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Tour de France 2011

Date range:
July 2-24, 2011
  • Tour de France, France, HIS (Historical Calendar)
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      191km
      Start location:
      Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts
      End location:
      Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      23km
      Location
      Les Essarts (TTT)
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      198km
      Start location:
      Olonne-sur-Mer
      End location:
      Redon
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Lorient
      End location:
      Mûr-de-Bretagne
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      158km
      Start location:
      Carhaix
      End location:
      Cap Fréhel
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      226km
      Start location:
      Dinan
      End location:
      Lisieux
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      215km
      Start location:
      Le Mans
      End location:
      Châteauroux
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      190km
      Start location:
      Aigurande
      End location:
      Super-Besse Sancy
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      208km
      Start location:
      Issoire
      End location:
      Saint-Flour
    • Rest Day 1

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      161km
      Start location:
      Aurillac
      End location:
      Carmaux
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      168km
      Start location:
      Blaye-les-Mines
      End location:
      Lavaur
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      209km
      Start location:
      Cugnaux
      End location:
      Luz-Ardiden
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      156km
      Start location:
      Pau
      End location:
      Lourdes
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      168km
      Start location:
      Saint-Gaudens
      End location:
      Plateau de Beille
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Limoux
      End location:
      Montpellier
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      163km
      Start location:
      Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
      End location:
      Gap
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      179km
      Start location:
      Gap
      End location:
      Pinerolo
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      200.5km
      Start location:
      Pinerolo
      End location:
      Galibier Serre-Chevalier
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      109km
      Start location:
      Modane
      End location:
      Alpe-d’Huez
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      42.5km
      Location
      Grenoble (ITT)
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      160km
      Start location:
      Créteil
      End location:
      Paris Champs-Élysées
  • Race history

July 14, Stage 12: Cugnaux - Luz-Ardiden 209km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 12 of the Tour de France. Today the race heads high into the Pyrenees with a 211km stage from Cugnaux to Luz Ardiden. 

  1. 10:17:07 BST

    The riders are already in the neutralised section of the stage and riding towards the official start.

  2. 10:18:36 BST

    The 211km stage is flat for 130km but then there are three nasty climbs.

  3. 10:22:11 BST

    177 riders are left in the peloton for the stage. As expected sprinter Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) did not start due to tendinitis.

  4. 10:22:50 BST

    The absence of Feillu means there are 176 riders in the peloton.

  5. 10:24:27 BST

    Here we go! The first attack of the day is under way.

  6. 10:29:24 BST

    The attack by six riders includes Ruben Perez Moreno of Euskaltel-Euskadi, who was on the attack yesterday. However the peloton is not letting them get away.

  7. 10:29:55 BST

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) is also in the move.

  8. 10:32:59 BST

    The six have 35 seconds but face an enormous task if they are to get away.

  9. 10:34:26 BST

    The six riders are: Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar), local resident Blel Kadri (Ag2r), Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), Jeremy Roy (FDJ) and
    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

  10. 10:35:10 BST

    Radio tour is now saying the gap is growing rapidly as the peloton seems to have sat up and let them go.

  11. 10:39:11 BST

    The six have close to two minutes now.

  12. 198km remaining from 209km

    10:40:16 BST

    Yet again it's been a fast start to the stage but the peloton has let the break go with very little resistance.

  13. 18km remaining from 209km

    10:45:18 BST

    Thomas Voeckler's Europcar team is riding tempo but the gap is now 3:30.

  14. 10:48:20 BST

    The breakaway is probably a very clever tactical move, with teams placing riders up the road to perhaps help their team leaders later in the race. 

  15. 10:49:25 BST

    It could mean that Thomas will be there to help Rigoberto Uran after the first climb, while Perez can help Samuel Sanchez and Kadri can help Nico Roche. 

  16. 188km remaining from 209km

    10:51:12 BST

    Whatever happens later in the stage it will be a hard day in the saddle for the six. They will give their all for 130km on the flat and then face three major climbs in the final 80km of the stage.

  17. 10:55:02 BST

    The Hourquette d'Ancizan climb is being tackled for the first time. It climbs at 7.6% for 9.9%.

    The riders then face the hors catégorie Tourmalet, climbing via the La Mongie ski station. It is 17.1km at 7.3%.

    The stage ends with the climb to Luz Ardiden: 13.3km at 7.4%.

  18. 10:59:13 BST

    Today is Bastille Day in France and a time for French celebration. However there is little chance a Frenchman will win the tough stage as  the overall contenders face off for the firsttime in the mountains.

  19. 11:01:21 BST

    French national champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) has a special red, white and blue bike but has had a quiet Tour so far.

  20. 11:03:29 BST

    The last Frenchman to win on Bastille Day was David Moncoutie in 2005. He is riding this year but has yet to show himself in the thick of the action.  Allez David!

  21. 11:10:14 BST

    The sextet has close to five minutes on the peloton. But they will need far more to stay away in the Pyrenees.

  22. 11:13:11 BST

    After several days of rain, the weather has improved today. It is cloudy at the summit finish but there should be spectacular views at the summit of the Tourmalet. Last year the stage finished at the very top but was in covered in mist. This year we should be able to see the Pic d'Aulon mountain looking down on the riders. 

  23. 11:15:06 BST

    Are you following the Cyclingnews/Easton Cycling trivia contest during the Tour?

    Of course you are.



     

  24. 11:15:24 BST

    Yesterday's question was: What was the smallest number of rides to finish a Tour?

    The answer: 10 out of 69 in 1919.

    Today's question will be coming up later on, be sure to see it and get a chance to win a great prize!

  25. 169km remaining from 209km

    11:20:09 BST

    Jérôme Coppel (Saur - Sojasun) is getting treatment from the race doctor for his knee.

  26. 163km remaining from 209km

    11:30:49 BST

    The race has settled down now, with the gap staying around 5:30.

  27. 11:35:51 BST

    Johnny Hoogerland is still wearing the climber's polka-dot jersey but like yellow jersey wearer Thomas Voeckler, he is not expected to have at Luz Ardiden.

  28. 157km remaining from 209km

    11:36:48 BST

    The sun is shining on the breakaway and the strung out peloton.

  29. 11:37:34 BST

    Europcar and Cofidis are on the front, neither want the break to gain too much time.

  30. 151km remaining from 209km

    11:46:37 BST

    With the break now leading by 6:20. Thomas is now the virtual race leader. Hopefully that will help him handle the pain while riding in the break. 

  31. 11:49:58 BST

    The six breakaways are all working smoothly together, sharing the pain and helping each other.

  32. 11:56:31 BST

    The black board shows the riders now have a seven-minute lead.

  33. 11:57:38 BST

    The peloton is rolling along as if on a fast club run. Riders are talking and eating in the sun. Their suffering will come later.

  34. 12:06:37 BST

    Europcar and Cofidis are still on the front in a show of French pride.

  35. 12:06:46 BST

    Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé !

  36. 12:07:39 BST

    They're the opening two lines of La Marseillaise, the ruosing French national anthem.

  37. 12:12:58 BST

    Jeremy Roy takes a bottle from his FDJ team car. He's been super aggressive during the Tour, going on the attack during several of the early stages in northern France.

  38. 12:15:46 BST

    Luz Ardiden holds a special place in the memory of the Tour de France. Perhaps most recently because of Lance Armstrong's crash caused by a spectator. 

  39. 12:17:18 BST

    He went down hard, taking Iban Mayo with him but the other riders waited for him. Nearer the summit, the Texan then attacked and gained 40 seconds on main rival Jan Ullrich.

  40. 12:18:05 BST

    This is the first time the Tour de France has finished at Luz Ardiden since that dramatic day.

  41. 128km remaining from 209km

    12:19:20 BST

    The gap is now up to 7:30.

  42. 12:24:22 BST

    Geraint Thomas takes his turn on the front of the break. 

  43. 12:25:58 BST

    His fellow Britsih track rider Ed Clancy has just tweeted some encouragement.

  44. 122km remaining from 209km

    12:30:31 BST

    Et voilà the break has 8 minutes.

  45. 12:37:15 BST

    The riders are close to the feed zone now and then 20km later it will be time for the intermediate sprint. We can expect Mark Cavendish to make a big effort to pick up the minor points behind the break and so defend his beloved green jersey.

  46. 12:42:35 BST

    Tommy Voeckler is back at the Europcar team car, talking tactics and collecting a fresh bottle.

  47. 12:43:35 BST

    Tommy D is doing some hand waving as if he's not happy that the gap is up to eight minutes.

  48. 12:46:05 BST

    Of course we mean Tommy V, V for Voeckler, the yellow jersey and happiest Frenchman on Bastille Day.

  49. 12:47:53 BST

    Susan here, to relieve Steve for a spell and let him grab some food.

  50. 12:51:21 BST

    • Feed

    The break group hits the feed zone with 8:28 lead.  Bon Appetit!

  51. 12:54:12 BST

    Europcar is really doing its duties today, all of them at the head of the peloton.

  52. 12:56:10 BST

    Lots and lots of people on the side of the road, cheering the riders on.  What a great way to spend a national holiday!

  53. 12:58:44 BST

    Europcar is at the head of the chase, but BMC is right behind them.  Many feel that this will be Cadel Evans' day to make a serious move.

  54. 12:59:16 BST

    And now the field rolls through the feed zone.

  55. 13:02:06 BST

    The intermediate sprint is coming up soon.  The top points will go to the six in front, of course, but we expect to see the usual suspects battle it out in the field for the remaining points.

  56. 13:07:14 BST

    Lots of coca-colas and energy gels being consumed right now in the peloton.

  57. 13:08:48 BST

    Ivan Basso is amongst the team cars and working his way back up.

  58. 13:09:50 BST

    There is actually a quite large group working its way back up, including Voeckler and Evans.

  59. 13:10:22 BST

    Gutierrez gets a visit from the team car and stocks up on energy gels.

  60. 13:12:39 BST

    The lead group now heads to the intermediate sprint.

  61. 13:14:04 BST

    A slight sprint for the points, with the "win" going to Roy.

  62. 13:16:05 BST

    Oops, we need new glasses.  It was Mangel andl not Roy.

  63. 13:17:40 BST

    The gap has now increased all the way up to nine minutes!

  64. 13:19:17 BST

    The sprinters' teams are indeed getting into position for the upcoming intermediate sprint.

  65. 13:20:14 BST

    In fact, a Movistar rider is at the head of the field with 2km to go.

  66. 13:21:41 BST

    One km to go for the sprint.  HTC HIghroad comes up the left side, Greipel on the right.

  67. 13:22:44 BST

    Nine points for Cavendish, as HTC had everything under control.

  68. 13:24:00 BST

    Hoogerland jumps from the peloton!  We are happy to see him feeling so well.

  69. 13:24:47 BST

    Puncture for Remy Di Gregorio of Astana.

  70. 13:26:09 BST

    Cavendish has cemented his lead and built it up to 260 points.  The sprinters have done their duty for the day and can now fall back and form their grupetto.

  71. 13:30:26 BST

    Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Cadel Evan's fans are out on the course.

  72. 13:31:26 BST

    With the sprint done, it is time for the GC battle commence.

  73. 78km remaining from 209km

    13:32:38 BST

    The gap has fallen to 7:10 now.

  74. 13:34:34 BST

    The gap is coming down because the breakaways are now on the La Hourquette d'Ancizan climb.

  75. 13:35:28 BST

    BMC is also near the front of the peloton to protect Cadel Evans. Leopard Trek doing the same thing for the Schlecks.

  76. 13:36:10 BST

    • Puncture

    Flat for Cancellara.

  77. 13:36:34 BST

    He is chasing back on but that's a nasty time to puncture.

  78. 13:38:44 BST

    Cancellara is now at the back of the bunch.

  79. 13:39:11 BST

    The pelton now hits the La Hourquette d'Ancizan, 5:50 down on the break.

  80. 13:40:29 BST

    Riders are being dropped already. The first to go is Russian sprinter Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha Team).

  81. 13:41:26 BST

    Hoogerland now attacks. He wants some more mountain points.

  82. 13:42:26 BST

    French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) goes with him. Who else but the French national champion would attack on Bastille Day.

  83. 13:44:23 BST

    The peloton has let the two go.

  84. 13:46:13 BST

    Now Roman Kreuziger (Astana) sets off in pursuit of the duo. He lost more than five minutes yesterday and is not a major threat. but that could change with this move.

  85. 13:47:28 BST

    Kreuziger is actually 52 minutes down in the GC.  He'll be looking for the stage victory today.

  86. 75km remaining from 209km

    13:49:25 BST

    Thomas is setting the pace on the climb up front but it's too hot for Gutierrez.

  87. 13:51:17 BST

    Chavanel has his mouth open sucking up big gulps of air as he tries to up the pace.

  88. 13:55:19 BST

    The gap keeps coming down, now at 5;43, but only 4:30 to the chasing trio.

  89. 13:56:26 BST

    Movistar still with six riders at the head of the field.

  90. 13:58:01 BST

    And who is right behind them? A couple of Schlecks, for example....

  91. 13:59:02 BST

    Contador is of course also in this group, but not real near the front.  Evans and Gilbert are there, too.

  92. 71km remaining from 209km

    14:00:05 BST

    Hoogerland isn't so well off after all.  He falls back from the other two.

  93. 14:02:17 BST

    Just to recap: We still have five riders in the lead.  Gutierrez is somewhere behind them, and then come Chavanel and Kreuziger. Hoogerland is now between them and the peloton.

    And somewhere back further we have a bunch of non-climbing sprinters.

  94. 14:02:53 BST

    Problems with Luis Leon Sanchez -- but was it him or his bike?

  95. 14:04:37 BST

    Chavanel and Kreuziger now have a minute and a half on the field.

  96. 14:05:42 BST

    A sprint for the mountain points!  Mangel takes them ahead of Perez Moreno and Kadri.

  97. 14:06:35 BST

    Almostj a disaster!  Thomas loses control of his bike, fortunately comes on to the side of the road beween the parked vehicles, falls, slide and manages to stop only inches from the cliff.....

  98. 14:06:57 BST

    And he goes off the road again!

  99. 14:07:17 BST

    He is of course backup and going but this is quite nerve-wracking!

  100. 14:08:14 BST

    Thomas now at the team car, and falls behind it to get some help coming back to the group.

  101. 14:08:49 BST

    Chavanel and Kreuziger now hit the mountaintop.

  102. 14:09:16 BST

    And just like that the lead group is down to four.

  103. 14:10:55 BST

    And now the favourites' group crosses over the top of the Tour's first major climb.

  104. 14:11:20 BST

    Crash on one of the first turns.  five or six rides down.

  105. 14:12:12 BST

    Klöden was involved but is up.  Voeckler also and he ran into a car.

    Leopard Trek at the head of the field,keeping the tempo down.

    Voeckler back up and going.

  106. 14:13:02 BST

    KLoden finally going again, doesn't look real good.  An Euskaltel rider looks injured,

  107. 14:13:59 BST

    That has brought the gap back up, now at 6:02.

  108. 14:14:51 BST

    The two riders who may have been injured are Gadret (FdJ) and Urtasun (Euskaltel). 

  109. 14:18:34 BST

    Peter Velits of HTC is chaning his bike.  He was also involved in the crash.  He is now riding back up with Klöden.

  110. 14:20:45 BST

    The roads seem a little damp and so very slippy. 

  111. 14:21:13 BST

    Once again Cyclingnews and Easton Cycling have teamed up for a contest during the Tour.  We have some great prizes line up for you, ranging from a signed BMC team jersey to the grand prize, a complete BMC Teammachine SLR0.  For more, just click here.  

    All you have to do is answer one trivia question and you are automatically entered.  And you get 21 chances, one per stage!

    Here is today's trivia question in the Easton/Cyclingnews Tour de France Trivia Challenge:  When was the yellow jersey introduced?

    If you need a hint, click here.

    You are entered for the random drawing for prizes by filling in your answer here.  Good luck!

  112. 14:24:12 BST

    Voeckler has stopped to change his bike, swapping the yellow Conago for his usual team issue machine.

  113. 14:24:55 BST

    Kloden is also back in the bunch but his jersey is ripped on the shoulder.

  114. 14:25:43 BST

    Up front the break has started the Tourmalet. This is going to hurt. 

  115. 49km remaining from 209km

    14:27:28 BST

    Riders are feeding on the flat roads before beginning the Tourmalet. There will be no time later during thr 45 minute climb.

  116. 14:31:36 BST

    Kloden is being treated by the race doctor. He is being treated for an injury to his right elbow. 

  117. 45km remaining from 209km

    14:33:34 BST

    Europcar is back on the front but the Tourmalet will be a big shake out.

  118. 14:37:09 BST

    Our man Barry Ryan spoke to Leopard Trek team manager Brian Nygaard before the start.

    He was reluctant to discuss the specifics of his team’s tactics at the start in Cugnaux this morning, but the Dane expected a tense day’s racing ahead of the final haul to Luz Ardiden.

    “The favourites teams will look at one another and control the breaks. We won’t want to let any Saxo Bank or BMC riders get up the road early on,” he said.

    In the finale, Nygaard suggested that the Schleck brothers might be cautious about showing their hand too soon.

    “You don’t want to start an attack that’s useless, you have to see how strong the competition is,” Nygaard said. “Everybody is nervous, but that’s what we’re here for. We’ll see who’s strong. You can’t hide in the mountains. Today’s the day.”
     

  119. 14:38:16 BST

    He was perhaps bluffing. Leopard Trek are lined out on the front now.

  120. 14:39:06 BST

    This looks serious. Is it about to kick off? Leopard Trek look like they want to test Contador and see how good, or bad, he really is.

  121. 14:39:44 BST

    Cancellara is leading the line on this easier section of the Tourmalet.

  122. 44km remaining from 209km

    14:43:39 BST

    Contador has already lost some teammates. But could just wait and then attack the SChlecks on the clmib to Luz Ardiden.  

  123. 14:44:59 BST

    Chavanel has been dropped up front. His Bastille day chances look to be fading.

  124. 14:45:38 BST

    While behind Johnny Hoogerland has been dropped, while Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) is catching the bunch after mechanical problems.

  125. 14:45:55 BST

    He changed a bike and a wheel.

  126. 14:46:43 BST

    Leopard Trek still have seven riders on the front of the peloton. O'Grady now doing his big turn.

  127. 14:49:09 BST

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has been dropped! He's been struggling with a back problem and so waves hisa teammate Carlos Barredo to go on without him.

  128. 14:50:19 BST

    Jens Voigt is on the front now and that has put Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) out the back.

  129. 14:51:32 BST

    Although he could be dropping back to help Velits.

  130. 14:52:22 BST

    Kreuziger is cruising across to the breakaway. 

  131. 14:54:03 BST

    Surprisingly Contador is sitting in the middle of the pack. He has Porte and Navarro with him but would need to move up fast if the SChlecks attack later up the Tourmalet.

  132. 14:55:15 BST

    Leopard Trek has already cut the lead of the break in half. It was seven minutes atthe start but is now half that.

  133. 14:55:56 BST

    Roy is upping the speed but Kreuziger is going to catch them and become part of the break. He may even blast past them.

  134. 14:56:55 BST

    Ouch. Now Tony Martin has been dropped.

  135. 14:57:26 BST

    There are only 25 riders left in the front group.

  136. 39km remaining from 209km

    14:59:30 BST

    Roy and Thomas are pushing on up front. But behind Christian Vande Velde is suffering. 

  137. 15:01:16 BST

    Tom Danielson is still there for Garmin-Cervelo but this is yet another surprise. 

  138. 15:02:43 BST

    Kreuziger is now struggling to close the gap on the breakaway. Has he done too much too soon as the altitude kicks in and makes breathing even more difficult. 

  139. 15:04:04 BST

    Vande Velde has closed the gap on the peloton but must be suffering and there is still the hardest part of the climb to come as the riders pass through La Mongie.

  140. 15:05:52 BST

    Thomas is now pushing on alone. The Welshman wants the glory of reaching the Tourmalet first.

  141. 15:06:25 BST

    He would take the special Souvenir Jacques Goddet prize.

  142. 15:07:17 BST

    Leopard Trek seems to have run out of gas and had little effect on the race so far.

  143. 15:10:16 BST

    It's misty over the top of the tourmalet but Thomas is just three kilometes from the summit. He's actuially taking time out of Kreuziger, who is fading badly.

  144. 15:12:41 BST

    Roy is chasing after Thomas but lack that little bit of power to catch him. No doubt the Frenchman wants some Bastille Day glory.

  145. 15:13:21 BST

    Andy Schleck is at the back of the bunch.

  146. 15:13:55 BST

    He's got a front wheel flat.

  147. 15:14:51 BST

    It's been changed and he's off chasing. However Larens ten Dam (Rabobank) has accelerated off the front. Leopard Trek won't like that. 

  148. 34km remaining from 209km

    15:15:39 BST

    Thomas is one kilometre from the summit now. Looking as strong as ever.

  149. 15:16:33 BST

    Saxo Bank lit it up, with Jesus Hernandez surging clear. However Voigt has chased him down. and is no doubt bending his ear

  150. 15:16:53 BST

    Up front Roy has joined Thomas. Who will win the prize.

  151. 15:17:39 BST

    Roy has gaped Thomas in sight of the summit.

  152. 15:18:54 BST

    Roy gets the glory at the summit of the Tourmalet. He was 20 metres ahead of Thomas and the two are about one kilometre ahead of the peloton. 

  153. 15:19:37 BST

    Roy is now the new leader fo the climber's jersey.

  154. 15:20:24 BST

    Kreuziger summits 3:05 behind Roy .

  155. 15:21:16 BST

    Or perhaps a little less. But he does not seem to have the legs to stay away from the peloton. 

  156. 15:21:51 BST

    Jens Voigt leads the bunch over the top, with Gilbert and Voeckler also up there.  

  157. 15:25:31 BST

    The select peloton is on the screaming descent of the Tourmalet. They are touching 90km/h on the descent. #Scary.

  158. 15:28:18 BST

    The Tourmalet is conquered and has caused a selection but that is nothing compared to what we can expect on the climb to Luz Ardiden.

  159. 15:29:33 BST

    Contador seemed to be playing it cool and let Leopard Trek burn themselves out on the Tourmalet. He still has everal teammates with him but will surely attack on the way to the finish.

  160. 29km remaining from 209km

    15:32:33 BST

    The descent of the Tourmalet is long and technical. 

  161. 15:36:12 BST

    Thomas and Roy still have 2:30 on the chasers. Is that enough to stay away on the climb to Luz Ardiden? 

  162. 14km remaining from 209km

    15:36:49 BST

    Just 15km to go for the two.

  163. 15:37:27 BST

    Behind Philippe Gilbert has clipped off the front to start the climb with a start lead.

  164. 15:43:06 BST

    Are we ready for ther finale?

  165. 10km remaining from 209km

    15:43:46 BST

    The gap is coming down as the peloton blast to the foot of Luz Ardiden.

  166. 15:45:07 BST

    As the gradient kicks in, Kloden is dropped. He crashed on the descent and was already suffering with a bad back. That virtually ends RadioShack's chances of a good GC performance this year.

  167. 15:46:07 BST

    Voigt is on the front again, putting more riders out of the back. Moncoutie goes out the back, Coppel too. 

  168. 15:47:45 BST

    Evans is sat in third place and looks sharp.

  169. 15:48:30 BST

    Here we go. Andy Schleck is on the front now, looking around at Contador and his teammates.

  170. 15:48:57 BST

    Voeckler is still there too, trying to set a steady pace to defend his yellow jersey.

  171. 15:50:28 BST

    Sanchez is ahead of the Gilbert chase group now and could get across to Roy and Thomas. We could see a Euskaltel stage win in the Pyrenees.

  172. 15:52:15 BST

    It's coming down to a mano-mano fight in the chase group. Basso is still there, as is Leipheimer.

  173. 15:52:50 BST

    Evans looks good, very good.

  174. 15:53:27 BST

    Basso has told teammate Sylvester Szymd to up the pace. 

  175. 15:55:06 BST

    Voeckler is still there, tucked on Basso's wheel. How long can he hang on?

  176. 4km remaining from 209km

    15:56:08 BST

    Sanchez has almost been forgotten but is now the favourite to win the stage.

  177. 15:57:29 BST

    Syzmd is hoovering up the riders up the road. As others fall out of the back, including Roche.

  178. 15:59:43 BST

    Sanchez has Vanendert (Omega Pharma) with him.

  179. 16:00:13 BST

    Andy Schleck is with Evans but Frank has slipped to the back of the front group.

  180. 16:00:59 BST

    Danielson is still in the GC group. He will become the Garmin-Cerverlo GC rider after today. 

  181. 16:01:36 BST

    Roy has bene caught and dropped, as has Thomas.

  182. 104km remaining from 209km

    16:05:03 BST

    There is a quiet before the storm amongst the big names, while Sanchez and Jelle Vanendert lead by  a minute.

  183. 16:05:41 BST

    Syzmd is still working hard on the front. 

  184. 16:06:39 BST

    Sanchez talks to the Beglian but it doesn't look like they struck a deal. Sanchez has just upped the pace.

  185. 16:08:00 BST

    Here we go!

  186. 16:09:18 BST

    Syzmd is still there but the tension is rising. Someone will surely attack soon.

  187. 16:09:54 BST

    Andy goes for it. But Contador is on him.

  188. 16:10:35 BST

    It's a Schleck 1-2. Frank goes. but Basso is chasing him. Evans is there too, as is Contador.

  189. 16:11:27 BST

    Now Basso surges but Andy Schleck chases him down and drags the others up to him.

  190. 16:11:49 BST

    Now Frank goes and Contador goes after him.

  191. 16:12:11 BST

    But Voeckler is still with them.

  192. 16:13:14 BST

    We're seeing slo-mo racing with small attacks and quick responses.  The GC guys are jabbing at each other. Nobody is trying to land a knock out punch.

  193. 101km remaining from 209km

    16:13:59 BST

    Pierre Rolland has worked his legs off to help Voeckler.

  194. 16:14:36 BST

    Frank Schleck goes again and this is more like it. There is no reply from Contador.

  195. 16:15:18 BST

    It is up to Voeckler or Evans to chase him if they want to stop him taking yellow.  

  196. 16:15:59 BST

    Leaders: Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

    Attacker: Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek)

    Yellow jersey group: Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek), Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar), Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar), Damiano Cunego (Lampre - ISD), Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) and Thomas Danielson (Team Garmin-Cervelo) at 1:14

  197. 16:16:32 BST

    Frank Schleck is riding into the yellow jersey.

  198. 16:16:58 BST

    But it is probably too late for him to gain enough time today to get it.

  199. 16:17:30 BST

    Basso surges and Evans joins him.

  200. 94km remaining from 209km

    16:18:21 BST

    Andy Schleck joins them as Voeckler suffers.

  201. 16:19:06 BST

    Evans looks strong

  202. 16:20:27 BST

    Schleck catches Sanchez and Vanendert but they go again. 

  203. 16:20:55 BST

    Sanchez has a little more in his legs and now drops Vanendert.

  204. 16:21:27 BST

    The Basque team leader wanted a big win and gets it.

  205. 16:22:08 BST

    Behind Contador has been gapped by Basso, Evans and Andy Schleck.

  206. 16:22:37 BST

    Behind Contador has been gapped by Basso, Evans and Andy Schleck.

  207. 16:23:50 BST

    Voeckler hugged his teammate Rolland after the line. He was vital in him keeping the yellow jersey on Bastille Day. 

  208. 16:25:24 BST

    Provisional results:

    1 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 6:01:15
    2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:07
    3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:00:10
    4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:30
    5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
    6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
    7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:35
    8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:43
    9 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:50
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar

    General classification after stage 12

    1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar

  209. 16:26:25 BST

    That was a thrilling first mountain stage and indicated just who has the form to challenge for overal victory.

  210. 0km remaining from 209km

    16:27:18 BST

    The Schlecks, Evans and Basso all look good but Contador was clearly struggling in the final kilometre.  

  211. 16:28:20 BST

    Contador lost 30 seconds to Frank Schleck and 13 to Andy, Evans and Basso.

  212. 16:29:25 BST

    Not much in pure time but surely a heavy blow for the Spaniard's moral. Suddenly his rivals know he is no longer superhuman and beatable.

  213. 16:30:49 BST

    Friday's stage to Lourdes is not expected to change the race but the six climbs and the mountain finish on Plateau de Beille surely will.

  214. 16:33:46 BST

    Contador is now 2:11 behind Frank Schleck but of course will lose a lot of time in the Grenoble TT. But for sure, we have a very open Tour de France to enjoy in the next ten days.  

  215. 16:35:03 BST

    Provisional classification:

    1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 51:54:44
    2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:01:49
    3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:06
    4 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:17
    5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:16
    6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:22
    7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:04:00
    8 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:11
    9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:04:35
    10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:57

  216. 16:37:30 BST

    That's about it from our live coverage today. Check out Cyclingnews for full results, photo galleries and interviews.