Tour de France 2008

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

Complete Live Report

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

    Salut and welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage straight from France. Today the riders will face 159 kilometres from Brioude to Aurillac and no less than five categorised climbs. They may not be HC or cat 1 mountains, but if the riders hurry them up fast enough they will sure feel today in their legs in the evening. It may not be enough for anybody to gain a decisive gap for the overall, but it will provide an opportunity for the climbers to soften up the allrounders before heading into the Pyrén
  2. 13:05:00 CEST

    The race hasn't started yet. The racers are slated to set out for their d
  3. 13:10:00 CEST

    Let's have another look back
  4. 13:14:00 CEST

    There is very little wind at the start, it is partly sunny and the temperatures are at around 21C. That is the nice part. The not-so-nice part is the parcours - the riders will go uphill right from the gun. The first climb of the day, the C
  5. 13:16:00 CEST

    There aren't actually many flat kilometres today. It is either up or down all day long. A great day for some breaks to go and the GC contenders to start battling.
  6. 13:19:00 CEST

    We also have to look back to yesterday one more time. Many have of course have drawn comparisons to the famous finale of the 2006 Eneco Tour. George Hincapie led Stefan Schumacher by three seconds going into the final stage. It was a fierce sprint for second and third behind breakaway rider Philippe Gilbert (Fran
  7. 13:26:00 CEST

    To get some moving pictures, check out the Cyclingnewsvideo summary of stage six.
  8. 7km remaining from 159km

    13:29:00 CEST

    The d
  9. 13:32:00 CEST

    Frischkorn was in the break in stage 3
  10. 13:35:00 CEST

    The riders are on the first climb, but nobody wants to give it some stick right now. It is a tad early, although this would be a good place for a break to form.
  11. 13:39:00 CEST

    Speaking of giving it some stick. Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel said there wasn't enough of that in this year's Tour. He, on the other hand, was in his second break and won twice yesterday. He took out the polka dot from underneath Thomas Voeckler and he gets to wear the red back number today
  12. 12km remaining from 159km

    13:41:00 CEST

    A group of eight has managed to separate itself a bit as we are over the top of the first climb, the Côte de Fraisse. But the gap is minimal.
  13. 13:42:00 CEST

    The first four who are getting the points are:
    1 David Millar (Garmin Chipotle - H30)
    2 Sandy Casar (Fran
  14. 13:46:00 CEST

    This was a cat 3 climb, so Millar will get four points (and 300 euro), Casar three points (and 0 euro), Moncouti
  15. 13:52:00 CEST

    Attentive reader Roger points out that we had six winners from six different teams and six different nationalities
  16. 13:58:00 CEST

    Prize money for the climbs: For an HC climb, the first three get cold hard cash
  17. 24km remaining from 159km

    14:01:00 CEST

    Currently attempts by four riders, but the peloton is attentive for now.
  18. 14:14:00 CEST

    Trying to answer more questions from yesterday. Ok, so the feed zone: It is a zone a couple of kilometres long and the soigneurs or helpers of the teams are spread out along this zone, wearing a vest or something from the team so the riders can better spot them. The soigneurs often have four or five musettes (cotton cloth bags with a long handle so the riders can hang it around their necks) over their right underarm.

    They will then take one down with their left and hand it to the riders. If multiple riders of the same team come by in quick succession they obviously have to be very quick and also make sure they let go as soon as the riders grab it
  19. 14:21:00 CEST

    It has been 50 years since a rider from Luxembourg has worn the maillot jaune of race leader. It was Charly Gaul back then. This morning Luxemburger Andy Schleck told Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown his feelings about it. "I am really happy for Kim [Kirchen], but it was really bad luck for Schumacher. I wish it would have stayed together and I wouldn't have lost seconds."

    Andy Schleck was held up behind the crash and dropped his chain. He put it back on rode to the finish, crossing the line 45 seconds behind the winner.
  20. 45km remaining from 159km

    14:26:00 CEST

    All break attempts are continued to be nullified by the peloton. The first sprint will be contested soon in St. Flour.
  21. 14:33:00 CEST

    How does a climb get categorised in Le Tour? It is a mix of figuring in the length, the gradient, the altitude gain, the steepest section, how far to the finish and a bit of subjectivity. The organisers want to limit the number of mountain points awarded, so some climbs maybe just as hard or harder than some of the other climbs. Even the road condition may play a role in the final determination which climbs get ranked.

    This year, there are eight HC, four cat 1, five cat 2, 14 cat 3 and 26 cat 4 climbs.
  22. 50km remaining from 159km

    14:34:00 CEST

    The sprint in St. Flour was won by Robert Hunter, ahead of Robbie McEwen and Thor Hushovd.
  23. 14:36:00 CEST

    Cyclingnews' ground crew reports that there are intermittent rain showers along the route, just like yesterday. The forecast did say there would be thunder showers, so it should be another interesting day out in France, weather wise.
  24. 51km remaining from 159km

    14:38:00 CEST

    We are one km form the top of the C
  25. 14:44:00 CEST

    Now Jens Voigt is not a surprise to be up front. He talked to Gregor Brown this morning about his plans. "Today will be the day
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