Tour de France 2008

July 5-27, 2008, Brest, France, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Cycling News
  1. 13:07:00 CEST

    Good morning/afternoon/evening dear readers (depending on where you are reading this), welcome to our live coverage of the twelfth stage of this year's Tour de France. It's another transition-type stage today, heading east from Lavelanet to Narbonne.

    After a big breakaway yesterday, we are inclined to think that today's stage is a more likely candidate for a bunch sprint. The teams of riders such as Thor Hushovd, Mark Cavendish, Oscar Freire, Erik Zabel, Robbie McEwen and the other gallopers will be keen to have their fast guys slug it out at the finish. The route should also be conducive to that, with a lumpier first half becoming flatter and faster towards the end.
  2. 13:10:00 CEST

    Today's biggest news is the positive A sample for EPO returned by Riccardo Ricc
  3. 13:12:00 CEST

    According to l'Equipe's Damien Ressiot, one of the climber's urine samples collected by the French Anti-Doping Agency AFLD showed traces of a third generation EPO called CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator).
  4. 13:21:00 CEST

    In presuming that Ricc
  5. 13:27:00 CEST


    Mountains classification (updated)
    1 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott            65 pts2 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                 573 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                  56
    Young rider classification (updated)
    1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 2 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis - Le Cr
  6. 13:34:00 CEST

  7. 13:48:00 CEST

    Returning to the racing, a slightly reduced field took to the start this afternoon.
  8. 13:57:00 CEST

    To sum up the action thus far far:

    Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel Euskadi) et Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) attacked five kilometres after the start. They were joined by Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), Steven De Jongh (Quick Step), Freddy Bichot (Agritubel), Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Martin Muller (Milram), St
  9. 14:00:00 CEST

    Apparently Saunier Duval would have been able to start this morning's stage but the team has decided to both leave the race and also suspend all activities. Time will tell if it will collapse or continue racing later in the season.
  10. 32km remaining from 168.5km

    14:02:00 CEST

    More riders have tried to go clear but nothing has stuck as yet.

    Baden Cooke crashed but the Barloworld rider has been able to remount and return to racing.
  11. 14:07:00 CEST

    George Hincapie of Team Columbia gave his reaction this morning. "We can look at the positive side and that we're catching riders that cheat. The sport is doing what it can and it's [putting out] more effort than any other sport out there.

    "We have to look to the future and I think we're doing everything we can to clean up our sport."

    Hincapie's sports director, Rolf Aldag, was not too happy. "This is really disappointing. There have been a lot of rumours about him in the last few days but this a step back as he's a big fish and he's from a different generation. It was supposed to be a young and new breed but they need to know that they risk more than their careers. They risk the whole sport of cycling. He's caused a lot of damage to the Tour."
  12. 44km remaining from 168.5km

    14:15:00 CEST

    Arnaud G
  13. 53km remaining from 168.5km

    14:32:00 CEST

    The duo continue to ride well together, and are now a considerable 3'55 ahead of the peloton.

    57 kilometres after the start comes the summit of the day's sole categorised climb, the fourth category Col du Camperie. It's followed almost 20 kilometres later by the first of two intermediate sprints at Saint Paul de Fenquillet (76km). The second comes 142.5 kilometres after the start - and thus 26 from the end - at Thezan des Corbieres.

    There is also a feed zone at Maury, almost exactly halfway through the stage.
  14. 14:33:00 CEST

    The first hour of racing saw 51 kilometres being covered by the two leaders.
  15. 67.5km remaining from 168.5km

    14:50:00 CEST

    Dumoulin led G
  16. 14:50:00 CEST

    The bunch is lined out in the right-hand gutter...looks like there's some strong winds blowing.

  17. 14:53:00 CEST

    Mark Cavendish is hoping to take his third stage victory of the race today in Narbonne. Can he do it? Well, of course that will depend firstly on there being a bunch sprint, and secondly on what kind of lead-out Columbia can give him. If he's correctly placed, he could well do so.

    It's been a great Tour for a rider who is still only 23 years of age.
  18. 75.5km remaining from 168.5km

    14:57:00 CEST

    Columbia and Credit Agricole are at the front of the peloton. So too the Silence-Lotto team of Cadel Evans. Evans is himself close to the front, staying out of trouble.

    The bunch is right across the road. With just two riders clear, there is no major panic.

    Up front, G
  19. 15:00:00 CEST

    Oscar Freire looks concentrated; he wants the remaining points in this bonus sprint. And he gets them, quite easily.
  20. 15:01:00 CEST

  21. 15:09:00 CEST

    Quick Step's S
  22. 86.1km remaining from 168.5km

    15:12:00 CEST

    With the teams working on the front, the gap is now down to 54".

    Dumoulin and G
  23. 88km remaining from 168.5km

    15:13:00 CEST

  24. 92.5km remaining from 168.5km

    15:21:00 CEST

    Feeding time at the zoo enable the gap to go back up again. It's now 1'31. The roads are very exposed here, and so any wind will buffet the riders.

    They are now on an uncategorised climb. It's nothing serious, explaining the lack of a rating for it.

    Columbia and Chipotle riders are at the front. David Millar is prominent. The peloton is spread right across the road, and there's no sense of urgency. We imagine that this morning's news about Ricc
  25. 15:23:00 CEST

    Check out this interview by Daniel Friebe and how one doping expert is stunned by Ricc
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