- The race 2011
- All about the race
The previous flash stated that Gilbert kept the green jersey. This is wrong, as Cavendish now leads the points classification with 251 points, 20 more than Gilbert. It’s the first time since 2009 that Cavendish has collected the green jersey.
The top 10 in Lavaur is: 1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) THR - 167.5km in 3h46’07" 2. André Greipel (GER) OLO 3. Tyler Farrar (USA) GRM 4. Denis Balimzyanov (RUS) KAT 5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY 6. Romain Feillu (FRA) VCD 7. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) MOV 8. Sebastien Turgot (FRA) EUC 9. Francisco Ventoso (ESP) MOV 10. William Bonnet (FRA) FDJ Gilbert keeps his green jersey. Voeckler keeps his yellow jersey. Gesink keeps his white jersey. Hoogerland keeps his polka-dot jersey
Cavendish first, Greipel second, Farrar third... Supermanx has won again.
It’s win number 18 in the Tour de France for Cavendish.
Dean is at the front but on the other side of the road comes Thomas (SKY)... now here comes Renshaw...
There are three Garmin riders at the front of the bunch as is goes in the 1km to go sign. Sky is also well represented, so too Omega and, of course, HTC.
The sprinters are going to have their way... surprise, surprise! Millar is on the front of the bunch with 2km to go. Behind him is Thor Hushovd. And then the HTC guys are getting organized for the lead-out.
The rest of the escapees have been caught and only Boom remains ahead of the peloton. There are 2.5km to go in the stage and the rain is easing now but the roads in Lavaur are soaked.
For the second time this year, Delage (FDJ) has been voted the most aggressive rider in the stage.
With 4km to go, Boom leads the other escapees by 5" and the peloton by 14".
Boom has attacked the lead group with 4.8km to go. He is about 100m ahead of the other escapees who are about to be caught by the peloton.
With 5km to go, there is just nine seconds between the escapees and the peloton.
The escapees are inside the final 5km of the stage. They have 15" advantage on the peloton.
There are now two men from Lampre at the head of the peloton. Knees (SKY) is also appearing up front. Burghardt (BMC) has just peeled off and it looks as though he’s given all there is to give today.
The lead-out from HTC has effectively begun. Eisel is ahead of Veltis who leads Martin and then comes Renshaw and Goss... they are yet to catch the escapees who are 6km from the line and 22" ahead of the peloton.
Goss - who was ill yesterday, vomiting several times near the end of the stage - has just been dropped by the peloton.
The peloton is on the same straight as the escapees with less than 8km to go in the stage. Grivko is calling Engoulvent through for a turn and no one is skipping a stint at the front in the lead group. All of the escapees have shared the work...
There are two lead-out trains at the front of the peloton that’s 30" behind with 10km to go: on the right side of the road is HTC working for a sprint finish, on the left is BMC working to keep Cadel Evans out of trouble for the wet finish today.
There are just 34" separating the escapees and the peloton. There have been no attacks from the breakaway riiders who are now inside the final 10km of the stage.
The rain is pouring down in Lavaur. There is only 12km to go in the stage and it’s going to be a wet finish on the eve of the Tour’s rendezvous with the Pyrenees. Riblon (ALM) and a number of others have been dropped by the bunch in the close kilometers of stage 11.
There are nine HTC riders and one Sky recruit at the front of the peloton with 13km to go. They are 40" behind the six escapees.
It’s now raining in Lavaur. The bunch is only 15km away from the finish and 50" behind the six escapees.
Surely it’s only a matter of minutes before we see one of the six in the lead try to break free. They have cooperated well for 135km but with the advantage down under a minute, one of the escapees will take a chance soon. The question is, which one?
Perez Moreno (EUS)
It’s been raining again. Although the roads are dry in Lavaur at the moment, it’s where with 18km to go.
With 20km to go, the peloton is 1’15" behind the escapees.
The escape is inside the final 20km of the stage. Boom is driving the break and the then the order of the pace line is Grivko, Valentin, Engoulvent, Delage... Perez Moreno has skipped a few turns.
Rojas has a new wheel and is now being helped back to the peloton by Amador.
Rojas has just punctured and there are a couple of Movistar team-mates waiting for him as he gets a new wheel.
Lang (OLO), Bak (THR), Van Garderen (THR) and Gerrans (SKY) are the four riders at the front of the bunch with 25km to go. The difference between the leading six and the peloton is 1’15".
At the 25km to go mark, the route turns and aims in a northerly direction. That means the tailwind that has been pushing the bunch south at a rapid pace will become a headwind... The last check, with 27km to go, has the peloton 1’20" behind the six escapees.
The race has riding in and out of rain showers today. Right now the sun is shining on the peloton and it’s dry at the finish in Lavaur which is only 28km away for the leaders who are 1’30" ahead of the bunch.
At the top of the Puylaurens climb, the bunch is 1’34" behind the escapees.
The rider who won the intermediate sprint has also won the second climb of the 11th stage. Delage (FDJ) has one more point to his tally in the climbing classification - so he now has a total of two points.
The leaders are sharing the workload on the climb. They have 1km to go before the top of the Puylaurens ascent. Costa has returned to the peloton after his puncture.
On the climb, the winner of stage eight has punctured his front tire. He has a had a quick wheel change and he’s already racing past Isaichev.
One of the Katusha riders has been dropped by the peloton on the approach to the second climb of the stage. Vladimir Isaichev is off the back...
With the leaders now on the climb, the peloton has taken another 15" out of their advantage between the 129km and 130km marks...
The peloton is getting closer to the escape. In the last five kilometers the chase by HTC at the front of the peloton is netting a reward, reducing the advantage of the break from 2’05" to 1’50".
The cote de Puylaurens is due soon. The escapees are almost at the foot of this cat-four ascent that is 4.2km long and has an average gradient of 3.8 per cent. The line is 32km from the finish.
At the 125.5km mark, the peloton is 2’05" behind Perez Moreno, Delage, Valentin, Boom, Grivko and Engoulvent.
Feillu didn’t take long to rejoin the peloton. He is already back in the bunch after his puncture. Sky has sent Gerrans up to the front of the bunch now. Rain has started to fall again after about an hour and a half of dry conditions.
It’s going to be a hard chase for Romain Feillu who has recently punctured. The peloton is speeding along with the help of a tailwind and is 2’30" behind the escape.
The leaders are 45km from the finish at the same time that the bunch is in Lautrec at the 48km to go mark.
Erik Breukink has given his thoughts on the Rabobank team leader earlier today. "Robert [Gesink] is better and better," said the Dutchman. "He’s a climber so he looks forward to the mountains. It’s not so much the arm as the back that hurts and could be a problem in the climbs. "Don’t rule out Gesink and the Rabo guys just yet..."
There are now three teams at the head of the peloton - each of which has won a stage in sprints so far this year:
Lang from Omega Pharma-Lotto is setting the pace (with both Greipel and Gilbert in mind).
Hesjedal from Garmin-Cervélo is also working (for Tyler Farrar).
HTC has had guys at the front since the escape was established... with Cavendish the rider who hopes to reward them with another win.
The second hour was raced at an average speed of 47km/h. The third could be even faster as the wind is favorable today and the peloton is speeding towards Lavaur. There are still six in the lead with an advantage of 2’55".
Tony Gallopin is showing that he’s a rider for the future. He was aggressive in the finale yesterday and today his team-mate Tristan Valentin is in the escape. The Cofidis team hasn’t won a stage since Sylvain Chavanel (who is no longer on the French squad’s roster) claimed victory in Montlucon in stage 19 of the 2008 race. Before that it was Samuel Dumoulin in stage three of the 2008 edition.
LeTour.fr recently spoke with Didier Rous of the Cofidis team to find out what he believes will come of today’s finale. "It’s going to be hard for Tristan [Valentin, who is part of the escape] to stay ahead especially now that the sprint teams are chasing," said the Frenchman. "When it all comes back together, we have two cards to play: Leonardo Duque and Tony Gallopin..." Cofidis has not yet won a stage of the Tour in 2011.
All of the HTC team is now near the front of the peloton. Hejsedal (GRM) is the one rider not from Cav’s squad that’s leading the bunch which is currently 3’20" behind the escape.
After the intermediate sprint, some riders from Garmin-Cervélo have arrived near the front of the peloton. Navardauskas is now helping Bak and Pate with the chasing duties.
The last time that the 1997 Tour champion Jan Ullrich won a stage of the race was in 2003; and that was a time trial that was contested in the Tarn department which hosts the start and finish of the stage today. Ullrich won the 12th stage of the Tour’s centenary edition, beating the eventual overall winner that year, Lance Armstrong, by 1’36”. It was horrendously hot and the Texan insisted that he lost over five kilos during the 47km stage... The finish was in Cap Découverte, an old mine site that has been transformed into a theme park.
The last time that a stage of the Tour de France finished in Lavaur was in 2001. The winner of the 15th stage was Rik Verbrugghe who outsprinted Marco Pinotti for the win after being in an escape for most of the day. Alessandro Petacchi led the rest of the escape group home six seconds behind the winner of the stage from Pau. But the breakaway included 25 men that day. The peloton was over 15 minutes behind. When Verbrugghe started his sprint, his sunglasses fell down his nose and although he was distracted, he made an adjustment – mid-sprint – and still held off the Italian who was part of the Lampre team that year. Verbrugghe gave the Lotto team its only win in that year’s Tour.
At the site of the sprint, the peloton was 2’50" behind the six escapees but that’s blown out a little... Perez Moreno’s group is now 3’20" ahead.
After his recent mechanical incident, Cavendish is being assisted by Eisel as they chase down the peloton.
The rider who led the peloton to the sprint line, has stopped to get some mechanical attention.
The average speed for the second hour was 47.0km/h. The average since the start is 44.8km/h.
Willems (OLO) was reported to be the 15th rider in the sprint but he’s no longer in the race. It was, in fact, Vanendert (OLO).
1. Delage (FRA) FDJ 20pts 2. Engoulvent (FRA) SAU 17pts 3. Boom (NED) RAB 15pts 4. Grivko (UKR) AST 13pts 5. Perez Moreno (ESP) EUS 11pts 6. Valentin (FRA) COF 10pts 7. Cavendish (GBR) THR 9pts - at 2’50" 8. Rojas (ESP) MOV 8pts 9. Ventoso (ESP) MOV 7pts 10. Greipel (GER) OLO 6pts 11. Gilbert (BEL) OLO 5pts 12. Goss (AUS) THR 4pts 13. Renshaw (AUS) THR 3pts 14. Eisel (AUT) THR 2pts 15. ... 1pts
Cavendish was determined to beat Greipel to the line in Gaillac. The Manxman has taken seventh place at the intermediate sprint.
At the sprint the result of the first six is: 1. Mickael Delage (FRA) FDJ - 20pts 2. Jimmy Engoulvent (FRA) SAU - 17pts 3. Lars Boom (NED) RAB - 15pts 4. Andriy Grivko (UKR) AST - 13pts 5. Ruben Perez Moreno (ESP) EUS - 11pts 6. Tristian Valentin (FRA) COF - 10pts
The leaders appeared reluctant to sprint for points for fear of upsetting the others in the escape. Delage, politely, went to the front to take 20 points but almost immediately apologized to Boom for doing so.
The peloton is about 4.5km behind the six escapees who are now less than 1,000m from the intermediate sprint. They are just rolling through but we can expect to see Delage try to jump ahead any second now... going on tradition, at least.
The peloton is being pushed along by a tailwind as it exits the feedzone. The leaders are 4km from the sprint and 3’20" ahead. Petacchi’s recent stop was to collect a bike that the management of Lampre has said is better suited for sprinting.
Pate and Bak (THR) have been at the front of the peloton for around 60km. The have just led the bunch to the feedzone at the 76km mark. The six escapees are 3’20" ahead.
Alessandro Petacchi has had a mechanical incident recently. As the bunch speeds up in the lead-up to the intermediate sprint, the Italian who won the green jersey in 2010 is being helped back to the bunch by three Lampre team-mates.
The six escapees are at the 75km mark which means the intermediate sprint is 10km further down the road in Gaillac.
The first time that Lars Boom contested the Tour was in 2010. The best stage placing for the Dutchman who was the cyclo-cross world champion from 2008 was 18th on the Champs-Elysees. He is one of six men who escaped the peloton at the 13km mark today.
The six escapees are now 3’35" ahead of the bunch. The maximum gain of the escape was 4’25" at the 33km mark.
Mickael Delage (FDJ) is the rider who started the escape today at the 13km mark. The Frenchman has already spent 392km in breakaways during the course of the 2011 Tour. At the 73km mark, he will surpass Hoogerland (VCD) as the rider to have ridden more kilometers in escapes than any other rider of the 98th edition of the race. Hoogerland’s total distance in escapes, as tallied by L’Equipe, after 10 stages was 452km.
Ruben Perez Moreno has been on the attack several times already this year. He was in an escape group of five in stage three this year (along with Gutierrez, Terpstra, Bouet, and Delage - who is the rider who started the move today). He was caught 15km from the finish.
The best on GC of the six escapees is the rider from Euskaltel-Euskadi. Ruben Perez Moreno has contested four Tours de France before this year and his best place in a stage was ninth in Brussels in stage two last year - when the peloton was split by a crash in the closing kilometers and Alessandro Petacchi won. At the end of the Tour last year, he was also in the mix of a sprint when he finished 10th in Bordeaux.
This is the sixth time that the Astana rider in the escape today has started the Tour de France. He has finished fifth in two stages before - on the day Paolo Savoldelli won the stage in Revel in 2005, and also on the famous 13th stage of the 2006 stage that finished in Montelimar... but the Kazakh abandoned the 2006 Tour two days after being in the escape that effectively netted Oscar Pereiro the overall victory five years ago.
The recent split is no more... there are now just six men ahead of the peloton that’s all together again.
There is a group of about 40 riders - including the polka-dot jersey, Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) - who have been dropped on the descent near the Averyon gorge.
There have been a number of punctures today: the latest is the leader of the Movistar team, David Arroyo. Others to have flat tires recently are Stuart O’Grady and Urtasun Perez... and now it’s a rider from Cofidis which is the team that holds the record for the most punctures in the Tour of 2011.
The six escapees - Perez Moreno (EUS), Boom (RAB), Grivko (AST), Delage (FDJ), Valentin (COF) and Engoulvent (SAU) - at now at the 53km mark. Their lead is 4’10". The maximum gain so far is just 4’20" (at 43km).
Sebastien Hinault has achieved four top 10 finishes in stages this year but he’s been left to pick his own way in the sprints. “We do not have a train,” said Lavenu this morning about the way the AG2R team is structured. “Nor do we have a sprinter who is able to win 15 or 20 times in a season. “We will still have some good hopes for the final with Blel Kadri, Christophe Riblon and Nicolas Roche, who will give Hinault a hand to try and get a good position in the lead-up to sprints. We must remain focussed on our strengths and remember our weaknesses. Sebastian does better when the sprints are hard and, ideally, after a few hills near the finish. “As for Nicolas Roche and Jean-Christophe Peraud, they are feeling good, they made sure they were near the front when the pace lifted on the last climb yesterday, so it’s encouraging. They are calm and confident approach to the Pyrenees.”
The riders are currently descending down to the Gordes d’Arveryon and the escapees are 4’15" ahead of the bunch at the 46km mark.
Before the stage to Lavaur, LeTour.fr contacted the directeur sportif of the AG2R La Mondiale team to find out if there is a temptation to try and establish a lead-out train for yesterday’s seventh place finisher Sebastien Hinault. “Yes, the stage is conducive to sprinters,” said Vincent Lavenu. “Some teams are cut out for this – like HTC and Garmin-Cervélo, and we also saw yesterday that Omega Pharma-Lotto, with only six riders, had serious fire power. “For our part, sure Sebastien is a good sprinter but we haven’t brought a team to support him. Move of all, our hope is to be strong in the mountains and we have some real opportunities with some aggressive riders for the climbs.”
Jack Bobridge is the reigning world record holder in the individual pursuit and a multiple world champion. The South Australian is a member of the Garmin-Cervélo team (but not in the Tour squad... this year). He turns 22 today. Happy birthday to the Australian champion of 2011.
We saw HTC get on the front quite early in stage 10. Does Allan Peiper expect a similar approach today? “You can only run through things and say who is going to benefit from us working, who is going to help, and we were happy with how things unfolded yesterday. It should be about the same again today.” Of course, he would prefer Cav to be in first rather than second if the 11th stage does end in a sprint.
The first hour has been raced at an average speed of 42.6km/h.
The roads are now wet and rain is falling. It doesn’t appear as though the conditions are going to clear either. It’s wet at the 40km mark and overcast all the way to the finish in Lavaur.
The six men in the lead of stage 11 are:
Ruben Perez Moreno (ESP) EUS - 83rd overall at 30’41"
Tristan Valentin (FRA) COF - 106th overall at 40’19"
Mickael Delage (FRA) FDJ - 127th overall at 49’29"
Lars Boom (NED) RAB - 149th overall at 59’32"
Andriy Grivko (UKR) AST - 154th overall at 1h1’21"
Jimmy Engouvent (FRA) SAU - 173rd overall at 1h16’13"
What does Allan Peiper know about the finish in Lavaur? “From what we’ve seen in the book, it looks to be a fairly rudimentary run in. It could be a headwind at the finish today,” said Allan Peiper in his quick interview with LeTour.fr earlier today. “I won’t say it’s going to be like Chateauroux but the final run-in shouldn’t be too dramatic. With about 25km to go, it could be side/tail winds and if it starts to blow hard – like has been predicted – then it might cause a few echelons.”
The bunch is at the 31km mark of the stage. The rain is abating and the roads are drying out... but it’s still particularly overcast in the Tarn.
The peloton has two HTC riders at the front - Pate and, you guessed it, Bak - and behind them are six green Europcar jerseys followed by Mr Voeckler in yellow. The bunch is 4’25" behind the six escapees.
LeTour.fr spoke with Allan Peiper of the HTC team this morning and asked, how was Mark Cavendish after the stage? “He wasn’t happy with his sprint,” said the directeur sportif. “He was a bit dejected but if you’re a winner you’ve got to be like that otherwise the drive to win isn’t there. “As deep as the let down is if you don’t win, the analysis begins immediately. He thinks he started his sprint a little too slowly as he went past (Daniel) Oss and he should have kicked harder and that might have given him a bit of a gap on Greipel. He’s enough of a realist to know that these things happen. He’s been beaten before by lesser men than Greipel, so I don’t think yesterday is anything to worry about. “Some times you get a bit of a run of luck, some times you don’t. “Effectively Mark was there by himself in the final couple of kilometers because Renshaw had been dropped on the climb before and Mark was there alone.”
HTC continues to set the pace of the pursuit. The bunch is 4’15" behind Boom’s group at the 28.5km mark.
The six have raced over the first ascent and the points were won by: 1. Lars Boom (RAB) 2pts 2. Andriy Grivko (AST) 1pt
The six escapees are 3’55" ahead as the begin the ascent of the cote de Tonnac.
With the advantage of the escapees growing quickly, the HTC team has already put two men at the front of the peloton.
Christian Prudhomme has recently announced that the first climb of stage 11 is due soon. The cote de Tonnac is 3.6km long with an average gradient of 4.9 per cent. Points are awarded to the first two over the line that’s at the 28.5km mark.
The six escapees are steadily building their advantage. They are 3’20" ahead at the 21km mark.
None of the six who are leading the 11th stage have previously won a stage of the Tour de France.
“Every day this week there has been a little bit too much action for our liking,” said Cadel Evans (BMC) five minutes before the start when interviewed by Eurosport. “Um, we just want to get through the stage safely, as we’ve done so far.” The roads are wet and slippery, suggested the interviewer, and this is an unknown aspect of the Tour de France. How does a rider prepare for such a stage? “Um, we have a half-Classics team and a half-mountains team; the Classics guys have been very busy so far and there’ll be another day of that.” Who does he expect will be the riders to watch in the Pyrenees? “Ah, of course I think Contador and Schleck... and then Peter Velits is someone who looks really good at the moment and no one is talking about him.”
The escapees are now 2’30" ahead of the bunch at the 19.5km mark.
The best on GC of the six in the lead is Ruben Perez Moreno of the Euskaltel team. His group is 1’35" ahead at the 17km mark. The Spaniard is ranked 74th overall after 10 days of racing, 24’42" behind Voeckler.
One of the Sorensens in the Saxo Bank team has just copped a flat rear tire.
It was the FDJ rider, Mickael Delage who started the escape. He began the attack at the 13.5km mark. Europcar are at the front of the bunch now and the advantage of the escape has blown out quickly to 1’05".
The six escapees are:
Perez Moreno (EUS)
There are six men with an advantage of 25" on the peloton at the 13.5km mark.
While no escapes have succeeded, two riders on the SRM live tracker - Roy (FDJ) and Knees (SKY) - are travelling at around 55km/h while others who have their speeds on display are riding at around 50km/h.
There have been a number of early moves but so far none have contained the right selection and thus they’ve been chased down again and again. The bunch is all together at the 12km mark.
The peloton is currently racing along at speeds in excess of 50km/h. There are five men with a small advantage over the peloton but we await confirmation of the names of those involved.
The Sky team is at the front of the bunch and we can assume that it doesn’t have a rider represented in the nine otherwise the break might be given a bit of breathing space... So far eight kilometers have been raced.
There has been another surge at the head of the peloton at the 6km mark. We don’t have the names of those involved in the latest move but can report that it’s a group of nine and the escape is gaining some momentum.
The peloton is still all together after 4.5km of racing.
Gaillac will be the site of the intermediate sprint of stage 11. This town in the Tarn is at the 85km mark.
Several FDJ riders were present at the front of the bunch as the flag fell to signal the start of stage 11. But it would seem that their attacking intentions haven’t yet yielded a successful escape group. The bunch is all together at the 2.5km mark.
The official start of the 11th stage was at 1.14pm. There are 177 riders left in the race as John Gadret (ALM) was not at the sign on early this afternoon. He has been suffering his way through the first half of the Tour and is the 21st rider to abandon the 98th edition.
The peloton is about to arrive at the end of the neutral zone and Christian Prudhomme is about to wave the white flag from the lead car to signal the beginning of racing in stage 11.
Robert Gesink (RAB) insists that he’s only getting better as the Tour progresses. He crashed in stage three but the injuries are improving and he continues to lead the youth classification, 51” ahead of Rein Taaramae (COF) and 1’20” ahead of Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ). The former leader of the youth classification, Geraint Thomas (SKY) was ninth in stage 10 and is now ranked fifth in the race for the white jersey, 1’50” behind Gesink.
“Today I felt better on the bike than I felt in bed or walking,” said the leader of the climbing classification after 10 stages, Johnny Hoogerland. “It was a lot of adrenaline that got me through the day, I think. “The only time that I really thought about stopping the Tour de France was during the two seconds that I was flying through the air... and then my thought was, ‘Oh! My God!’ But then, when I was lying there and I could move, my only thought was to get back up.” Not only has the Vacansoleil rider continued racing after his crash in stage nine, he enjoys a five point advantage over the rider in the lead of the Tour Thomas Voeckler (EUC) in the race for the polka-dot jersey. They have 22 and 17 points respectively while third and fourth – Tejay Van Garderen (THR) and Marco Marcato (VCD) –have five points each.
Philippe Gilbert (OLO) added another nine points to his tally in the race for the green jersey. He has been in the lead of the points classification for the last three days and the former green jersey wearer, Rojas (MOV) is ranked second. The Belgian has 226 points, the Spaniard 209. ‘Supermanx’ – as supporters of Mark Cavendish have dubbed their favorite rider – is in third place with 197 points. This year, the HTC sprinter has not yet worn the green jersey but his second place yesterday proves he is still a force to be reckoned with...
This is the second day that Thomas Voeckler (EUC) is in the lead of the Tour de France in 2011. There was no change to the top order of general classification in stage 10, which finished in a sprint with 81 riders taking the same time as the winner. Voeckler was aggressive in the finale and was part of a five-man group that rode off the front of the bunch in the final 10km of stage 10. He finished the stage in 36th place and still has a lead of 1’49” over the winner of stage nine, Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB) and 2’26” over Cadel Evans (BMC). The Australian remains the strongest of the GC specialists and he has never been lower than third in the overall rankings in his seventh Tour de France.
The bunch is currently rolling along in the neutral zone and rain is falling. It’s only light but heavier showers are expected during the course of the stage. The temperature at the start is 17.5 degrees Celsius.
There are two categorized ascents on the itinerary today: the cote de Tonna (cat-3 at 28.5km) and cote de Puylaurens (cat-4 at 135.5km).
The 11th stage of the Tour de France - from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur - is due to start soon. Rain has returned and it’s been wet in the Tarn early today and it likely that a fair dose of the 167.5km stage could be contested in the wet. The stage is to begin at 1.05pm with a 3.7km neutral zone. Live coverage will commence shortly.