Tour de France 2010

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

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Stage two of the Tour de France takes us through Belgium, and those short but steep climbs that are so popular with the Spring Classics riders.  Will everyone stay upright today, or will they all hit the pavement again, like in stage one?

  1. 12:03:24 CEST

    Hello and welcome back to the Tour de Crash! Oops, let's make that the Tour de France. The biggest news is that we have climbs today! Six ranked climbs, all in roughly the last half of the 201 kms. It should be another exciting day today.

  2. 12:11:58 CEST

    We hear that all 195 riders have signed in today, which doesn't make much sense.  Adam Hansen of HTC-Columbia is an iron man, as he proved by finishing yesterday, but surely they wouldn't let him start today with a broken sternum, collar bone and ribs?

  3. 12:15:01 CEST

    Today starts our with a 10km long neutralized stage, so nothing will happen until the "real" start at half past.   Think we will see anothe successful breakaway right from the start, like yesterday?

  4. 12:21:18 CEST

    It looks like the weather is finally cooperating, for just about the first time all year. Our forecast today is for sunshine and 23° Celsius, which sounds absolutely wonderful!

  5. 12:27:56 CEST

    Hansen did not start today, of course.  We wish him a speedy recovery!

  6. 12:30:42 CEST

    Let's take our usual daily look at who is leading which ranking. No change yesterday in the Top Ten GC:
    1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 5:19:38
    2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:10
    3 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:20
    4 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:22
    5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:23
    6 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:27
    7 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:28
    8 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack
    9 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:32
    0 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram 0:00:35

  7. 12:36:47 CEST

    There was a change in the green jersey, though. Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre is leading things there now, ahead of Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo).

  8. 12:37:30 CEST

    The race has officially started now.  By the way, they were five minutes late.

  9. 195km remaining from 201km

    12:42:39 CEST

    Eight riders are trying to break away.  Too soon to know who they are, or whether they will have any chance.

  10. 12:48:27 CEST

    Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) is still best young rider, leading Geraint Thomas and Edvald Boasson Hagen, both Team Sky, in that ranking.

    The group has 13 seconds on the peloton.

  11. 12:52:38 CEST

    That group was caught, and now Sylvain Chavanel is trying to get away.  He has 10 seconds on the Saxo Bank-led peloton at the moment.

  12. 179km remaining from 201km

    13:00:42 CEST

    Chavanel has company now. He is now in a group with Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Jürgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Jerome Pineau (QuickStep), Sebasitien Turgot (Bbox), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre). They have 55 seconds now on the peloton.

  13. 13:02:20 CEST

    Team RadioShack still leads the team ranking, with HTC-Columbia and Garmin-Transitions quite close behind them.

    There was no change in the mountain ranking, because no mountain points have yet been awarded. But they will be today!

  14. 174km remaining from 201km

    13:09:02 CEST

    The highest placed rider in this group is Taaramae. He was 33rd overall, only 45 seconds down. Now that the gap has grown to 1:55, he is now the virtual leader. Not bad for a Tour novice!

  15. 170km remaining from 201km

    13:13:51 CEST

    The gap has jumped another minute, to 2:55.  Looks like we have our group of the day!

  16. 167km remaining from 201km

    13:17:57 CEST

    Yup, definitely the group of the day.  The peloton has decided to let them go, and the gap is now 4:25.

  17. 13:21:37 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: Who has the greatest number of Tour podiums ever?

    For a hint, click here.

    Enter your answer in our contest page here

    Today's prize is an Easton EC90 Aero.

    Click here for information about the prize


  18. 13:25:17 CEST

    Climbs! We have climbs today! Ranked climbs! Not real big ones, to be sure, but then again, we are in Belgium, you know. And here they are:

    Km 98.0 - Côte de France - 2.2 km climb to 6.2 % - Category 4
    Km 128.5 - Côte de Filot - 3.9 km climb to 4.5 % - Category 4
    Km 136.0 - Côte de Werbomont - 4.5 km climb to 3.5 % - Category 4
    Km 161.5 - Côte d'Aisomont - 4.5 km climb to 5.2 % - Category 3
    Km 167.5 - Col de Stockeu - 3.0 km climb to 5.9 % - Category 3
    Km 189.0 - Col du Rosier - 6.4 km climb to 4 % - Category 3

  19. 13:30:34 CEST

    Who do you blame for crashes in the finale like we saw yesterday? Cycling legend Eddy Merckx knows where to lay the blame. “It's part of the job. Especially in the beginning of a Grand Tour You can not blame the organisation. A straight line is 1800 meters long enough anyway, right? It is the riders themselves who bear the blame. If you do not want to brake and if you are not afraid to go for an opponent who is faster, the do not be afraid of the crash,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

  20. 153km remaining from 201km

    13:36:11 CEST

    The gap crept up to nearly seven minutes, and the peloton found that was getting a bit much. It is now back down to 6:10.

  21. 148km remaining from 201km

    13:41:52 CEST

    Down, down, down comes the gap. It's now at 5:40.

  22. 13:43:12 CEST

    The scanners were active again yesterday, busily checking bikes for batteries or engines. They didn't find any in the bikes of Alessandro Petacchi, Tyler Farrar, Kanstantsin Sivtsov, Danilo Hondo and Mirco Lorenzetto.

  23. 13:47:15 CEST

    Yesterday's escape was engineered by Rabobank's Lars Boom, who said “it is very beautiful to get away for a day in your own country and lead the race. … The public was again very numerous and very enthusiastic, even in Belgium. Everywhere we were loudly encouraged. It is wonderful to ride through it.”

    He also disclosed that “I had previously discussed it with Maarten Wynants and we rode away together.”

  24. 13:50:19 CEST

    Michael Barry of Team Sky is finally making his Tour debut, and his assignment yesterday was to baby-sit captain Bradley Wiggins.

    "My job is basically to take care of him, make sure he stays out of trouble, and keep him in position and protected from the wind," explained Barry. "And when he has mechanical problems, and even needs to take a pee or whatever, then I have to stop and wait for him and help to bring him back.”



  25. 13:54:30 CEST

    Did we say something about sunshine?  Silly us!  THere were showers this morning in Brussels, and it is raining now in Spa.  At least it is at the moment dry where the riders are.

  26. 13:56:50 CEST

    Maarten Wynants wasn't too excited about how the stage went yesterday. was he?

    “I was lucky at the start,” he said. The first breakaway was the good one. I was with Boom and Perez, everybody did their part in the breakaway. I'm happy because I was the first Belgian rider to cross the border today! It was an exciting moment!”

  27. 14:02:57 CEST

    Milram's Fabian Wegmann has had problems with his back for a year now, and thought he had it healed. So of course he got caught in the mass crash yesterday “and now my back is really sore.”

    As he said, “The advantge on the situtaion was that I fell relatively softly on to the poor guy in front of me and didn't get hurt. The disadvantage is that there were still a lot of people coming up from behind, so I had the questionable hnour of having Fabian Cancellara in his yellow jersey sliding over my back.”

  28. 127km remaining from 201km

    14:07:58 CEST

    Andreas Klöden has punctured, but the RadioShack team car is quickly there to help him.

    The gap is now at 4:25.

  29. 14:16:13 CEST

    One sprinter who would dearly have loved to have been in at the finish yesterday is Tom Boonen.  The QuickStep rider isn't in the race this year, though, due to a bum knee. 

    "It's a bit strange to be here with the other guys, who are getting ready for the stage," he told Cyclingnews.

    You can read more about it here.

  30. 14:20:22 CEST

    Oscar Freire of Rabobank went down in the first of the crashes in the finale. “It's a bit painful, but I think it's not too bad,” he said, more upset about the lost chance than anything else. “I felt very good and was in a good position, but it was suddenly over. But that's cycling.”

  31. 14:21:33 CEST

    Let's give a nice round of welcoming applause to Cyclinngews' newest, Barry Ryan.  He is going to step in for a short spell on live report.  This is his maiden effort, so be nice to him, folks!

  32. 14:23:26 CEST

    Hi there, the break is approaching the feed, still with 4-10 over the peloton

  33. 110km remaining from 201km

    14:28:51 CEST

    The gap is starting to come down a little more quickly now as the feed and the first climb approaches

  34. 105km remaining from 201km

    14:36:54 CEST

    And the gap is just over three minutes as the peloton hits the feed zone.

  35. 103km remaining from 201km

    14:40:54 CEST

    The break has come through the feed and is now starting the first climb of the Tour, the Cote de France

  36. 14:42:42 CEST

    Jerome Pineau is first over the climb, outsprinting Matthew Lloyd and Rein Taaramae

  37. 102km remaining from 201km

    14:45:40 CEST

    Those were the first points on offer in the Mountains Classification in this year's Tour. Interesting to see Giro mountains winner Lloyd up there in the hunt already

  38. 14:46:21 CEST

    Cervelo leading the peloton over the climb, 3:37 behind

  39. 14:48:02 CEST

    Petacchi is at the rear of the peloton, removing his undervest. He's having a real struggle to get the green jersey back on over his head. Don't try this at home kids

  40. 14:57:03 CEST

    Good to see Sylvain Chavanel off the front of the bunch again so soon after his fracturing his skull in that horrible crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

  41. 14:59:33 CEST

    Thanks, Barry.  Susan back again.

  42. 15:00:49 CEST

    Cancellara is quite far back at the moment, like behind the team cars.  But we doubt that it will take long for him to get back to the peloton.

  43. 89km remaining from 201km

    15:02:40 CEST

    The gap is 3:22, with the peloton being led by Cervelo.

  44. 15:05:20 CEST

    There are a number of riders trailing the peloton, either individually or in small groups.  No one seems to really have been dropped, though.

  45. 15:06:21 CEST

    Cancellara finally catches up again.

    The lead group has gone through the next intermediate sprint, with Roelandts crossing the line ahead of Turgot and Chavanel.

  46. 15:10:06 CEST

    The leading group passes a field of grazing cows, who show themselves not at all impressed by the spectacle of the Tour de France.

  47. 15:11:40 CEST

    The sky is very definitely not blue any more.  We think we see a few raindrops as well, but are trying to pretend we don't.

    The gap is down to 3:01.

  48. 15:12:34 CEST

    Two Astana riders are dangling at the end of the field.  They seem to be waiting for someone.....

  49. 78km remaining from 201km

    15:16:24 CEST

    Ah, the sun is out again.  Too bad the leaders are going through a heavily wooded section right now and have only shade.

  50. 15:19:35 CEST

    The leaders start up the next climb of the day.

  51. 15:22:51 CEST

    Oscar Freire of Rabobank went down in the first of the crashes in the finale.  “It's a bit painful, but I think it's not too bad,” he said, more upset about the lost chance than anything else.  “I felt very good and was in a good position, but it was suddenly over.  But that's cycling.”

  52. 15:26:37 CEST

    We have movement in the break group. Are they trying to get away, or just to get the mountain points?

  53. 71km remaining from 201km

    15:27:25 CEST

    RadioShack moves to the front of the peloton.

  54. 15:28:14 CEST

    Hey, look out!  Someone just waved a flag into the field, and a few riders had to dodge or ride through it.

  55. 15:28:57 CEST

    Another field of cows, who pay a bit more attention.

  56. 15:30:14 CEST

    The gap had crept under three minutes, but now it is just over that mark, 3:05.

  57. 15:30:50 CEST

    Daniel Navarro drops back to the Astana car and loads up on water bottles.

  58. 15:32:40 CEST

    By the way, Pineau won the mountain ranking ahead of Taaramae and Lloyd.

  59. 15:33:11 CEST

    The gap has just dropped a lot.  Somehow we doubt aht all this can be right.  It is now 2:27.

  60. 15:33:47 CEST

    The leaders are now on their way up the next climb.

  61. 15:36:00 CEST

    We have a crash.  Two rides have gone done. A Caisse d'Epargne rider popped right back up and got on his way, and a BBox rider had to wrestle his bike back into condition before he could do the same.

  62. 15:37:47 CEST

    A ghost!  Eek!

    Or is it just someone clad in a sheet on the side of the road?

  63. 15:38:19 CEST

    Less than a km to the top of the next climb, and this road is defnitely wet.

  64. 15:39:00 CEST

    Once again there is a sprint for the mountain points.

  65. 15:39:23 CEST

    And once again it is Pineau ahead of Taaramae and Lloyd.

  66. 15:41:14 CEST

    A Liquigas rider pulls out his stage map and tries to figure out where he is. 

  67. 15:44:48 CEST

    Oops, there are raindrops.  For sure, now. Not good.

  68. 15:47:38 CEST

    This weather really does not look nice.  It is very dark, the road is very wet, and there is rain coming down.

  69. 15:48:15 CEST

    Pineau has fallen back to the team car and seems to have an issue with his right shoe.

  70. 59km remaining from 201km

    15:49:11 CEST

    The gap continues to go down, it is at 2:07 now.

  71. 15:51:00 CEST

    Oops, another crash.  We recognize Martin Elinger, Silak, Dean, who is slow getting up.  We have riders down on both sides of the road.

  72. 15:51:47 CEST

    A Lotto rider seems to be injured, we understand is is Mickael Delage.

  73. 15:52:00 CEST

    He has facial injuries and is bleeding.

  74. 15:52:44 CEST

    That spring the peloton.  A bunch of people will have to scurry to catch up now.

  75. 15:53:42 CEST

    There is only a small group now, maybe 30 riders around the yellow jersey?  We see another large group coming up behind them.  The gap is down to 1:47.

  76. 15:55:00 CEST

    We see Armstrong and Petacchi together in a group, but not sure which one.

  77. 15:57:55 CEST

    Apparently Delage was the only injured in that crash.  We still do not know if he has abandoned or continued.

  78. 15:59:31 CEST

    So of course we now hear that he was forced to abandon.  Meanwhile the rain is getting heavier, and the gap is getting smaller, down to 1:33.

    And Löfkvist gets some adjustments on his bike.

  79. 16:01:00 CEST

    Chavanel seems to have been dropped from the lead group.  Doesn't make that much difference, the gap is still falling so they will all be caught soon.

    And bunches of riders are still moving up through the team cars to catch the peloton.

  80. 50km remaining from 201km

    16:03:09 CEST

    Burghardt has built up a slight lead over his former escape companions.  No, there they come to catch him.

  81. 16:06:35 CEST

    Saxo Bank is at the head of the peloton and they have turned up the speed.  The field is stretched out single file now.

  82. 156km remaining from 201km

    16:08:00 CEST

    A Katusha rider is helping to bring Vladimir Karpets back up to the peloton.

  83. 16:09:55 CEST

    Only 49 seconds left for the break.

  84. 16:11:34 CEST

    It is up the next climb for the leading group.

  85. 16:15:13 CEST

    Thor Hushovd managed to avoid the crashes and sprint for the victory in Brussels.  The big Norwegian brought in a third place finish for Cervelo TestTeam. 

    “Everyone wants to stay at the front, whether or not you’re a sprinter. The roads were very narrow, that’s why there were a lot of crashes, but I was able to avoid them and I was still third, so it was OK,” Hushovd said. “It was hard, really hard. I am up there for the green jersey, so I am happy.”

  86. 16:16:00 CEST

    The weather seems to have improved ever so slightly.  The road is not wet and it doesn't appear to be raining at the moment.

  87. 40km remaining from 201km

    16:18:28 CEST

    40 km to go and a gap of 40 seconds.

  88. 16:19:00 CEST

    Once again the sprint for the mountain points.  And the points go to Pineau, who ought to have the KOM jersey secured now.  This time second was Taaramae and third was Burghardt.

  89. 16:20:25 CEST

    A Katusha rider has punctured, and keeps on going until he can get help.

  90. 16:21:31 CEST

    The lead group has sort of split up, every man for himself now.  They are racing along, trying to stay away.

  91. 16:23:14 CEST

    Roelandts leads now, over the exploded lead group.

  92. 16:24:52 CEST

    Chavanel has not fallen out of the lead group, as we had thought, but has moved up to join Roelandts in the lead. And in fact takes up ahead of the Belgian.

  93. 16:25:34 CEST

    The weather was getting better? Who on earth said that?  It is raining again....

  94. 16:26:45 CEST

    No surprise to see Mark Cavendish falling off the back of the field, but it is surprising to see Gerald Ciolek (Milram) back there with him.

  95. 167km remaining from 201km

    16:27:00 CEST

    The field gets Burghardt and at the same time, Maxime Monfort of HTC-Columbia attacks.

  96. 16:29:08 CEST

    Astana moves to the head of the peloton.

  97. 16:29:54 CEST

    Now an Euskaltel rider attacks.

  98. 16:30:52 CEST

    More and more rain....

  99. 16:34:00 CEST

    Another crash.  Andy Schleck has gone done and looks to be injured.  He has a teammate's bike but is gong very slowly.

  100. 16:34:00 CEST

    A number of riders have gone down.  We see Cancellara alone, but don't at the moment know who is where.

  101. 16:35:15 CEST

    Petacchi also appears to be injured.

  102. 16:35:00 CEST

    Handfuls of rider are dribbling along.  Everyone is going slowly, hoping to gather the troops again.

  103. 16:36:00 CEST

    Schleck is going but does not look good.

  104. 16:37:19 CEST

    We still don't know what happened...

  105. 16:38:00 CEST

    There is a mjaor discussion going on at the head of the first chase group.  Vande Velde also went down, we think, when we see his kit.

  106. 16:39:06 CEST

    Schleck seems to be doing a bit better now.  Hopefully it was the shock that got to him.  He is pretty far back, though.

  107. 16:39:41 CEST

    Now he gets a bike adjustment. Schleck  is now 4:18 back.

  108. 16:41:26 CEST

    The two leaders have built up a 1:38 lead now. 

  109. 16:41:49 CEST

    At least the sun has come out agian!

  110. 16:42:39 CEST

    We see Tony Martin, Andeas Klöden in the Cancellara group.  Don't know if Armstrong is in it too.

  111. 16:43:23 CEST

    No, he is not.  We see him moving up in a group, with 4 teammates.  It llooks like he went down, too.  Contador is also in his group.

  112. 16:45:27 CEST

    Schleck is now with two teammates, moving on up.

  113. 21km remaining from 201km

    16:46:09 CEST

    Just over 20 km left to go -- we may see some major upsets today.

  114. 16:48:38 CEST

     Apparently Contador had to stop and get a new bike, so he has fallen even further back.

  115. 16:49:49 CEST

    Chavanel has picked up the pace, and Roelandts can't match him.

  116. 18km remaining from 201km

    16:50:48 CEST

    Things are looking good for Chavanel, as the gap is nearly two minutes now.

  117. 16:52:00 CEST

    Chavanel chugs along on the wet road, looking like he will take things today.

    The first chase group, around Cancellara, looks to be talking amongst themselves and purposely holding their tempo down.

  118. 16:54:25 CEST

    The Armstrong group is about to catch the Cancellara group.

  119. 16:55:00 CEST

    Jens Voigt is riding like a madman to bring the Schleck brothers back up.

  120. 16:56:00 CEST

    Too much for Voigt -- he has to fall back. Andy Schleck leads now, looking rather stunned.

  121. 15km remaining from 201km

    16:56:54 CEST

    Lars Boom is also in the Schleck group. The Cancellara group is apparently waiting for them.  They have about 50 seconds to make up.

  122. 16:57:40 CEST

    The Schleck group is in the team cars now.  Well, not literally!

  123. 16:57:58 CEST

    This stage win will give Chavanel the yellow jersey!

  124. 15km remaining from 201km

    16:59:08 CEST

    Only 15 km to go for Chavanel.  And the Schleck group has now caught the peloton.

  125. 17:01:22 CEST

    It's the last climb now for Chavanel, and for the others, too, of course.

  126. 17:02:06 CEST

    Chavanel wins the final mountain ranking.

  127. 17:02:28 CEST

    He is zipping right along, as compared to the field, which is not.

  128. 17:03:06 CEST

    Cancellara and Martin lead the field, with Armstrong right behind them.

  129. 10km remaining from 201km

    17:03:56 CEST

    Nearly three minutes now for Chavanel.

  130. 17:06:37 CEST

    What an accomplishment for Chavanel, who crashed with a team car at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and fractured his skull.

  131. 17:07:05 CEST

    Andy Schleck is at the end of the field and has to be careful to hang on and not be dropped.

  132. 5.7km remaining from 201km

    17:08:04 CEST

    Sunshine for Chavanel as he nears the finish.

  133. 17:09:02 CEST

    The peloton is riding together as a group.  No one wants to take any more chances today.

  134. 17:09:48 CEST

    Monfort is still between Chavanel and the field.

  135. 3km remaining from 201km

    17:11:03 CEST

    Over three minutes for Chavanel.

  136. 17:11:54 CEST

    two km and 3:12 for Chavanel.

  137. 17:12:18 CEST

    He is up out of the saddle, with his eye firmly on his goal.

  138. 17:13:19 CEST

    Will we see a sprint from the field?  There will still be valuable points to be picked up.

  139. 17:13:47 CEST

    The last km for Chavanel.

  140. 17:15:00 CEST

    He zips his jersey and pepares to celebrate.  He clutches his charm and kisses it, happy as can be as he crosses the line.

  141. 17:16:01 CEST

    What a day for Chavanel!  To come back from a fracatured skull to win a stage and take over the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

  142. 17:16:19 CEST

     Cancellara goes to the race jury car for a word.

  143. 17:16:58 CEST

    Cancellara is now back up at the head of things as the group near the finish.

  144. 17:17:16 CEST

    There will be no sprint at the finish line.

  145. 17:17:00 CEST

    Oops someone wanted to, and Cancellara shook his finger at them.

  146. 17:18:18 CEST

    The peloton is spread across the road, and will cross the finish line that way.

  147. 17:19:34 CEST

    Looks like a AG2R rider pulled forward at the last second to take second place.  And earned himself a fussing-at from Cancellara.

  148. 17:20:26 CEST

    A number of big hugs for Chavanel from his teammates.

  149. 17:21:15 CEST

    Also Eddy Merckx gives the young Frenchman a hug in congratulation.

  150. 17:22:49 CEST

    “I don't know what to say to be honest, it's the happiest day of my career. I had a difficult start to the season,” Chavanel said.  “It was a hugely difficult stage, but I was able to do something - and obviously it's great.”

  151. 17:23:23 CEST

    Chavanel has moved into the overall lead, with Cancellara second and Martln third.

  152. 17:24:00 CEST

    There seems to be some talk of neutralising the stage.  Stay tuned, we will let you know what is happening!

  153. 17:28:04 CEST

    Rides are stil now coming in, over 13 minutes down!  Petacchi is in this group.

  154. 17:30:57 CEST

    That was it - and not at all what we expected.  Let's just hope that there were no more injuries today.  Thanks for joining us and be sure to read long again tomorrow.

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