- The race 2011
- All about the race
The German sprinter André Greipel has taken on Cavendish and won! The top 10 in stage 10 is: 1. André Greipel (GER) OLO - 158km in 3h31’21" 2. Mark Cavendish (GBR) THR 3. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP) MOV 4. Thor Hushovd (NOR) GRM 5. Romain Fellu (FRA) VCD 6. Daniel Oss (ITA) LIQ 7. Sebastien Hinault (FRA) ALM 8. Borut Bozic (SLO) VCD 9. Geraint Thomas (GBR) SKY 10. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) COF
André Greipel has beaten his former team-mate by the length of a wheel. It’s the German’s first stage win in the Tour de France.
Greipel believes he’s beaten Cavendish in the sprint...
Cavendish is second around the second-last turn. Oss is leading it out and the sprint is about to start...
Millar has been caught and there are now two HTC riders at the front inside the final kilometer.
Within the final three kilometers Millar has started a time trial. He is about 50m ahead of the peloton that has swallowed up Kadri and Ruijgh.
Marco Marcato has been voted the most aggressive rider of the stage.
Kadri (ALM) and Ruijgh (VCD) have a lead of about 50 meters on the peloton that’s led by four HTC riders.
Matt Goss (THR) has just been dropped by the peloton. He was to be the second sprint option for HTC if Cavendish was dropped on the final climb. Given that HTC riders are at the front of the bunch, we can assume that Cavendish has survived and is still in the lead group...
Gilbert has eased off the pace and has been caught by the peloton with 4.5km from the end.
The counter-attack is over. Only Gilbert is ahead of the bunch that’s now being led by Hincapie (BMC). Gilbert was on his own at the front with 7km to go... he is now less than 5km from the finish and has a lead of seven seconds.
Izagirre (EUS) and Gallopin (COF) are between Gilbert (OLO) and the peloton.
It’s a 7km sprint for the leader of the points classification. Gilbert is the only rider insisting with the attack. The others who had been with him now appear content to wait for the peloton. Gilbert leads the stage by 15".
Gallopin is out of the lead group and now there’s a counter-attack from an Euskaltel rider while Gilbert goes on alone at the front of the stage.
There have been some strange gestures in the leading group of five with hand movements coming from the yellow jersey who and a retort from Martin. The escape is now being driven by Devenyns and they have an advantage of 10" on the peloton.
Gilbert (OLO), Gallopin (COF), Martin (THR), Voeckler (EUC) and Devenyns (QST) are still in the lead of the stage. They have 11km to go and are 16" ahead of the bunch that’s led by Garmin and Leopard-Trek riders.
Martin (THR) These are the riders who are 10" ahead of the peloton.
Voeckler has held on to the surge by Gilbert and the Frenchman claimed one point for the final ascent of the stage.
Gallopin’s move has prompted an attack from Gilbert. There are now four in the lead group: Devenyns, Voeckler, Gilbert and Gallopin.
The bunch has caught Marcato with 16km to go in the stage. The race is now being led by Vanendert, Gilbert, Voeckler and Van Garderen who are pushing the pace in the peloton. Petacchi and Galimzyanov have just been dropped and now comes an attack by a Cofidis rider.
The Omega Pharma-Lotto team is trying to split the peloton on the final climb and they’ve netted a result... Farrar has just been dropped and Marcato is just 5" ahead.
As Mollema and a number of other riders get dropped because of the pace set by Vanendert and Gilbert (just ahead of Voeckler) the leader of the stage has an advantage of 15".
The lead group has split. Marcato has attacked Minard and Vichot and all French escapees today have been caught by the peloton.
On the final climb, the rider who was fourth in the Giro this year - John Gadret (ALM) - has been dropped.
Lang (OLO) is now at the front of the peloton that’s just 20" behind the leading trio.
As the escapees get close to the base of the final climb Marcato, Vichot and Minard are 35" ahead of the peloton that has just caught Delaplace, Di Gregorio and El Fares... the capture of the three who had been in the escape was with 17km to go.
Vichot has followed the move instigated by Marcato There are now three in the lead with 20km to go. They have an advantage of about eight seconds on the other three escapees.
On a descent with 21km to go, Marcato (VCD) and Minard (ALM) have opened up a small gap of the four other escapees.
There has not yet been an attack from the lead group but now that the peloton is closing in on the escapees we could expect to see one of the six try an attack some time soon...
The peloton is inside the final 25km of the 10th stage. It is 50" behind the six escapees. The final climb peaks 15km from the finish.
El Fares (COF) is one of the five Frenchmen in the escape today. He must have had his front wheel replaced because the SRM live streaming is showing that he’s pushing out about 500 watts of power but the speed option shows "0"... so we can assume that the magnet that usually records the speed is on another wheel.
Thor Hushovd has filled his jersey with four bottles after his consultation for shoe repairs. He’s now delivering drinks to his team-mates in the peloton that’s 55" behind the six escapees.
Hushovd’s mechanic has finished his repairs and the former Tour leader has the left shoe back on the foot and is racing back to the peloton now...
There are now eight from the HTC team at the front of the bunch that’s at the 124km mark, 55" behind the escapees. Only Christian Knees (SKY) is interrupting an otherwise very complete and well-drilled lead-out train.
As the peloton speeds along at 60km/h, the world champion is riding with one shoe clicked into a pedal and only a sock on his left foot.
The world champion has just raised a hand and called for the Garmin-Cervelo team car. On the third climb of the stage, two of his team-mates - Hejsedal and Farrar - appeared to be in a little bit of trouble but the crisis didn’t last long and they’re back in the peloton. Thor is unclipping his shoe and looks as though he’s going to get a cleat adjustment performed by the team mechanic.
The six escapees are sharing relatively even turns at the front. They are 40km from the finish with a lead of 1’20".
The SRM live tracker illustrates the speed and power output of several riders that use the power meter made by the German company. Currently, the read out for Christian Knees who is near the front of the bunch is showing a speed up around 56km/h, and an output of between 250 and 400 watts depending on if he’s in the wind or not.
LeTour.fr caught up with the father of Johnny Hoogerland a few hours after the dramatic crash in stage nine. “One minute he was fighting for the stage victory and then came the incident with the car driver," said Cees Hoogerland two days ago. "It was a mistake. It’s a shame but the car driver doesn’t have a problem, my son does. “We have a close relationship and it was an anti-climax: one moment he’s riding in the successful break... then he crashes. He’s still in good condition, I think. “He’s making a good race, he was good in the first week. He took the polka-dot jersey and I hope he can continue.”
The Sky team now has a rider in third place at the head of the peloton. Christian Knees is just behind two riders from HTC while Ignatiev (KAT) is also swapping off at the front of the bunch that’s 1’40" behind the escapees.
Di Gregorio has just had a flat tire at the front of the stage. He has a new wheel and is racing to rejoin his escape companions who are 2’00" ahead of the bunch at the 104km mark.
Today’s poll on the official site of the Tour de France (LeTour.fr) asks:
Will Cavendish take his total tally of Tour stage wins to 20 in 2011?
The options for the multiple choice question are:
No, he’ll stay at 17 wins...
18 or 19, but not 20...
The 20th in Paris...
Probably next year...
What do you think? Click the button that corresponds with your thoughts and let us know.
The Vacansoleil rider in the escape today, Marco Marcato has led over each of the climbs. In June he was consistent at the Tour de Suisse where he finished third in stage four (behind Hushovd and Sagan), sixth in stage five (won by team-mate Borut Bozic) and eighth in stage seven (won by team-mate Thomas De Gendt).
The peloton is still led by HTC who has one rider setting the pace now. It’s Bak at the front (ah, it’s a play on words that never gets old...) and he reaches the top 2’30" behind the escapees.
Marcato has led Minard over the top of the third climb. That means the Vacansoleil rider picks up another two points in the climbing classification and the AG2R rider gets his first point.
The green jersey is slipping behind the peloton to consult the Omega Pharma-Lotto team car.
The FDJ rider at the front of the stage is climbing the cote de Villefranche-de-Rouergue in the small chainring. Di Gregorio is still in the 53 on this ascent that peaks with 58.5km to go.
The escapees are still on the third climb. They have a lead of 2’45" with 60km to go in the stage. The maximum gain of the break so far today was 4’00" at the 49.5km mark of this 158km stage.
The leader of the King of the Mountains is heavily bandaged today and he has a Ridley bike that’s been covered in red polka-dots to match the pattern on his prize jersey.
There is a downhill section at the end of the stage today. Between 2km and 1km to go it’s a fast descent on wide roads but a gradient of only about three per cent. Allan Peiper told LeTour.fr that he had a report from Erik Zabel who has already arrived at the site of the finish. The six-time winner of the green jersey is a consultant for the HTC team.
LeTour.fr recently spoke with Allan Peiper who is the passenger in the HTC team car today. With two from his team contributing to the pace, we suggested that it must be a day that suits Cavendish. "Yeah, absolutely," said Peiper, "but we’ve got a B-plan too just in case. "We expect that some teams will try an attack on the last climb and try to off-load some of the sprinters. "Movistar did that in the Tour de Suisse when there was a cat-three climb at the finish of a stage and they could try it again. "If that happens, and Cav does pop," continued Peiper, "we’ve got Gossie. But really, I think Cav will get over the last climb okay."
The second hour was raced at an average speed of 40.2km/h. The average for the first two hours is 45.9km/h.
With the peloton 3’00" behind the escapees, the Austrian from the HTC team has punctured his rear tire. That means his team-mates are no longer at the front... instead it’s a Lampre rider ahead of a Katusha...
The leaders are now at the 89km mark. They raced the first hour at 51.6km/h but the pace has eased a little in the second hour. The six leaders are inside the 10km leading to the third climb of stage 10: the cote de Villefranche-de-Rouergue - a 4.1km long ascent with an average gradient of 5.9 per cent. It is ranked category three so points are on offer for the first two at the top.
The Astana representative in the escape may turn 26 on the last day of this month but he’s already started four Tours before this year, his first was in 2007 but he abandoned after four stages. He won the King of the Mountains title of the Criterium du Dauphine that year and the next year reached the finish of the Tour de France in 59th position overall. Last year he was 21st overall in the Vuelta a España.
The five Frenchmen and one Italian in the lead of stage 10 have an advantage of 3’30" over the peloton that’s now led by a Katusha rider...
The 22-year-old FDJ rider in the escape today, Arthur Vichot, is making his Tour debut in 2011. He earned sixth in the stage to Lisieux in the first week and is currently ranked 88th overall. When he contested the Tour Down Under a couple of years ago, he was targeted by locals who opted to cheer on a visiting rider who they knew little about. The "Arthur Vichot Fan Club" was established in the social media and by the end of that race there were over 100 members all wearing "Allez Arthur" t-shirts and cheering his every move. The Frenchman was flattered by the attention given to him by the Australian fans, if not a little bemused by the manner in which the fan club was established.
The rider who is best placed on GC of the escape today is Julien El Fares. He made his debut in the Tour last year (finishing 27th overall). He hasn’t yet won a race in 2011 but he was third in the final stage of Paris-Nice (in Nice... which was won by Voecker).
There are still two HTC riders - Bak and Pate - at the front of the peloton. Just behind them are riders from Lampre and Katusha. Behind these sprint squads is a bundle of green Europcar jerseys. Gesink is now back in the bunch that’s 3’45" behind the six stage leaders.
Ten Dam and one other Rabobanker have dropped back to help Gesink get back to the peloton after his recent mechanical...
After a bit of work on his bike on the side of the road, Gesink is racing again. He has Tjallingii helping him back to the peloton.
Gesink has just signaled that he would like to talk to the Rabobank team car. He is getting some mechanical work on his handlebars.
For the second time in a stage of his debut Tour, Anthony Delaplace (SAU) has put himself the escape group. He is the youngest rider in the race.
Marco Marcato has led over both climbs in stage 10. The Italian just took one point on the cote de Loupiac (at 70.5km).
Of the six in the lead of stage 10, none have previously won a stage of the Tour de France. There are five Frenchmen and one Italian in the move that began around the 10km mark.
Each day a panel of 10 cast votes for the ‘Fighting Spirit Award’. This prize is also known as the ‘Prix de la Combative’ (and has been called the most aggressive rider prize in the past). On Sunday two men stood on the podium in Saint-Flour to receive a trophy and be presented with a red race number that they will wear today. Juan Antonio Flecha (SKY) and Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) were knocked off by a car with 35km to go in stage nine and both were wounded by the accident but they finished the race. Their fighting spirit was noted by all who follow the Tour and the panel decided – for the first time – to award two with the prize.
The escapees are 3’20" ahead of the peloton. The leaders are on the 2.5km long ascent of the cote de Loupiac.
What does Maassen from the Rabobank team believe Luis Leon Sanchez will do now that he’s ranked second overall? LeTour.fr asked the Dutch directeur sport if the stage winner from Sunday is still working for Gesink or if he’ll get to ride for a good GC position himself. “He is second in the ’classement’," said Maassen, "and he has to go for one more stage win, I think, because he’s in really good shape. "There will be chances for him... not now, because he’s second overall and he won’t be given any space now but later on I think he has a good chance to win once again.”
At the top of the first climb, the peloton is 3’40" behind Di Gregorio, Minard, Marcato, El Fares, Vichot and Delaplace.
Bak and Pate (THR) continue to lead the peloton that’s 3’35" behind the stage leaders as the bunch climbs the first climb of stage 10.
Marco Marcato of the Vacansoleil team has taken the win of the cote de Figeac. The points were won by: 1. Marco Marcato (ITA) VCD - 2pts 2. Anthony Delaplace (FRA) SAU - 1pt
The peloton is currently in Figeac. It was here that David Moncoutie won a stage of the Tour in 2004. The top five of the 11th stage back then was: 1. Moncoutie (FRA) 2. Flecha (ESP) - at 2’15" 3. Martinez (ESP) - at 2’17" 4. Hushovd (NOR) - at 5’58" 5. Zabel (GER) - at 5’58"
Di Gregorio is out of the saddle and setting the pace of the escape 1km from the top of the cote de Figeac.
The cote de Figeac is 2.3km long with an average gradient of six per cent. The top is at the 62.5km mark of stage 10. It is ranked category-three so there are points for the first and second riders over the line.
The escapees are climbing at the moment. The chain of Marcato is in the little ring and he is at the front of the six who are 3’40" ahead of the peloton as they begin to climb the cote de Figeac.
One of the riders caught in the crash at the 11km mark was David Moncoutie. The Cofidis rider won one of his Tour stages in the town where the leaders are now, Figeac.
LeTour.fr asked Maassen for an appraisal of Gesink’s injuries that he sustained in a crash on day three. “He has issues with his back. His spine was bruised and he also has some abrasions. But he’s better now. “When the climbers crash, they always hurt more than the others. “The wind and the rain didn’t help. There are a lot of riders who are suffering after the first week but now everything’s going a lot better.”
LeTour.fr caught up with the directeur sportif from Rabobank before the 10th stage and asked about the status of Robert Gesink. After Luis Leon Sanchez’s win in stage nine – and considering his position on GC (second), does the team have any intention of changing the leadership roles?“Robert has had some troubles but we are really happy with his recovery during the stage that Luis won,” said Frans Maassen. “He suffered a lot but in the final he was better. And his head is in the right place now and we have confidence that he can still do a good race. “Of course he is in the white jersey which is also something important for the team and for himself, so we have no intentions of changing our original plans.”
Lars Bak and Danny Pate from the HTC team are now at the front. There aren’t many stages for sprinters but it seems that the US-registered team is keen to set things up for Mr Cavendish... or, as the t-shirt of many fans at the finish in Carmaux reads "Supermanx".
The first rider to attack in the 2011 Tour de France was Perrig Quemeneur. The Frenchman from Europcar is at the front of the bunch now and, just behind, are two riders from HTC.
This has been the fastest start of a 2011 Tour de France stage. The average for the opening hour today is 51.6km/h!
This is the first day since the opening stage that Thor Hushovd has worn his rainbow jersey. The Norwegian wore the polka-dot jersey in the team time trial of stage two and, since then, he’s only worn yellow. Today, however, the colors of the world champion are in the peloton again.
At the 48km mark, the peloton is 4’00" behind the escapees. It lookslike we’re going to have an average speed for the opening hour of over 50km/h today.
Although the escape is 3’35" ahead, there is no rider in the move who is much of a threat to Voeckler’s overall lead.
The riders in the escape are:
El Fares (FRA) COF - 53rd overall (at 15’06")
Remy Di Gregorio (FRA) FDJ - 59th (at 16’47")
Marco Marcato (ITA) VCD - 72nd (at 23’14")
Arthur Vichot (FRA) FDJ - 88th (at 27’27")
Sebastien Minard (FRA) ALM - 105th (at 36’18")
Anthony Delaplace (FRA) SAU - 132nd (at 45’55")
There are four riders from Europcar at the front of the bunch and it appears that the yellow jersey - Voeckler (who, along with his team-mates, is also wearing a yellow ’dossard’ as his squad now leads the team rankings), is content with the selection.
At the 39km mark, the peloton is 3’10" behind.
1. Vichot (FDJ) 20 pts 2. Delaplace (SAUR) 17pts 3. Minard (ALM) 15pts 4. Marcato (VCD) 13pts 5. Di Gregorio (AST) 11pts 6. El Fares (COF) 10pts 7. Cavendish (THR) 9pts - at 2’15" 8. Renshaw (THR) 8pts 9. Rojas (MOV) 7pts 10. Ventoso (MOV) 6pts 11. Gilbert (OLO) 5pts 12. Delage (FDJ) 4pts 13. Gallopin (COF) 3pts 14. Goss (THR) 2pts 15. Costa (MOV) 1pts
The points for the intermediate sprint at the 37.5km mark were won by: 1. Vichot (FDJ) 20 pts 2. Delaplace (SAUR) 17pts 3. Minard (ALM) 15pts 4. Marcato (VCD) 13pts 5. Di Gregorio (AST) 11pts 6. El Fares (COF) 10pts (Full results to follow shortly.)
Although the advantage of the escapees had grown to 2’40", the lead-out by Movistar and Omega is likely to cause the advantage to drop... and voila, that’s what’s happened. The bunch is in Maurs 2’15" behind the escapees.
Vichot has led Delaplace over the line in Maurs. The full results of the intermediate sprint will be posted once the peloton arrives at the 39.5km mark. Marcato was third...
With 3km to go before the peloton reaches the sprint in Maurs the two teams at the front of the bunch are Movistar and Omega Pharma.
The six escapees have built a lead of 2’30" as the peloton reaches the 34.5km mark.
Frank Schleck has recently punctured and he is now racing again after getting a new wheel. He has Jens Voigt with him to help the chase of the peloton that’s now led by Movistar and Europcar riders.
The intermediate sprint for stage 10 is in Maurs. It’s here that Kolobnev won a stage of the 2007 Tour de France... but the Russian, as we know, is no longer in the Tour this year.
Before the start of the 10th stage, LeTour.fr contacted Remy Di Gregorio to get his thoughts on what we could expect to see today: “For 10 days we surrounded [Vinokourov]. And now he will be in bed, watching us race on television, while we still have the chance to ride the Tour. “The goal is to go for a stage for him. “Personally, it is expected that I will show myself at the front in the Pyrenees, but we’ll start with our attacks today," said the Frenchman. He didn’t expect to be in the break... but he is. “We have no sprinter in the team, so our interest is to put someone in the break. I felt pretty good in the Massif Central, but I have seen in the first long climb to see if I’m really in shape. In any case the motivation is there!”
The six are 40" ahead as the peloton reach the 26km mark.
The six escapees were being pursued by a series of counter-attacks but Voeckler, in the yellow jersey, has just gone to the front along with most of his Europcar team. We’ll soon see if he is able to quell the action a little...
The six escapees are now 30" ahead of the peloton. Pineau (QST) and an Astana rider are trying to bridge the gap to the escapees but the peloton is responding to their move...
Before the stage today LeTour.fr caught up with the French rider on the Astana team Rémy Di Gregorio to get his thoughts on what he believed could happen in the race today, after the retirement of the squad’s leader Alexandre Vinokourov. “Now we must ride for Vino,” said Di Gregorio. “It’s a shock [to see him crash out at the 102km mark of stage nine] and the rest day allowed us the time to focus and find new goals."
Flecha is calling for the Sky team car. He was seen chasing the peloton after the crash but we cannot confirm if he fell or was just caught up in the incident.
Leukemans and Galland were also caught in the crash at 11km. They are off the back of the peloton at the moment.
Tjallingi of the Rabobank team was trying to bridge the gap to the lead group but he has since been caught by the peloton.
Of the six men who are in the escape today, the best on GC after nine stages is Julien El Fares (COF) who is 53rd overall, 15’06" behind Voeckler.
Minard is actually from the AG2R team not Cofidis (as posted in the previous news flash). Apologies for the error.
The riders in the front of the stage are:
Di Gregorio (AST)
El Fares (COF)
Delaplace (SAU) They have an advantage of 15". Roche, Cavendish, Kloden, Cancellara are now off the back of the peloton after all being caught up in the recent crash.
At the 16km mark, there are six men in the lead. They are being pursued by one counter-attacker who is 15" behind.
All the riders who crashed are now back with the peloton. The chase took a little over five kilometers.
There are now six men in the lead of the stage with an advantage of seven seconds over five and 18" over the peloton.
One of the riders caught in the crash at 11km was Juan Antonio Flecha (SKY). He is riding along with about 10 others who are about to rejoin the peloton.
There is no news on the fallen riders which, we hope, suggests that all have returned to the bunch after the crash at the 11km mark. The Vacansoleil team is at the front at the moment.
The crash was at the 11km mark. Radio Tour is currently asking the RadioShack team’s car driver (which had Leipheimer in the fall) to accelerate.
There is a Saur-Sojasun rider now waiting for a new bike but it appears as though all others involved in the crash are racing again.
Gesink (RAB) has also come down in the recent crash.
There has been a crash in the peloton. Cancellara is involved. So too Leukemans (VCD), Leipheimer (RSH)...
The peloton is at the 10.5km mark just a little behind five men who are trying to establish an escape.
The peloton is speeding along at a high pace early today. Six riders can be seen off the front but there is only 50 meters between them and the bunch which is seeing a volley of other riders attempting to spring off the front and bridge the gap...
The bunch is strung out in a long line of riders with no escape capable of breaking free early in stage 10.
"What we witnessed two days ago was both unacceptable and shocking," was the translation of Pescheux’s comments before the start today.
"In order to guarantee the security we have taken some measures..."
The cars that want to follow the race must have a gap of two minutes but this depends on the nature of the road.
Only eight vehicles - four from the organisers and four from the media - will be allowed behind the breakaway.
Media cars must have at least two journalist with press passes.
Vehicles must overtake a breakaway one-by-one after the instruction from race direction and must do so safely... "We ask all to respect security and the regulations, if not there will be sanctions. Security must be the priority."
Lars Boom (RAB) has a flat rear tire.
There are 178 riders in the race after nine days of racing. The non-starters are Yaroslav Popovych (RSH) and Alexandr Kolobnev (KAT). The official start was at 1.38pm.
There was a storm in Aurillac with hail falling an hour before the start. Sebastien Piquet of Radio Tour has just told LeTour.fr that the conditions are better now, the storm has passed and the race is about to begin.
Although Robert Gesink (RAB) admitted to being in all sorts of strife at the start of the ninth stage, the Dutchman was encouraged by team-mates not to give in. He worked his way back into the peloton after being dropped early and eventually finished 15th in Saint-Flour. Gesink wears the white jersey for a third day in a row after inheriting it from the Welshman from Sky, Geraint Thomas. The former Estonian champion Rein Taaramae (COF) is ranked second in the youth classification, 51” behind Gesink. In third is the second-best Frenchman on GC, Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), at 1’20”.
The wounded Vacansoleil rider Johnny Hoogerland stood on the podium in Saint-Flour with bleeding legs and bandages covering up the horrible wounds he sustained in a horrific accident 35km from the finish of stage nine. He made two visits to the podium: one to collect a trophy as one of two riders who won the votes for the ‘Fighting Spirit’ award – the other being fellow crash victim Juan Antonio Flecha (SKY). Hoogerland also collected another polka-dot jersey. The Dutchman has 22 points in the climbing classification, six more than the race leader Thomas Voeckler (EUC), and 17 more than the former leader of this category, Tejay Van Garderen (THR). The winner of stage eight, Rui Costa (MOV) has five points, as has the third-place finisher in Saint-Flour, Sandy Casar (FDJ).
As the bunch rides through the neutral zone, the director of competition, Jean-François Pescheux is taking the opportunity to remind everyone in the convoy of the regulations for how they must conduct themselves in the Tour de France. This is because of the incident that caused Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha to crash 35km from the finish of stage nine. "Safety is the main concern!"
The winner of stage one, Philippe Gilbert (OLO) is leading the points classification. He has been remarkably consistent, finishing first, 20th, fifth, second, seventh, 14th, second and fourth in the road stages (ie. not taking the TTT into account). The Belgian champion will race stage 10 in the green jersey. Gilbert has 217 points, while the top five is rounded out with Rojas (MOV, 172pts), Cavendish (THR, 153pts), Hushovd (GRM, 137pts) and Evans (BMC, 135pts).
The bunch is currently on its way to the start of the 10th stage. A RadioShack rider has already called the team car but it’s only a brief consultation during the 3.6km neutral zone.
Today sees Thomas Voeckler (EUC) back in the yellow jersey seven years after he led the Tour de France for 10 days. The Frenchman has an advantage of 1’49” over another rider from the escape group on Sunday – and the winner of the stage to St-Flour, Luis Léon Sanchez (RAB). Cadel Evans (BMC) has never left the top three of general classification for the 2011 Tour. The Australian is currently ranked third, 2’26” behind Voeckler. Frank and Andy Schleck are fourth and fifth overall, respectively, after 1,591km and 38 hours, 35 minutes and 11 seconds of racing... by the leader. The Luxembourgers have covered that distance 2’29” and 2’37” slower than Voeckler. The former race leader, Thor Hushovd (GRM) is now ranked 24th, 5’13” behind Voeckler.
The RadioShack team has reported that there are now just five of their riders in the Tour. Yaroslav Popovych has had a fever and he was not at the sign on early this afternoon.
After a day of rest, the Tour de France is about to spark back into action. The 158km 10th stage from Aurillac to Carmaux is due to begin at 1.30pm. It’s a short stage but is on undulating terrain as the route takes riders in a southerly direction from the Cantal department to the Tarn. There is a 3.6km neutral zone before the official start. This is expected to be at around 1.40pm. Live coverage of the race will commence shortly.