Tour de France 2012

June 30 - July 22, 2012, Liège (ITT), Fra, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to today's penultimate stage from the Tour de France, a 53.5 kilometre stage from Bonneval to Chartres.

  1. 12:18:24 BST

    Sean Yates:


    "For the first 38km it’s super-fast and nice roads, then it does get trickier. It’s a big distance and it will obviously play a decisive role in the final results. It’s the last chance for a reversal of any positions and it’s going to be interesting."


  2. 12:22:11 BST

    You can find a complete preview of today's stage right here, along with a video in which Chris Boardman takes us through the stage.

  3. 12:23:39 BST

    And here's today's vital start order: As is customary riders leave  the start house in reverse GC order at set intervals.

  4. 12:27:01 BST

    • Yellow Jersey

    Here's where we stand on GC:

    1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 83:22:18
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41
    4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:53
    5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:30
    6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:57
    7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:11
    8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:17
    9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:11:00
    10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:11:46
    11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:12:54

  5. 12:30:51 BST

    Van Garderen may fancy his chances at overhauling Jurgen van den Broeck for fourth but he's up against it, such is the current deficit. One thing though, the US will be kicking themselves that they only have one spot for the men's tt in London. Van Garderen and Phinney would both be medal possibilities.

  6. 12:31:40 BST

    Brajkovic could jump Rolland in GC, while there's also an opportunity for Roche, although his chances of getting into the top ten are slim.

  7. 12:35:35 BST

    Right now Gretch, is the fast rider of the day, completing the course in 1:06 but Dave Zabriskie has set a time 37 seconds faster at the penultimate time check. The US national time trial champion is looking to close out his Tour with a decent result.

  8. 12:37:21 BST

    David Millar, Zabriskie's teammate and roommate in this year's Tour, has gone through the first time check at 14km almost a full minute down on Gretsch.

  9. 12:50:24 BST

    Yaroslav Popovych, once tipped as a grand tour leader, is the latest rider to start the time trial.

  10. 12:53:02 BST

    • Argos-Shimano's 2012 Jersey

    Correction: Zabriskie was in fact down on Gretsch at the 30km check point. So the German lead there, and at the finish.

  11. 12:55:22 BST

    Millar is 2:11 down on Gretsch at the second time check.

  12. 12:59:05 BST

    Bert Grabsch, who had been targeting today's final stage has  finished 1:15 behind the current stage leader. Grabsch, a former world time trial champion, won't be happy with that.

  13. 13:03:02 BST

    So far 42 riders have completed the course.

  14. 13:12:09 BST

    Luis Leon Sanchez, a stage winner in Foix this year, is the next rider to start the time trial.

  15. 13:16:36 BST

    With Cancellara at home, Tony Martin too, today should be an all-out-battle between Wiggins and Froome for the stage.

  16. 13:17:07 BST

    And Zabriskie finishes, 44 seconds down on Gretsch.

  17. 13:17:10 BST

    And Zabriskie finishes, 44 seconds down on Gretsch.

  18. 13:20:42 BST

    Christian Vande Velde is out on the course now, as Sanchez, in his Spanish national tt kit, heads towards the first time check.

  19. 13:27:26 BST

    Sanchez catches Stortoni, who started two minutes ahead of him.

  20. 13:29:12 BST

    Stortoni isn't very subtle, is he, just drafting along less than a bike length behind the Spaniard.

  21. 13:34:11 BST

    Jens Voigt who has performed well in the time trials so far in this year's race, rolls out from the start house. Once followed Voigt in a time trial (in a car obviously) at the end of the 2008 Tour. The German will like this course though.

  22. 13:35:48 BST

    • Rabobank Cycling Team's 2012 Jersey

    Luis Leon, 3 seconds faster than Gretsch at  the first time check.

  23. 13:37:10 BST

    Boasson Hagen begins his time trial. In his normal Sky kit as he's not the national TT champ of Norway. He's been an integral part of Sky's Tour de France bid.

  24. 13:42:34 BST

    Karpets has started his time trial as Devenyns comes to the second time check.

  25. 13:48:57 BST

    Vasili Kiryienka comes over the line 18 seconds down on Gretsch, as Sanchez goes through the second check point 15 seconds faster than everyone.

    Fedrigo has just started his TT. Sagan is off in less than 10 minutes.

  26. 13:57:40 BST

    Sagan in the start house, about to set out on his time trial. The Liquigas rider, just 22, has won three stages and taken the green jersey. It's only his first  ever Tour de France to boot.

    Meanwhile Vande Velde has gone through the second time check in 7th, 59 seconds down.

  27. 14:04:53 BST

    George Hincapie, riding his final Tour de France time trial is now out on the road.

  28. 14:11:23 BST

    Voigt comes through second time check in 8th place.

  29. 14:12:14 BST

    Sanchez is still out on the course, he struggles around one corner, looking down at his gears but then settles back into his tucked position.

  30. 14:14:47 BST

    Sanchez is closing in on the finish. Even when he's right on the rivet the Spanish rider looks good on the bike.

  31. 14:15:36 BST

    1km to go for Sanchez as Roy finishes in 3rd. 37 seconds down on Gretsch.

  32. 14:20:12 BST

    A reminder of where we stand on GC before today's stage:

    1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 83:22:18
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41
    4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:53
    5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:30
    6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:57
    7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:11
    8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:17
    9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:11:00
    10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:11:46
    11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:12:54

  33. 14:22:31 BST

    Vino out on the course, wearing that faded Astana skin suit. This is the rider's final Tour de France. He tried to go out with a bang in yesterday's stage but just came up short despite some aggressive riding.

  34. 14:23:38 BST

    1:06:03 for Sanchez, he now leads by 38 seconds at the finish.

  35. 14:26:16 BST

    And Vande Velde comes to the finish in 10th place.

  36. 14:28:08 BST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    Voeckler is making his way to the start house for his time trial. The KOM champion has a special polka dot Colnago for today's stage.

  37. 14:29:25 BST

    Velits is out on the road now as well. He's had a subdued Tour but today's a chance for him to redeem himself, as Voeckler receives cheers from the home grounds as he riders up the start ramp.

  38. 14:37:32 BST

    • Lampre - ISD's 2012 Jersey

    Scarponi is now out on the course, his three week French vacation almost over.

  39. 14:39:20 BST

    Bouet comes to the line with a respectable time of 1:08:45, 17th place.

  40. 14:40:18 BST

    Vino meanwhile goes through the first check point in 72 place. He'll attack tomorrow, I'm sure, and having won in Paris before he'll want to spoil the party for the sprinters' teams.

  41. 14:41:58 BST

    Here's some news on Flecha possibly leaving Sky.

  42. 14:42:22 BST

    As Valverde, who sits in 20th overall, starts his time time trial.

  43. 14:44:20 BST

    Hincapie in his 17th Tour, is in the top 30 at the second time check.

  44. 14:44:59 BST

    Taaramae is putting in a decent time though and he's probably going to catch Hincapie before the finish.

  45. 14:49:05 BST

    Boasson Hagen comes to the line in 1:12:10 off the pace but he's done his work - and more - in this year's  Tour as Froome is on the rollers warming up.

  46. 14:50:23 BST

    Monfort, from Belgium, is starting his time trial. Former national champion back in 2009,  he was.

  47. 14:56:46 BST

    Denis Menchov, another national tt champ in this year's Tour, is out on the road as Velits goes through the first time check 1 second down on Luis Leon Sanchez.

  48. 14:57:18 BST

    Nibali, like Froome is on the rollers warming up before the time trial.

  49. 15:00:51 BST

    And Velits comes to the second check point, 3rd, 17 seconds down, so he's losing time.

    And now Wiggins is warming up as well.

  50. 15:04:37 BST

    Roche, in 11th place, will be going all out to bring back the 1:12 on Pinot in order to break into the top ten. Out of contract in the winter,  Roche will know that his value will increase if he can add the tag 'top ten Tour finisher' to his negotiations.

  51. 15:06:59 BST

    Pinot starts, what a prospect he is for French cycling:  a stage and a possible top ten place in his first Tour de France.

  52. 15:10:16 BST

    • Pro Team Astana's 2012 Jersey

    Brajkovic has started as well. He's not had a bad Tour at all, top ten with his first real opportunity to lead a team in his own right. If Nibali does indeed go to Astana next year, the pair could work very well together.

  53. 15:12:35 BST

    Rolland, who won white last year, begins his time trial. Another top ten place for him, good, considering the route and his inconsistency in the first part of the season.

  54. 15:13:38 BST

    Taaramae has indeed caught and passed Hincapie and finishes in 4th, 1:07:03, a fine performance from the Cofidis man.

  55. 15:15:00 BST

    Pinot looks pretty good has he heads to the first time check.

    Back at the start Evans and Van Garderen share a few words. The American has out-performed Evans in the race this year but even so he can still learn an awful lot from the experienced Australian.

  56. 15:15:49 BST

    Zubeldia rolls down the start ramp, heading to his 4th ever top ten in the Tour.

  57. 15:19:17 BST

    Evans starts. A brave and spirited performance from the defending champion but his Tour chances unravelled in the mountains. Last year he used the final TT to take yellow and the Tour, that won't obviously happen today.

  58. 15:21:28 BST

    1:06:03 for Porte, into second place.
    As Van Garderen, the white jersey holder, starts.

  59. 15:22:29 BST

    Kloden, 4th at the first time check, 13 seconds down.

  60. 15:28:42 BST

    Nibali is about to start, Froome and Wiggins both lining up in the start house behind him...

    And the Italian begins his time trial. Can he hold off Froome until the finish?

    Out on the course Velits comes to the line and he's second 1:06:15,     12 seconds behind Sanchez.

  61. 15:30:11 BST

    And Froome starts his TT.

  62. 15:30:59 BST

    As Menchov reaches the second time check, 38:38 , and 10th place.

  63. 15:33:01 BST

    Wiggins settles in the start house. One final test away from sealing the Tour de France win. There's the possible stage win too.

  64. 15:33:49 BST

    And he's off, to huge cheers, and quickly settles  into his tucked TT position

  65. 15:38:41 BST

    Evans is 1:10 off Sanchez at the first  time check. That's a bit of a surprise. Horner 2:05 down at the first check.

  66. 15:39:12 BST

    Kloden has lost time, 1:04 at the second time check

  67. 15:40:30 BST

    • BMC Racing Team's 2012 Jersey

    Van Garderen is the fastest rider at the first time check. He need 2:37 on Van den Broeck to move into 4th. It could happen.

  68. 15:41:34 BST

    17:24 for Van Garderen, 3 seconds faster than Sanchez.


  69. 15:42:42 BST

    Van den Broeck has lost 26 seconds to the American at the first time check.

  70. 15:48:17 BST

    Nibali 5th, 6 seconds down at the first checkpoint . That's a great time for the Italian. He was good in both individual tests in this race but that's an even better start.

  71. 15:49:08 BST

    Froome 23 seconds faster than Van Garderen at the first time check. Wiggins still to come.

  72. 15:50:23 BST

    And Wiggins goes 12 seconds faster than Froome.

  73. 15:51:19 BST

    That's 35 seconds faster than van Garderen as well. All on course for a 1,2 for Sky both in today's stage and the overall.

  74. 15:58:42 BST

    That's interesting, BMC's main DS is following Van Garderen and not Evans. The American rider is certainly giving it everything though, as he looks to try and overhaul Van Den Broeck.

    At the finish Sanchez is just waiting for the inevitable so he can head back to the team bus.

  75. 15:59:30 BST

    Evans 76th, over 3 minutes down on the second time check and Van Garderen looks to catch him, 4th best time at the second time check.

  76. 16:00:17 BST

    Van Garderen has slowed a bit though. He was the fastest at the first time check.

  77. 16:01:14 BST

    Menchov finishes in 22 place, just over 2 minutes down.

  78. 16:02:06 BST

    Van Garderen is closing in on Evans. Evans deserves a lot of respect but that's a 3 minute gap wiped out already.

  79. 16:08:13 BST

    Froome fastest by 4 seconds at the second time check.

  80. 16:10:28 BST

    Wiggins 53 seconds faster than Froome, and Sanchez at least can break a smile. He knows it's over.

  81. 16:11:48 BST

    Nibali is busy consolidating his 3rd, 15th at the second time check for the Italian.

  82. 16:13:27 BST

    Van Garderen takes the corners well, closing in on a possible 4th place in just his second Tour de France, his 3rd GT.

    Wiggins just has 20km to go.

  83. 16:14:31 BST

    Roche comes  to the finish, 1:10:52. A top ten place  looks over but we'll have to check for Pinot's time.

  84. 16:16:07 BST

    And Pinot is coming to the line, well ahead of Roche and he holds his top ten finish.

  85. 16:19:13 BST

    Brajkovic comes home, 1:09: 51

  86. 16:20:35 BST

    Wiggins is doing 60kph now on a slightly downhill section.

  87. 16:22:28 BST

    Rolland is digging in to keep his 8th place.

  88. 16:22:46 BST

    I think he's done it. Just.

  89. 16:23:52 BST

    Zubeldia almost cooks it on a corner, he could be on for overtaking Evans in the GC.

  90. 16:25:12 BST

    1:09: for Zubelida, with Evans still to finish. The Australian has been poor so far though so the Shack man may have 6th.

  91. 16:25:45 BST

    Evans is down in 9th on GC provisionally.

  92. 16:26:25 BST

    Van den Broeck seems to have enough on Van Garderen at the moment but it's going to  be very close.

  93. 16:28:29 BST

    Van Garderen finishes. A time of 1:06:47, 43 seconds down on Sanchez and Evans comes up to the line too: 1:10:07,  over 4 minutes down.

  94. 16:29:53 BST

    Froome best time so far and heading for second place  on the stage.

  95. 16:31:08 BST

    Wiggins is 1:15 up on Froome at the moment.

  96. 16:32:50 BST

    It looks like van den Broeck has kept 4th. With Evans finishing the Tour in 7th.

    Van den Broeck finishes with 1:08:35

  97. 16:35:09 BST

    Nibali will be the next rider to finish. He's put in a very respectable time trial so far. He's more than done enough to secure 3rd: 1:07:51

  98. 16:35:59 BST

    Froome almost puts 3 minutes into the Italian: finishing with 1:05:29, over 40 seconds faster than Sanchez.

  99. 16:36:37 BST

    And here comes Wiggins. The Tour champion elect, on his way to his second stage win in this year's race.

  100. 16:37:40 BST

    1:04:13 and he punches the Sky as he crosses the line. He's won the stage, he's won the Tour.

  101. 16:38:37 BST

    Wiggins 1:16 faster than Froome, 1:50 up on Sanchez.

    Van Garderen 7th, Porte 5th.

  102. 16:45:27 BST

    1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 1:04:13
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:16
    3 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:50
    4 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:02:02
    5 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:02:25
    6 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano 0:02:28
    7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:34
    8 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 0:02:46
    9 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:02:50
    10 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:05

  103. 16:47:13 BST

    Wiggins leads the GC, 3:21 on Froome, Nibali at 6:19, VBD 10:15.

  104. 16:53:21 BST

    And here's the race GC:

    1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 84:26:31
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:19
    4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:10:15
    5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:11:04
    6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:15:43
    7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:15:51
    8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:16:31
    9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:16:38
    10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:17:17

  105. 16:54:24 BST

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find results, pix, and a report here. And we'll be here tomorrow for full live coverage for the final stage to Paris.

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