Tour de France 2013

June 29 - July 21, 2013, Porto-Vecchio, France, Road

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

We've got five major climbs today! Stage nine takes us 168.5 km ffom Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre, in the second consecutive high mountain stage.

  1. 11:13:09 CEST

    Welcome back to our coverage of the Tour de France. You thought the mountains yesterday were tough? Today is going to be even harder, as five climbs rear up to torture the peloton in stage nine.

  2. 11:16:21 CEST

    What is awaiting the peloton today? Things start out nice and easy (ha ha) with a category two climb.  But they are followed by four cat. one climbs. The only good news is that there is no mountaintop finish.

  3. 11:19:02 CEST

    The stage is scheduled to start at 11:20. There will first be a 4.4km neutralized section, before teh sharp start at 11:30.

  4. 11:24:06 CEST

    And here are the day's climbs, courtesy of

    Km 28.5 - Col de Portet d'Aspet (1 069 m)5.4 kilometre-long climb at 6.9% - category 2
    Km 44.0 - Col de Menté (1 349 m)7 kilometre-long climb at 7.7% - category 1
    Km 90.0 - Col de Peyresourde (1 569 m)13.2 kilometre-long climb at 7% - category 1
    Km 110.5 - Col de Val Louron-Azet (1 580 m)7.4 kilometre-long climb at 8.3% - category 1
    Km 138.0 - La Hourquette d'Ancizan (1 564 m)9.9 kilometre-long climb at 7.5% - category 1

  5. 11:24:57 CEST

    They are indeed underway. And as if the day isn't difficult enough, the temperature at the start was 28° C.

  6. 11:28:13 CEST

    • Garmin-Sharp

    We have one DNS today.  Rohan Dennis of Garmin-Sharp was scheduled to leave on the first rest day, but the decision was made to leave a day earlier. 

  7. 11:31:41 CEST

    There were 186 riders at the start today, meaning11 have left the race so far. Astana is the hardest hit, having lost three riders, and Lampre and Garmin are both two down.

  8. 11:33:05 CEST

    No sooner was the flag dropped for the sharp start than the first attack came, and it was none other than Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM). He has been joined by two others whose names we do not yet have.

  9. 11:34:10 CEST

    Hoogy's two escape companions are Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun) and Laurent Didier (RadioShack Leopard).

  10. 11:35:56 CEST

    But it didn't last. The three have been caught, and now others try their luck.

  11. 11:40:51 CEST

    As always, the Cyclingnewspreview of today's stage here.

  12. 160.1km remaining from 168.5km

    11:42:51 CEST

    • Attack

    Jerome Roy (FDJ) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) now have a slight lead on the pack.

    And another rider was DNS: Michael Schär, BMC, who crashed on the seventh stage.

  13. 11:43:38 CEST

    We apologize, it is of course Jeremy Roy, and not Jerome.

  14. 11:45:09 CEST

    That attack didn't work out either. Now two Garmin riders are giving it a go, will they be able to make it?

  15. 11:48:13 CEST

    Former pro Robbie McEwen is picking Thomas Voeckler to win today. As he tweeted, "Why Voeckler? Good form, won mtn stg in Dauphine. Lost time yday & sold the suffering. Don't be fooled, he'll lick 'em today"Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)

  16. 159.2km remaining from 168.5km

    11:50:04 CEST

    The two Garmin riders David Millar and Jack Bauer have 13 seconds on the peloton. BMC's Tejay van Garderen is trying to catch them.

  17. 11:53:27 CEST

    Simon Greschke of Argos-Shimano joined van Garderen in the chase, but they too have been caught. The two Garmin riders still have about 25 seconds, with Sky leading the chase.

  18. 11:57:41 CEST

    Will we see another Team Sky day today? After yesterday's performance, the other favourites for th crown will likely be quickly coming up with new tactics – or realizing it could be a very long two weeks until Paris.

  19. 148.5km remaining from 168.5km

    11:59:48 CEST

    That one didn't last, either. Peloton together again.

  20. 12:03:02 CEST

    There is a slight split in the peloton -- or a large group is trying to get away. 10-12 riders now slightly off the front.

  21. 12:06:20 CEST

    Peter Kennaugh (Sky) took a tumble off of the road and down into the greenery. He seems to be ok, but apparently the same can't be said of his bike.

  22. 12:07:39 CEST

    Oh, and that large group wasn't successful either. Ruben Plaza of Movistar is the next to give it a go.

  23. 12:09:56 CEST

    The stage started out ascending, as the first climb comes at km 28.5. The first riders are already being dropped, including Saxo-Tinokoff's Benjamn Noval.

  24. 12:13:05 CEST

    With the first mountain ranking only 1 km away, another large group has split off. Yellow jersey Christopher Froome is giving chase.

  25. 12:15:34 CEST

    it looks as if Arnold Jeannesson of FDJ was first over the top, followed by Garmin's Dan Martin.

  26. 12:16:47 CEST

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) was third at the top and Przemyslaw Niemiec of Lampre-Merida fourth.

  27. 12:19:14 CEST

    The GC got tumbled around yesterday, and here is how it looks this morning:

    1     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     32:15:55      
    2     Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling     0:00:51      
    3     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     0:01:25      
    4     Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team     0:01:44      
    5     Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team     0:01:50      
    6     Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:01:51      
    7     Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff            
    8     Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team     0:02:02      
    9     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha     0:02:31      
    10     Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:02:40      


  28. 136km remaining from 168.5km

    12:21:49 CEST

    Jeannesson leads the way in the descent, 10 seconds ahead of Plaza, who in turn is followed by Martin and Niemiec, who in their turn have the long strung-out peloton behind them.

  29. 12:22:47 CEST

    The situation is changing virtually every minute. Steve Morabito (BMC) has now joined Jeannesson in the lead.

  30. 12:25:05 CEST

    Those two have now been joined by Danielson and Jon Izaguirre (Euskaltel). We don't now how much of a lead they have.

  31. 12:25:51 CEST

    And we think they have now been caught anyway.

  32. 12:30:50 CEST

    The second climb started directly after the first. 10 more riders have joined the four in front, with about 10 seconds over the peloton. The peloton itself has split, with Cadel Evans (BMC) in the second group, which is about 40 seconds back.

  33. 12:33:21 CEST

    The 15 riders up front are: Morabito (BMC), Jeannesson (FDJ), Hernandez (TST), Nieve (EUS), Trofimov (KAT), Izagirre (EUS), Rolland (EUC), Losada (EUS), Castroviejo (MOV), Costa (MOV), Plaza (MOV), Hesjedal (GRS), Danielson (GRS), Martin (GRS), and Merderel (SOJ).

  34. 12:34:31 CEST

    Richie Porte is no longer with Froome and is back in the Evans group, at about 30 seconds down.

  35. 12:36:12 CEST

    Van Garderen has been dropped.

  36. 12:38:06 CEST

    We have the 15 riders in front, followed by a 30-plus strong group which includes Froome and Contador. The Evans group is another 30 seconds behind them.

  37. 12:39:01 CEST

    This will be a real test of strength: Contador has three helpers in the group, but Froome is all alone.

  38. 127km remaining from 168.5km

    12:40:07 CEST

    Trofimov (Kastusha) and Danielson have a amall gap on the lead group as they all go up.

  39. 12:43:02 CEST

    Porte is now 1:05 back. Froome is all alone. Will Contador and the others be able to take advantage of this?

  40. 12:45:11 CEST

    Hesjedal jumps from the Froome group, as does a Euskaltel rider, and Rolland.

  41. 12:46:40 CEST

    Valverde and Contador have a little chat -- wouldn't we all love to know what was said!

  42. 12:47:50 CEST

    Hesjedal catches the two leaders at the mountain ranking, taking second behind Danielson.

  43. 12:49:18 CEST

    There is now a long and fairly steep descent, followed by a flattish section of 20-some kms, Then, of course, we have even more climbs.

  44. 12:50:52 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has cemented his lead in the points ranking, and now has a 93 point lead over Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol).

    1     Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling     234      pts
    2     André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol     141      
    3     Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step     128      
    4     Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha     111      
    5     Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling     88      


  45. 12:54:13 CEST

    It looks like there are five riders more or less in the lead, as Anton and Rolland have caught the first three. ´Everyone else quite spread out on the descent.

    Bram Tankink of Belkin has crashed.

  46. 12:57:38 CEST

    Valverde hs jumped and is now between the leaders and the Froome group. Evans is moving up and is within sight of the Froome group.

  47. 13:00:13 CEST

    Dmitiri Murayev of Astana has thrown in the towel and abandoned the race.

  48. 13:01:05 CEST

    • Astana

    That leaves Astana with only five riders in the race.

  49. 13:03:17 CEST

    Things are looking good for th led group, as theynow have a minute on the Froome group. And it looks as if Contador and Co. are doing their best to dump the yelllow jersey.

  50. 13:04:25 CEST

    More riders have joined the leaders. Let's see if we can catch the names.

  51. 13:06:02 CEST

    Valverde had fallen back to the Froome group, but now he attacks!

  52. 13:06:45 CEST

    Froome has no choice but to give chase. He soon joins them, as Plaza as with Valverde.

  53. 13:07:30 CEST

    Contador did not respond and is still in the group.

  54. 13:12:38 CEST

    Let's see if we can set things up here: Hesjedal and Rolland are in front, with 10 riders behind them. The next group is Valverde, Froome and Plaza, with Contador and Evans in a group behind them.

    But things are chaning with every meter....

  55. 13:13:37 CEST

    Contador and Evans were apparently caught by surprise by Valverde's move. Surprisingly, neither has made any attempt to give chase.

  56. 13:15:02 CEST

    Two Movistar riders had joined the Danielson group, but now they have dropped back to help Valverde. The group is now three Movistar riders and only one Sky....

  57. 101km remaining from 168.5km

    13:15:50 CEST

    54 seconds to the Froome group, and 1:09 to the Contador group.

  58. 13:19:33 CEST

    Bardet, de Gendt and de Clerq have joined the two leaders. Actually we look to have many small groups scattered along the way.

  59. 100km remaining from 168.5km

    13:21:37 CEST

    100 km -- and three cat.1 climbs to go. Froome and the Movistars have now caught the first chase group.

  60. 13:23:46 CEST

    The Froome group is 54 seconds behind the lead group.

  61. 13:24:29 CEST

    Four Sky riders hare leading a third group, which is 3:14 down. It looks like Porte is in this group.

  62. 13:25:11 CEST

    The day's intermediate sprint was along the way, and De Gendt took it.

  63. 13:26:37 CEST

    The Froome group is now the chase group. All the little groups have come together to form one large one. Froome is still without helpers, though.

  64. 13:28:34 CEST

    Time for the lead group to start up the day's third climb! That is the Col de Peyresourde (1 569 m)13.2 kilometre-long climb at 7% - category 1.

  65. 13:32:24 CEST

    Things have calmed down a bit for the moment, since all the favourites are all back together again in the same group. They are 1:24 behind the leaders, with the Froome group anotehr two minutes down.

    De Gendt has dropped from the lead group.

  66. 13:36:58 CEST

    WE now have four riders in the lead -- Bardet, Rolland, Hesjedal and de Clerq -- followed by a group with Bakelants, Geschke and Bardet. Which isn't really possible....

  67. 13:38:05 CEST

    Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff lead the big chase group.

  68. 13:41:49 CEST

    De Gendt has fallen back far enough to be caught by the first chase group.

  69. 13:42:41 CEST

    Jose Ivan Guittierez of Movistar has abandoned the race, as has Benjamin Noval (Saxo-Tinkoff).

  70. 13:46:50 CEST

    And now De Gendt has nearly caught the four leaders again.


  71. 83.6km remaining from 168.5km

    13:51:04 CEST

    This is a very long ascent, and we are still not near the top. The Froome group is at 47 seconds, with the Porte group another 1:15 back.

  72. 13:51:30 CEST

    There are now six in the lead group, as Bakelants has joined them.

  73. 13:54:39 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    Froome's win yesterday also gave him the lead in the mountain ranking.

    1     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     31      pts
    2     Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar     31      
    3     Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling     28      
    4     Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team     25      
    5     Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     21     

  74. 13:56:09 CEST

    There are at least five Movistar riders in the Froome group.

  75. 13:58:16 CEST

    What did Mark Cavendish, OPQS, have to say aboaut today's stage? Nothing good, as you can imagne. Yesterday he tweeted, “Today's stage should have been piss easy compared to tomorrow. Which absolutely terrifies me!”
    Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) crashed in the finale but still finished 4th.

  76. 13:59:17 CEST

    Tony Gallopin has dropped back from his group.

  77. 14:01:02 CEST

    This area has suffered terrible damage from floods this early summer, and the riders have said they will donate all the premiums they receive today to this cause.

  78. 14:02:02 CEST

    De Gendt falls back again.

  79. 14:04:31 CEST

    This is one of those not-necessarily so steep, but rather never-ending climbs. It just keeps going and going and going.

  80. 14:05:05 CEST

    But the end is in sight. Only one km left for the five leades.

  81. 14:06:47 CEST

    The Sky car pulls up to the Porte group, which is still 2:30 down.

  82. 14:07:48 CEST

    A Movistar rider jumps from the Froome group. Up ahead. Rolland julmps, but De Gendt has not only managed to come back, but also passes the Frenchman to take the points.

  83. 14:09:35 CEST

    And down the mountain they all fly....

  84. 14:10:35 CEST

    Ryder Hesjedal hinted to Cyclingnews before the start of the stage that he and his Garmin-Sharp teammates would not sit back and let Team Sky control the racing all the way to Paris.

    "We've still got a lot of goals and we want to be aggressive. We've got a lot of guys to do that. There's still a lot of racing to come in this Tour," he said.

    "We've seen the time gaps on the first mountain finish, o what's going to happen in the third week? I think there's going to be lots of chances in this race, I've got to be ready to take them."

  85. 14:12:11 CEST

    "My rib isn’t helping things isn’t helping things but I don’t feel bad. I'm just not in top form. I was hoping I could ride into the race a little bit but I'm not at a top level. It's not unexpected. My run-in to the race wasn't ideal. We've just to be positive and hopefully I can get better as the race keeps going," Hesjedal said.

    “I think a lot of guys were surprised by the time gaps yesterday. But it's the Tour de France and so people go when they can. I didn't feel that great and so I wasn't there to experience the full effect. I was able to ride steady but I just don’t have that top end form."

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) at the start of stage 5

  86. 72km remaining from 168.5km

    14:13:55 CEST

    52 seconds now to the Froome group.

  87. 14:14:58 CEST

    Europcar has moved to the front of the Froome group, and is slowing things down. They want to protect Rolland who is up ahead, and assure he gets back the KOM jersey.

  88. 14:16:00 CEST

    That certainly didn't please the Movistar riders who have moved back to the front.

  89. 14:18:12 CEST

    Simon Clarke of Orica GreenEdge jumped from the Froome group and is dangling somewhere between that group and the leaders.

  90. 67.7km remaining from 168.5km

    14:19:04 CEST

    The fap back to the Froome group, which is now grabbing feed bags, is now 1:34.

  91. 14:20:45 CEST

    Clarke has not only caught the lead group, but passed them!

  92. 14:23:25 CEST

    There is a very short flat section before the next climb, and Clarke has reached it.

  93. 14:25:24 CEST

    The flatness is over and Clarke is now climbing again. The Froome group is 1:44 behind him.

  94. 14:27:29 CEST

    De Gendt is not only out of the lead group, he has fallen out the back of the Froome group.

    Porte takes things into his own hands and heads up to the the group ahead of him -- that is, several minutes ahead of him.

  95. 14:28:05 CEST

    Hesjedal is the next to struggle. He can no longer stay with the others chasing Clarke.

  96. 14:29:30 CEST

    • Garmin-Sharp

    Hesjedal's teammate Andrew Talansky is fighting to hang on to the Froome group.

  97. 14:30:24 CEST

    Porte is moving up, but still 3:13 down, with his captain Froom some two minutes up the road.

  98. 14:32:02 CEST

    Cadel Evans (BMC) tried to stay optimistic about his goals in this year's Tour de France despite losing time on Saturday's stage. He is now targeting a place in the top five or top ten.

    "It was difficult to stay hydrated on the small roads yesterday. I was one of those riders who suffered but that's not good enough because Sky overcame those problems and performed at their best. I was along way off that,” he told Cyclingnews.Cadel Evans (BMC) fights to the finish at Ax 3 Domaines

  99. 63km remaining from 168.5km

    14:32:50 CEST

    1:34 for the Froome group.

  100. 14:37:01 CEST

    Hesjedal has been caught and dropped by the Froome group. Clarke still moves on ahead. De Clerq, Rolland and Bardet are now 25 seconds behind the Australian.

  101. 14:38:49 CEST

    Porte is moving up slowly but surely, passing individual riders and small groups along the way.

  102. 14:42:29 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    One team car moves up to the three chasers and hands out bidons to all.

  103. 14:43:51 CEST

    This climb too has endless switchbacks working their way up.

  104. 14:44:44 CEST

    Some more thoughts from Cadel Evans:

    "We have to stay realistic now. I came here to go for the win like in 2011. That's a little bit unrealistic. Finishing in the first five would be good and getting in the first ten is the first step. There's a lot of hard racing to go. Yesterday was a preview of what is to come. We're going to take things step by step and try and move up on GC."

    "We haven't had a heap of reasons to be good about our moral. We haven't had the results to feedback to the work we put in. That's sport, that's cycling and a reflection of life. You have tough out the difficult moments to enjoy the good times."

  105. 14:47:36 CEST

    • Climb

    Clarke tops out on the Col de Val Louron-Azet. Only one more climb to go!

  106. 14:48:11 CEST

    He has 18 seconds on the three chasers, 1:10 over the Froome group, and 3:15 over Porte.

  107. 14:49:55 CEST

    Porte has gathered a little group around him. Of course they are allowing him to do all the lead work.

  108. 14:51:57 CEST

    We know hear that despite earlier reports, Muravyev did not abandon and is still in the race. Astana called Cyclingnews to tell us that, and they should certainly know best!

  109. 14:53:06 CEST

    The gap back to the Froome group is shrinking on this descent, and is now only 56 seconds.

  110. 14:55:17 CEST

    VIP guest here today: French president Francois Hollande is at the race.

  111. 50km remaining from 168.5km

    14:57:10 CEST

    50 km to go, and they are all going downhill at the moment.

  112. 14:57:28 CEST

    The three chasers have caught Clarke.

  113. 14:58:28 CEST

    Porte is not really having much luck. He is still 3:48 back.

  114. 15:02:31 CEST

    Don’t expect to see any maverick attacks from Bauke Mollema (Team Belkin) today. The Dutch rider lies fourth on GC, with team-mate Laurens Ten-Dam in fifth. Mollema  said the team strategy was to hang on as long as possible and see what happens when the race reaches the final climb to La Hourquette d’Ancizan.

    “Before the last climb we’ll keep quiet as long as possible,” he said in Saint-Girons this morning. "I think it’s going to be a hard day with a lot of climbing. I hope to be with the best riders on the last climb and then we’ll see what happens.”

  115. 15:04:09 CEST

    We are told that Movistar has done 100% of the lead work in the chase group over the last 10 minutes!

  116. 15:05:54 CEST

    • Garmin-Sharp

    Garmin-Sharp directeur sportif Charly Wegelius spoke at length about before the start of the stage. Perhaps knowing the aggressive tactics that his riders would play out, he predicted that the Tour de France was far from over.

    "Go and look at the history of the Tour de France. There are all kinds of crisis that happen for tiny little reasons. I don’t think it’s over by a long way," he said.

  117. 15:06:25 CEST

    Only 27 seconds back to the Froome group now.

  118. 15:08:42 CEST

    • Climb

    And time to start yet another climb, the last one of the day: La Hourquette d'Ancizan (1 564 m)9.9 kilometre-long climb at 7.5% - category 1

    Only 16 seconds gap now.

  119. 15:10:36 CEST

    Garmin-Sharp still has plenty of goals, Wegelius told Cycling news.

    "Dan (Martin) was pinging and has a chance to do extremely well in the next few days and winning a stage is definitely on the menu. We've got an important project with Andrew (Talansky) for the white jersey. But as we've said from the start of the race, we've got a lot of options for the race and we'll try and use all of them. A final jersey in Paris is important, it's a prestigious thing and good for the team. But I don’t think that has preclude going after other objectives."

  120. 15:11:12 CEST

    Bardet jumps as the ascent begins.

  121. 15:11:26 CEST

    And Rolland is caught by the Froome group.

  122. 15:12:05 CEST

    Movistar still plugging away at the head of that group.

  123. 15:14:38 CEST

    The chase group is gobbling up the former leaders, one by one.

  124. 15:15:52 CEST

    Wegelius also talked about Australian neo-pro Rohan Dennis who did not start the stage.

    "He came into the Tour so that he discover the Tour de France, learn about it for the future and grow as a rider. He's done that in these first days. The objective was to get to the first rest day to see how he was but unfortunately the calf injury he picked up moved it forward a little. Our priority is to look after him for the future and I think he can still go away from the races with a lot of positive experiences. Now we've got to give him the time to develop."

  125. 15:16:44 CEST

    Clarke now off the back of the chase group.

  126. 15:19:11 CEST

    Bardet has been caught. Movistar still in the lead of what is now the first group.

  127. 36.7km remaining from 168.5km

    15:21:05 CEST

    It seems highly unlikely that Richie Porte will move up to the lead group and retain his second place overall, as hie is now in teh second group at 4:45.

  128. 15:22:06 CEST

    And now 5:18 for Porte.

  129. 15:24:30 CEST

    Peter Sagan is quite the hero in this race so far. Check out our video of him.

  130. 15:26:15 CEST

    Wegelius talked about Ryder Hesjedal.

    "I think Ryder is a victim of his less than perfect run into the Tour, with his crash in Switzerland and then his rib. It's been a disappointment personally but his race isn’t over and the team's situation is positive," he said.

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp)

  131. 15:27:08 CEST

    Quintana takes a slight lead on the group, but Froome leads the chase to catch him.

  132. 15:27:38 CEST

    Dan Martin of Garmin is the next to jump, and he is allowed to go.

  133. 15:28:02 CEST

    He is then followed by Jakob Fuglsang of Astana.

  134. 15:28:26 CEST

    And then an Euskaltel rider jumps.

  135. 15:30:01 CEST

  136. 15:30:45 CEST

    Quintana jumps again and is caught again,a s is the Euskaltel rider.

    Martin and Fuglsang are together in the lead.

  137. 15:31:33 CEST

    Kreuziger leads the chase group now, with Andy Schleck on second wheel.

  138. 15:32:46 CEST

    Quintana goes yet again! And again Froome goes right with him!

  139. 15:33:26 CEST

    There are no more than 15 riders in this group, we would estmate.

  140. 15:35:30 CEST

    Froome now leading the group.

  141. 15:36:25 CEST

    Joaquim Rodriguez, Cadel Evans, Robert Gesink are also all in this group.

  142. 31.6km remaining from 168.5km

    15:37:03 CEST

    Fuglsang and Martin now have 41 seconds on the chasers.

  143. 15:38:24 CEST

    Wegelius was asked about Chris Froome and the fact that he immediately faced questions about his performance.

    "He's in the prime of his career in a physiological point of view. But he doesn’t have a lot of experience, so we can only expect him to grow in the next few years. He's an extremely strong athlete," Wegelius said.

    "I think it's a shame that the riders of this generation have to deal with the mistakes of the past but I think the top riders are quite aware that it’s a question that is going to get asked. I don’t think Froome has a problem with that." 

  144. 15:39:12 CEST

    Once again, lots of fans along the road.


  145. 15:40:48 CEST

    A Vacansoleil rider has now jumped from the group, but we are not sure who it is.

    Martin crosses over the mountain ranking ahead of Fuglsang.

  146. 15:42:27 CEST

    The Vacansoleil rider is Wout Poels, who at this time last year was in intensive care. Nice comeback!

  147. 15:43:09 CEST

    A slight gap has formed ahead of Froome, and you can bet he hurries to close it.

  148. 15:43:42 CEST

    It's all downhill from here, about 28 km to the finish line.

  149. 15:44:20 CEST

    41 seconds back to the Froome group.

  150. 15:44:54 CEST

    When last heard of, Richie Porte was over eight minutes back.

  151. 15:45:46 CEST

    Three Belkin riders in the group: Ten Dam, Mollema and Gesink.

  152. 15:46:25 CEST

    Wegelius said he did not expect Contador to perform at his very best in this year's Tour de France but again warned about predicting the race was already over.

    "Contador showed in the Dauphine that he wasn't coming into the Tour in top shape," he said. "If you go and look at the map, you can see this race resembles the Giro d'Italia in lots of ways. It's weighted a lot to the last week. A lot can change in the last week. If you come to the last week a little bit empty, you're going to pay the price for it. So this Tour isn't over by a long shot."

  153. 15:46:53 CEST

    10:43 now for Porte, who has been joined by Hesjedal.

  154. 25km remaining from 168.5km

    15:47:58 CEST

    25km and nearly a minute gap now.

  155. 25km remaining from 168.5km

    15:48:00 CEST

    25km and nearly a minute gap now.

  156. 15:49:06 CEST

    Schleck dangling off the end of the field. He is not the best descender in the peloton.

  157. 15:51:21 CEST

    EVen the descent is failry well lined with fans.

  158. 15:53:18 CEST

    Less than 20 km now, and 41 seconds for Fuglsang and Martin.

  159. 15:55:55 CEST

    Kwiatkowski has jumped from the Froome group. He is no doubt trying to claim back the young rider's jersey from Quintana. Of course, if he took a stage win, that would be nice too.

  160. 15:56:38 CEST

    Kwiatkowsk has been caught now.

  161. 15:59:05 CEST

    Gesink is pulling the chase group along, setting a high pace.

  162. 16:02:25 CEST

    10 km now and 25 seconds for Martin and Fuglsang.

  163. 16:05:01 CEST

    The two leaders thread their way through a village, with the finish line still over 7 km away.

  164. 16:08:01 CEST

    Froome has been alone much of the day, but has had no problem at all. Both Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff have had multiple riders in the group, but they have been unable to dislodge the yellow jersey.

  165. 16:08:50 CEST

    4km and 37 seconds for the two leaders. They ought to be able to pull this off.

  166. 16:11:18 CEST

    Only two km now, as we try to decide which of these two is the better sprinter.

  167. 16:12:32 CEST

    Fuglsang leads the way under the flamme rouge....

  168. 16:12:57 CEST

     Much looking back and forth -- but Martin won't move forward, not yet.

  169. 16:13:39 CEST

    Fuglsang does what he can to convince MArtin to take the lead -- and he finally does. And the Irishman takes the win!

  170. 16:14:04 CEST

    About 18 seconds later, the Froome group comes in.

  171. 16:15:03 CEST

    We thnk that the last Irishman to win a stage at the Tour was Martin's uncle, Stephen Roche, in 1993.

  172. 16:15:47 CEST

    Michel Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was third on the day, leadng the group across the finish line.

  173. 16:16:44 CEST

    Stage results, today you get top 11:

    1    Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp    4:43:03
    2    Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team   
    3    Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    0:00:20
    4    Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha   
    5    Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha   
    6    Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team   
    7    Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team   
    8    Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team   
    9    Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits   
    10    Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard   
    11    Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team

  174. 16:17:35 CEST

    Porte won't be coming in for a long time now, so he has dropped out of his second place overall. It looks like everyone else just moves up one notch. Froome, of course, is still the leader.

  175. 16:18:20 CEST

    And here the new top ten:

    1    Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling    36:59:18
    2    Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team    0:01:25
    3    Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    0:01:44
    4    Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    0:01:50
    5    Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    0:01:51
    6    Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    0:01:51
    7    Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team    0:02:02
    8    Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp    0:02:28
    9    Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha    0:02:31
    10    Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team    0:02:45

  176. 16:20:22 CEST

    An interesing stage today, and the day is not yet over for the peloton. They must all jump in an airplane and fly up north, for their rest day. And on Tuesday the fun starts all over again!

  177. 16:21:16 CEST

    Thanks for reading along with us, enjoy the free day tomorrow and check back in again on Tuesday!

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