Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the second Pyrenean mountain stage of this year's Tour de France. Yesterday's race to Bagn
Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher was one of the first to attack on the final climb, but ultimately blew up and lost time. He dropped from third to fourth overall, while Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Chipotle) moved up a slot to continue his run of best-ever form.
140.7km remaining from 156km
Mark Cavendish (Columbia) and Danny Pate (Garmin Chipotle) have crashed... Cavendish is up and standing, getting his elbow looked at. We hope both riders will continue..stay tuned.
It's been a very aggressive start to the stage, with plenty of attacks. Riders want to get away and build a good lead before the two big mountains later on.
20.4km remaining from 156km
A group of 24 riders went clear ten kilometres into the stage, and are currently 1'32 ahead of the yellow jersey bunch. We'll get an ID on those soon. Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) is there and seemed to be having gear problems. Cyclingnews' Ben Atkins mentions he is on a prototype Shimano electronic gruppo and is stuck in top gear.
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is also there. He's currently second in the green jersey competition but is wearing the tunic, as the leader Kim Kirchen is in yellow. That takes priority, of course, and as a rider can't wear two jerseys the lesser of the two passes to the next rider in that competition.
Freire is not a rider for the big cols, but he is hoping to nab points at the two bonus sprints before the road turns vertical.
Cavendish returns to the peloton but the chase has been a tough one for him. He's not keen on the big cols and so will hope to regain energy before the start of the Col du Tourmalet.