Tour de France 2010

July 3-25, 2010, Rotterdam, France, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

This is one for the sprinters again. Which of the men with the fast legs has best come over the Alps? The finale should be an exciting one, with lots of big names fighting it out for the precious green jersey points.

  1. 13:29:35 CEST

    Hello and welcome back to the Tour de France. The 11th stage sees us turn away from the Alps, and this “flat” stage is going to be one for the sprinters again. The two questions of the day are, when will the peloton catch the expected escape group, and which of the mighty sprinters will gallop to the finish line first?

  2. 13:33:12 CEST

    There was another early, and successful, attack today. As soon as race director Christian Prudhomme dropped the flag, an attack set off. Anthony Geslin (FdJ), Stephane Auge ( Cofidis) and Jose-Alberto Benitez (Footon) had built up a gap of up to 2:45 for themselves, but it is now down to 3;10.

  3. 13:36:45 CEST

    We are now down to 179 riders. Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) and Charles Wegelius of Omega Pharma-Lotto were not at the start.

  4. 13:40:24 CEST

    Hunter crashed early in yesterday's stage and suffered a broken bone near the elbow. He had hoped to go ahead and ride today.

    However, he just couldn't hold on to those handlebars this morning and had to give it up.

  5. 13:43:06 CEST

    Wegelius was hit by the intestinal virus, and is unable to retain any food or drink. You just can't ride under those circumstances!

  6. 153km remaining from 184.5km

    13:46:32 CEST

    The gap is jumping from 2:45 to 3:45, with the sprint teams giving chase.  Right now it is 3:05.

  7. 13:50:10 CEST

    For those of you playing our Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway during the Tour de France, here is your trivia question for the day:
    How many times has current World Champion and BMC team leader Cadel Evans finished the Tour de France on the podium?

    For a hint, click here

    Enter your answer in our contest page here

    Today's prize is an Easton EC90 Aero wheel set. Click here for information about the prize.


  8. 13:58:12 CEST

    Looks like we started out with some techinical problems today, but thanks to those with greater minds than me, we are now up and going.

    Congratulations to two more winners in our Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway. On stage four, Kerry Lau of Singapore won an EC90 Aero Wheelset by knowing that Erik Zabel had won six green jerseys.

    And stage five sayw another set of EC90 Aeros going to Mark Allebach of Wilmington, NC, for knowing that George Hincapie was born in Farmingdale, NY.

    Congratulations to them and all our winners, and be sure to participate every day!

  9. 144km remaining from 184.5km

    14:01:46 CEST

    The gap has grown now, to 4:15.

  10. 14:04:56 CEST

    The UCI is still scanning bikes to see if anyone has sneaked a motor or battery in. So far no one has. Yesterday they checked out Paulinho (RadioShack), Kolobnev (Katusha), Roche (AG2R), Bouet (AG2R), Aerts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Rolland (Bbox).

  11. 149km remaining from 184.5km

    14:09:59 CEST

    40km into the race, the gap is at 3:40.  The sprinter teams aren't going to let a huge gap like yesterday's develop.

  12. 14:13:27 CEST

    Brecht Decaluwe was at the start today for Cyclingnews. He tells us that HTC-Columbias Ralf Aldag said his guys have the job not to let breaks go with riders from other sprinter teams. They would work. to make it a sprint. "We will work, but not for intermediate sprints. Hopefully other teams will lend a hand."

  13. 14:16:50 CEST

    Decaluwe also talked to Garmin-Transitions's sprinter Tyler Farrar: "It should be a sprint. There are not many sprints left in the Tour and we have not won one yet, so we are motivated for today. The important thing is not to have a big group away at the beginning."

  14. 14:20:43 CEST

    We are coming up to our one and only climb today. Here are the details:

    * Km 56.5 - Col de Cabre - 5.0 km climb to 5.9 % - Category 3

  15. 14:23:35 CEST

    18 riders failed to sign in this morning. That means 16 of them forgot or were too late or or or....

  16. 14:30:35 CEST

    There was a 50 km transfer to the start this morning, notes Milram's Christian Knees. “From the map it looks like a sprint today!” No surrprise who he picked to win today. “So go, Gerald”.

  17. 129km remaining from 184.5km

    14:35:49 CEST

    The leaders appraoch the top of the day's climb, with a lead of 3:16.  In between it had crept up to over five minutes.

  18. 14:38:24 CEST

    'And they went over in this orde:  Benitez, Auge and Geslin.

  19. 14:38:58 CEST

    Four or five rides break from the peloton to gather the last mountain points.

  20. 14:39:56 CEST

    Pineau was able to grab the points, and add to his total to keep the polka-dot jersey another day.

  21. 125km remaining from 184.5km

    14:41:23 CEST

    The gap has dropped, and is now down to 2:15.

  22. 14:44:58 CEST

    HTC-Columbia's Alan Peiper thinks Mark Cavendish will have a good chance today. “It's a great opportunity for Mark to get some points and close the gap in the race for Green so we can't take any chances at all with the stage. We'll be looking to control the race from the front - ideally there will be a break of about four people and then we can get Grabsch and Montfort to the front of the peloton and control the gap.

  23. 14:48:23 CEST

    Team Sky has reluctantly but realistically given up on the idea of Bradley Wiggins finishing on the Tour podium. What to do now? Look for stage wins, of course.

    “Without a doubt - it’s the obvious thing to do,” said team principal Dave Brailsford. “It frees up the likes of Edvald [Boasson Hagen], Geraint [Thomas] and [Juan Antonio] Flecha.”

  24. 115km remaining from 184.5km

    14:51:25 CEST

    And the gap has yo-yo'ed back up to 3:15.

  25. 14:55:42 CEST

    Down, down, down the mountain they all go....

  26. 14:56:39 CEST

    Lampre and HTC are sharing the lead work in the peloton.

  27. 110km remaining from 184.5km

    14:59:35 CEST

    The peloton is strung out single file, as the lead falls to under two minutes.

  28. 15:03:25 CEST

    We see World champion Cadel Evans at the back of the field.

    It's not easy riding the Tour de France with a broken elbow.  But it's possible.  Just ask BMC's Cadel Evans.

  29. 81.7km remaining from 184.5km

    15:09:51 CEST

    It is basically all downhill from here. There are some very minor bumps along the way, but there is a slow and continuous descent or the next 100 or so kms.

  30. 98km remaining from 184.5km

    15:15:04 CEST

    The gap has crept back up to three minutes.  It is a hard line to draw:  the peloton wants to keep the group from getting too far away, but doesn't want to catch them too early, either.

  31. 15:17:29 CEST

    Mathieu Perget of Caisse d'Epargne is back amongst the team cars, with his jersey pulled up.  We suspect he is gong back for radio repairs.

  32. 15:21:43 CEST

    Mark Cavendish's next Tour stage win will be his 13th, which would put him one up on hs mentor, Erik Zabel.  It took the German seven years to garner those wins, whilst the Briton has done it in only three years.

    On the other hand, Zabel won six green jerseys, and Cavendish is still chasing his first.

    What do the two have to say about this?  Read it here.

  33. 15:23:16 CEST

    Ah, how lovely.  The peloton just went by a field of lavender.

  34. 15:24:55 CEST

    And here is a highly-paid water  carrier.  Alessandro Petacchi packs his jersey full with water bottles for his teammates.

  35. 15:30:59 CEST

    Let's take a look at our three escapees.  Stephane Auge, 35, rides for Cofidis, and is in his eight Tour.  He won a stage his first time out in 2002.  In 2007 he won the combativity award for one stage, and wore the polka-dot jersey for two days.  He had that jersey for a day in 2009, too.

  36. 15:35:19 CEST

    Geslin, 30, is with FdJ.  He turned pro with Bouygues Telecomin 2002, and stayed with them until joining FdJ last year.  He won the Brabantse Pijl last year.

  37. 85km remaining from 184.5km

    15:37:32 CEST

    We are now approaching the feeding zone in the town with the ominous sounding name of Die.  And, no, it is not pronounced the english way, and doesn't mean that at all.

    At least we hope not....

  38. 15:41:25 CEST

    Benitez is 28.  He turned pro with Spuik in 2005, before joining Sauner-Duval, Footon's predecessor team, the next year.  He is making his Tour debut.

  39. 81km remaining from 184.5km

    15:43:27 CEST

    Lunch time for the peloton now, with a gap of 1:36.

  40. 15:44:28 CEST

    That was it for me today.  I'm handing off to Dan Benson who will bring you safely to the mass sprint finish today.

  41. 15:45:35 CEST

    Thanks Susan.

  42. 15:46:38 CEST

    The bunch are still having their lunch, Saxo's Cancellara is munching away on an energy bar of some kind. How come every time I see him in the bunch he's either eating or smashing it on the front?

  43. 15:47:19 CEST

    Basso's having a can of Coke. Wow I've really walked straight into the action haven't I?

  44. 15:48:43 CEST

    Anyway the gap is under two minutes, now 1:57 to be precise. Nice to see Footon in the break here. Apparently the riders in the bunch are getting used to the kit now, and believe it or not it's actually looked upon now as 'not that bad' by some of the peloton.

  45. 72km remaining from 184.5km

    15:57:38 CEST

    Vino gives us a wave from the bunch and then takes a swig from hit bottle. Another day of hot, hot weather for those at the Tour. The gap is coming down, perhaps a bit too quickly. It's at 1.37 now.

  46. 16:00:09 CEST

    Bad new for Garmin-Transitions this morning was that Robbie Hunter wasn't able to start. Hunter, who, how should we put it, has a colourful twitter account, broke a bone in his arm in a crash yesterday.

    It means that Julian Dean will lead out Tyler Farrar in today's probable sprint finish.

  47. 16:02:35 CEST

    The guys out front are riding into a headwind so it's tough out there, especially on these wide roads.

  48. 16:05:51 CEST

    Contador and Schleck are next to each other having a little chat. Both riders seem to have a fair amount of respect for each other. They bumped into each other in recon rides during June and often swap text messages to each other. Friendship will be put aside when they race in the Pyrenees though.

  49. 16:07:48 CEST

    Another picturesque scene as the peloton rides through the French countryside. On one side a lake and on the other rolling hillsides.

  50. 64km remaining from 184.5km

    16:08:53 CEST

    Columbia send a rider to the front of the bunch, with Garmin doing the same too.

  51. 16:12:18 CEST

    Lots of transfer news in world of cycling at the moment but another story that's causing headlines is this. Former UCI grand fromage exchanging emails with Flloyd Landis.

  52. 16:14:58 CEST

    Cavendish and Armstrong are talking in the bunch. Looks pretty relaxed and happy. Cavendish is the big favourite for today's finish. It's a perfect opportunity for a sprint and having bounced back and won two stages in the race already, he'll be confident of making it three.

  53. 16:20:46 CEST

    Sastre is near the front. A difficult year for the Spaniard so far. He struggled with his health in the Giro and he's been off the pace so far this year. It feels much longer than two years ago since he won the Tour de France.

  54. 16:22:26 CEST

    We've got a sprint coming up in 500 meters. Doubt the three leaders will contest the points.

  55. 16:26:32 CEST

    So assuming we do have a sprint today, who are tipping for the win? Let me know at

    Lampre are setting the pace in the bunch now, just keeping the three leaders in check at 1.45

  56. 16:29:30 CEST

    Rémi Pauriol has a flat and needs some help from the team car. All done and now he's chasing back through the cars.

  57. 16:31:35 CEST

    Chepe Gonzalez won a stage into Valence in 1996. Anyone remember his celebration? Pretty good I thought, arms everywhere.

  58. 16:32:44 CEST

    Here's our first prediction: 

    royvanrijn @dnlbenson I had the feeling Ciolek will be making a comeback after the first mountains, maybe he'll show his face today..?

  59. 48km remaining from 184.5km

    16:33:15 CEST

    The gap now down to 1.26 now.

  60. 16:37:36 CEST

    Dave Zabriskie pulling on the front now for his man Farrar. Zabriskie has been quiet in this year's Tour. Some had him down as doing a strong ride in this year's race. He's been a good teammate but hasn't done much on an individual level.

    The Lampre boys are gathering behind now and the chase is starting to pick up.

  61. 16:39:01 CEST

    Here's a look at how things stand in the green jersey competition. It could change hands today.

    1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 138 pts
    2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 131
    3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 116
    4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 98
    5 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC - Columbia 97
    6 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 86
    7 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team 82
    8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 74
    9 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram 71
    10 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 69

  62. 16:42:11 CEST

    No Cervelo action at the front of the bunch yet. Either Thor knows he's not going to win today or as speculation we've heard suggest, he's not at 100 per cent right now.

  63. 16:44:49 CEST

    What about Oscar Freire? He's been no where in the sprints in this year's Tour so far. Perhaps it could be his day...

  64. 16:45:57 CEST

     But don't expect it to all go the sprinters way today. No doubt we'll have some suicide attacks in the final few kilometers of the stage. Vino? Jens?

  65. 16:47:56 CEST

    Another prediction:

    Kathy_72  @dnlbenson todays stage 11..I want Cav to win, think Petacchi will though as he wants the Green, x

    Ooh an x.

  66. 39km remaining from 184.5km

    16:49:12 CEST

    Well finally some action from the bunch. BBox, FDJ and Caisse spring a few riders from the bunch. HTC on the front.

    The gap now down to 45 seconds.

  67. 16:53:42 CEST

    FYI Bruyneel tipped Cavendish for today's stage too. A lot of you agree with him according to the tweets you've sent in.

  68. 16:54:18 CEST

    What did we do before Twitter existed? How did we cope?

  69. 35km remaining from 184.5km

    16:55:25 CEST

    Garmin and Liquigas back on the front now, so it looks like Farrar is up for the sprint today. I think if he's fit then he's Cav's closest challenger but this wide open sprint really does suit Petacchi.

  70. 16:58:31 CEST

    Bunch are heading north now towards the finish. There is a descent before the finish by the way so that could play a part today.

  71. 32km remaining from 184.5km

    16:59:51 CEST

    The gap is down to just 26 seconds now. Almost all over.

  72. 23km remaining from 184.5km

    17:02:23 CEST

    Benitez goes for it alone but is brought back.

  73. 17:03:59 CEST

    Zabriskie stil on the front and Bole comes through and takes a turn. Milram up there as well.

  74. 17:06:43 CEST

    We've got one little climb at about 12km to go, then a descent and a tailwind finish. They'll be flying by then.

  75. 27km remaining from 184.5km

    17:08:22 CEST

    Auge makes a move from the back of the three leaders but he's reeled in. Just 16 seconds now on the bunch. Combativity award up for grabs and now Geslin, and then Benitez, and then Auge goes. Geslin is the only casualty.

  76. 25km remaining from 184.5km

    17:10:15 CEST

    Geslin is back in the bunch now. So we have two leaders on the front but the gap is less than 200 meters.

  77. 22km remaining from 184.5km

    17:14:02 CEST

    Still the bunch aren't really increasing the pace yet. It's going to take a really serious attack to snap them into life.

    The two leaders shake hands, job done, and the bunch have them

  78. 17:14:57 CEST

    Shack near the front now too, helping to keep the pace high (ish) and keeping their leader out of trouble.

  79. 17:15:54 CEST

    Columbia setting the pace now. Four or five Shack riders just behind. Vino near the front too.

  80. 17:16:55 CEST

    Liquigas and Milram moving their men to the front. Katusha jerseys hovering close by too.

  81. 17:18:07 CEST

    FDJ send two men out from the bunch.

  82. 17:18:34 CEST

    They dont have a sprinter so they might as well give it a go but they're already caught.

  83. 17:19:03 CEST

    Saxo are looking after Schleck now, he's got five riders around him to make sure that he's okay.

  84. 17:20:22 CEST

    Long line now so the bunch are finally working.

  85. 16km remaining from 184.5km

    17:21:31 CEST

    Navarro dropped so Contador hasn't got that much support. Vino is with him. Three Astana riders dropped already.

  86. 17:22:02 CEST

    Contador is trying to move up on the outside, Saxo setting a blistering pace.

  87. 15km remaining from 184.5km

    17:23:10 CEST

    Hushovd, Cav, Petacchi all near the front. Saxo still setting the pace.

  88. 17:23:57 CEST

    Eisel is near the front now, Cav will be close to him. Thor is on his own, he's on Cav's wheel. smart move.

  89. 17:24:22 CEST

    Hunt is there but is isolated from his leader.

  90. 17:24:52 CEST

    Cancellara now on the front taking up the challenge

  91. 17:25:12 CEST

    Riders getting dropped here.

  92. 17:25:58 CEST

    Pineau one of the riders dropped. 

  93. 10km remaining from 184.5km

    17:27:37 CEST

    Gesink near the front too, he's just trying to keep out of trouble.

  94. 17:28:11 CEST

    Contador is messing with his ear piece but he has to focus here, it's not an easy run in and Saxo are putting down the hammer.

  95. 17:28:25 CEST

    HTC letting Saxo do all the work here.

  96. 9km remaining from 184.5km

    17:28:57 CEST

    Last week HTC were starting to work from a long way out, they've change tactics now.

  97. 17:29:51 CEST

    Chavanel attacks. Popo on his wheel and HTC finally come through

  98. 7km remaining from 184.5km

    17:30:24 CEST

    Eisel is restoring order in the bunch, calling his teammates through

  99. 17:30:51 CEST

    The two riders have a gap of around 50 meters but they'll be caught very soon.

  100. 5km remaining from 184.5km

    17:31:43 CEST

    Tony Martin on the front, Lampre moving up now. Everyone positioning themselves now. It's tense in the bunch.

  101. 17:32:18 CEST

    One rider we've not talked about is McEwen, could it be his day today?

  102. 17:33:00 CEST

    Armstrong near the back of the bunch and Lampre lead the bunch now.

  103. 4km remaining from 184.5km

    17:33:19 CEST

    Three Sky riders move up

  104. 17:34:05 CEST

    Lampre keep Sky in check with a little look and surge. Hunt pulls off he's cooked and Van Summeren is there for Farrar.

  105. 17:35:07 CEST

    Thomas is moving up, Hagen on his wheel. So many sprinters in the mix here.

  106. 2km remaining from 184.5km

    17:35:54 CEST

    A Sky rider attacks and HTC catch him.

  107. 1km remaining from 184.5km

    17:36:43 CEST

    Lampre and HTC are leading here both teams are right up against each other. Sky are hovering close by, two tight turns to come.


    1km to go

  108. 17:37:06 CEST

    Renshaw now moving up Dean there with Farrar.

  109. 17:37:31 CEST

    Renshaw and dean clash heads

  110. 17:38:14 CEST

    They almost come down. Cav now comes out but has he gone too soon. Petacchi is on his wheel. Farrar is fading.

  111. 17:38:44 CEST

    Cav is going to take it.

  112. 17:39:08 CEST

    Huge gap.

    It's his, Petacchi second and then Farrar in third.

  113. 17:39:36 CEST

    Hushovd in 7th. That's Cavendish's third stage win of the race.

  114. 17:42:30 CEST

    A great finale. Cavendish taking the win. He had to go early there, with over 300 meters to go. He caught the other napping.

  115. 17:44:18 CEST

    Petacchi moves into green with his second place, Hushovd was boxed in there.

    No change in the overall. Here are the results for today and in the race for yellow:

    1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC - Columbia
    2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
    3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions
    4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
    5 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha
    6 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
    7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
    8 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    9 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
    10 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram

    General classification after stage 11

    1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:41
    3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:45
    4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:58
    5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:31
    6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:03:59
    7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:22
    8 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:04:41
    9 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:05:08
    10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:09

  116. 17:46:15 CEST

    A 13th stage win for Cavendish. He now surpasses Erik Zabel's 12.

    The big talking point will be the head butting between Dean and Renshaw in the final 500 meters. The judges will want to look at that again. There didn't seem to be any real need for that.

  117. 17:46:57 CEST

    Well, thanks for joining us today and please tune in tomorrow for another day at the Tour de France.

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