- Race Home
- Stage 1197.5km Brest - Plumelec
- Stage 2164.5km Auray - Saint Brieuc
- Stage 3208km Saint-Malo - Nantes
- Stage 429.5km Cholet - Cholet (ITT)
- Stage 5232km Cholet - Châteauroux
- Stage 6195.5km Aigurande - Super Besse
- Stage 7159km Brioude - Aurillac
- Stage 8172.5km Figeac - Toulouse
- Stage 9224km Toulouse - Bagnères de Bigorre
- Stage 10156km Pau - Hautacam
- Stage 11167.5km Lannemezan - Foix
- Stage 12168.5km Lavelanet - Narbonne
- Stage 13182km Narbonne - Nîmes
- Stage 14194.5km Nîmes - Digne les Bains
- Stage 15183km Embrun - Prato Nevoso
- Stage 16157km Cuneo - Jausiers
- Stage 17210.5km Embrun - L'Alpe d'Huez
- Stage 18196.5km Bourg d'Oisans - Saint Étienne
- Stage 19165.5km Roanne - Montluçon
- Stage 2053km Cérilly - Saint Amand Montrond (ITT)
- Stage 21143km Étampes - Paris/Champs Élysées
- Race history
Complete Live Report
10:50:00 GMTWelcome to Cyclingnews' live commentary of the 2008 Tour de France. This year, Tour de France kicks off without a prologue (or time trial) for the first time since 1967; instead it starts with a rolling 195-kilometre road stage.
The riders started at 12:10 this morning under sunny, but windy conditions. Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme had all the national champions line-up on the start line at the front, along with Australian and second last year, Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto). There were such champions as Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Fr
- 16.8km remaining from 197.5km
10:51:00 GMTWe have a breakaway of about six men with 3'22". We will get you an update on the riders in the move in one moment.
- 18.5km remaining from 197.5km
10:53:00 GMTAfter crossing four fourth category climbs the stage finishes at the top of the C
10:59:00 GMTThe escape consists of Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), St
- 24.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:01:00 GMTThe escape almost has six minutes, at 5'48".
11:02:00 GMT"We decided to come to Brest, we have not been here for a while," noted Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme at the start this morning. "No prologue and it is not really a sprinters stage [today], it finishes with a climb up to the town of Plumelec."
He made a note on Radio Tour. "This year, we will wait for a clear 30 seconds before announcing that the break-away has gone. We have made mistakes in the past."
11:07:00 GMT"There are riders like Philippe Gilbert, who can go well in this first day," noted 2006 Milan-Sanremo winner Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) at the start. "I hope to have my chances, but also there are riders like Thor Hushovd."
He added of the day, "There will be a lot of wind, we will have to wait... It will be a difficult stage."
- 28.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:09:00 GMTThe escapees have 7'22" in hand. Lilian J
11:12:00 GMTThomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) jams off for the first mountains points
11:26:00 GMTCyclingnews' Brecht Decaluw
- 41.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:27:00 GMTThe gap is now near eight minutes. Green machine Cr
- 44.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:30:00 GMTPhilippe Gilbert (Fran
11:32:00 GMT"I finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Plumelec one time and it is a finish that suites me," John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) noted to Brecht Decaluw
- 47.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:36:00 GMTWim Vansevenant (Silence-Lotto), the flamme rouge in the past has some plays on repeating for 2008. "It is not a goal, but why not?" he stated to compatriot Decaluw
11:36:00 GMTHere comes the C
11:37:00 GMTIt looks like Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) nabbed the points over Bj
11:38:00 GMTBaffled by the foreign terminology of the Tour? Procycling explains the key words and phrases? Read Tour lexicon.
- 53.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:45:00 GMTThe gap is at 6'39"
11:53:00 GMTSimon Gerrans (Cr
- 61.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:55:00 GMTThe gap is down to 5'51"
- 62.5km remaining from 197.5km
11:59:00 GMTGeoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) takes the points at the intermediate sprint in Plonevez-du-Faou over Lilian J
12:00:00 GMTAnother Australian, Mark Renshaw, rides in the Cr
12:06:00 GMTThe roads are straight and surrounded by the green pastures of Brittany. This is the second largest cider-producing region in France! The skies above are partly cloudy. What a great day for racing for the first day of the Tour de France and our eight men who are fighting for freedom and glory.
- 68.5km remaining from 197.5km
12:07:00 GMTThe gap is at 5'30". We see Caisse and Liquigas helping out Cr
- 76.5km remaining from 197.5km
12:18:00 GMTThe gap is at 4'49" to the Rabobank-led peloton. The race is approaching Kerfranc. We see Saunier Duval's Riccardo Ricc
- 53.5km remaining from 197.5km
12:27:00 GMTThe gap to Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Rub
- 85.1km remaining from 197.5km
12:32:00 GMTLilian J
12:33:00 GMTThomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) busts a move. He is charging hard for Lilian J
- 89.7km remaining from 197.5km
12:38:00 GMTThe mountains points so far are
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) 7
12:44:00 GMTThe sprint in Gourin went to Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) over St
12:54:00 GMTThe peloton is a colourful affair; it is led by the lime green team of Liquigas, the black and reds of Caisse and splashes of orange from Rabobank and Euskaltel-Euskadi.
The escapee enters the feed-zone in Moulin-Trancher. We see Lilian J
- 101.5km remaining from 197.5km
12:54:00 GMTThe gap is at 4'22" through the feed-zone.
12:55:00 GMTThe race has its first crash!
12:59:00 GMTIt does not look good for the 28 year-old Frenchman. His Tour de France could be over after only 100 kilometres of racing.
The race doctor is looking at Herv
13:00:00 GMTHe appeared to touch his wheel with another rider while passing through the feed-zone.
- 106.9km remaining from 197.5km
13:02:00 GMTJohan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto) is treated while holding on to the race doctor's car. He has blood running down the back side of his right knee.
- 108.9km remaining from 197.5km
13:05:00 GMTOur eight leaders are holding on to the four minutes' advantage over the peloton. The gap is being managed perfectly by the teams; if they catch the escape too soon they risk other riders attacking.
Gap at 4'22"
- 109.7km remaining from 197.5km
13:06:00 GMTUSA's Danny Pate (Garmin Chipotle - H30) looks smooth here at the back of the peloton. Compatriot William Frischkorn (Garmin Chipotle - H30) comes up to hand 'Dan' some food.
- 119.2km remaining from 197.5km
13:19:00 GMTDavid De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) finished second in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias stage four this year, but you might remember him from 2006. That year he took the maillot blanc
13:24:00 GMTWhere were David Millar and his Garmin mates in June? The first day of June was the last day of the Giro d'Italia and Millar, Ryder Hesjedal, Christian Vande Velde and Danny Pate left for Switzerland's St. Moritz the day after.
"I am looking forward to having a break now. The four guys that are here, we are going up to St. Moritz tomorrow, go up to altitude for ten days to rest and recover," Millar noted June 1. The city is just over the border from Italy and rests at 1822 metres altitude. "... And then we are going to Gerona for a couple of days and then over to the Pyrenees to train over there. Basically, we just have a permanent training camp until the Tour. I will race nationals, but that is it."
- 126.5km remaining from 197.5km
13:29:00 GMTThe flat countryside has changed to become thick forest. The riders are dwarfed by trees as they make their way east to Plumelec.
The gap is 3'48" to the lead eight men.
13:33:00 GMTThe final climb, the C
- 139.9km remaining from 197.5km
13:48:00 GMTWater bottles are flying left and right here as the pace ramps. Riders are franticly taking sips and keeping hydrated before the stressful finale into Plumelec. It is fair game today, win the stage and you take the race leader's maillot jaune. Favourites include Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Thor Hushovd (Cr
- 144.8km remaining from 197.5km
13:54:00 GMT'Pippo' Pozzato's Liquigas team leads the peloton with two of its men.
Also watch out for GC contender Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and two-time time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC-Saxo Bank). The Columbia boys are no clowns; it is too hard of a finish for Mark Cavendish, but maybe USA's George Hincapie could steal the show. Remember his dash in the Dauphin
- 145.1km remaining from 197.5km
13:54:00 GMTYaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto) and Jimmy Casper (Agritubel) are involved in a crash.
13:55:00 GMTHeinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) was in the mix too. German Champ Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) is rolling back to the peloton, but we don't know if he was part of the crash.
- 146.3km remaining from 197.5km
- 150km remaining from 197.5km
14:02:00 GMT'Popo' Popovych (Silence-Lotto) is licking his wounds at the back of the pack. Team captain Evans will be concerned for his mountains lieutenant; losing a team-mate in the early stages of the Tour de France could jeopardise the entire French campaign.
Dario Cioni is back there with Popo and getting a status check.
- 153.7km remaining from 197.5km
14:06:00 GMTThe maillot blanc is up for grabs at the finish. The highest placed youngster today will win the white jersey of best under 25 year-old racer. Riccardo Ricc
- 156.7km remaining from 197.5km
14:10:00 GMTLess than five kilometres to the final intermediate sprint, in Remungol.
- 159.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:15:00 GMTThere is harmony amongst the eight men, but this has to change now that the peloton is breathing down their backs.
Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), Rub
14:19:00 GMTSpaniard David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) leaps up the road.
- 33.8km remaining from 197.5km
14:20:00 GMTThe aggressive rider is joined by local-kid Lilian J
14:23:00 GMTI see a bad moon rising: Has the gap been closed too soon?
We are asking about in the Cyclingnews' research department and the boys there tell us that 'yes' this move is risky and that other opportunists will fire up the road at any moment.
- 167.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:24:00 GMTChristophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) is holding up the rear of the peloton as the race enters the final 30 kilometres.
14:29:00 GMTThe 27 year-old Spaniard and the 32 year-old Breton are looking aggressive; both have their hands in the handlebars' drops.
- 171.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:30:00 GMTThe gruppo loses time while dodging roundabouts; riders going left and riders going right
- 172.3km remaining from 197.5km
14:32:00 GMTThomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Rub
- 172.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:32:00 GMTThe duo passes the 25km to go banner.
- 174.3km remaining from 197.5km
14:35:00 GMTThe finale is dodgy at best. Just after the 2km mark there is a tight bridge crossing. "Speed is the key," but also positioning.
The duo has 1'32" in hand.
14:36:00 GMTThere is a strong wind coming on the riders' right. This opening stage of the 95th Tour de France is really a difficult one.
14:40:00 GMTMarcus Burghardt (Columbia) is near the front. Is the German working for USA's George Hincapie (Columbia)?
- 179km remaining from 197.5km
14:41:00 GMTLilian J
- 179.9km remaining from 197.5km
14:43:00 GMTA small move gets with Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas) is making its way back onto the peloton.
Prepare yourself for some fireworks here. We are in the first day of the Tour de France and there is a lot on the line in Plumelec.
- 181.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:45:00 GMTThere are some rain drops coming down, but it looks like anything serious will wait for the Tour's first stage to finish.
OH, but if it does rain we are going to have a dicey finish. Look for Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) or Philippe Gilbert (Fran
- 182.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:45:00 GMTThe duo has 48".
14:46:00 GMTThe peloton backs off the pace, letting the gap stay at a reasonable amount before pouncing on its prey.
- 182.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:48:00 GMTThe gap is 33 " as the peloton passes the 15km banner. Silence-Lotto and Cr
- 186km remaining from 197.5km
14:51:00 GMTJohan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto) is tapping out the rhythm on the front. The tall Belgian will be working for Evans and McEwen; keeping the former out of danger and the latter up front for the sprint.
- 187km remaining from 197.5km
- 187.5km remaining from 197.5km
14:52:00 GMTGap is now at 13".
- 188.2km remaining from 197.5km
14:53:00 GMTSix Silence-Lotto men are on the front along with one Quick Step rider.
We have another crash...
14:54:00 GMTOh no! Colombian Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) is down. Two team-mates stop to check if he is okay.
14:54:00 GMTBad luck for Barloworld, however, the winner of last year's maillot blanc
- 7.1km remaining from 197.5km
14:56:00 GMTThe duo is caught.
- 191.2km remaining from 197.5km
14:58:00 GMTDavid De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Lilian J
14:58:00 GMTHere we go. Place your bets!
14:59:00 GMTLotto continues to lead the peloton.
Soler has two men working for him.
- 193.1km remaining from 197.5km
14:59:00 GMTColumbia takes over the pace-making... for Hincapie?
- 194km remaining from 197.5km
15:00:00 GMTThey look strong here, but it won't be a finish for Mark Cavendish (Columbia). They lead with five or six men.
- 194.7km remaining from 197.5km
15:01:00 GMTRobert F
15:01:00 GMTColumbia still leads. Quick Step for Gert Steegmans is moving to the fore.
15:02:00 GMTYou got to keep the pace high and on the front if you want to win...
15:02:00 GMTLilian J
- 196.3km remaining from 197.5km
15:03:00 GMTCadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is still near the front, trying to stay out of trouble.
15:03:00 GMTAn Agritubel rider rides up the right side of the road.
15:03:00 GMTIt is Romain Feillu (Agritubel).
- 196.5km remaining from 197.5km
15:04:00 GMTStefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) moves up in the final K.
The road is kicking up. The German looks good.
15:04:00 GMTSomeone needs to mark him or he is gone!
15:04:00 GMTA Columbia rider is chasing it back.
15:04:00 GMTKim Kirchen (Columbia) catches and passes!
15:04:00 GMTBallan is chasing...
15:05:00 GMTBallan fades.
15:05:00 GMTKirchen is going to get this!
15:05:00 GMTValverde kicks!
15:05:00 GMTThe Spanish Champ catches and passes!
15:05:00 GMTThe Green Bullet Fires and wins the opening stage of the 95th Tour de France.
15:06:00 GMTHe takes the maillot jaune and the stage victory. What a punch by the 28 year-old Spaniard.
15:07:00 GMTMauricio Soler (Barloworld) struggles home. He wil have time losses galore.
15:07:00 GMTCavendish and other riders are finishing as well.
15:09:00 GMTKim Kirchen (Columbia) really had a good gap on that last right bend, but Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was unstoppable after hitching on in the final 200 metres.
Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) loses 3'10", and maybe the Tour de France!
15:09:00 GMTPhilippe Gilbert (Fran
15:11:00 GMTViva Espa
15:13:00 GMTThe rain now starts to come down! What timing and luck with this finish.
15:14:00 GMTValverde gained one second on the others in that finish.
15:14:00 GMTEvans and Ricc
15:16:00 GMTThanks for joining us today. Please come back for full results, photos and reporting.