Saturday July 14th, 2012

Stage 13Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux / Le Cap d'Agde

Start 11h55 GMT 2+

Key moments

video14.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race

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Summary of the race

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Stage summary14.07.2012 in 17:10Greipel earns a third... in anything but an ordinary sprint stage

A long transitional stage can, at times, be a procession but the 13th stage of the 2012 Tour was anything but an stock standard sprint stage. A steep hill 23km from the finish ensured that some of the big name sprint specialists were eliminated from the rush to the line. And then, in the final kilometre we were again reminded of the strength of Bradley Wiggins who was the last lead-out man before the sprinters who were able to stay in contact with the front group over the Mont Saint-Clair...

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video14.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner

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Interview - Stage Winner

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Sporting stakes15.07.2012 in 11:00Options for how it might be played...

“On paper, it shouldn't be a day when things get out of hand,” said the race leader Bradley Wiggins about stage 14. “But I think it's a day for the breakaway again and we'll just marshal everything on the last climb but it's a long way to the finish after that.” Given what we've seen of the Sky team's ability to control the peloton so far this year, it's fair to say that only the truly bold would even consider trying to steal the yellow jersey off the Brit on a day when the top of...

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interview14.07.2012 in 18:29Sky Procycling take another team win

Typically, Edvald Boasson Hagen leads the way for Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, the leaders of the Sky team, but the roles were reversed in the finale of the stage to Cap d'Agde. The yellow jersey was positioned at the front of the peloton as it raced under the ‘flamme rouge' and leading out the sprint for the man they call ‘Eddie'. The champion of Norway was beaten by Andre Greipel but the presence of Boasson Hagen's partners at the front grants Sky Procycling the stage victory....

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interview14.07.2012 in 18:24Sagan: I don't think he's stronger than me

“For me to win today, I might have had to start my final sprint a little bit earlier. I lost only because of the final lunge to the line. Also, the team of Lotto was very, very strong. They did very good work for Greipel in the last 20 kilometres so it was good for him that he won. I don't think he's stronger than me but that's sprinting – one time he wins, another time I win...”

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interview14.07.2012 in 18:20Morkov: I know he would be proud

The winner of the 'Fighting Spirit' award in stage 13 is the same as in stage three this year. But Michael Morkov had a special reason for his attack on the road to Le Cap d'Agde.

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interview14.07.2012 in 18:05Greipel: We worked really hard for this victory

Just because André Greipel is one of the fastest sprinters in the Tour, winning doesn't come easy. He had to fight to get over a steep hill near the finish of the 13th stage but then he had the help of a committed team to put him in the right place at the right time.

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interview14.07.2012 in 17:54Wiggins: It was just nice to help 'Eddie'

After the podium protocol Bradley Wiggins went to doping control and then spent some time on the home trainer before talking to the media. When he did speak he explained that his lead-out in the final kilometre was a way of thanking a team-mate for all that he's done until now...

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video14.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage

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Analysis of the stage

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video14.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route

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The day's route

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Newsflashes

16:56Greipel's third victory this year

Wiggins led the sprint out and finished the stage in 12th place. The top five in stage 13 is:

1. André Greipel (GER) LTB 4h57'59"

2. Peter Sagan (SLO) LIQ

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY

4. Sebastien Hinault (FRA) ALM

5. Daryl Impey (RSA) OGE

16:54Greipel beats Sagan!

Greipel has won his third stage of the 2012 Tour with a late throw to the line. The German has beaten Sagan by about half a wheel.

16:53One kilometre to go

Wiggins is leading the peloton and Boasson Hagen is shaping up to sprint. There is less than 1km to go and Sanchez is still ahead of the bunch but he cannot do anything to hold off Wiggins.

16:52Sanchez goes alone

With 2.2km to go, Sanchez has hit out. He has a lead of about 100m but now we see him being chased down by a rider from Argos-Shimano. Wiggins is at the front of the peloton that can see the stage leaders...

16:513km to go

The riders must be praying for the barriers as holiday makers are not staying at the edge of the road as they strive to get a glimpse of the riders. Albasini and Vinokourov have been caught with 2.5km to go and now Sanchez (RAB) is on the attack.

16:494km to go: 3 Lottos left...

There is 4km to go in the stage and Bak (LTB) has just swung off - job done. That leaves three Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the bunch that's just 8" behind Albasini and Vinokourov.

16:485km to go

There's only 11" between Vinokourov and Albasini with 5km to go in the 217km stage. There are now four Lotto-Belisol riders ahead of Sagan who still has a team-mate present to help set up a sprint.

The wind is blowing from the right side of the road.

16:46Long, strong turns of pace

Vinokourov and Albasini are sharing the work in the front of the stage. Each is spending about 30" in the wind before allowing the other to come through. It's this sort of cooperation that has helped them stay ahead of the bunch that is now 13" behind.

16:458km to go

Vinokourov and Albasini are still at the front of the stage. They have a lead of 16" on the bunch led by Lotto-Belisol.

16:42Vino and Albasini hold their advantage

Despite the work of five Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the yellow jersey's group, the two stage leaders are still 22" ahead. Greipel was one of the sprinters to stay in contact with the front group over the climb... and it was this obstacle that eliminated the likes of Goss, Cavendish and Farrar.

Hutarovich is another sprinter who has made the front group.

16:38Two lead by 22"

Albasini and Vinokourov are inside the final 13km and have a lead of 22". There are five Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the peloton. Greipel is there and he's being closely marked by Sagan (LIQ).

16:35Two in the lead

Albasini has caught Vinokourov with 15.5km to go. This pair is about of the yellow jersey's bunch by about 100m. Cavendish's group is at 1'05".

16:34Vinokourov on the attack

Vinokourov (AST) has attacked the peloton with 16km to go. He is being chased down by Albasini (OGE).

16:33Sagan's group leads Cavendish by 1'25"

There is a group of sprint specialists - including Cavendish and Goss - in a group that is 1'25" behind the stage leaders.

16:3225-odd riders in lead group

The GC favourites are now in the lead of the 13th stage. They are 20" ahead of the next best group and there are about 25 men in the group at the front that includes Wiggins, Froome, Nibali, Evans, Van den Broeck, Zubeldia, van Garderen et al.

Rogers is now at the front and Wiggins also has the support of Boasson Hagen.

16:30Sagan follows Rogers

The green jersey survived the steep slopes of the climb and Sagan is now at the front of the peloton that is led by Rogers.

16:2920km to go

The brief stint of Evans in the lead is over. There is now a Omega Pharma rider on the attack inside the final 20km of the stage.

16:28Mont Saint-Clair result

Evans is now in the lead of the stage. Van den Broeck was first over the top, followed by Evans.

16:26Wiggins watching Evans...

Evans is at the front of the peloton as it ascends the Mont Saint Clair but Wiggins is right on the wheel of the Australian. Wiggins still has Froome by his side and van Garderen is right there for Cadel... the other leaders are stranded without support.

16:24Caruso goes ahead

Katusha's Caruso has attacked the peloton but he's being caught by Evans and VDB who are closely marked by Wiggins on the climb.

16:23Sprinters getting dropped

Goss, Cavendish and Farrar have been dropped early on the climb.

16:23Zingle chasing Morkov

There are now just two men ahead of the peloton: Morkov and Zingle (COF).

16:22Urtasun and Bouet caught

Two of the seven who were in pursuit of Morkov - Bouet and Urtasun - have been caught by the peloton.

16:21Gerrans and Chavanel dropped

It would seem that those in the recent crash are okay but we don't have images of them anymore so we cannot be sure. Kessiakoff did seem the worst affected but he was standing...

Gerrans and Chavanel have been dropped.

Morkov begins the climb with a lead of 1'00" on the peloton. The other escapees are 45" behind the stage leader.

16:19Morkov near Mont Saint-Clair

Morkov is about to begin the ascent of the Mont Saint-Clair. This is a steep rise that is only 1.6km long but it has an average gradient of 10.2%. The top is at the 23km to go mark.

16:19Crash in peloton...

Kessiakoff is one of the riders caught up in a fall 26km from the finish.

16:1739km solo for Morkov...

Morkov began his solo attack with 64km to go. He is now 27km from the line and has a lead of 1'25" on the peloton. His former escape companions are about 50" behind.

16:16Some of the dropped riders

Some riders who didn't make the front selection are: Millar, Zabriskie, Minard, Taaramae, Roy, Valverde, Leipheimer... there are many more but we don't even have a time check on this group that lost contact with 36km to go.

16:13Morkov leads by 58"

The seven in pursuit of Morkov are 58" behind. The peloton is at 1'48".

16:12Peloton splits into two

As far as we can tell, all the riders in the top 10 overall are in the front peloton after the recent split that was created by the BMC team that is still at the head of the peloton.

16:10Schar puts it in the gutter...

The BMC is now trying to split the peloton. Schar is the rider at the front and he's off on the left of the road. This is limiting the space that that riders have to follow wheels and already there are large groups of riders being spat out the back...

16:09Three teams leading peloton

There are three squads at the front of the bunch that's 2'20" behind Morkov: BMC is on the right side of the road, Sky in the middle and Orica on the left...

16:08Tom Steels the winner in Cap d'Agde in 1998

Further to the recent newsflash explaining the average speed of the 12th stage of the 1998 race that ended Cap d'Agde, it's worth noting that Jalabert eventually quit his effort on the attack and the race ended with a bunch sprint... won by Tom Steels.

16:06Kroon punctures

The latest victim of a flat tyre is Karsten Kroon of Saxo Bank. His team-mate, Morkov, is inside the final 35km of the stage with a lead of 2'45" on the peloton.

16:03Lead up to 1'07"

Morkov is currently 1'07" ahead of the seven other escapees and 3'10" ahead of the peloton.

16:02Average speed of stage 12, 1998

The last time that Le Cap d'Agde hosted a finish of the Tour was in the problem plagued 1998 edition. There was a rider strike early in the stage from Tarascon-sur-Ariege to the seaside town but then Laurent Jalabert went on the attack with his brother Nicholas. It was a show of strength from the French champion that year and although his attack didn't survive until the finish, it was one of the reasons the average speed for the 12th stage of the 85th Tour de France was a superfast...

15:5847.2km/h average for fourth hour

The fourth hour of the 13th stage has been raced at an average speed of 47.2km/h. The average since the start today is 43.4km/h.

15:57BMC take charge of peloton

The peloton is now in the windy zone and BMC has put five men on the front along with the Sky team. The bunch is 3'15" behind Morkov at the 170km mark.

15:56Morkov 'Fighting Spirit' winner of stage three

Morkov has pushed his advantage up to over a minute. He has already worn the polka-dot jersey for several days in his first Tour. He also won the most votes for the most aggressive rider prize in stage three.

15:53Peloton at 3'20"

The peloton is no longer stretched out in one long line. The Orica team now shares the head of the bunch with teams like BMC, Liquigas and Sky. It is 3'20" behind Morkov.

15:5155" lead for Morkov!

Morkov is almost a minute ahead of the riders who had ridden with until the 64km to go mark. The wind is still blowing from behind and he's spinning an impressive cadence and increasing his advantage. He has 47km to go...

15:49Sharp left turn: crosswind time!

The peloton has just taken a sharp left turn which means the wind is now going to be blowing from the left side of the peloton.

15:48Morkov: 40" ahead after 14km on his own...

Morkov began his move with 64km to go. He is now inside the final 50km and he has a lead of 43" on the seven other escapees. (The peloton is at 3'00".)

15:46Peloton at 2'45"

Morkov is 2'45" ahead of the peloton that still has GreenEdge riders at the front.

15:45Seven working together in pursuit

Once Morkov launched his escape, there wasn't any sign of any more attacks. The seven other breakaway riders are swapping off with relatively even turns but they are losing ground on the Saxo Bank rider who is now 35" ahead.

15:42Morkov not easing off

The Danish rider at the front of the stage is absolutely committed to his move. Morkov has a lead of 30" on the other escapees who are 2'10" ahead of the peloton.

15:40Sagan returns to peloton

Peter Sagan has rejoined the peloton without the assistance of any team-mates. His directeur sportif had a most vocal discussion with the commissaire after pacing the man in the green jersey back to the bunch following his puncture.

15:38Morkov in a 60km sprint

Morkov is speeding along on his own at the front of the stage. He is 60km from the finish and has a lead of 25" on the seven other escapees.

15:37Tailwind for now...

The speed of the peloton is extremely quick right now. The bunch is being assisted by a tailwind at the moment but, according to McEwen, the sidewinds will hit the peloton with 47km to go.

15:37Sagan chasing peloton after puncture

Sagan has had to stop to get a new front wheel after having a flat tyre.

15:35Morkov leads by 15"

Morkov's advantage with 63km to go is 15".

15:34Morkov leads the stage

Morkov is committed to keeping the escape alive today. He has opened up a good lead on the seven other escapees.

15:33Pineau starts the attacks...

With the advantage of the escapees down to under two minutes, Pineau has started the attacking action. He has been chased down but Morkov is now on his own at the front of the stage.

15:31Pineau punctures

Pineau (OPQ), one of the riders in the escape, had to stop to get a new front wheel from his team car after a flat tyre. He's now racing to rejoin lead group.

15:31Eight in the lead again...

Pineau has successfully rejoined the lead group after his puncture.

15:30Kern returns...

Kern (EUC) had lost about 20" on the peloton but he has wrestled his way back with 68km to go.

15:26Escape seems doomed already...

With 70km to go in the stage, the eight escapees have a lead of just 2'20". It's still Orica-GreenEdge setting the pace of the bunch and the speed they are tapping out is too much for Kern (EUC) who has been dropped by the peloton.

15:18Advantage under three minutes

Every directeur sportif that LeTour.fr has spoken to today recognises that the end of this stage has the potential to be chaotic. The peloton certainly isn't allowing the escapees to gain much leeway. The bunch is now just 2'55" behind Morkov's group that was once 9'20" ahead.

15:15Bricaud (FDJ): Thibaut will be content to stay with the best

The directeur sportif of FDJ-BigMat recently spoke with LeTour.fr and explained he expects at the Mont-Saint-Clair climb with 23km to go, and how it will affect his team's sprinters: “At the moment the Orica-GreenEdge team maintains the gap with the break and they're looking to set up a sprint finish,” said Thierry Bricaud. “But I think the Mont-Saint-Clair will make it difficult for any sprinter. And even leaders must all be careful because it's very tricky.
“This is a very...

15:07Velits back in peloton

We see four men from Orica at the front of the peloton at the same time that Peter Velits (OPQ) returns to the peloton after his recent crash.

15:04Peloton at 3'50"

The peloton was 3'40" behind the escapees at the site of the intermediate sprint. That has grown to 3'50".

15:03Zabriskie also caught up in crash

Dave Zabriskie is in consultation with the race doctor after being caught in the crash at the 128.5km mark.

15:02Full result of intermediate sprint

1. Urtusaun (EUS) 20pts

2. Curvers (ARG) 17pts

3. Pineau (OPQ) 15pts

4. Ladagnous (FDJ) 13pts

5. Engoulvent (SAU) 11pts

6. Dumoulin (COF) 10pts

7. Bouet (ALM) 9pts

8. Morkov (STB) 8pts

9. Sagan (LIQ) 7pts

10. Greipel (LTB) 6pts

11. Goss (OGE) 5pts

12. Impey (OGE) 4pts

13. Cooke (OGE) 3pts

14. Eisel (SKY) 2pts

15. Rogers (SKY) 1pt

15:01Veltis riding again...

Peter Velits is back on his bike after the crash at the 128.5km mark.

15:00Crash in peloton

Peter Velits has been caught up in a crash as the peloton approached the intermediate sprint line.

14:59Average speed for third hour

The average speed for the third hour of stage 13 is 42.0km/h. The average for the first three hours is 42.1km/h.

14:58First eight places at intermediate sprint

1. Urtusaun (EUS) 20pts

2. Curvers (ARG) 17pts

3. Pineau (OPQ) 15pts

4. Ladagnous (FDJ) 13pts

5. Engoulvent (SAU) 11pts

6. Dumoulin (COF) 10pts

7. Bouet (ALM) 9pts

8. Morkov (STB) 8pts

14:5790km to go

The peloton is 4'00" behind and with two GreenEdge riders ahead of a line of Sky riders at the head of the peloton.

14:56Escapees contest the sprint

The eight stage leaders have reached the site of the intermediate sprint. Engoulvent is leading Pineau to the line but they don't look like they're going to race each other for the 20 points.

Urtasun (EUS) led them over the line gesturing for calm. They've been cooperating well in the move that began, really, in the first kilometre so they may as well keep on working together... that seems to be his sentiment.

14:52Gates: We might try something...

In the past we've seen the teams managed by Bjarne Riis relish the chance to split the peloton to pieces when there's strong crosswinds. Is there, we asked Gates, any thought of the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank doing that today? “We have but we've got to wait and see what direction the race takes. It's very open and the finish has the potential to be very dangerous for the GC riders. We don't have one so we're going to stay around Chris [Sorensen] as much as we can and also look after JJ at the...

14:49Gates: It??s going to be interesting at the finish

“Michael [Morkov] has a big personal objective today,” Nick Gates explained to LeTour.fr recently, “as it's been five years since his father passed away and hopefully he can continue his attack ways and do something special today.”
The Danish rider is part of the escape (again) and his group of eight is now 4'30” ahead of the peloton. We asked Gates if it was discussed that Morkov – who has been on the attack for 622.5km before this stage – was going to get in the early...

14:37Advantage down to 5'00"

At the 109km mark, the peloton is 5'00" behind Urtasun, Bouet, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov, Pineau and Curvers.

14:34Farrar overtakes Engoulvent... for last place

Yesterday there was a change in the general classification that Tyler Farrar probably isn't too pleased with. The American's team-mate David Millar won the stage but the sprinter - who has been caught up in numerous falls during the early stanza of the Tour in 2012 - slipped from second last to last place in the general classification.

The position of 'Lanterne Rouge' had been held by Jimmy Engoulvent but the Frenchman finished 42nd in Annonay (8'01" behind Millar) and Farrar was...

14:23Peloton in feedzone

Langeveld, Lancaster and Weening are the riders from Orica-GreenEdge who are at the front of the peloton as it makes its way through the feedzone in Quissac at the 99km mark.

14:11McEwen on the penalty for Goss in stage 13: It??s just ridiculous

What's Robbie McEwen's impression of what happened to Matt Goss at the finish of the stage when he was relegated and lost 30 points of his tally for the green jersey competition? “Obviously he's bitterly disappointed which is normal.

“Although I'm attached to the GreenEdge team I tried to be objective when I looked at the sprint and there was a little move there but not enough to warrant a disqualification,” said the team's consultant. “That penalty far outweighs what they say...

14:08McEwen: There??ll be plenty of carnage in the final

“We want to have a sprint so the team is riding for Gossie today,” Robbie McEwen recently told LeTour.fr.

“There'll be plenty of carnage in the final,” said the former rider who is now working as a consultant for the Orica-GreenEdge team. “I've done a reconnaissance of the finish and I can tell you it's already bloody windy! It's blowing a hooley down on the coast. On the way in [to Le Cap d'Agde] it's going to be nasty. From 47km to go, right through to seven kilometres...

14:06Morkov racing for his father today...

One of the eight men who is in the escape today has a special reason for going on the attack in the first kilometre of stage 13. "It's been exactly five years (today) since my father passed away," said Michael Morkov earlier today. "I want to win this stage to honour him."

14:00Tony Gallopin no longer in the race...

The rider who had been ranked in the top 10 earlier in this year's Tour, Tony Gallopin (RNT) has been suffering with illness the last few days. He's the latest man to quit the 99th Tour. There are now 193 riders left in the race.

13:58Average speed for the second hour

The average speed for the second hour of stage 13 is 42.5km/h. The average since the start of the race today is 42.2km/h.

13:55Lead down to 4'40" at 79km

The peloton is at the 79km mark and it is now just 4'40" behind Morkov's group of eight.

13:48McEwen: Clearly they're riding for Gossie

LeTour.fr has recently caught up with the three-time winner of the green jersey at the Tour, Robbie McEwen. The Australian retired from racing earlier this year and he's now acting as a consultant for the Orica-GreenEdge. He has some interesting observations to make about the finish of today's stage (which we'll post shortly) but for the time being he offered confirmation of the obvious: the Australian team is at the front of the peloton (that's 5'20" behind the escapees) because it wants to...

13:34Down comes the advantage...

The maximum gain of the Bouet group was 9'20" at the 35km mark. With Orica-GreenEdge at the front of the bunch since the 15km mark, it's becoming clear that the Australian team is trying to set things up for a sprint in Le Cap d'Adge. The latest time check has the peloton only 5'50" behind Bouet, Urtasun, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov, Pineau and Curvers.

13:28Alain Gallopin: We are not the most tired

When he spoke to LeTour.fr before the start today, the sporting director of RadioShack-Nissan offered some insight to the state of his nephew, Tony, and discussed the risk of echelon's forming in the finale of the stage to Cap d'Agde: “Tony is struggling to recover from his illness,” said Alain Gallopin. “His condition is not terrible. I hope the race will be a little quiet for him today and he will manage to survive like that until the rest day.
“So far we still have a coherent...

13:26Arashiro catches the peloton

After his crash at the 55km mark, Arashiro has rejoined the peloton (around the 59km mark). The bunch is now 6'30" behind the eight-man escape group that has been together since the 15km mark when Pineau was the last to join the move that reached a maximum gain of 9'20" when the bunch was at the 35km mark.

13:22Urtasun close to a victory in stage five

One of the riders who is in today's escape, Pablo Urtasun (EUS) has regularly been on the attack in this year's Tour. He was part of a four-man break in stage five and he made a last-minute bid for the stage honours in St-Quentin but was caught by the sprinters in the final 400m. The Spaniard finished that day in 25th place after being swallowed up by a big group of sprint specialists just before the line.

13:19Arashiro racing again

After his crash, the only Japanese rider in the peloton of the 2012 Tour, Yukiya Arashiro (EUC) is back on his bike and now racing to rejoin the bunch.

13:18Peloton limiting the gains of the escape

At the 53km mark, the eight escapees have an advantage of 7'05" on the peloton.

13:17Arashiro crashes...

There has been a crash in the peloton that's involved Arashiro (EUC) and Kuchinski (KAT).

13:15Morkov on the attack for longer than any other rider this year

Morkov (STB) is the rider who was in escapes on three successive days at the start of this year's Tour - the first for the Dane. Before today he has spent a total of 622.5km in escape groups during the 2012 Tour.

13:13Three of the leaders were on the attack in stage one

Of the eight men in the lead at the moment - currently 7'15" ahead of the peloton - three were part of the escape in stage one. They are Michael Morkov (STB), Urtasun (EUS) and Bouet (ALM). They attacked in the first kilometre on the first Sunday of the 99th Tour and were ahead of the peloton for 190km before being caught just 8km from the line.

13:05Concluding the Q&A with Goss...

Matt Goss might have been relegated after stage 12 but he's trying to keep his spirits high. In the sprints he's done in the last few days, he's finished ahead of Sagan. “There's only one head-to-head sprint that he beat me in and that was the stage he won with his Hulk salute," Goss said to LeTour.fr this morning. "That's the only time he's been ahead of me on the flat since the start of the Tour. That's why I think he might have gone a little bit over the top with his gestures at the...

13:0041.8km/h for the first hour

The average speed for the escapees in the first hour is 41.8km/h. They are currently over nine minutes ahead of the bunch.

12:55A bit of history on Bouet...

The escape is now 9'20" ahead of the peloton. The best on GC of the breakaway is Maxime Bouet (ALM). He has finished in the top 10 of a Tour stage three times since making his debut in 2009. On the day of the big split in the bunch because of the coastal wind in stage three of the 2009 race he was ninth: that was in La Grand Motte, not far from where today's race finishes.

In stage 10 of the 2010 race, he was sixth from an escape group of six... that was the day Sergio Paulinho won in...

12:47Dumoulin the only former stage winner in escape

Of the eight who are in the lead of stage 13, only one has previoulsy won a stage of the Tour de France. That's the Cofidis representative in the move that is now over eight minutes ahead of the peloton, Samuel Dumoulin.

The Frenchman was fourth in stage five this year (one place ahead of Cavendish, in the bunch sprint in St-Quentin). His stage victory was in stage four of the 2008 race in Nantes at the end of a long, wet escape.

12:43Poll on LeTour.fr today...

The question on the official site of the Tour de France - LeTour.fr - today is:

On a flat stage, who of these sprinters will be the best in stage 13?

- Sagan

- Goss

- Cavendish

- Greipel

- Hutarovich

Let us know what you think and click the button of the rider you think will be the best at Le Cap d'Agde.

12:41Peloton 6'00" behind at 29km

The latest time check has the eight escapees ahead of the peloton by six minutes. The bunch has just reached the 29km mark.

12:40Lead up to five minutes

Here's a reminder of the eight men in the escape (that is now 5'00" ahead of the peloton):

Maxime Bouet (FRA) ALM - 54th overall, at 1h04'58"

Michael Morkov (DEN) STB - 85th overall, at 1h23'15"

Jerome Pineau (FRA) OPQ - 95th overall, 1h32'29"

Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) FDJ - 107th overall, at 1h38'57"

Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) COF - 124th overall, at 1h51'43"

Roy Curvers (NED) ARG - 141st overall, at 1h57'50"

Pablo Urtasun (ESP) EUS - 153rd...

12:31Peloton at 4'05"

At the 23.5km mark of the 217km stage to Le Cap d'Agde. The eight stage leaders have an advantage of 4'05" on the peloton that continues to be led by Orica-GreenEdge riders.

12:30Goss not sure what to expect...

Goss told LeTour.fr this mornign that his bid for the green jersey is essentially over. So, we asked, does that mean intermediate sprints are no longer an objective? “I don't know, to be honest," he said. "We'll have a meeting this morning before the race and see what we think.”

The likely scenario is that it'll be pretty windy at the finish. Does Matt Goss have a plan to try and split things up a bit? “No, we haven't really discussed today's plan yet. We're on our way to...

12:25Temperature: 25 degrees

It's overcast at the moment and the temperature in the car that has the chief commissaire inside is 25.5 degrees Celsius.

12:24Pineau catches lead group

There are now eight men in the lead of the stage, including five Frenchmen. They are 4'00" ahead of the peloton that's being led by Orica-GreenEdge.

12:20Comments from Goss about stage 12

One of the big talking points after the stage to Annonay yesterday was the relegation of Matt Goss (from 6th to 7th). The Australian told LeTour.fr this morning that he wasn't too worried about that, but the race jury also penalised him 30 points from his tally in the green jersey competition. Here are some of the comments from the Orica-GreenEdge rider from this morning.

We asked if he could give a review of how you think about it now that you've had a night to consider the ruling....

12:13Pineau closing in on leaders

Pineau still has 55" between him and the seven men at the front of the stage but the escapees are closer than the peloton which is currently over three minutes behind the group that includes: Bouet, Urtasun, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov and Curvers.

12:10Bouet best on GC

Of the seven men at the front of the stage, Maxime Bouet (ALM) is the best on GC. He was 54th overall at the start of the day, 1h04'58" behind Wiggins in the overall rankings.

12:09Seven in the lead...

Engoulvent (SAU) and Bouet (ALM) have caught the five in the lead of the stage. The capture was at the 7km mark.

Jerome Pineau (OPQ) continues his counter-attack and he's 1'05" behind the seven in the lead.

12:08Five lead by 2'55"

The advantage of Morkov's group over the peloton is up to 2'55".

There is no threat to the yellow jersey in the escape today with Morkov (STB) the best on GC after 12 stages; 85th overall and one hour, 23 minutes and 15 seconds behind Wiggins.

12:06Pineau also making a bid

Jerome Pineau (OPQ) is the eighth rider in the stage. He is making a bid to bridge the gap to the leaders who are 1'10" ahead.

12:05Peloton at 2'00"... at 5km

At the 5km mark, the bunch is already 2'00" behind Morkov's quintet.

The two counter-attackers have joined forces and they are 27" behind the five who have been in the lead since 1.5km.

12:03Peloton at 1'05"

There are seven men ahead of the bunch. At the 4km mark, the situation is as follows:

In the lead are five: Urtasun, Dumoulin, Ladagnous, Morkov and Curvers. They have an advantage of 15" on Engoulvent (SAU) and 20" on Bouet (ALM).

The peloton is at 1'05".

12:03Prize classification review: part 04 ?? white jersey

Only two men have worn the white jersey in the 2012 Tour de France: Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Rein Taaramae (COF). The young American now has a significant buffer over the Estonian who lost a lot of time in the 11th stage, slipping down the general classification from 12th to 28th. But van Garderen is still being challenged for the lead of the youth classification – only now his nearest rival is the youngest man in the race: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) who is now 10th overall and just 1'54”...

12:01Five in the lead

Burghardt may have started the attack today but he's not been named in the lead group that is now being pursued by Engoulvent and Bouet.

The lead group is composed of the following men: Urtasun (EUS), Dumoulin (COF), Ladagnous (FDJ), Morkov (STB) and Curvers (ARG).

11:5815" lead for five riders

The five escapees already have a time check: they are 15" ahead of the bunch.

11:57Five in the lead

There are now five men at the front of the stage. The move was instigated by Marcus Burghardt (BMC). The quintet joined forces at the 1.5km mark.

11:56Racing in stage 13!

The official start of the 13th stage was at 11.55pm. There has been an immediate attack by Burghardt (BMC). There are 164 riders still in the race with no one reitring overnight.

It's an extremely fast first kilometre...

11:53Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

Astana now has two riders in the top four of the climbing classification. This will be the fourth day that Frederik Kessiakoff has worn the polka-dot jersey in the 2012 Tour. He has a total of 66 points, 10 more than Pierre Rolland (EUC) while Chris Sorensen (STB) is ranked third with 39 points.
Robert Kiserlovski (AST) moved up from 13th to fourth place thanks to the 20 points he picked by being the first over both the col du Grand Cucheron and col du Granier in stage 12. The Croatian...

11:50Prize classification review: part 02 ?? green jersey

There was a significant blow for Matt Goss and his green jersey ambitions at the finish of stage 12. The Australian finished ahead of his main rival in the sprint for sixth place. Peter Sagan and Goss were a second ahead of the rest of the peloton in Annonay and so their positions were reversed by the race jury: Sagan from 7th to 6th and vice-versa for Goss... but there's more to it. The commissaires also fined Goss 200 Swiss Francs and penalised him 30 points (and 30”).
All this...

11:47Three departments for stage 13

On this national holiday for Bastille Day there are hordes of people cheering on the riders even before the stage officially begins.

The 217km route to the south takes the peloton through three departments: starting in Drôme, the race crosses into Vaucluse at the 7km mark and then to Hérault for the final 108km.

11:47Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

This is the sixth day that Bradley Wiggins will wear the Tour de France's yellow jersey. There was no change to the top order of the general classification because of stage 12, even though five men finished over seven minutes ahead of the main peloton. The main beneficiary of the escape was, of course, the winner in Annonay (David Millar) but Egoi Martinez (EUS) did move up from 22nd overall to 18th.
The 217km stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to the seaside town of Cap d'Agde is...

11:45Riders set for the start

The bunch is going to start rolling through the neutral zone in two minutes. The riders have gathered on the line in St-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.

11:37Welcome to the live coverage of stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France

A second transitional stage in succession takes riders a day closer to the Pyrenees. On the national holiday for Bastille Day, the peloton faces a journey of 217km from St-Paul-Trois-Chateaux down to the resort town of Le Cap d'Agde.

The riders are currently assembling on the line for the 'départ fictif' and they face a 5.5km neutral zone before arriving at the site of the official start. This is expected to be at about 11.55am.

This will be the hottest day of the 99th Tour...

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