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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 10, Stage 9: Issoire - Saint-Flour 208km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

The ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France features any number of climbs – not the biggest ones, but lots of climbs.  The perfect stage for an escape to come through, and possibly a change in the overall.
 

  1. 11:59:36 CEST

    Hello and welcome back to the ninth stage of the Tour de France. We will be having a lot of ups and downs today, with virtually no flat to speak of.  Things will be getting underway in just a few minutes....

  2. 12:09:20 CEST

    Today's stage take us 208km from Issoire to Saint-Flour.  And there are seven – count 'em, seven! -- climbs to be conquered.  They are all category two to four, but still, the legs are going to be getting tired after a long first week.

  3. 12:12:52 CEST

    It is dry at the moment but we sitll have chances of rain off and on all day.

    The race starts with a short neutralized section, with the real start coming at 12:15 CET.

  4. 12:17:17 CEST

    We now hear that it is heavily overcast and we may even have a thunderstorm at some point. Personally, we don't think that is a very good idea.

  5. 12:21:51 CEST

    The race has started, and we even have our first attack.  No name yet.

    Juan Manuel Garate of Rabobank, who has been suffering from a crash earlier on, has given up the fight and was not at the start today.

  6. 12:25:32 CEST

    Garate's withdrawal gave us 187 riders at the start today, which means we have lost 11 so far.  Nine teams are affected.  RadioShack and Movistar are the hardest hit, having each lost two riders.

  7. 204km remaining from 208km

    12:27:07 CEST

    Pavel Brutt (Katusha) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoliel) are the first to try and get away on this bumpy stage.  So far they have only a minimal gap.

  8. 199km remaining from 208km

    12:33:42 CEST

    Brutt and Westra attacked immediately after the stage started, and had up to 35 seconds on the field.

    Anthony Delaplace (Saur Sojasun) and Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel) gave chase.

    However, all were caught except Westra, who is now alone in the lead, but only at 15 seconds.

  9. 197km remaining from 208km

    12:36:18 CEST

    And Westra's escape is over.

  10. 195km remaining from 208km

    12:41:55 CEST

    • Puncture

    Leonardo Duque of Cofidis is the first to puncture today.

  11. 12:43:51 CEST

    Happy Birthday to Wilfried Peetrs, DS for Quickstep, who turns 47 today.

  12. 12:47:36 CEST

    The first 50 km today are flat.  And that's all.  As race director Jean-Francois Peschaux said, “it's a real leg-breaker.”

  13. 12:51:18 CEST

    Here are today's climbs:

        Km 43.5 - Côte de Massiac - 3.4 km climb to 6.2 % - Category 3
        Km 99.5 - Col du Pas de Peyrol (Le Puy Mary) (1589 m) - 7.7 km climb to 6.2 % - Category 2
        Km 116.0 - Col du Perthus (1309m) - 4.4 km climb to 7.9 % - Category 2
        Km 127.5 - Col de Cère (1294 m) - 2.9 km climb to 6.3 % - Category 3
        Km 139.5 - Côte de la Chevade - 3.0 km climb to 7.9 % - Category 3
        Km 154.0 - Col de Prat de Bouc (Plomb du Cantal) (1392 m) - 8.0 km climb to 6.1 % - Category 2
        Km 193.0 - Côte du Château d'Alleuze - 2.0 km climb to 4.9 % - Category 4
        Km 208.0 - SAINT-FLOUR Montée des Orgues - 1.6 km climb to 6.1 % - Category 4
     

  14. 184km remaining from 208km

    12:53:07 CEST

    Many are called, but few are chosen. 

    Which is a fancy way of saying that lots of riders have tried to get away, but none has so far succeeded.

  15. 12:57:12 CEST

    There is, of course, also an intermediate sprint at km 178, after six of the climbs.  Think any of the sprinters will be in any position to go for points?

  16. 12:59:53 CEST

    And the stage will be topped off with an uphill finish.  It rises about 182 metres in the final 1.5km.

  17. 13:03:10 CEST

    Are you following the Cyclingnews/Easton Cycling trivia contest during the Tour?  Of course you are!  Yesterday's question was, who has the greatest number of days in the yellow jersey?  The anser is Eddy Merckx, with 111. 

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

  18. 13:09:17 CEST

    The first climb of the day has started, and our flock of sheep, er, peloton, is still all together.

  19. 13:13:55 CEST

    We had a crash at 40km, with Millar (Garmin), Zeits (Astana), Zubeldia (RadioShack) and Bak (HTC-Highroad) all involved.  All are back up and going.

    Two riders have already dropped off the back of the peloton:  Brutt of Katusha, and more worrisome, Robert Gesink of Rabobank. 

  20. 167km remaining from 208km

    13:16:29 CEST

    Peraud of AG2R was also in the crash and is now said to be in dificulties.

    Carlos Barredo of Rabobank has decided to try his luck with an attack.

  21. 13:17:57 CEST

    Barredo's attack obviously wasn't successful.  The first climb is over, and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) takes the top point, followed by Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil).

  22. 13:20:48 CEST

    Voeckler just keeps on going, and now has about 20 seconds on the field.

  23. 13:24:00 CEST

    The pace is high enough that a number of riders have alreay been dropped off the back, including Cavendish, Millar, Feillu and Duque.

    Voeckler still leads, and is being chased by Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) and Juan Antonion Flecha. The peloton is 24 seconds back.

  24. 13:26:34 CEST

    Hoogerland and Flecha have now joined Voeckler, with Sandy Casar of FDJ only a few seconds behind them.

  25. 13:27:42 CEST

    Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank and Quick Step's Niki Terpstra jump from the field and join Casar.

  26. 13:31:37 CEST

    The leading trio now has one minute on the field, with the Casar group somewhere in between.

  27. 155km remaining from 208km

    13:37:05 CEST

    And now the two lead groups have joined forces.

  28. 13:37:57 CEST

    The gap is under a minute, so it is still not clear if this group will go or not.

  29. 13:38:58 CEST

    Robert Gesink has pulled himself back together and is back in the peloton, after being dropped early on.

  30. 13:41:12 CEST

    The gap is now being given as 3:35, so we would say, yes, this group is going.

  31. 13:43:34 CEST

    The Great God Thor (also known as Thor Hushovd, of Garmin-Cervelo) still leads the race, with a not-so-big one-second lead over Cadel Evans of BMC.  Fränk Schleck is third at 4 seconds.  In fact, we still have 12 riders within 40 seconds of the lead!
     

  32. 13:45:28 CEST

    Amets Txurruka of Euskaltel was one of those involved in the early crash. We are sorry to say that he has abandoned the race and is now on his way in an ambulance to hospital.
  33. 13:48:56 CEST

    At the other end of things from Hushovd and the lead, our “lanterne rouge” is Vincent Jerome of Europcar, who is already 1:09 down.

    That is, of course, one hour and nine minutes.

  34. 13:52:30 CEST

    “Phil Gil”, or Philippe Gilbert of Omega Pharma-Lotto, is back in green ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar.  Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) is lurking back in third place, but we doubt he will get any points today to move himself up.

  35. 13:53:45 CEST

    Two more DNFs today: Wouter Pouls of Vacansoleil and Pavel Brutt of Katusha.

  36. 143km remaining from 208km

    13:56:10 CEST

    Seems to be a hard day today.  Arnaud Coyot of Saur Sojasun is evidencing his stomach problems at the back of the field...

  37. 14:00:51 CEST

    HTC-Highroad's youngster Tejay Van Garderen took over the polka-dots yesterday.  He has five points in the mountain ranking, as does second-ranked Rui Costa of Movistar, who won yesterdays stage.  Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) is third.

    By the way, van Garderen has totally broken out in spots.  Not only on his jersey, but also on his helmet and socks!

  38. 14:02:31 CEST

    Cyclingnews' Daniel Benson is of course on the scene, and tells us that the medics were looking at Txurruka's collarbone before he was carried off.

  39. 138km remaining from 208km

    14:05:11 CEST

    Omega Pharma-Lotto and Garmin-Cervelo are leading the peloton now, and the gap has dropped by a handful of seconds.

  40. 14:10:19 CEST

    Robert Gesink had a bad day yesterday but still managed to hang on to his best young rider's jersey.  He leads Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) and Arnold Jennesson (FDJ).

    He seems to be having his not-so-best day again today.  No doubt he will try to simply get through to the end and then hope for a lot of recovery on the rest day.

  41. 14:15:43 CEST

    Of the eight stages so far, seven have had individual winners (one was, of course, the team time trial).  From those seven stages, we have six winners (Cavendish being the only rider to have won two stages so far).  Six teams are represented, as are six different nations.

  42. 14:19:37 CEST

    Garmin-Cervelo looks to be serious about this chase and has the peloton strung out single file behind it as they zip along.

  43. 14:20:31 CEST

    A herd of brown cows runs over to the fence to watch the race go by.

  44. 14:24:38 CEST

    Today's stage started in Issoire, a small community which has previously seen one stage finish and two starts.  It's first time was in 1983 (a finish and a start).  The second time was in 2005.

  45. 14:25:35 CEST

    It's an early mealtime today for the riders.  Mainly due to the terrain, there's just not enough flat later on to set up a feed zone.

  46. 122km remaining from 208km

    14:28:32 CEST

    The gap continues to come down ever so slightly, now at 3.25.

  47. 14:33:12 CEST

    The stage ends in Saint-Flour, an even smaller town, which is hosting the Tour for only the third time.  It's nickname is “the Windy City,” which probably won't make the riders too happy.

  48. 14:35:41 CEST

    Alberto Contador is at the back of the field, working his way up through the team cars.  Let's see if we can find out why he is so far back.

  49. 14:37:01 CEST

    Apparently he crashed.  Uninjured, thank goodness.  He was having a time of it getting back up to the field, and only now does he have two teammates with him to give him a hand.

    And they are now reconnected with the peloton.

  50. 14:37:20 CEST

    So he promptly stops and wait to get a new bike.

  51. 14:37:41 CEST

    And again he works his lone way up through the team cars.

  52. 14:39:21 CEST

    The gap continues to go down and is now at 2:40.

  53. 14:42:01 CEST

    They are on the way up the second climb of the day.  From here on, there will be lots of ascending and descending.

  54. 14:47:43 CEST

    The last time a stage ended in Saint-Flour, Richard Virenque won it after a 67km solo venture.  Think we will see something similar today?

  55. 14:48:19 CEST

    Three horses standing on a hillside watch the peloton go by.  Let's just hope they stay where they are.

  56. 14:50:50 CEST

    The lead group is riding along the top of a ridge, very lovely landscape.  Not that they have time to admire it, though.

  57. 110km remaining from 208km

    14:52:57 CEST

    The gap has crept back up to just over three minutes on this climb.

  58. 14:53:56 CEST

    Feillu pays a quick visit to the medical car.

  59. 14:55:26 CEST

    Everyone is wending their way up the switchbacks on this beautiful and long green climb.

  60. 14:56:06 CEST

    Terpstra is falling back slightly from the lead group. He is not really a climber.

  61. 14:59:45 CEST

    Terpstra has now definitely been dropped and is dangling between the field and the escapees.

  62. 15:00:38 CEST

    Voeckler and Hoogerland broke out to sprint for the mountain points, and it looks like Voeckler took them ahead of the Dutchman.

    They keep on going with their lead over the other three.

  63. 15:01:26 CEST

    French champion Sylvain Chavanel is another one having a hard time of it today.  He has dropped off the back of the field and already has an 11 second gap.

  64. 15:02:38 CEST

    Cavendish is another one who is quietly sliding off the back of the field -- and he is not alone.

  65. 15:03:31 CEST

    it looks like the other three escapees have more or less caught up with Voeckler and Hoogerland, and in fact Hoogerland is lagging back a bit now.

  66. 15:05:04 CEST

    Let's change that.  We now have Hoogerland and Lulu Sanchez in front,

    And it is wet....

  67. 15:06:34 CEST

    Hoogerland took a few too many chances on a curve.  Nothing happened, except a few more gray hairs have sprouted...

    And again!

  68. 15:07:14 CEST

    Sanchez is an expert descender and has really taken off.

  69. 15:08:43 CEST

    A huge crash. j Many people down.,  Riders have gone oer the edge.

  70. 15:09:05 CEST

    An Astana rider looks the worst off.  He is surrounded by teammates and helpers.

  71. 15:09:51 CEST

    It is Vino.  He has gone over the edge into the woods.  He looks to have seriously injured a knee.

  72. 15:10:35 CEST

    he is not the only one down.  Others are still lying or sitting ont eh road.  A Garmin rider lays there, and Jurgen van den Broeck is sitting there....

  73. 15:10:52 CEST

    Two ambulances move into position.

  74. 15:12:54 CEST

    THe Garmin rider may be David Millar.

    Dan Benson tells us that Klöden, Vande Velde and Zabriskie were also involved.

  75. 15:15:01 CEST

    Vino had dropped out and Van Den Broeck is taken off his bike.

  76. 15:15:29 CEST

    The gap has jumped to nearly five minutes, as the leaders head up an 11% gradient.

  77. 15:18:35 CEST

    Van den Broeck is still at the side of the road, with medical helpers.  We are not real sure he knows where he is at the moment.

  78. 15:20:07 CEST

    The gap hs jumped to 6:34 as the field seems to have slowed down to see what is up with the injured riders.

    Karpets (Katusha) gets some repairs.

  79. 15:20:35 CEST

    Van Den Broeck is sitting up and being helped to have a drink.  Someone else is cleaning a wound a the back of his head.

  80. 15:21:06 CEST

    Cancellara and Gilbert chat with teh motorcycle passenger at the head of the field.  They are keeping things calm.

  81. 15:22:51 CEST

    Andy Schleck and Stuey O'Grady are together near the front of the field.

  82. 92.5km remaining from 208km

    15:24:05 CEST

    The gap is up to over 7 minutes.  Lots of  discussions amongs the riders at the head of the chasing field.

  83. 15:25:22 CEST

    Klöden was indeed caught up in the crash but is now back in the peloton.  Chavanel is also hanging on to the tail end of the field.

  84. 15:26:00 CEST

    Once again Hoogerland and Voeckler sprint for the mountain points and this time the Dutchman wins.  He is currently "virtually" in the polka dots.

  85. 15:26:42 CEST

    The peloton is still rolling along together.

  86. 15:32:32 CEST

    The pace had slowed down enough in the field that  Cavendish had caught up with them again, but now that things are going uphill again  -- well, you can guess what is happening.

  87. 15:33:24 CEST

    David ZAbriskie has now abandoned.  We hear the not-so-comforting news that he is conscious but unable to continue.

  88. 15:33:50 CEST

    A puncture for Hoogerland.  Quickly repaired.

  89. 15:34:42 CEST

    We also hear that Vande Velde may have abdandoned, and that Van den Broeck has a broken collarbone.

  90. 15:35:24 CEST

    Hoogerland has now rejoined his comrades a teh front.  There is a quick chat amongst the five as to how to proceed.

  91. 15:36:53 CEST

    We also get confirmation that Millar was involved.  He is riding again but needs to visit the medical car.

  92. 83km remaining from 208km

    15:38:44 CEST

    Looks like the peloton has finally picked up its speed again.  That may be because the gap is up to 7:30, with only 83km to go.

  93. 15:39:23 CEST

    And no sooner are the leaders down from one climb, than they start up the next one.

  94. 15:40:11 CEST

    Frederik Willems of Omega Pharma-Lotto is the next victim of that crash who has now left the race.

  95. 15:41:04 CEST

    Echelons! And the field splits!

  96. 15:42:38 CEST

    The split is growing.  Chavanel looks to be at the rear of all the groups, in amongst the team cars, a a mater of fact.

  97. 15:43:31 CEST

    Looks like the field is coming back together. Slowly, though.

  98. 15:46:56 CEST

    Fränk Schleck looks very serious at the head of the field.

    Terpstra is now back in the peloton.

  99. 15:48:44 CEST

    Hoogerland takes the two points of the next climb, with Voeckler behind him taking one point.

  100. 15:49:52 CEST

    Oooh, a little bit of flat  for the lead group!  Not much of that today.

  101. 15:51:21 CEST

    An Omega Pharma-Lotto rider is at the head of the field, followed by a lot of Leopards.....

  102. 15:54:06 CEST

    Voeckler didn't contest the last mountain ranking, but let Hoogerland take it.  With a gap of over six minutes, he is probably looking forward to the yellow jersey at the end of the day.  If he can have that, he would be more than happy to let the Vacansoleil rider have the KOM jersey.

  103. 15:55:34 CEST

    Voeckler was only 1:19 down on Hushovd coming into the stage, so his chances look good.

  104. 15:56:51 CEST

    There is no rest for the weary.  The lead group is now headed up the fifth climb of the day.

  105. 15:58:40 CEST

    Good news:  the sun is shining!

  106. 16:03:28 CEST

    The gap continues to fall, to 5:30.

  107. 16:04:26 CEST

    Omega Pharma-Lotto with two men at the head of the field, with Leopard Trek behind them.

  108. 16:06:34 CEST

    Another mountaintop and ang again two points for Hoogerland and one point for Voeckler.

  109. 16:07:36 CEST

    Hoogerland now leads the mountain ranking with 17 points, ahead of Voeckler with 12.  Van Garderen, who is wearing the polka dots today, is third with five points.

  110. 16:09:15 CEST

    Feillu falls off the back of the peloton.

  111. 16:10:44 CEST

    Van den Broeck has a broken shoulder blade, Zabriskie a broken wrist.

    Vinokourov is worst off, with a broken elbow and a broken pelvis.

    Get well wishes to all of them.

  112. 16:12:56 CEST

    Willems has a broken collarbone.

    Vino may hve a broken femur, we have heard that reported as well, instead of the pelvis.  Doesn't matter, they both hurt.

  113. 60km remaining from 208km

    16:16:26 CEST

    60km to go for the leading quintet, and a gap of 5:05.  Will they make it? The field has finally woken up again....

  114. 16:18:19 CEST

    A puncture for Voeckler.

  115. 16:19:31 CEST

    Sanchez drops back to the team car for a snack.

  116. 58km remaining from 208km

    16:22:13 CEST

    The gap is falling dramtically now, at 4:43.

  117. 16:22:57 CEST

    And the next climb of the day for the leading group.

  118. 16:24:42 CEST

    This is the sixth climb of the day.  And there are still two more to come!

  119. 16:30:24 CEST


    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:  Who has won the most polka-dot jerseys?

    If you need a hint, click her

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

  120. 54km remaining from 208km

    16:33:14 CEST

    The group approachs the next mountain ranking.

  121. 16:34:13 CEST

    • Climb

    And surprise, the points go to Hoogerland ahead of Voeckler, Casar and Sanchez.

  122. 16:36:00 CEST

    A lot of people expected Hushovd to lose the yellow jersey yesterday, but the Norwegian put in a stellar performance to hang o n to his lead.  “you know I have good form – the best form I've ever had – and that allows me to go really deep and get everything out of my body and of course that's what I did again today. It gives me motivation again to keep the yellow jersey on my back,” he said after the stage.

  123. 16:36:45 CEST

    The peloton tops out on this climb at 4:40 behind the lead group.

  124. 16:37:39 CEST

    Hushovd very, very far back in the peloton.

  125. 16:38:21 CEST

    Lots of sunshine today, against all expectations.  And while Hushovd is at the back of the field, Gesink is near the front.  We hope this is a sign that he is feeling better.

  126. 16:40:30 CEST

    Gesink lost some time yesterday, and admitted to having had thoughts of abandoning.

    So it is quite good to see him up at the front.

  127. 47km remaining from 208km

    16:42:44 CEST

    The gap has been holding steady at around the 4:45 mark for a while now.

  128. 16:45:49 CEST

    We would say off hand that Omega Pharma-Lotto has pulled the peloton along for the last hunded km or so.

  129. 16:49:04 CEST

    Hoogerland now has a seven point lead in the mountain ranking and the polka-dot jersey is his again this evening, no matter what happens from here on out.

  130. 16:51:32 CEST

    Let's speculate a bit, and say this group comes through to the end.  Voeckler gets yellow, Hoogerland gets polka dots.

    That leaves the stage win up for grabs to the othre three.  Who of them would take it?

  131. 16:53:53 CEST

    All three of them have previously won Tour stages.  Casar and Sanchez have even won two stages each.

  132. 16:54:57 CEST

    Now we see the yellow jersey back up near the front of the field.  We might also mention that it is a bit flatter at the moment.

  133. 16:55:30 CEST

    Another crashi n the leading group.  Flecha has gone down.

  134. 16:55:56 CEST

    A cr has run into Flecha!j

  135. 16:56:29 CEST

    Hoogerland went down too.  Hard to belive but Flecha is back up and going.

  136. 16:57:50 CEST

    Hoogerland got knocked off his bike and flew over a fence.  We don't know anything further.

  137. 16:58:37 CEST

    It was apparently a French TV car, which wanted to avoid a tree on the left side of the road.  So it took out tiwo riders instead......

  138. 17:00:43 CEST

    Still now word at all on HOogerland.  Did we say he was assured of the polka dot jersey tonight?  We thought about adding, assuming he finishes the stage, but thought it wasn't necessary....

  139. 31km remaining from 208km

    17:01:22 CEST

    The gap is now at 5 minutes.

    Great news, Hoogerland is now back on his bike!

  140. 17:02:18 CEST

    And now we see Hoggerland, who doesn't look real happy, and has a number of gauze patches all over him.

  141. 17:03:58 CEST

    The remaining three go through the intermediate sprint without competing for it.

    Hoogerland gets some more gauze applied.  He is dripping blood.  Looks like he totally ripped up his legs on the barbed wire fence.

  142. 17:05:54 CEST

    The field is approaching the sprint, and Cervelo moves up to the head of the field.  Haven't seen them there for a long time.

  143. 17:06:43 CEST

    Hoogerland hs been caught by the field.  He looks truly awful, and it wouldn't surprise us if he has to abandon.

  144. 17:07:46 CEST

    Gilbert sprints out to take the 11 points at the intermediate sprint.  A teammate is right behind him to sop up some points too.

  145. 17:09:35 CEST

    Ahead of Gilbert, the points went to Casar, Voeckler, Sanchez, Flecha, in that order.

  146. 17:10:10 CEST

    The peloton is strung out single file again.

  147. 17:10:45 CEST

    The "Medical Assistance" motorcycle moves up to Flecha.

    Meanwhile, Hoogerland drops off the back of the peloton.

  148. 17:12:35 CEST

    Flecha has hole in the back of his jersey.  And fellow victim Hoogerland falls back further and further.

  149. 17:13:43 CEST

    The Tour tossed the motorcycle driver who knocked down Saxo Bank's Sorensen in an earlier stage.  Will they do the same with this car driver?  And did he even stop to see what kind of damage he had done?

  150. 21km remaining from 208km

    17:15:41 CEST

    Hoogerland is now six minutes behind the leaders and is willing to just roll along to the end now.  We hope he can hobble on to the podium to accept the KOM jersey.

  151. 17:17:00 CEST

    Flecha will be back in the peloton momentarily.  Hoogerland gets a visit from his team car.

  152. 18km remaining from 208km

    17:18:22 CEST

    Voeckler takes off from his companions, as Flecha is caught by the field.

  153. 16.9km remaining from 208km

    17:19:15 CEST

    Garmin-Cervelo is now full at the head of the field.  The gap is now 4:13 -- do they think they can cut it enough to hang on to Hushovd's yellow jersey?

  154. 17:19:36 CEST

    The three leaders are together again.

  155. 17:20:06 CEST

    Now Flecha goes out the back of the peloton.  Time to lick his wounds and make it to the end....

  156. 15.6km remaining from 208km

    17:22:22 CEST

    The three leaders are going up the penlutimate climb of the day.

  157. 17:24:28 CEST

    Gilbert and Hushovd have been chatting in the chasing field.  Probably trying  to decide if they have a serious chance of catching Voeckler.

    We would say, no they don't.  Barring further catastrophes, of course.

  158. 17:25:13 CEST

    • Puncture

    Puncture for Gilbert, who has to wait relatively long for help.

  159. 17:25:52 CEST

    Gilbert diligently working his way back up to the field.

  160. 17:26:25 CEST

    He is passing a lot of riders who have fallen off the back.  They are perfectly glad to just let him go.

  161. 17:27:07 CEST

    Voeckler took the one point available at the mountain ranking.

  162. 17:27:51 CEST

    Looks like Gilbert has caught on to the end of the field.

  163. 17:28:26 CEST

    The peloton tops off the next-to-last climb, with a gap of 4.10.

  164. 11.8km remaining from 208km

    17:29:00 CEST

    As always, Voeckler takes the lead and tries his best to get away from the other two.

  165. 17:29:35 CEST

    Hoogerland now over 10 minutes down.

  166. 17:30:56 CEST

    Voeckler has done 68 percent of the lead work in the last 10 km.

  167. 17:31:26 CEST

    The other two will let him.  He is the one who needs to pull out as many seconds as possible to assure his yellow jersey.

  168. 9.8km remaining from 208km

    17:32:25 CEST

    Eleven minutes for Hoogerland.  The cut-off time is about 25 minutes, so he ought to be ok in that respect.

  169. 8km remaining from 208km

    17:33:40 CEST

    Casar take a turn in the lead.

  170. 17:34:34 CEST

    Voeckler at the head again, looking grim.

  171. 17:35:41 CEST

    Or should we say, looking determined?

  172. 17:36:00 CEST

    BMC now leading the peloton.

  173. 17:36:55 CEST

    HOogerland passes the 12km marker at the top of the penultimate climb, over 12 minutes down.

  174. 5km remaining from 208km

    17:38:20 CEST

    Only five km for the three leaders, who are now trading off lead work nicely.

  175. 17:38:56 CEST

    Sanchez is of course Spanish time trial champion.  He could take off any time now and possibly cruise in alone....

  176. 17:39:47 CEST

    Of course, Frenchman Casar would love to have his third Tour stage win and bring in the first French win of this year's race.

  177. 17:40:11 CEST

    Sanchez shakes his legs a bit -- cramps?

  178. 17:40:29 CEST

    Leopard Trek moves up to help BMC with the chase work.

  179. 17:41:23 CEST

    The three leaders are approaching the two km marker.

  180. 17:42:12 CEST

    The three leaders are about to take on the closing climb.

  181. 17:43:10 CEST

    We expect to see Voeckler let the other two fight it out for the win.

    Last km!

  182. 17:43:38 CEST

    Remember, this is a climbing finish.

  183. 17:44:17 CEST

    Voeckler still eads and looks around to see what the others are doing.

  184. 17:44:51 CEST

    They are all still together....

  185. 17:45:25 CEST

    The otehr two have pulled slightly ahead of Voeckler.

    Voeckler is the first to go!  But Sanchez notes it and jumps!

  186. 17:46:09 CEST

    He easily pulls away and take it by six seconds ahead of  Voeckler, with Casar third at about 17 seconds.

  187. 17:46:50 CEST

    Sanchez salute his child (we assume), by sucking on his thumb as he crossed the line.

  188. 17:47:13 CEST

    Hushovd at the back of the field now.  He knows his time in yellow is over.

  189. 17:47:58 CEST

    The peloton goes under the Flamme Rouge.  Gilbert and Evans are two and three in the field.

  190. 17:48:16 CEST

    Hushovd isn't trying any more, just rolling his way along.

  191. 17:48:51 CEST

    An Omega Pharma-Lotto rider pulls his captian and a group of 25 or so to the finish line.

  192. 17:49:21 CEST

    The finish approaches and Gilbert opens the sprint.

  193. 17:50:13 CEST

    Gilbert takes fourth place, with -- we think -- Tony Martin fifth and Evans sixth.

    They came in about 4 minutes down.

  194. 17:52:01 CEST

    Hushovd rolls unconcernedly over the finish, at over six minutes.  He is smiling and chatting, happy with what he has accomplished in this Tour.

  195. 17:53:27 CEST

    What a stage!  A successful escape group, with a sprint for the mountaintop win and a chang of yellow jersey.

    On the other hand, several horrible and disastrous crashes.   it will be a while before we get some of those images out of our minds.

  196. 17:56:44 CEST

    Stage:

    1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 5:27:09
    2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:05
    3 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 0:00:13
    4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:59
    5 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad 0:03:59
    6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:03:59
    7 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:03:59
    8 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:03:59
    9 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:03:59
    10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:59
     

  197. 17:57:49 CEST

    And the new GC, going into the first rest day:

    1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 38:35:11
    2 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:49
    3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:26
    4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:29
    5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:37
    6 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:02:38
    7 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad 0:02:38
    8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 0:02:43
    9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02:55
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:03:08

  198. 17:59:12 CEST

    Congratulations to "Lulu" Sanchez for his stage win and to Voeckler for his yellow jersey

    Our sympathy and best wishes to all who were injured today.

  199. 17:59:57 CEST

    Thanks for reading along.  Tomorrow is the much-needed rest day, so join us again on Tuesday when the race continues.