Cavendish has led the peloton to the line in Gap 14’19" behind Paulinho - this was the maximum deficit for the bunch...
As the sprint begins we can report that Pauriol has taken eighth place.
Roche will move up the GC rankings a little at the end of the stage. He is 7th in the 10th stage, 12’57" behind Paulinho.
Roche has decided to take back some time. He attacked in the final 10km and is going to take seventh place.
It would seem that Roche, who attacked the peloton with 10km to go, has been reeled in but now Pauriol is chasing a few extra seconds. He has attacked the peloton in the quest for seventh place in the stage.
The peloton continues to be led by the Saxo Bank team. It is over 14’30" behind at the last check...
Today Portugal got its first stage win in the Tour de France since Azevedo helped his US Postal and Discovery Channel team-mates in the 2004 and 2005 time trials. The top six in stage 10 is: 1. Sergio Paulinho (POR) RSH - 179km in 5h10’56" 2. Vasili Kiryienka (BLR) GCE at same time 3. Dries Devenyns (BEL) QST at 1’29" 4. Pierre Rolland (FRA) BTL at 1’29" 5. Mario Aerts (BEL) OLO at 1’29" 6. Maxime Bouet (FRA) ALM at 3’20"
It was a tight sprint but RadioShack has claimed its first stage win in the Tour de France. Paulinho has beaten Kiryienka by half a wheel...
A tight sprint has come after a long sprint by Paulinho who is celebrating the win... but we wait for the photo.
Kiryienka is leading inside the final kilometer... place your bets: Portugal or Belorussia... RadioShack or Caisse d’Epargne?
Kiryienka and Paulinho are less than 2km from the finish. One of this pair is going to win the stage... the cat-and-mouse tactics begin.
During the time of Armstrong’s winning reign at the Tour de France only two other riders from his teams won a stage: Popovych in Revel in 2005 and George Hincapie in the Pyrenees in the same year. It could be that Paulinho becomes the third rider to take a prize for a team that Lance is part of...
The rider in 17th overall, Roche (ALM) has attacked the peloton.
Kiryienka and Paulinho are less than 5km from the finish. Neither have won a stage of the Tour before.
As the bunch passes the 15km to go sign, it is 12’00" behind the two stage leaders who are 55" ahead of the chasing trio.
For the second time in three stages, Mario Aerts has been voted the most aggressive rider of the day. He will wear a red ’dossard’ tomorrow in the classification sponsored by Brandt.
Kiryienka and Paulinho are less than 10km from the finish. They are sharing the workload evenly on the descent down to Gap. The peloton is 12 minutes behind while the chasing trio is at 47"...
Kiryienka and Paulinho are 35" ahead of Aerts, Rolland and Devenyns. They have a little over 10km to go...
Portugal and Belorussia are represented in the lead group. No Belorussian has ever won a stage of the Tour de France... The most recent Portuguese stage winner was Jose Azevedo who was part of the winning formation in the team time trials of 2004 and 2005.
Paulinho has been caught by Kiryienka. These two are 10" ahead of Devenyns and 20" ahead of Rolland and Aerts.
Paulinho has raced into the lead. He is pursued by Kiriyenka but Devenyns and the other escapees appear to have collapsed.
Devenyns is 8" ahead of Paulinho and Kiryienka and 16""...
Once Aerts was caught Devenyns surged forward. The Belgian now has a lead of about 200m. The main victim of the latest acceleration is Aerts...
Aerts has been reeled in by four others but Bouet is out of the lead group and in for a 15km solo ride to the finish in Gap.
Mario Aerts is the first to attack the lead group. He began his move 15.5km from the line.
After being dropped for a third time, Bouet has returned to the lead group (again). When he caught back up, he tapped Aerts on the hip and appeared to ask the Belgian a question. The response? A shake of the head...
The opening stage of the 10th stage was fast (46.8km/h) but since then the peloton has gone into slo-mo mode. The average speed of the first 1,773.9km - from the prologue and first nine stages - was 40.691km/h... today’s stage is going to be raced well below that speed.
Going on the slowest schedule in the roadbook, the second intermediate sprint should have been contested around 5.11pm. It’s now 5.45pm and the peloton is still 10 minutes from the site of the second sprint...
The points for the second intermediate sprint were won by: 1. Vasili Kiryienka (GCE) 6pts 2. Mario Aerts (OLO) 4pts 3. Dries Devenyns (QST) 2pts
Moreau isn’t attacking the descent too hard. He has just been caught by the bunch (12’00" behind the escapees) while Popovych is still ahead of the peloton 11’40" behind...
On the descent, Popovych has put distance into Moreau.
The peloton is being led by Stuart O’Grady and is 12’00" behind the six. This is the biggest gain for the escape today.
At the top of the final ascent Moreau and Popovych are 11’20" behind. The peloton is at 11’55".
Moreau has attacked the peloton and has been followed by Popovych. Does the Frenchman think there are still points for the climbing classification? Hopefully not because all were absorbed by the escape group...
The escapees are still all together despite signs of cracking by Maxime Bouet on the final climb. They are 25km from the finish.
Jerome Pineau outsprinted Anthony Charteau for sixth place at the top of the first climb today. The Quickstep rider now has 91 points in the climbing classification, one more than the rider who wears the polka-dot jersey today (Charteau). All Jerome has to do to reclaim the spotted top is finish the stage...
When a Tour stage last finished in Gap on Bastille Day it was in 2003 and the start of the stage was in Bourg d’Oisans (at the base of Alpe d’Huez). The route was similar to today but the final climbs were different. On the day of Joseba Beloki’s dramatic fall, his team-mate at the time Jorg Jaksche led over the cote de St Appolinaire and the German’s future team-mate Alexandre Vinokourov led over the final ascent, the col de la Rochette...
The points for the final climb of stage 10 were won by: 1. Aerts (OLO) 20pts 2. Devenyns (QST) 18pts 3. Paulinho (RSA) 16pts 4. Kiryienka (GCE) 14pts 5. Rolland (BTL) 12pts 6. Bouet (ALM) 10pts
Bouet has paced himself back into the lead group and there are six together again at the front of the stage. They are 11’15" ahead of the peloton.
With 1km to climb on the col du Noyer, Maxime Bouet is 10" behind his former escape companions.
One of the two French riders in the escape group, Maxime Bouet, lost contact momentarily with is fellow fugitives. He has recovered from his little crisis and is now back in the lead group.
The escape,that began at the 36km mark, is now 10’55" ahead of the peloton - which has been led by Saxo Bank since the break was established. The maximum advantage for Devenyns, Aerts, Kiryienka, Paulinho, Bouet and Rolland was 11’25" at the 120km mark.
This is the first Tour for Dries Devenyns of the Quickstep team. He will celebrate his 27th birthday in eight days’ time when the Tour goes to the col du Tourmalet for the end of the stage.
The third categorized climb of stage 10 is the 7.4km long col du Noyer. The leaders have just started the ascent which has an average gradient of 5.3 per cent. It is ranked category-two and points will be awarded to the first six at the top.The allocation is:
3rd - 8pts
One of the six in the lead group today was part of a 17-man escape in a stage of the 2008 Paris-Nice race. At the end, the breakaway was whittled down to five men and Pierre Rolland was part of that selection... but an attack from Carlos Barredo with 8km to go netted the Spaniard the stage win in Sisteron which is close to where today’s stage is being contested.
Each day during the race, the official site of the Tour de France - LeTour.fr - has a reader poll. Today we ask the obvious: Will a French rider win on Bastille Day? Yes or no. What do you think?
The last time that a stage of the Tour concluded in Gap was in 2006. The winner was Pierrick Fedrigo and he beat Salvatore Commesso in a two-man sprint. The former Italian national champion was reduced to tears afterwards. "I was sure I would win," said Commesso at the end of stage 14 four years ago. "I can’t believe I lost...!" Christian Vande Velde darted ahead of the peloton at the end and finished third just three seconds behind Fedrigo.
Each time Aerts has started the Tour, he has finished it. He has done eight with a ...-Lotto squad, including five at the service of Cadel Evans (from 2005 to 2009) and one with Telekom (2004). He has never won a stage but he was voted the winner of the ’Fighting Spirit’ award in stage eight of this year’s race.
This is Mario Aerts’ 10th Tour de France. He finished 21st in his debut (1999), 28th in 2000 and 27th in 2001. In 2002 he was second in two stages in the Alpes - in Cluses (behind Dario Frigo in stage 15) and in Les Deux Alpes (behind Santiago Botero in stage 17)... and was second in the climbing classification (behind Laurent Jalabert). The 2002 season was one of his best. He won the Fleche-Wallonne Classic that year.
“Mario Aerts has experience and he will perhaps be the main rider to watch,” said Lavenu when judging Bouet’s rivals. “But in my opinion, the most serious customer is still Kiryienka, but it is impossible to predict at this stage of the race. It is a one-in-six chance of winning… We’ll know more when they are in the climb to the Col du Noyer.”
LeTour.fr recently contacted Vincent Lavenu to get his taken on Bouet’s chances in today’s stage. “We have previewed this stage earlier this year, but not with the belief that it would make a difference to the overall result,” said the Frenchman. “The winner will be he who can remain the coolest and ride the smartest. Maxime loves racing in the heat but so does Rolland.”
In the Tour of 1971, a stage from Grenoble to Orcieres-Merlette followed a similar route to the one used today. Eddy Merckx suffered one of the most difficult days of his Tour career. In hot conditions, the Belgian failed to follow an acceleration by rivals on the cote de Laffrey. He ended up chasing for 100km but by then Luis Ocana had already opened up a significant lead... the Spaniard won the stage, finishing over nine minutes ahead of the Belgian (who ended up in third place).
It seems almost certain that the escapees are going to stay away until Gap. Their advantage with 65km to go is 11’30"...
None of the stage leaders have previously won a stage of the Tour before but Vasili Kiryienka has won a Giro stage and was second in the 19th stage of the 2008 Vuelta a Espana where he led David Arroyo for the last 10km after being in an escape that day. In the finale, the Spaniard sprinted past him to take the win... but the pair who are now team-mates are good friends now.
The bunch is at the top of the second climb with a deficit of 10’35".
Cancellara leads Nicki Sorensen, Matti Breschel and Stuart O’Grady as the peloton reaches the 1km to climb sing on the cote des Terrasses. This is a 3.3km long ascent with an average gradient of 7.1 per cent.
With 80km to go, the six escapees are 10 minutes ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by the eight Saxo Bank riders.
The points for the cote des Terrasses were won by: 1. Aerts (OLO) 4pts 2. Kiryienka (GCE) 3pts 3. Rolland (BTL) 2pts 4. Paulinho (RSH) 1pt
In his first Giro d’Italia, Vasili Kryienka finished second to Emanuele Sella in the climbing classification... considering what we now know of what fueled the Italian that season, it’s fair to say that the Belorussian was the winner of the green jersey in the Italian race that year.
Kiryienka joined the Caisse d’Epargne team in 2009 after two seasons with Tinkoff Credit Systems. He is a three time Belorussian TT champion (from 2002, 2005 and 2006).He has a history as a track cyclists, having won a rainbow jersey in the points race in 2008 when he beat Christophe Riblon and Peter Schep in Manchester.
This is the first time that Vasili Kiryienka has ridden the Tour. (Apologies for the numerous ways that his surname has been spelled during the course of today’s coverage... fat fingers were at work on the keyboard at times of haste.) The Belorussian has contested three Giros d’Italia (2008, 2009 and 2010) and two Tours of Spain (2008 and 2009). He is ranked 100th overall after nine stages of the 2010 Tour. Currently his escape group is 9’30" ahead of the peloton.
Pierre Rolland was sixth in stage four and eighth in stage five of the Criterium du Dauphine this June and he was eighth overall in the race won by RadioShack’s Janez Brajkovic.
This is Pierre Rolland’s second Tour de France. He was 22nd overall in the 2009 race - the fifth Frenchman on GC...
Pierre Rolland is one of the two Frenchman in the escape today. He got his first professional results in 2007 when he won a stage of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon, and finished second overall. The next year he came second in a stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in June (in Annemasse, near where yesterday’s stage was) and then won the climbing classification of the one-week French race...
After a flurry of action at the top of the first climb, the few who surged ahead for points have returned to the peloton which is now 8’20" behind the six escapees.
The riders who attacked the peloton in the final meters of the Cote de Laffrey were 7’50" behind the six stage leaders. The full results for the first ascent in stage 10 are: 1. Aerts (OLO) 15pts 2. Rolland (BTL) 13pts 3. Devenyns (QST) 11pts 4. Kyriyenka (GCE) 9pts 5. Paulinho (RSH) 8pts 6. Bouet (ALM) 7pts 7. Pineau (QST) 6pts 8. Charteau (BTL) 5pts Pineau is the virtual leader of the climbing classification, one point ahead of Charteau.
Perget is leading three others to the line at the top of the first climb... Pineau has jumped ahead to take seventh place at the Cote de Laffrey.
Gap hosted the stage finish of the Tour in 2003 on 14 July. On the day of Alexandre Vinokourov’s first victory in the race, the finishing straight was painted red, white and blue. That’s not the case for this stage on Bastille Day.
1. Aerts (OLO) 15pts 2. Rolland (BTL) 13pts 3. Devenyns (QST) 11pts 4. Kyriyenka (GCE) 9pts 5. Paulinho (RSH) 8pts 6. Bouet (ALM) 7pts
Aerts and Rolland have led the escape group over the line of the first climb.
There are points for the first eight men at the summit of the cote de Laffray. The peloton is currently 8’05" behind the six escapees and plenty of water is required. The temperature is 39 degrees Celsius!
The escapees are yet to reach the top of the first climb but they have pushed their advantage on the peloton up to 9’05".
“What happened yesterday is cycling… these things happen. I’m not happy because I’d be pleased to see Cadel in yellow in Paris. He is a fighter though and there are more mountains to come. I know him very well and I’m sure the Tour is not over for him yet.”
“I am not happy about what I saw from Cadel,” said Damiani, Evans’ former directeur sportif (from Mapei in 2002 and Silence-Lotto in 2008/2009). “It’s a great shame for him. I’m really disappointed that this happened because I would be very happy to see Cadel win the Tour. “If you want my opinion, I have to say that I don’t think he did good work with his team. He worked a lot. Why? There was a lot energy spent yesterday."
“The dream in the Giro was to win the green jersey [for climbing] and he made that happen in May," said Damiani. "But we are concentrating on helping Jurgen in this Tour… we wanted to try with Matt for the mountains jersey in the Tour but I think it’s stupid if we believe it’s possible to win this in every Grand Tour. At the Giro he did it, but we saw yesterday that it’s super important that he helps Jurgen on the climbs."
The six escapees are 5km from the top of the cote de Laffrey while the peloton is at the 68km mark, 8’50" behind...
“Yesterday’s stage was very important because I think Jurgen really had a good test," Roberto Damiani told LeTour.fr before the stage. "Today we’ll be careful and be particularly attentive to what Saxo Bank and Astana are doing. Day by day we’ll decide our strategy but it’s important that Jurgen has good health and solid condition. We are aware that a lot has happened already but I’m still expecting the real explosion of the Tour to happen in the Pyrenees."
Eventually, at 43km, Bouet (ALM) and Rolland (BTL) jumped ahead and began their pursuit. At the 66km mark the two chasers caught the four leaders; the peloton was at 8’45” and led by Saxo Bank.
At the 36km mark, Aerts (OLO), Devenyns (QST), Paulinho (RSH) and Kiryienka (GCE) escaped. It seemed this would be the selection as Saxo Bank and RadioShack moved to the front of the peloton and several riders from these teams chastised anyone who hinted at interest in a counter-attack. Rather vocal were Armstrong and Chris Sorensen while French riders in particular wanted to ignore the taunts and try to bridge the gap.
Martin (THR) went on the attack as soon as the flag fell to signal the start and escape attempts kept on coming for the first hour. The right selection never seemed to make it clear as each move that went was promptly chased down. Some of the aggresssors were Lloyd (OLO), Vogondy (BTL), Oss (LIQ) and Roy (FDJ) – but nothing could gain any advantage until the 37km mark.
The six stage leaders are now climbing the Cote de Laffrey - a 7km long ascent with the summit at the 77km mark - with a lead of 8’45" on a peloton that’s dominated by Saxo Bank at the front...
Bouet and Rolland have caught the four leaders. The six escapees now have an advantage of 8’45". The capture was around the 65km mark.
As the two counter-attackers are about to join the four escapees - and thus put two Frenchman in the lead on Bastille Day - the peloton is over 8’30" behind and being led by the Saxo Bank team.
Bouet and Rolland are closing in on the stage leaders. There is just 20" between the front group and the counter-attackers.
“Of course we are disappointed that the crash created these kinds of problems because we did all the right preparation and everything was going well. In the first week we saw that we had a good Cadel – he’s one of the true Tour contenders and even if we are now looking at the top 20, we will still fight on. Every day gives us new opportunities but the first thing is to see how the recuperation goes."
“It’s difficult to start when you know you have a little fracture but if you’re in the yellow jersey, you want to be part of the race. His arm was painful but I was proud of what he did. It was really impressive. “But let’s be clear about this: we are not changing our policy and now searching for a stage win or something like that… No! We are here for the GC.”
The peloton is close to eight minutes behind the four stage leaders who are now at the 59.5km mark.
Of the six men ahead of the peloton - Aerts, Paulinho, Kiryienka, Devenyns, Bouet or Rolland - none have previously won a stage of the Tour. The best in the general classification is Mario Aerts (OLO) who is 44th after nine stages, 32’55" behind Schleck.
“He was dropped but afterwards we fought for every second. I was following him for the last 30 kilometers and, on the flat section leading to the finish, I saw an amazing two-man team time trial by Cadel and Mauro [Santambrogio] – they were the only ones who were working, all the other guys in the group were following their wheels. “It was important and that’s what we realized. Every second counts in the Tour and we never know what’s going to happen. We are always confident in our leader..."
“We’ll see how things go today. I’m looking forward to the Pyrenees and the time trial at the end," Lelangue of BMC explained today. “On the day of the crash, we knew he was bad but I was surprised by how he rode on the col de Ramaz and also the final climb to Morzine-Avoriaz. We knew even before those climbs that he had injuries and that it would be complicated but we have to take every opportunity. He didn’t give up yesterday and that’s why we put the whole team on the front."
At the 47km mark, the four stage leaders were 1’25" ahead of the two counter attackers and 6’25" ahead of the peloton.
“I think he did a great pursuit to cover the gap. We’re only up to stage 10 and it will be difficult but there are plenty of good opportunities coming up. We’ll take it day by day like we’ve always done. But we have the rainbow jersey, Cadel is one of the competitors in the race. We have to go further into this great adventure. “Of course, if there is a risk of damaging his health, then we’ll stop it for him. If the pain is coming back – or getting worse – we have to reconsider our approach..."
“I couldn’t not say that Cadel is ‘good’ because it’s not the kind of thing that will heal in one day – it’s a little fracture in the elbow, so he has to live with it," said Lelangue earlier today. "But we’re still in the race. As you saw yesterday, we’re there for the yellow jersey and we have to fight. If you look at the gap at the top of the col de la Madeleine, it was around nine minutes 40 seconds, and at the finish he was eight minutes down."
“Cadel is not yet desperate," John Lelangue told LeTour.fr this morning. "There were some emotional scenes just after the finish – for him, for me… for the whole team – but once we were on the team bus we started to talk about our options. It’s not like we’re going home. We are still in the race, we’re happy to be going to the start this morning. It’s a new stage and let’s focus on what we have set ourselves since the beginning of the year: a good Tour de France.
The peloton is allowing the escapees to play their games. Six are ahead of the peloton and the bunch is now 4’05" behind the four in the front group.
At the 44.5km mark, the four stage leaders - Paulinho (RSH), Aerts (OLO), Devenyns (QST) and Kiryienka (GCE) are 1’30" ahead of Bouet (ALM) and Rolland (BTL) and 3’00" aehad of the peloton.
The average speed for the first hour in stage 10 is 46.6km/h.
After an hour of racing, Aerts, Devenyns, Kirienka and Paulinho are 1’43" ahead of the two counter-attackers and 2’15" ahead of the peloton.
Bouet (ALM) and Rolland (BTL) aren’t going to party to the peloton’s apathy. They are now off in pursuit of the four stage leaders who have a gain of 1’35".
It seems that an accord has been struck in the peloton: ’Let’s allow these four to go clear... everyone who has missed the move has missed the move’ appears to be the sentiment on the faces of Lance and a few Saxo Bank riders who are now at the head of the peloton.
Aerts, Devenyns, Kyrienka and Paulinho are 40" ahead of the peloton. The counter-attacks have finally stopped...
There are four men now establishing a counter-attack. They include Arashiro of the Bbox team... but we wait to see if it succeeds before taking the names of the others who are 50" behind the four who jumped ahead at the 37km mark.
Vogondy is insisting on chasing down the four escapees who are now 1’00" ahead of the peloton.
Elmiger and Flecha are the riders now attacking the peloton. The other eight counter-attackers were reeled in by the peloton... and surely copped a bollocking from the riders who wanted to ease the tempo for a while.
There are now eight riders in pursuit of the four stage leaders - Paulinho, Aerts, Devenyns and Kyrienka.
The Saxo Bank team is now chastising any rider who is attempting to bridge the gap to the four stage leaders. Vogondy tried but he was chased down and given a talking to by Chris Sorensen. Then an AG2R rider tried and Lance decided to boss him about a little - a shake of the head hints that he didn’t think it appropriate to keep chasing the escapees. Et voila, the attempt stopped... Who said there’s no patron in the peloton...?
There are no French riders in the escape today. The four leaders - who escaped around the 37km mark - are now destined to increased their advantage significantly. There has been a truce called in the peloton and the pace has finally eased...
The four men in the lead around the 37km mark are:
Mario Aerts (OLO)
Dries Devenyns (QST)
Sergio Paulinho (RSH)
Vasil Kiryienka (GCE)
Hunter was caught in a crash earlier today (as was Brookwalter and, in another incident, Popovych). All the fallen riders are back in the peloton now.
Aerts (OLO) and Devenyns (QST) have been joined by a RadioShack rider and one other...
The Quickstep rider with Aerts is Devenyns. They have opened the biggest gap of an escape so far today...
Mario Aerts was in the escape of stage eight and he’s at it again. He has a Quickstep rider working with him but their advantage on the peloton is a slim one...
The group of 12 never lasted long in the front of the stage. The bunch is chasing everything that moves at the moment...
There are now 12 riders forming an escape group in Goncelin (at the 28.5km mark).
The peloton has covered 27km in 31 minutes of racing. The bunch is strung out in one long line... and the yellow jersey can be seen up near the head of the bunch. Now a HTC-Columbia rider is floating off the front of the pack and it seems that a truce in attacking has been called.
The peloton clearly wasn’t happy about the selection of four riders who have just been chased down at the 26km mark.
The four in the lead of stage 10 are:
Daniel Oss (ITA) LIQ
Aitor Perez Arrieta (ESP) FOT
Tony Martin (GER) THR
Jeremy Roy (FRA) FDJ The move was started by Oss although Martin was also particularly aggressive early in the stage.
Hunter was involved in a crash at the 18km mark. He is now about to rejoin the peloton.
The four escapees broke free of the peloton at the 23.5km mark. It was Martin (THR) who started things. They are now 20" ahead of the peloton.
The riders in the lead of stage 10 are: Tony Martin (THR), Oss (LIQ), Roy (FDJ) and Perez Arrieta (FOT).
There is a quartet of riders ahead of the bunch. They represent Footon, FDJ, Liquigas and HTC-Columbia...
Popovych is the latest crash victim. He has lost skin on his left hip but is back on a bike and riding again... although he’s clearly in a lot of pain.
There has been another crash in the peloton. De Greef (OLO) is involved.
Petacchi (LAM) has led Hushovd (CTT) and McEwen over the line at the intermediate sprint.
There are three Lampre riders leading Petacchi to the sprint line...
Hunter appears to be in a lot of pain but he’s just taken a new bike from his Garmin team car and he’s about to set off in pursuit of the peloton.
After a day in yellow, Cadel Evans (BMC) is back in the rainbow jersey. He is hovering near the rear of the peloton and he’s managed to avoid a crash that’s involved one of his team-mates and Robbie Hunter (GRM).
The first 17km have been raced at an extremely fast pace. The right selection just couldn’t be made for the escape and, at the moment, everyone is packed together in a tight bunch.
Popovych (RSH) is the latest to surge ahead of the peloton which is now 5km from the first intermediate sprint (19.5km).
At the 10.5km mark, Tony Martin is having another go at the front of the bunch. He is towing about nine other riders forward...
Maarten Tjallingii is on his own at the front of the stage. The former winner of the Tour du Faso is being pursued by Vogondy (BTL) and Knees (MRM)... and the escape is already over.
There has been attacking from the moment the flag fell to signal the start. No escape has yet been successful because the pace is extremely fast early today.
Lloyd move has been reeled in. It appears that Fedrigo - the winner of the stage to Gap in 2006 - is the latest to try and escape the bunch.
Matt Lloyd is currently leading an Footon-Servetto rider in an escape attempt. The peloton has this pair in its sights but the former Australian champion has been aggressive early today.
“The ascent to the Col du Noyer is not extremely difficult, but it’s a long uphill which can be very exhausting. With fatigue and heat, it can make a selection. Above all there is a very technical descent afterwards, which can do even more damage," said Cofidis rider Amael Moinard. “I prefer to ride with someone in this kind of stage, and I’ll only take calculated risks. “Then in the end there is a hill but it’s not categorized, still it is certainly a stepping stone that can be exploited."
The peloton has chased down the move that included the rider in the polka-dot jersey.
There are five men in the lead now including Lloyd (OLO) and Charteau (BTL).
Rast has been caught by 13 others and this group is about 50 meters ahead of the peloton.
Gregory Rast of the RadioShack team is trying to establish an escape. He is being pursued by an Omega Pharma rider as well as someone from Cofidis.
The temperature is 32 degrees Celsius in Chambery. Blue skies and bright sunshine is what you see as you look up in the Savoie department. There is a lot of recently-laid bitumen between Chambery and Gap and the tar could get sticky on this hot day of racing...
Amaël Moinard (COF) spoke to LeTour.fr before the start of the stage to get his thoughts on what he expects from stage 10. “It’s a stage that can suit me, but the problem is that the escape will be difficult to be part of. Usually I have more opportunities to do so when the start of the stage is a little bit hilly, which is absolutely not the case today. However, I did a reconnaissance of this stage in May, just before the Dauphiné, and I realized it is exactly the profile that I like."
The brief flurry of action instigated by Tony Martin has been quelled. The peloton is now led by Manuel Quinziato of Liquigas but the bunch is all together.
Tony Martin (THR) has attacked as soon as the official start was effected. He has been followed by Voeckler (BTL). The 10th stage began at 1.02pm. There are 181 riders at the start - with no one abandoning overnight.
The Caisse d’Epargne team had three riders in the top 16 of stage nine – Sanchez (2nd), Moreau (4th) and Plaza (16th). This squad won the team rankings by 5’53” yesterday and took the lead in the general classification for teams – leading Astana by 31” and the leaders of this prize from yesterday, Rabobank, by 35”. Caisse d’Epargne has yellow race numbers for the 10th stage. This category is proudly sponsored by new partner to the Tour de France, Digital.
Robert Gesink gained 49” on Roman Kreuziger in stage nine. The Dutchman is wearing the white jersey for the first time in the Tour de France. The youth classification is actually led by Andy Schleck but as he’s in yellow, Gesink gets to race in white today. Kreuziger was second in the youth category but he’s now dropped to third. Gesink is 4’22” behind Schleck and Kreuziger is at 5’11”.
The AG2R team is based in Chambery so several riders from this French squad sponsored by an insurance company, are at the head of the peloton as it rides through the neutral zone.
For the first time since stage two, there is a new rider wearing the polka-dot jersey. Anthony Charteau (BTL) collected 71 points in stage nine – including the double points on offer for the first ‘Hors Category’ col of the 2010 Tour, the col de la Madeleine. He is now equal with Jerome Pineau in the climbers’ prize but as he was first over the HC pass, Charteau will wear the polka-dot jersey for the first time in his career today, instead of his compatriot.
Thor Hushovd continues to lead the points classification. He added six points to his tally at the sprint in Cluses at the 25.5km mark of stage nine (the first points collected by the Norwegian added from intermediate primes this year). He has 124 points, 10 more than Alessandro Petacchi and 19 more than Robbie McEwen. Today’s stage is the second of the 2010 race with just two intermediate sprints – they are in La Buissiere (at 19.5km) and La Fare-en-Champsaur (158.5km).
Today will be the first time that Andy Schleck wears the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. The two-time winner of the white jersey (2008 and 2009) leads the general classification by 41”, with last year’s champion Alberto Contador in second place. Former race leader, Cadel Evans raced the ninth stage with a fractured left elbow – sustained in a crash at the 6km mark on the day he took the yellow jersey (stage eight). The Australian is now ranked 18th overall, 7’47” behind Schleck.
Andy Schleck (SAX) is standing beside Thor Hushovd (CTT) at the front of the peloton as it awaits orders to get rolling in the neutral zone in Chambery. As the riders make their way to the site of the official start, we’ll review the various prize categories in the Tour de France: yellow, green, polka-dot and white jerseys...
The 10th stage offers an undulating route from Chambery to Gap. Only three sites have been nominated for climbing points, however. There are two intermediate sprints - the first in La Buissiere (at 19.5km), the second in La Fare-en-Champsaur (at 158.5km). The climbs are at Laffrey (cat-1 at 77km), Terrasses (cat-3 at 98km) and the col du Noyer (cat-2 at 145.5km).
At midday, the temperature was already 32 degrees. It is hot for the 10th stage and the conditions are ideal for this national holiday for Bastille Day.
The 179km 10th stage of the 2010 Tour de France is scheduled to start at 12.50pm. After a 4.9km neutral zone, racing will get underway on this hot day that begins in the Savoie department, visits Isere and concludes in the Hautes-Alpes. The official start is expected to be at 1.00pm. Live coverage of the stage will commence shortly.