu and Vogondy (AGR)
Chavanel, Di Gregorio and Roy (FDJ)
Bertogliati and De La Fuente (SDV)
Auge (COF) is chasing the 24 escapees. He is 20" behind the 24 and 5" ahead of the peloton.
Chavanel (FDJ), Roy (FDJ), Bertogliati (SDV) and De La Fuente (SDV) are also involved in the escape group.
Pozzato, Gutierrez, Fedrigo, Vogondy, Cancellara, Fothen, Freire, Di Gregorio, Duque, Popovych, Wegmann, Isasi, Burghardt, Augustyn, Chuela, Le Mevel, Dupont, Lang, Feillu are the riders in the lead of the stage. They are 40" ahead of the peloton.
There are 24 riders ahead of the peloton. We’ll post the full list soon but can report that the pace is currently being set by Fedrigo (BTL) and Gutierrez (GCE).
Cheula and Vogondy have been caught by about 20 other riders. Currently Oscar Freire is setting the tempo of the escape group that is riding at an extremely rapid pace.
There have been plenty of attacks early in the 10th stage the latest has come from Cheula and Vogondy. They have a lead of about 100m on other hopefuls.
The peloton has reeled in the four escapees at the 4km mark.
There are now four riders attempting to establish an escape. Leonardo Duque (COF) is part of the move but we await confirmation of the others involved: they are from Euskaltel, AG2R and Caisse d’Epargne.
The immediate bout of attacking action has quelled for the moment. There is one rider from FDJ hovering ahead of the peloton but the pace eased momentarily.
The moment Christian Prudhomme waved the flag to signal the start of racing in stage 10, there was an attack from a Cofidis rider. It was quickly chased down. The official start of the stage was at 1.06pm. There are 170 riders in the peloton.
After a bike change, because of a damaged shifting lever, Cadel Evans returned to the peloton as quickly as possible after his crash. ‚ÄúI just wanted to get going again and my mechanics did a great job getting everything sorted out,‚ÄĚ said the 31-year-old.
‚ÄúMy team-mates were great: they never panicked and looked after me the whole way back to the peloton. Robbie McEwen went back to the race doctor and told him what my injuries were. My arm was swollen and sore, my head was throbbing with pain; I‚Äôm really glad that I had my helmet on. It smashed into three pieces and it‚Äôs yet another reminder how important it is to be safe rather than sorry.
‚ÄúI feel like I‚Äôm becoming an ambassador for road safety, so I guess it‚Äôs a good time to remind everyone: be careful when you ride your bike and always wear a helmet.‚ÄĚ
LeTour.fr had an exclusive interview with the rider currently ranked second in the general classification late last night. Cadel Evans explained what he remembers of the crash that caused him to lose skin ‚Äúfrom toe to neck‚ÄĚ on the left side of his body. ‚ÄúOne moment I was following an Euskaltel rider and I remember thinking, ‚ÄėHe‚Äôs going too fast for that corner.‚Äô The next thing I was doing was picking myself up off the road.
‚ÄúReally, I don‚Äôt know what happened. But when I stood, I was frightened. I thought, ‚ÄėOh no! I‚Äôve lost the Tour! For a brief moment, I thought I‚Äôd broken a bone. I was sore all over but then I did a quick body check. Collarbone, okay. Arms, bleeding but all good. Legs: I‚Äôm standing‚Ä¶ must be okay. Right, where‚Äôs my bike? I better get going again‚Ä¶!‚ÄĚ
After the crash at the 106km mark of the 224km stage, a hand bag from a spectator was caught up in his chain but the Australian believes that it was not what caused the fall, rather a result of the bike flying to the side of the road and into the crowd.
The riders in the yellow, white, polka-dot and green jerseys are riding closely behind the race director’s car as the peloton makes its way through the neutral zone in Pau.
One of the questions that many are asking is: "Will Cadel Evans start the 10th stage?" We can report that the Australian was indeed at the sign on this morning. He sustained cuts and abraisions in a crash during stage nine but he’s ready for racing today. LeTour.fr spoke with the Australian last night to get an update on his condition and find out about the accident and we’ll post some news on the crash in future newsflashes.
There‚Äôs a new leader of the youth classification after stage nine. Andy Schleck of the CSC team admitted that he‚Äôs starting to appreciate the ninth stage of Grand Tours; he earned his first white jersey in the Giro d‚ÄôItalia after stage nine last year and ‚Äúkept it all the way to the finish‚Ä¶ perhaps it‚Äôs a good sign for this race too‚ÄĚ.
The former lead of the Best Young Rider category, Thomas Lovkvist finished 59th in the stage to Bagnere-de-Bigorre yesterday, losing 6‚Äô27‚ÄĚ to the stage winner (Riccardo Ricco) while the younger Schleck brother was 27th, losing just 1‚Äô17‚ÄĚ.
The riders now at the top of the youth classification are: Schleck, with a nine-second advantage on Maxime Montfort (COF) and 22‚ÄĚ over Roman Kreuziger (LIQ). Riccardo Ricco is tipped to move up the rankings from his current position of fourth in the category that‚Äôs open to riders born after 1 January 1983. He is 37‚ÄĚ behind the Luxembourger.
David De La Fuente (SDV) added another 27 points to his collection in the mountains classification in stage nine. He was fourth over both category-one summits in the stage from Toulouse to Bagnere-de-Bigorre and he currently leads an escapee from stage nine, Sebastian Lang (GST) 61 points to 57. The winner of stages six and nine, Riccardo Ricco (SDV) is ranked third with 50 points. The Italian led over the Col d‚ÄôAspin and collected the double-points on offer at the summit. His only other points acquisition was on the stage to Super Besse which also boasted double points.
The winner of stage seven, Luis Leon Sanchez (GCE) is placed fourth in the race for the polka-dot jersey with 31 points.
There are four climbs in stage 10: two cat-3 and the first two ‚ÄėHors Categorie‚Äô summits of the 95th Tour ‚Äď the Col du Tourmalet (at 106km) and the final ascent to Hautacam.
The peloton has left the site of the ’depart fictif’ and is now in the 7.7km neutral zone in Pau.
Kirchen may believe his days in yellow are numbered but he has a back-up plan: chasing victory in the points classification. If he wasn‚Äôt in the lead of general classification, he would be in the green jersey for stage 10. He has 123 points, four more than Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire (who will wear green today). In third place is the winner of stage two, Thor Hushovd (C.A) and fifth is the winner of stage one, Alejandro Valverde (GCE).
Kim Kirchen has been able to retain his six second advantage over Cadel Evans at the top of the general classification. The Columbia team captain claimed the yellow jersey after the stage to Super Besse on the first Thursday of the 2008 Tour. He admitted after stage nine that he‚Äôs beginning to feel a little fatigued and that the first stage in the Pyrenees was a tough one for him. ‚ÄúI survived what was maybe a bad day,‚ÄĚ said the rider who turned 30 two days before the start of the Tour.
‚ÄúThere are a lot of teams with guys who haven‚Äôt done a lot of work in the first week like we have so I think they‚Äôll have an advantage in the next few days. It‚Äôs time for them to come forward and do some work.‚ÄĚ
You can read more comments from the leaders of the Tour each day by clicking on the ‚ÄėInterview‚Äô link on LeTour.fr. In case you missed yesterday‚Äôs review, it‚Äôs worth noting Kirchen‚Äôs concluding comment after the stage to Bagnerre-de-Bigorre: ‚ÄúIf I feel like I did today, I will be dropped.‚ÄĚ
The overcast conditions of recent days have abated. The peloton is assembling at the start of the stage in Pau and we can report that the skies are blue and the temperatures warm just prior to the peloton rolling out from the ’depart fictif’.
The 10th stage of the 2008 Tour de France is a 159km journey from Pau to the mountain top finish at Hautacam in the Hautes-Pyrenees. It is a day for the climbers with the first two ’hors category’ summits of the 95th edition the main feature of an interesting course that aims east from the Pyrenees-Atlantique region and then loops back to take in the Col du Tourmalet pass. This is the first ’HC’ mountain this year and the ascent begins at the 89km mark, rising for 17.7km at an average gradient of 7.5 percent.
Stage 10 will commence at 12.50pm with a 7.7km neutral section before the bunch arrives at the site of the official start. Live coverage of the stage will begin shortly.