- The race 2011
- All about the race
Evans finished with along with the Schleck brothers and the Contador group. The Australian is now closer to the yellow jersey after 28" ahead of Voeckler but the Frenchman sitll leads the general classification after 17 stages. The top five overall is: 1. Voeckler (FRA) EUC 2. Evans (AUS) BMC at 1’18" 3. Frank Schleck (LUX) LEO at 1’22" 4. Andy Schleck (LUX) LEO at 2’36" 5. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) EUS at 2’59"
The climb near the finish was used as a launch pad for Edvald Boasson Hagen to race ahead and claim his second stage win in the 2011 Tour. The top 10 in a dramatic stage to Pinerolo is: 1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY - 179km in 4h18’50" 2. Bauke Mollema (NED) RAB at 40" 3. Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ at 50" 4. Julien El Fares (FRA) COF at 50" 5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) QST at 50" 6. Dmitriy Fofonov (KAZ) AST at 1’10" 7. Maciej Paterski (POL) LIQ at 1’10" 8. Dmitriy Muravyev (KAZ) RSH at 1’10" 9. Jonathan Hivert (FRA) SAU at 1’15" 10. Borut Bozic (SLO) VCD at 2’20"
Voeckler has arrived at the finish about 24" behind Contador’s group and the Frenchman will still lead the general classification after the 17th stage.
Contador and Sanchez were caught just before the line by a group that included the Schleck brothers and Evans.
Voeckler should keep his yellow jersey despite some incidents on the final descent. He is just 27" behind Contador.
Contador and Sanchez are 5" ahead of Andy Schleck’s group as they pass the 1km to go sign.
The escapees have all reached the finish in Pinerolo but we’ll post the result on LeTour.fr after the arrival of Contador who is currently 26" ahead of the yellow jersey.
The yellow jersey has shot off the road at least twice on the final descent. Now Contador and Sanchez (EUS) are 10" ahead of the nearest chasers and the two Spaniards are swapping off in a time trial to gain more time on the Schleck brothers and the other GC favorites.
Boasson Hagen has taken the victory in Pinerolo. It’s his second stage win in the 2011 race. Second has gone to Mollema of Rabobank, 40" behind the Norwegian.
Sky looks destined to win another stage of the Tour de France. Edvald Boasson Hagen is inside the final kilometer of the stage. It will be the fourth stage win for Norway in the 98th Tour de France, and the young star from Team Sky’s second victory this year.
Boasson Hagen is going to win the stage but there’s another story unfolding as Contador attacks the yellow jersey’s group on the descent...
Voeckler was trying to lead the peloton on the final descent but he overshot a turn and has been passed by Sanchez and a Saxo Bank rider...
Boasson Hagen is almost certain to win his second stage of the Tour. Hivert was strong on the climb but his descent has been fraught with issues. He’s just ridden off the road again but he didn’t crash this time... The Norwegian is well clear of the second rider in the stage who is likely to be Mollema...
The points for the final climb of the stage were won by: 1. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 5pts 2. Mollema (RAB) 3pts 3. Hivert (SAU) 2pts 4. Chavanel (QST) 1pt
The yellow jersey’s group is inside the final kilometer of the climb. Andy is at the front just ahead of Contador and Evans. If Hivert’s example is anything to go by, they must exercise some caution on the final descent...
Hivert was taking risks on the final descent but he overshot a turn and crashed. He is back on his bike in third place in the stage.
Contador is now being led by Frank Schleck. They are inside the final 10km of the stage...
Contador is not exactly attacking but he’s certainly lifting the pace again. Now Andy has put himself ahead of the defending Tour champion and the speed is getting faster as they near the top of the final climb.
Contador has launched an attack but he has been chased down by Andy, Thomas, Cadel and the rest of an elite peloton that’s 4’50" behind Boasson Hagen.
Hivert is 10" behind Boasson Hagen with 10km to go. Chavanel’s group is 25" behind the stage leader.
Boasson Hagen leads the stage with 10km to go. The second rider on the road is Jonathan Hivert (SAU)... Chavanel has been caught by Casar’s posse.
Sylwester Szmyd is setting the pace of the yellow jersey’s group which is now 4’55" behind Boasson Hagen.
Edvald Boasson Hagen is racing ahead to try and earn his second Tour stage win. The Norwegian was first in Liseux and second yesterday. He is now on his own at the front of the stage.
The Leopard-Trek team has riders at the front of the peloton that’s 5’25" behind Chavanel and Boasson Hagen.
Boasson Hagen has caught Chavanel at the front of the stage.
Chavanel’s advantage with 12km to go is just five seconds. Boasson Hagen (SKY) is about to catch the French champion.
Roche has been dropped from the De Weert group after having some mechanical issues.
Chavanel is now in the lead of the stage. He attacked with about 3.5km to climb.
The peloton is led to the final climb by the BMC team, 5’55" behind Perez Moreno who has just been caught and passed by Chavanel.
A Vacansoleil rider has crashed in the peloton. It slowed down a few other riders but no one seemed badly hurt.
Perez Moreno (EUS) is just 5km from the top of the final climb. He is 15" ahead of Fofonov who has just been caught by Casar and co.
The second rider in the stage on the final climb is Dmitriy Fofonov (AST) who is 20" behind Perez Moreno.
There are now two distinct groups at the front of the peloton that’s 6’35" behind Perez Moreno. Leopard-Trek are on the right of the road and BMC is to the left.
The ’salita’ Pramartino is 6.7km long with an average gradient of six per cent. The top is just eight kilometers from the finish in Pinerolo. Perez Moreno has begun the final ascent...
The stage is still led by Ruben Perez Moreno but his advantage over the next 13 has dropped from 1’00" with 20km to go to just 35". Perez Moreno has 15km to go in the stage.
De Weert (QST), Roche (ALM) and Hoogerland (VCD) are 2’47" behind Perez Moreno at the 20km to go mark.
The peloton is 7’15" behind Perez Moreno as it passes under the 25km to go sign.
With 20km to go in the stage, Perez Moreno (EUS) is 55" ahead of his 13 former escape companions.
When the Tour last had a stage finish in Italy, the winner was Simon Gerrans. He was part of an escape group and the Australian outsmarted Egoi Martinez to claim the victory on a wet day of racing. That was also the day that Oscar Pereiro crashed out of the race in dramatic circumstances. The Spaniard who won the Tour de France in 2006 is now on the race and doing commentary for a Spanish media outlet.
The peloton is 7’50" behind the stage leader and being led by Bole (LAM) and riders from the Garmin team. The De Weert trio is 3’35" behind Perez Moreno with 25km to go in the stage.
With 25km to go, the 17th stage is being led by Ruben Perez Moreno (EUS). He has won only one stage in his pro career which began in 2005 - and he’s only ever ridden for Euskaltel-Euskadi. Last year he finished second in a stage of the Tour of Benelux that was won by the reigning Australian champion, Jack Bobridge. In third place was Thomas De Gendt (who was part of the original escape of the race today).
De Weert, Roche and Hoogerland are now just 1’00" behind the 13 in Casar’s group.
There are riders from 12 teams at the front of the stage but none of them are Italian on the day that the Tour has returned to Italy.
The riders in the lead, their nations and teams are:
Perez Moreno (EUS) EUS
Mollema (NED) RAB
Tjallingii (NED RAB
Fofonov (KAZ) AST
Muravyev (KAZ) RSH
Amador (CRC) MOV
Paterski (POL) LIQ
Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY
Chavanel (FRA) QST
Casar (FRA) FDJ
El Fares (FRA) COF
Bozic (SLO) VCD
Leukemans (BEL) VCD
Hivert (FRA) SAU
then comes... Roche (IRL) ALM, De Weert (BEL) QST and Hoogerland (NED) VCD
Hoogerland (VCD) has chased down De Weert and Roche, and this trio is now 2’18" behind the stage leader Perez Moreno who is 1’20" ahead of the 13 who he raced with from 55km until his attack at 115km - ie. two kilometers before the top of the fourth climb of stage 17. The peloton is 8’00" behind the stage leader.
Hoogerland has been dropped by De Weert and Roche on the descent from Sestrieres.
The rider who is moving up into the top five overall with his counter-attack, Kevin De Weert was 18th overall in the 2010 Tour. The Belgian is currently racing along with Nico Roche and Johnny Hoogerland. De Weert has done the Vuelta a España six times before and his best overall result was 20th overall (in 2009).
Of the 17 men who are ahead of the peloton, the best on GC is Kevin De Weert (QST). He began the stage in 12th place overall. He is 9’00" behind Voeckler after 16 stages. His advantage over the peloton is currently 5’35".
Perez Moreno (EUS) is increasing his advantage. He is currently 1’13" ahead of: Mollema (RAB), Tjallingii (RAB), Fofonov (AST), Muravyev (RSH), Amador (MOV), Paterski (LIQ), Boasson Hagen (SKY), Chavanel (QST), Casar (FDJ), El Fares (COF), Bozic (VCD), Leukemans (VCD) and Hivert (SAU). Then comes Roche (ALM), De Weert (QST) and Hoogerland (VCD) at 2’25". The peloton is at 8’05".
The full list of points for the fourth climb are: 1. Perez Moreno (EUS) 10pts 2. Chavanel (QST) 8pts 3. El Fares (COF) 6pts 4. Tjallingii (RAB) 4pts 5. Hivert (SAU) 2pts 6. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 1pt
Voeckler has led the peloton to the top of the Sestrieres climb 7’51" behind Perez Moreno.
Perez Moreno is 1’10" ahead of his former escape companions. He is attacking the descent and barely seems to be touching his brakes. It’s hot in Italy today and the temperature is up around 29 degrees Celsius.
The points for the fourth climb of the stage (with the line at the 117km mark) were won by: 1. Perez Moreno (EUS) 10pts 2. Chavanel (QST) 8pts - at 1’05" 3. El Fares (COF) 6pts ...and then Radio Tour has gone silent. We will post the full results once Sebastien Piquet’s voice crackles over the airwaves again...
Roche’s trio crested this climb 2’05" behind the stage leader.
Perez Moreno is near the top of the fourth climb. He is 45" ahead of his former escape companions and 2’10" ahead of the Roche trio. The peloton is at 6’45".
The leaders are near Sestrieres. It’s at this Italian ski station that Sergei Bubka broke the outdoor world record for the pole vault in 1994. His mark of 6.14m still stands as the highest jump in an outdoor arena. (The Ukrainian also holds the indoor world record: 6.15m.)
Perez Moreno (EUS) has opened up a big lead on the 13 other escapees who are 2’00" ahead of Roche’s trio. No one from Casar’s group appeared interested in chasing the Euskatel rider who has been part of escapes on four other days in this year’s Tour. Perez Moreno leads the 13 other escapees by 28".
Ruben Perez Moreno (EUS) has attacked the lead group with a little over 2km to climb.
With 5km to go to the top of the fourth climb of stage 17, the peloton is 6’40" behind Casar’s group.
Roche’s trio is 2’35" behind the 14 escapees with 5km to climb to Sestrieres.
The 20th stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia was a 242km race. The finish was in Sestrieres (where the Tour will pass at the 117km mark of today’s stage). The top 10 of the Giro’s 20th stage was: 1. Vasil Kiryienka 2. Jose Rujano - at 4’43" 3. Joaquim Rodriguez - at 4’50" 4. Carlos Betancourt - at 5’31" 5. John Gadret - at 5’54" 6. Michele Scarponi - at 5’58" 7. Steven Kruiswijk - at 5’58" 8. Alberto Contador - at 5’58" 9. Denis Menchov - at 5’58" 10. Roman Kreuziger - at 6’16" Kiryienka, Gadret, Contador and Kreuziger started the 2011 Tour but the Belorussian and Frenchman have abandoned...
At the last check, Roche (ALM), De Weert (QST) and Hoogerland (VCD) are 3’50" behind the 14 stage leaders.
The ninth stage of the 1999 Tour de France was when Lance Armstrong first confirmed that he was a title contender in his first post-cancer Tour. He won a time trial in Metz the day before and then danced up the final ascent on the day that Mario Cipollini – who had won four consecutive stages in the opening week of that year’s race – wore a special outfit in celebration of Julius Ceasar’s birthday. The top five at Sestrieres in 1999 was: 1. Armstrong (USA) 2. Zulle (SUI) at 31” 3. Escartin (ESP) at 1’26” 4. Gotti (ITA) at 1’26” 5. Beltran (ESP) at 2’27” PS. Cipollini abandoned the Tour that day.
As it begins to climb to Sestrieres, the peloton is 6’35" behind the 14 stage leaders.
At the base of the fourth climb, the counter-attacking trio is 5’12" behind the Casar group.
As the peloton speeds down to the valley between the third and fourth climbs, it is travelling at around 75km/h. The lead group, meanwhile, is traveling at a speed of about 19km/h as it climbs the tough ascent to Sestrieres.
The 17th stage is led by 14 men who started their escape at the 52km mark. Their maximum advantage so far is 7’20" when the peloton was 5km from the top of the third climb (91km).
The men in the lead group are:
Perez Moreno (EUS)
Boasson Hagen (SKY)
El Fares (COF)
The escapees have begun the 11.1km long ascent to Sestrieres. They are 6’20" ahead of the peloton and 4’55" ahead of Roche, De Weert and Hoogerland.
At the foot of the climb to Sestriere, Tjallingii (RAB) has rejoined the lead group after his front tire puncture.
The peloton crested the col de Montgenevre 6’35" behind the 14 stage leaders. The counter-attacking trio - Roche, Hoogerland and De Weert - are 5’15" behind Casar’s group. The escapees are at the 105km mark.
The escapees are now racing in Italy. They have a lead of 6’40" on the peloton that continues to be led by riders from the Europcar team.
One of the 14 in the lead of the stage, Maarten Tjallingii (RAB) has got a flat front tire. He’s had a quick wheel change and is now chasing the leading group...
The counter-attack is now comprised of three men: Roche (ALM), Hoogerland (VCD) and De Weert (QST). They are 6’15" behind the stage leaders and 1’00" ahead of the yellow jersey’s peloton. This escape was instigated by the AG2R leader at the 92km mark.
The points for the third climb in stage 17 were won by: 1. Chavanel (QST) 5pts 2. Tjallingii (RAB) 3pts 3. Fofonov (AST) 2pts 4. El Fares (COF) 1pt
Here is the second part of the list of riders who have won stages of the Tour in Italy... 1961: Stage 10 Grenoble to Turin – 1st Guy Ignolin (yellow jersey: Jacques Anquetil) 1966: Stage 17 Briançon to Turin – 1st Franco Bitossi (yellow jersey: Lucien Aimar) 1992: Stage 13 St-Gervais to Sestrières – 1st Claudio Chiappucci (yellow jersey: Miguel Indurain) 1996: Stage 9 Le Monestier-les-Bains to Sestrières – 1st Bjarne Riis (yellow jersey: Bjarne Riis) 1999: Stage 9 Le Grand Bornand to Sestrières – 1st Lance Armstrong (yellow jersey: Lance Armstrong) 2008: Stage 15 Embrun to Prato Nevoso – 1st Simon Gerrans (yellow jersey: Frank Schleck)
There are now two other riders ahead of the peloton and in pursuit of Roche. It is De Weert (QST) and Johnny Hoogerland (VCD).
Roche (ALM) is the first rider to show a sign of aggression on the third climb. He has attacked the peloton with about 4km to climb on the col de Montgenevre.
The 14 leaders of the stage are working well together as they ride inside the final kilometer of the third climb. They are 7’20" ahead of the peloton.
Before the 2011 Tour there have been 11 stage finishes of this race inside Italy. Here is a review of the previous stages that have concluded across the border: 1948: Stage 11 Marseille to San Remo – 1st: Gino Sciadris (yellow jersey: Louison Bobet) 1949: Stage 17 Briançon to Aoste – 1st: Fausto Coppi (yellow jersey: Fausto Coppi) 1952: Stage 11 Bourg d’Oisans to Sestrières – 1st Fausto Coppi (yellow jersey: Fausto Coppi) 1956: Stage 17 Gap to Turin – 1st Nino Defilippis (yellow jersey: Wout Wagtmans) 1959: Stage 18 Grenoble to St-Vincent d’Aoste – 1st Ercole Baldini (yellow jersey: Federico Bahamontes) ...more to follow...
We saw a strong Alberto Contador in the wet of stage 16. The Spaniard enjoys riding in the rain but what is Brad McGee’s appraisal of the defending champion in this situation? “He’s got no problems in the wet. He’s fantastic on his bike and even in training you’re pulling your hair out when you’re working with him because he’s willing to go full-gas into every corner. He just loves racing his bike. “Alberto is one of the best descenders in the world. If he really decides to hit it hard he might not match some guys on the downhill but he’s still has an air of caution considering he has quite a lot to lose if he does drop it on a corner.”
The col de Montgenevre is 7.9km long with an average gradient of 8.3 per cent. It is ranked category-two and the peloton is 5km from the top. It is 7’12" behind the 14 escapees. The Italian border comes just after the top which is at an altitude of 1,860m.
At the 86km mark the peloton is 7’10" behind the 14 stage leaders. There have been no attacks - either from the lead group of the main pack - so far on the col de Montgenevre...
The average speed for the second hour of stage 17 is 36.5km/h. The average for the first two hours combined is 43.9km/h.
When the ninth stage of the 2007 Tour finished in Briancon, the winner was Mauricio Soler. The Movistar rider who won the king of the mountains crown that year crashed in June and suffered horrific head injuries after having led the Tour de Suisse for a day. “His improvements are slow," said the team doctor Alfredo Zúñiga, "but constant and positive. "He already recognizes the people form his environment and [has] started talking. You can keep short conversations with him. "He’s still really tired, and that’s normal due to the magnitude of the blow he suffered, but his progress is good, especially during this last week."
The 14th stage of the Tour in 2000 concluded in Briançon. The winner of the stage was Colombia’s Santiago Botero while the two-time Giro d’Italia champion Paolo Savoldelli was second. Marco Pantani attacked the yellow jersey’s bunch on the final ascent and claimed third place and stealing five seconds from the yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong, that day.
The peloton is 1km from the top of the second climb which is on the outskirts of Briançon which, at 1,340 meters, is the highest city in Europe.
Sylvain Chavanel (QST) has led the escape over the second climb of the stage. The points at the Montée Briançon were won by: 1. Chavanel (QST) 2pts 2. Leukemans (VCD) 1pt
This is the first Tour de France for the Polish rider in the escape group, Maciej Paterski. He is part of the Liquigas team and he’s ridden the Vuelta a España before (last year when he was 77th overall). He was never part of Basso’s team at the Giro d’Italia.
The escape group has contested the intermediate sprint. The points were won by: 1. Casar (FDJ) 20pts 2. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 17pts 3. Perez Moreno (EUS) 15pts 4. Tjallingii (RAB) 13pts 5. Leukemans (VCD) 11pts 6. El Fares (COF) 10pts 7. Fofonov (AST) 9pts 8. Paterski (LIQ) 8pts 9. Mollema (RAB) 7pts 10. Chavanel (QST) 6pts 11. Bozic (VCD) 5pts 12. Muravyev (RSH) 4pts 13. Hivert (SAU) 3pts 14. Amador (MOV) 2pts 15. Cavendish (THR) 1pts - at 5’55"
This is the fifth stage of the 2011 Tour that Ruben Perez Moreno has been part of The Escape of the stage. The other days that the Basque has been involved in the breakaway were stages three, 11, 12 and 14.
One of the most aggressive riders in the Tour of 2011 is Ruben Perez Moreno of the Euskaltel team. He’s a regular in the escape groups but if yet to be awarded the ’Fighting Spirit’ award for any of his attacks.
The peloton is 12km from the feedzone, 5’05" behind the Casar group of 14.
The peloton is over the first climb of stage 17. It is 4’55" at the 71.5km mark.
The points of the cote de Sainte-Marguerite (at 71.5km) were won by: 1. Chavanel (QST) 2pts 2. El Fares (COF) 1pt
LeTour.fr asked what Brad McGee thinks about of the efforts of Andy and Frank in the stage to Gap. Was he surprised? “I was surprised that many others weren’t as ready as what we were for the final climb,” said the Australian. “I’m not sure if the others didn’t consider that it was important or as crucial as what it turned out to be. “We were definitely ready. There’s not a kilometre that you can afford to relax in. Maybe there was an air of complacency... but we gave the final climb a lot of attention. The result showed that afterwards as well.”
The 14 escapees are near the foot of the first climb. They have an advantage of 5’15" over the peloton that’s now being led by riders from the Europcar team.
Here is the final installment of the list of Italians who have led the Tour de France in the past... 1960: Gastogne Nencini 1965: Felice Gimondi 1966: Tommaso De Pra 1967: Giancarlo Polidori 1970: Italo Zilioli 1975: Francesco Moser 1990: Claudio Chiappucci 1993: Mario Cipollini 1994: Flavio Vanzella 1995: Ivan Gotti 1997: Mario Cipollini 1998: Marco Pantani 2000: Alberto Elli 2009: Rinaldo Nocentini
We continue to list all the Italians who have worn the yellow jersey at the Tour de France... 1939: René Vietto 1947: René Vietto, Aldo Ronconi and Pierre Brambilla (when he still called himself an Italian, before taking up French citizenship in 1949) 1948: Gino Bartali 1949: Fiorenzi Magni, Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi 1950: Fiorenzi Magni 1951: Serafina Biagioni 1952: Nello Lauredi, Andrea Carrea, Fiorenzi Magni and Fausto Coppi 1958: Vito Favero (To be continued...)
At the 64km mark, the peloton is 4’00" behind the 14 escapees.
The yellow jersey was first part of the Tour de France in 1919, when it was created to represent the rider who is leading the general classification. Since that year 25 Italians to have worn the prized jersey. This is the first part of the complete list of Italian yellow jersey wearers (more to follow): 1923: Ottavio Bottecchi 1924: Ottavio Bottecchi (one of only three to men to lead the Tour from start to finish) 1925: Ottavio Bottecchi 1930: Lucca Guerra 1931: Rafaele Di Paco 1937: Gino Bartali 1938: Gino Bartali...
The average speed for the opening hour of stage 17 was 51.3km/h.
At the 62km mark, the peloton is 3’05" behind Casar’s group of 14.
Of the 14 men in the lead of stage 17, three have previously won a stage of the Tour de France:
Sandy Casar (FDJ)
Sylvain Chavanel (QST)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY)
Perez Moreno (EUS), Mollema (RAB), Tjallingii (RAB), Fofonov (AST), Muravyev (RSH), Amador (MOV), Paterski (LIQ), Boasson Hagen (SKY), Chavanel (QST), Casar (FDJ), El Fares (COF), Bozic (VCD), Leukemans (VCD) and Hivert (SAU) are now 2’05" ahead of the bunch.
There are now 169 men in the race as Tiralongo (AST) has abandoned at the 58km mark.
The latest bout of attacking was instigated by yesteray’s runner-up, Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY). The early aggressor in stage 17, Sandy Casar (FDJ) is the best place of the 14 in the lead after 16 days of racing in the 2011 Tour. The Frenchman is ranked 21st overall, at 14’36".
There are now a number of riders answering the call of nature and the 14 men in the lead are increasing their advantage which is already up to 1’25".
At the 58km mark, the four counter-attackers have caught the 10 stage leaders.
There are four men chasing down the 10 man lead group. The counter-attack is composed of:
The men in the lead of the 17th stage are:
Perez Moreno (EUS)
Boasson Hagen (SKY)
El Fares (COF)
Six are are leading four counter-attackers by 8" and the peloton is at 20". Just as this move started, the pace of the peloton dropped from about 58km/h to around 40... so it’s fair to say that the bunch might have tired of chasing down the escapes. We’ll soon find out if this is true when we get the next time check on the (as yet un-named) escapees.
It’s possible to view the power reading, speed, and heart rate of several riders who use the SRM power meter system. After an hour of racing in stage 17 we can see that the peloton is racing at around 58km/h. There are six in the lead with three others in a counter-attack at the 54km mark.
There is a group of six riders trying to establish the second escape of the day. They are already at the 52km mark...
The average speed for the opening hour yesterday was 51.6km... we can expect a similar speed for the first hour in stage 17 which began 58 minutes ago.
The reader survey on the race’s official site today asks:
Which of these Italians will be best in the stage to Pinerolo?
Ivan Santaromita With over 5,000 votes cast, Basso has 66.15 per cent of the votes. Be sure to visit the site and tick the box that corresponds with your thoughts...
Roche, Farrar and the other recently dropped riders have returned to the tail of the peloton.
There are several riders now losing contact with the peloton. One of the riders to be dropped around the 45km mark is Nicolas Roche (ALM). Another is Tyler Farrar (GRM).
The last time that a stage of the Tour de France finished in Italy, Cadel Evans led the Tour. His advantage over second place, Frank Schleck, in the general classification was just one second. Today the Australian is ranked second overall and in third is the elder of the Schleck brothers – just four seconds behind. After 2,803.5km, this equates to a total distance of just 45.1 meters. Andy Schleck is 18 seconds... or 203.1 meters.
And so we conclude our little review of who has led the Tour after 17 stages... after finally getting to two edtiions where the man in yellow at this point in the race was not the eventual winner of the race. 1995: Pau to Bordeaux – yellow jersey, Miguel Indurain 1994: Bourg d’Oisans to Val Thorens – yellow jersey, Miguel Indurain 1993: Tarbes to Pau – yellow jersey, Miguel Indurain 1992: Montlucon time trial – yellow jersey, Miguel Indurain 1991: Gap to Alpe d’Huez – yellow jersey, Miguel Indurain 1990: Lourdes to Pau – yellow jersey, Claudio Chiappucci (lost the yellow jersey three days later in the stage 20 time trial) 1989: Briancon to Alpe d’Huez – yellow jersey, Laurent Fignon
The 10 escapees have been caught by the peloton at the 41km mark.
Here’s the next installment of our review of who led the Tour after 17 stages in recent years... 2000: Evian les Bain to Laussanne - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 1999: Morenx to Bordeaux - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 1998: Aix-les-Bain (cancelled stage) - yellow jersey, Marco Pantani 1997: Fribourg to Colmar – yellow jersey, Jan Ullrich 1996: Argeles Gazost to Pamplona – yellow jersey, Bjarne Riis
LeTour.fr continues to consider the men who have led the Tour after 17 stages of the Tour de France... 2005: Paul to Revel - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 2004: Bourg d’Oisans to Grand Bornand - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 2003: Dax to Bordeaux - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 2002: Aine to Cluses - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong 2001: Brive la Gailarde to Montlucon - yellow jersey, Lance Armstrong
Jérôme Pineau (QST) has been dropped by the peloton which is now just 16" behind the 10 escapees.
With the peloton just 18" behind the escape, the man who started the escape at the 8km mark - Sandy Casar (FDJ) - has launched an attack off the front of the escape group... but he was chased down.
The 10 escapees reached a maximum time gain of 40" on the peloton at the 20km mark. The break is now just 18" ahead and the bunch is almost at the 40km mark.
Here is a review of the leaders after 17 stages of the last 22 editions: 2010: Pau to Col du Tourmalet – yellow jersey, Alberto Contador 2009: Bourg-St-Maurice to Le Grand Bornand - yellow jersey, Alberto Contador 2008: Embrun to Alpe d’Huez - yellow jersey, Carlos Sastre 2007: Pau to Castelsarrasin - yellow jersey, Alberto Contador 2006: St-Jean-de-Maurienne to Morzine – yellow jersey, Oscar Pereiro
Should Thomas Voeckler retain the yellow jersey today then he will could start to believe that a victory in the Tour is indeed possible... that is, of course, if we take the history of the race into consideration. Since 1989, the leader of the Tour after 17 stages has been the winner... on all but two occasions (with the exception of the 2006 edition when the eventual champion Oscar Pereiro was awarded his title retrospectively).
The peloton is now just 28" behind the 10 escapees after 37km of racing.
Earlier we reported that four of the 10 in the escape group had previously won a stage of the Tour de France. That’s true but there’s also our Portuguese mate Rui Alberto Costa of the Movistar team who, of course, won the stage to Super-Besse earlier in the 98th edition of the race.
At the 34km mark, the peloton is 40" behind the 10 escapees. The riders in the move are:
Linus Gerdemann (GER) LEO
Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP) RAB
Remy Di Gregorio (FRA) AST
Rui Costa (ESP) MOV
Edvald Boasson (NOR) SKY
Geraint Thomas (GBR) SKY
Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ
Danilo Hondo (GER) LAM
Tejay Van Garderen (USA) THR
Thomas De Gendt (BEL) VCD
The split in the peloton is over and the counter-attack has been caught. Now there is 32" between the 10 who escaped at 10km and the peloton.
There is a group of about 15 riders in the first peloton and about 10" between that and the bunch with the yellow jersey.
’Nico’ Roche had been well poised for a top 10 finish in the 2011 Tour but he slipped down the rankings after the stage to Plateau de Beille. The AR2R team’s leader is ranked 22nd overall after stage 16. He is 15" behind the stage leaders and is in a counter-attack along with the world champion (and winner yesterday), Thor Hushovd.
There are two riders trying to bridge the gap to the stage leaders:
Thor Hushovd (GRM)
Nicolas Roche (ALM) They are 12" behind the 10 leaders who have an advantage of 25" on the peloton.
What does a team like Saxo Bank-SunGard do on a stage like today when the mountains are in the middle of the race, that’s what LeTour.fr asked Brad McGee this morning. Is it a bit of a lost opportunity for Alberto Contador because the big climbs because are a long way from the finish? “It’s tricky day actually. It’s very different; the start isn’t something we’re used to, the middle section is a little strange and then the final is completely different again,” said Brad McGee about the nature of stage 17. “It’s going to call for a lot of flexibility today. It’s going to come down to what the bunch decides to do and what the course of action is.”
The Garmin team has put riders on the front of the bunch which is past the 27km mark 36" behind Casar’s group of 10.
At the last check the 10 escapees were just 44" ahead of the bunch after over 12km on the attack.
“It was part of the plan to shake things up on the final climb in stage 16 as Alberto knows he’s got to take all the chances he can to gain some time,” said Brad McGee from the Saxo Bank-SunGard team when he spoke with LeTour.fr earlier today. “It’s not surprise to anyone that he’s got to continue attacking when there’s an opportunity. “He’s got to pounce and when there’s no opportunity then we’ve got to create one.”
At the 20km mark, the 10 escapees - who have been together for 10km - are 40" ahead of the peloton that’s now being led by riders from Garmin-Cervélo.
Of the 10 in the lead of stage 17, four have previously won a stage of the Tour. Those riders are:
Sandy Casar (FDJ)
Boasson Hagen (SKY)
Of the 10 in the lead, the Frenchman who started the move (at 8km) is the best on general classification after 16 stages. Sandy Casar (FDJ) began the stage ranked 21st overall, 14’36" behind Voeckler.
There are now two men from AG2R on the front of the bunch that is 30" behind the 10 escapees...
“Normally tonight he should still be in yellow," said Europcar directeur sportif Dominique Arnould in an interview with LeTour.fr this morning, "but the two stages in the Alps that follow can create some big gaps. So we think to defend the yellow jersey, but we also have in mind what might happen next. “And in my opinion, it is highly possible for Voeckler to target the top five at the finish in Paris. We know already much more after the stage of the Galibier. At the moment, however, we do not yet know how to approach the time trial which will also be a decisive meeting.”
The peloton is at the 12km mark and BMC and Garmin-Cervélo are setting the pace of the group that’s 25" behind the 10 escapees.
At the 11km mark, the 10 escapees have a lead of 25".
The 10 in the lead of stage 17 are:
Boasson Hagen (SKY)
Di Gregorio (AST)
Van Garderen (THR)
De Gendt (VCD)
The 10 have increased their advantage to 20". The peloton has split early but it’s now back together at the 11km mark... with the exception of a group that includes Sandy Casar (FDJ).
There are 10 with lead of 14" at the 10km mark. We await confirmation of the names of those involved.
There are six men currently at the front of the 17th stage. The opening stanza of the race today is on undulating terrain but the first true climb begins at the 68km mark... We don’t yet have the names of the men in the escape but if the move succeeds, you’ll have them as soon as they are announced.
LeTour.fr contacted by the sporting director of Team Europcar Dominuque Arnould earlier this morning and discussed the stage to Gap and the future of his team’s leader Thomas Voeckler. “The big losers yesterday were Andy Schleck and Ivan Basso, not Thomas,” said Arnould. “[Thomas] was disappointed after the finish because he made a mistake by not following the attack on Contador, but in reality it was a good stage for him. In any case Thomas is aware that he is not here to win the Tour."
There have been nine Italian victories in the Tour de France: Ottavio Bottecchi (1924 and 1925), Gino Bartali (1938 and 1948), Fausto Coppi (1949 and 1952), Gastone Nencini (1960), Felice Gimondi (1965) and Marco Pantani (1998). On a day that the Tour returns to Italy, LeTour.fr will be reviewing some statistics about Italian riders in the race during the stage from Gap to Pinerolo.
There are about 30 riders currently trying to establish an escape early in the 17th stage. We don’t have the names of any involved as the peloton is reacting swiftly to each attack.
The intermediate sprint for stage 17 is in Villar-Saint-Pancrace at the 81.5km mark.
There was a brief volley of attacks early today with riders from Saur-Sojasun trying to break free but the peloton is all together at the 1.5km mark.
The official start of the 17th stage was at 12.36pm. There are 170 riders in the race with no overnight abandons.
Of the 179km that are to be ridden in stage 17, 80.5 of them will be on Italian soil. This will be the 12th time that a stage of the Tour de France has concluded in Italy.
As peloton makes its way through the neutral zone we can report that the conditions are better than at the finish of stage 16 which was contested in cold and wet weather. Today the temperature is 22 degrees Celsius at midday and it’s a dry road for the moment with only a slight chance of rain as the race aims towards Italy...
Two Colombians have previously won the youth classification at the Tour de France. The first was Fabio Parra in 1985 when he finished eighth overall, the second was Alvaro Mejia from the Motorola team in 1991 when he was 19th in the general classification in Paris. Today is Rigoberto Uran’s third day in the white jersey as the leader of this category. He is ranked 10th overall, 7’55” behind Voeckler and has a lead of 1’07” over Rein Taaramae after 2,803.5km of racing in the 98th Tour.
Ryder Hesjedal (GRM) claimed his first climbing points by leading over the only climb of stage 16. The Canadian is 24th in the climbing classification which continues to be led by the winner of the stage to Plateau de Beille, Jelle Vanendert (OLO) with 74 points, two more than the winner at Luz Ardiden, Samuel Sanchez (EUS).
Jose Rojas (MOV) got three points closer to the green jersey in stage 16. He finished 14th in the stage and scored three points for that effort. He is ranked second in the race for the green jersey but Mark Cavendish (THR) still has a commanding lead with 319 points to Rojas’ 285. Philippe Gilbert (OLO) is ranked third with 250 points and the dual stage winner (or three, when you count the team time trial), Thor Hushovd (GRM) is in fourth place with 235 points.
Thomas Voeckler (EUC) lost 21 seconds of his advantage in the general classification because of the aggression shown by Cadel Evans (BMC) and Alberto Contador (SBS) in the stage to Gap yesterday but the Frenchman is still in the yellow jersey. He has a lead of 1’45” to the Australia, 1’49” to the rider who took the lead of the Tour de France when it came to Italy, Frank Schleck (LEO), and 3’03” to Andy Schleck (LEO). Samuel Sanchez (EUS) replaced Ivan Basso (LIQ) in fifth place after after the 16th stage because the Spaniard was 13th in the stage to Gap (4’26” behind the winner, Hushovd) while the Italian finished in 30th place (at 5’17”). Contador is sixth overall, 3’42” behind Voeckler.
There is just 2.1km of neutral before the peloton arrives at the start of the 17th stage. The peloton is due to start rolling at 12.30pm with the official start expected to be at around 12.35pm.
The sun is shining in Pinerolo, Italy where the 17th stage of the 2011 Tour de France will finish. The temperature is about 24 degrees Celsius with only 10 minutes to go before the start of the race from Gap to Pinerolo. There are five climbs on the menu today: the cote de Sainte-Marguerite (cat-3 at 71.5km), Montée de Briançon (cat-3 at 85.5km), col de Montgenèvre (cat-2 at 96.5km), Sestrières in Italy (cat-1 at 117km) and the final rise of the ’Salita’ Pramartino (cat-2 only eight kilometers from the finish). Live coverage of the stage will commence shortly.