Tour de France 2015

July 4-26, 2015, Utrecht (ITT), France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from stage 12 of the Tour de France.

 

Tour de France stage 11 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 13
Tour de France 2015 stage 12 forum
Tour de France 2015 preview
Tour de France 2015 start list

  1. 10:53:12 CEST

    Welcome back for the final day in the Pyrenees. It's a cracker of a day with 195km on the menu with four categorized climbs culminating with the summit finish at Plateau de Beille.

  2. 10:58:30 CEST

    It's an early start this morning with riders already on the startline and waiting for the roll out. It should be a frantic start to the stage too with the intermediate sprint coming after just 20km of racing. 

  3. 10:59:50 CEST

    • Gold Jersey

    In terms of GC, here's how things stand coming into the stage:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 41:03:31
    2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
    3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:59
    5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
    6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
    7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:04:33
    8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:35
    9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:06:44
    10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:07:05
    11 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:47

     

  4. 11:01:03 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    In the battle for the Green Jersey the situation is a little tighter with Sagan a few points ahead of Greipel:

     

    1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 239 pts
    2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 232
    3 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 184
    4 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 172
    5 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 108

     

  5. 11:03:03 CEST

     

  6. 11:03:50 CEST

    Stats & Facts

    Plateau de Beille makes its sixth appearance in the Tour de France since its debut in 1998, when Marco Pantani won the stage.This stage has the second-highest number of points for the King of the Mountains competition – 75. The most is stage 20, with 85.It’s also the stage with the second highest number of climbing kilometres, with 47.1km in total on the classified climbs. The most is stage 19 with 61.5km

     

  7. 11:04:27 CEST

    The climbs

    57.5km Cat 2 climb Col de Portet d’Aspet  
    93km Cat 1 climb Col de la Core 
    144km Cat 1 climb Port de Lers 
    195km HC climb Plateau de Beille 

     

  8. 11:06:17 CEST

    On paper this is a stage suited to Team Sky, if they're allowed to impose their tactics on their rival teams. Movistar and Saxo Bank will be looking to break up the British team's rhythm so it will certainly be interesting to see the make-up of the early break and if rivals try and split the race on the descents. 

     

  9. 11:08:06 CEST

    As for the final climb it's brutal. There are pitches over 9 per cent right at the base and that's where we could see some serious attacks from riders further down on GC. By then Team Sky will be reduced to their pure climbers. The road levels out to around 6-9 percent half way up the climb but there's a few tougher pitches in the second half.

     

  10. 11:13:37 CEST

    Just a couple of minutes now until the roll out with a few nervous faces around. Froome is at the front, and in yellow, with the rest of the competition leaders either side of him. Today Froome could take a massive step towards sealing the Tour de France while his rivals will be hoping for any weakness they can exploit. 

     

  11. 11:17:22 CEST

    • Lotto-Soudal 2015 team jersey

    And the riders are off, heading out through the neutralized zone. Blue skies, sun and heat is the order of the day and the conditions will certainly play a factor as we see a number of Lotto Soudal riders on the front. 

     

  12. 11:24:54 CEST

    The race has started and Lotto are all over the front as they look to set Greipel up for the intermediate sprint. The heat is certainly going to be a factor today with the mercury pushing 40. The pace is already furious as sprinters move up towards the front of the bunch. 

     

  13. 11:26:13 CEST

    Greipel is being marked by Sagan at the end of the Lotto Soudal train. They don't want a break to form ahead of the intermediate sprint as they look to set Greipel up for maximum points. 

     

  14. 11:27:15 CEST

    • Lotto-Soudal 2015 team jersey

    The bunch is already lined out as Lotto Soudal make their intent clear. 

     

  15. 11:28:38 CEST

    At the back of the peloton Barguil is already calling for the medical car. The Frenchman has battled through the mountains so far after his heavy fall a couple of days ago. 

     

  16. 11:30:37 CEST

    If you have a view on today's stage, why not dip into the forums and have your say?

     

  17. 11:31:49 CEST

    While if you want to catch up with yesterday's action then there's no better place to start than with the Cyclingnews podcast- sponsored by British Eurosport

     

  18. 11:38:07 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    Just over 10km covered and it's still Lotto Soudal on the front as we approach the intermediate sprint. A reminder of how things stand in the points competition:

    1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 239 pts
    2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 232
    3 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 184
    4 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 172
    5 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 108

     

  19. 11:40:20 CEST

    • Etixx-QuickStep 2015 team jersey

    We get our first glimpse of Mark Cavendish near the front of the race. He's a little further back in the Green jersey standings but still a threat to Sagan and Greipel. 

     

  20. 178km remaining from 195km

    11:41:17 CEST

    Cavendish is currently locked on Greipel's rear wheel with Degekolb and Sagan a little further back. 

     

  21. 11:43:23 CEST

    Cavendish is without a teammate at the moment as he glues himself to Greipel's rear wheel. We're about 3km from the intermediate sprint. 

     

  22. 11:44:24 CEST

    And the pace ramps up with the sprint now just 1500m away. Lotto lift the speed as the leadout begins. 

     

  23. 11:44:44 CEST

    It's Giant who take it up with 500 to go.

     

  24. 11:46:19 CEST

    But it's Greipel who takes it. Degenkolb opened his sprint but the Lotto rider was too good. Cavendish was perhaps blocked in the sprint and could only manage fourth. And we've already got a few attacks on our hands as riders try and make the first major break of the day.

     

  25. 11:48:00 CEST

    Both Astana and Europcar have launched riders up the road but more are chasing on. We have three leaders on the road with confirmation that Greipel won the sprint ahead of Degenkolb and Sagan. So the Green Jersey is set to change hands once again.

     

  26. 171km remaining from 195km

    11:48:42 CEST

    The three riders on the attack are Westra, Coquard and Meintjes. 

     

  27. 11:51:40 CEST

    Behind the leading trio we have a second group that includes Fuglsang, Sicard and Bardet. Will Team Sky let this one go?

     

  28. 11:53:21 CEST

    Coquard has dropped back, perhaps realising that there's four major climbs on the stage. 

     

  29. 11:54:44 CEST

    The lead group swelling to 11 riders but more and more and coming across. It looks like Team Sky are letting this one go. 

     

  30. 11:55:48 CEST

    Garmin are on the front of the peloton, they've missed all the moves and have started chasing. That's going to be a big ask to pull this move back.

     

  31. 11:57:07 CEST

    Rodriguez, Chavanel, Bardet all in the lead group. We'll bring you the full list of names once we have the. The world champion is also there, according to race radio.

     

  32. 12:01:14 CEST

    We've covered just under 30km and the break is now over a minute ahead of the peloton. There are over 20 riders on the attack and it will be interesting to see if the move is in fact too big. The cooperation is key at this stage as Garmin still try and mount a chase from the front of the peloton. 

     

  33. 12:06:27 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    Garmin have sat up and the gap between the 22 man break and the peloton nudges towards four minutes. Team Sky move to the front of the peloton and restore order, tapping out a steady tempo.

     

  34. 12:08:11 CEST

    Froome, right now, is back with the Team Sky car and picking up a bottle. The gap to the break continues to extend is out to 4'33 with 157km to go.

     

  35. 12:10:24 CEST

    Luke Rowe, Pete Kennaugh, and Geraint Thomas are on the front and policing the peloton as they settle in for an early lunch. The break are working well at this stage but we should see another key selection on the first climb of the day, the Portet-d'Aspet

     

  36. 12:16:00 CEST

    A full list of riders in the break from race radio and le Tour:

     

    Lieuwe Westra, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Matthieu Ladagnous, Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx), Romain Bardet, Mickaël Chérel, Christophe Riblon (AG2R), Jan Barta (Bora), Bryan Coquard, Romain Sicard (Europcar), Kristjian Durasek (Lampre), Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Sylvain Chavanel, Jérôme Coppel (IAM), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Frédéric Brun, Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché), Louis Meintjes (MTN), Georg Preidler (Giant), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo)

     

  37. 12:17:46 CEST

    The gap moves out to 5'52 while we have two chasers in between the break and the peloton. Froome back near the front of the peloton and riding just off Thomas and Porte, who is in the KOM jersey. 

     

  38. 12:20:06 CEST

    Stannard has the peloton lined out with BMC and Movistar a little further back. We see Contador moving up near the front, and today is a huge day for him. If he loses yet more time today his overall challenge will surely be over. 

     

  39. 12:30:21 CEST

    50km into the stage and the peloton are almost on the lower slopes of the first climb. The gap is at 6'12.

     

  40. 12:32:16 CEST

    On the front of the beak Fuglsang taps out a decent tempo that the rest of the break can all follow. There are a few passengers at the back of the move but we should see a selection of shorts on this climb, the Col de Portet-d'Aspet, with pitches between 6-9 per cent. 

     

  41. 12:36:07 CEST

    Back in the bunch and Team Sky continue to roll along at the front, well aware of the difficulties that lie ahead. Alex Dowsett is already in trouble though and is losing ground on the peloton. 

     

  42. 12:37:50 CEST

    The break have just ridden past the Fabio Casartelli memorial on the climb, who lost his life here in 1995. 

     

  43. 12:40:00 CEST

    The gap is holding at around six minutes on the early slopes of the climb with 140km to go . 

     

  44. 12:42:55 CEST

    • FDJ 2015 team jersey

    Pinot, who has struggled so much in the race so far, is at the back of the peloton for now. He's over 34 minutes down on Froome, all chance of making the top ten over for this year but can he find his legs in the Alps and come back to win a stage? Today is probably all about survival for the Frenchman. 

     

  45. 12:44:36 CEST

    • Team Katusha 2015 team jersey

    Another rider who is out of the GC picture is Rodriguez who has lost time on each of the mountain stages so far. The Spaniard, like last year, is now targeting stages wins. He already has one from earlier in the race. You can read his comments here.

     

  46. 12:47:46 CEST

    Tinkoff Saxo have more of a present on the front of the peloton than we've seen in recent days, although they have a stage and the green jersey at present (after the stage). Contador is still within the top ten and has won on Plateau de Beille in the past. It's still Team Sky on the front though with Rowe setting the pace. 

     

  47. 12:54:55 CEST

    The escapees are nearing the summit of the Col de Portet-d'Aspet whilst Team Sky lead the bunch behind as the gradients ramp up to 9 per cent.

  48. 13:01:43 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    Georg Preidler (Giant) takes the points by leading the break over the climb with a lead of just over five minutes. 

  49. 13:04:41 CEST

    The peloton are also over the top and on the descent to the foot of the Col de la Core - the first of two first-category climbs that precede the summit finish at Plateau de Beille. 

     

  50. 13:08:24 CEST

    Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Soudal) and Angelo Tulik (Europcar), who set off in pursuit of the breakaway group, are closing in and are now just over a minute from making the bridge. 

     

  51. 13:11:25 CEST

    News comes in over race radio that Alex Dowsett and Zak Dempster have both abandoned the race. Both were off the back from early on today having struggled considerably on yesterday's stage. 

  52. 13:18:55 CEST

    • Movistar Team 2015 team jersey

    It's a disappointing end to Dowsett's debut Tour de France. He has been hampered by an elbow injury sustained early on and hasn't been able to perform as well as hoped. With transition stages on the menu over the next few days, he might have hoped to be able to get through today before recovering slightly and thinking about making it to Paris. 

  53. 118km remaining from 195km

    13:21:40 CEST

    The gap between the break and the peloton has gone out to 6:30 as we approach the Col de la Core. 

     

  54. 13:24:28 CEST

    • AG2R La Mondiale 2015 team jersey

    Romain Bardet is one of the men in that break. After already losing so much ground on general classification, the Frenchman is in the hunt for a stage win. Here’s what AG2R-La Mondiale directeur sportif Julien Jurdie said to France Televisions from the team car.

     

    “Our goal today is to regain confidence and pleasure after the two slaps we got in the face in the first two stages in the Pyrenees. We have three riders at the front today. It's a big breakaway. Romain Bardet's legs seem to turn well today but the last two hours of racing will be very difficult. Four minutes lead at the bottom of Plateau de Beille are needed against an irritated Chris Froome.”

     

  55. 13:28:51 CEST

    The breakaway riders are climbing and the the peloton are about to start doing the same. Here's what lies in store. As you can see, it's a fairly gentle start but it only gets harder. 

     

     

  56. 13:33:22 CEST

    Westra is pushing on here on the front of the breakaway. Astana are looking to force the issue with two men in there. That 22-rider pack is starting to string out and fragment. 

     

  57. 13:39:02 CEST

    The acceleration in the front group has seen Riblon, Roy, Ladagnous, Coquard, Brun and Kwiatkowski all lost contact. 

     

  58. 13:42:50 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    Sky are leading the bunch on the climb. Froome has pretty much a full complement of teammates around him, which bodes well - maybe not for everyone else - for the summit finish. 

     

  59. 13:50:08 CEST

    • Etixx-QuickStep 2015 team jersey

    Things have come back together in the breakaway group. Kwiatkowski is back at the Etixx team car, presumably discussing the plan of attack. 

     

  60. 13:52:58 CEST

    First drops of rain at the finish in Plateau de Beille, and it's raining lightly now where the riders are too. If it continues to come down it could make things interesting on the descent. 

     

     

  61. 103km remaining from 195km

    13:59:10 CEST

     Just a shade over 100km to go as he peloton see Movistar move to the front, the gap at 8'28. 

  62. 14:01:56 CEST

    Daniel Teklehaimanot is at the back of the peloton and he's been there for most of the last two climbs. The MTN rider another to reach survival mode on the third day in the Pyrenees. 

     

  63. 14:03:49 CEST

    At the front of the break Chavanel takes a turn on the front, the Frenchman in his second break of the race so far. 

     

  64. 14:05:13 CEST

    And there's an attack from the break with 
    Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) going clear and taking the points on the summit. Georg Preidler (Team Giant-Alpecin) was second. 

     

  65. 14:07:02 CEST

    At the back of the peloton Mark Cavendish is starting to lose contact. He has Vermote by his side so even when he's dropped he should make contact on the descent. 

     

  66. 14:11:08 CEST

    The rain is continuing to fall on the peloton as the break tackle the long descent towards the valley and the third climb of the stage. 

     

  67. 14:12:35 CEST

    It's a technical descent, especially in the rain, but the break aren't taking too many risks at this point. They still have over eight minutes on the main field, who are still climbing. 

     

  68. 14:13:54 CEST

    Sky are upping the pace on the climb as they close in on the summit. 

     

  69. 14:16:18 CEST

    It's Bardet who leads the break on the descent and the AG2R rider has created a number of gaps already as he cuts the corner as best he can. There's still 91 km to go and two very difficult climbs. 

     

  70. 14:19:05 CEST

    Correction it's Cherel on the front and he's been joined by Vanmarcke.

     

  71. 14:20:38 CEST

    A reminder of those in the main break: 

    Lieuwe Westra, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Matthieu Ladagnous, Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx), Romain Bardet, Mickaël Chérel, Christophe Riblon (AG2R), Jan Barta (Bora), Bryan Coquard, Romain Sicard (Europcar), Kristjian Durasek (Lampre), Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Sylvain Chavanel, Jérôme Coppel (IAM), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Frédéric Brun, Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché), Louis Meintjes (MTN), Georg Preidler (Giant), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo)

     

  72. 14:23:43 CEST

    Six leaders have split from the main break but more and more are making contact as we head through the feedzone. They should all be back together by the time the next climb begins.

     

  73. 14:27:29 CEST

    Westra and Navarro are off the back of the leading riders and trying to make contact having been distanced on the descent. 

     

  74. 75km remaining from 195km

    14:35:31 CEST

    Just five riders from the original break haven't been able to make contact yet with the front of the race and Chavanel , Brun and roy are among them. 

     

  75. 14:37:00 CEST

    Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step), Georg Preidler (Team Giant-Alpecin) and Sep Vanmarcke (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) have jumped clear and created a small advantage over the rest of the break as they continue to race amongst themselves. BMC and Team Sky are controlling the pace of the main field, which is now at 10'40.

     

  76. 14:38:32 CEST

    Sep Vanmarcke (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and his two companions have 44 seconds on the rest of the break as Chavanel makes it back after a long chase. 

     

  77. 14:42:05 CEST

    These three leaders are working well together and it's starting to pay off as they move 11'56 clear of the peloton. They have 1'03 on the rest of the break, who have lost Riblon, a former Tour de France stage winner.

     

  78. 14:43:38 CEST

    The Port de Lers is coming up, a first category climb. It's 12.9km in length with a shallow start before more serious ramps of around 6-9 per cent. 

     

  79. 14:43:40 CEST

    The Port de Lers is coming up, a first category climb. It's 12.9km in length with a shallow start before more serious ramps of around 6-9 per cent. 

     

  80. 14:49:08 CEST

    The three leaders head into Massat with their advantage over the peloton out to 12'124. On paper Kwiatkowski is the strongest climber of the three but he was certainly struggling on the last ascent. 


    The rest of the break, it seems, have started to attack each other.

     

  81. 14:49:53 CEST

    The three leaders have 1'24 on the rest of the break with the onus on AG2R to do some chasing. 

     

  82. 14:52:34 CEST

    Cocquard is starting to lose ground, and is dropping back from the break. 64km to go. 

     

  83. 14:54:29 CEST

    But the three leaders are extending their advantage to 1'46 as they head to the lower slopes of the Port de Lers.

     

  84. 15:05:13 CEST

    The leaders have lost a few seconds to the chase break who start to organise their effort. 

     

  85. 15:07:26 CEST

    Team Sky have moved up now that we're on the second to last climb. They know that attacks could come early today as Movistar and Tinkoff look to set up their leaders for the final climb. 

     

  86. 15:12:45 CEST

    Georg Preidler (Team Giant-Alpecin) has been dropped from the lead group so we're down to just two leaders as the chasing break start to attack each other, Fuglsang the latest rider to attempt a move. 

     

  87. 15:14:04 CEST

    So it's Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) and Sep Vanmarcke who lead the race with a gap of 11'50 over the peloton. 

     

  88. 15:15:05 CEST

    Back to the peloton and Team Sky have lost two riders from the front after all the pace duties they've carried out. They still have seven men including Froome on the front. 

  89. 15:15:51 CEST

    56km to go and Louis Meintjes (MTN - Qhubeka), Fuglsang and Bardet are together and about to catch the two leaders. This is a key moment in the race. 

     

  90. 15:16:54 CEST

    The leaders are 5km from the summit of the Port de Lers as the Fuglsang group continue to chase. They're about 15 seconds back. 

     

  91. 15:17:58 CEST

    Konig and Poels are setting the pace for Froome at the moment with Quintana and Contador both where they need to be. Sagan though is starting to lose ground on the peloton. 

     

  92. 15:21:21 CEST

    Sicard and Rodriguez have joined up with the Fuglsang group. So has Izagirre and Cherel. 

     

  93. 54km remaining from 195km

    15:22:37 CEST

    54km to go and the the leading duo push on, their gap to the peloton is at 10'26. Someone from the break should win today, unless we see the favourite start to attack each other on this climb. There are around 60 riders left in the main field.

     

  94. 15:23:35 CEST

    In other news today, Lance Armstrong is back on French roads. If you wish, you can read what he has to say, right here.

     

  95. 15:24:18 CEST

    Froome still has six men with him on the front of the peloton and he's looking comfortable at this point but there's still a long, long way to go. 

     

  96. 15:24:49 CEST

    Kwiatkowski and Vanmarcke have 15 seconds on the chase group that contains the remnants of the main break. 

     

  97. 15:27:30 CEST

    Nibali is still riding near the front of the peloton as well. He had blood tests carried out this morning to determine why he has not been able to compete in the mountains. 

     

    At the back of the peloton Peraud has been dropped. He almost stops pedalling all together. 

     

  98. 15:28:29 CEST

    Dan Martin is also losing ground at the back of the peloton. 

     

  99. 15:36:21 CEST

    Courtesy of le Tour, here are the results from the top of the Port de Lers. 

     

    1. Michal Kwiatkowski, 10 pts

    2. Sep Vanmarcke, 8 pts

    At 0.053. Mikaël Chérel, 6 pts

    4. Louis Meintjes, 4 pts

     

  100. 15:37:06 CEST

    More and more wet roads on the descent, as the peloton climb towards the top of the climb. There's currently hail at the finish so the temperature continues to fall. 

     

  101. 15:37:48 CEST

    On the descent and 44km to go, the gap to the main field is at 9'54 as Wout Poels sets the pace for Team Sky with Kennaugh on his wheel.

     

  102. 15:39:00 CEST

    It's the world champion who has done most of the work on the front for much of the climb and now the descent. He's going all out for the stage win and isn't interested in linking up with a chase group that contains Fuglsang, Bardet and Rodriguez. 

     

  103. 15:39:53 CEST

    As I say that Vanmarcke comes through and takes a lengthy turn on the front as we see Coquard being put out his misery by the peloton.

     

  104. 15:40:29 CEST

    And the peloton crest the climb with the gap at 9'39. 

     

  105. 15:40:57 CEST

    And there's a fall for Louis Meintjes (MTN - Qhubeka)!

     

  106. 15:41:16 CEST

    He's back on his bike, his chain back on too and he's chasing again. 

     

  107. 15:41:53 CEST

    The roads are wetter the further down the descent and it's causing problems as we see Vanmarcke having to correct his line on one left hand corner.

     

  108. 15:42:20 CEST

    No risks from Team Sky at this point but they're on the drier sections with Konig on the front.

     

  109. 15:46:50 CEST

    Louis Meintjes (MTN - Qhubeka) has made it back to the second group on the road as the tackle a flatter section of the course.

     

  110. 15:47:25 CEST

    Kennaugh has now moved to the front of the peloton and is setting the pace for Froome and the rest of the GC riders. 

     

  111. 33km remaining from 195km

    15:47:56 CEST

    The leading duo have 46 seconds on the chase group with 33km to go.

     

  112. 15:48:54 CEST

    Kennaugh has Froome on his wheel and the yellow jersey looks comfortable at this point. We have the descent and then the final major ascent to the finish line. 

     

  113. 15:50:08 CEST

    Kwiatkowski and Vanmarcke share a few words as they swap turns on the descent. They've worked well together but what do they have left in the tank? 

     

  114. 15:52:34 CEST

    Bramati, hopefully with his seatbelt on, pulls alongside the world champion and offers him some advice and food. He'll tell the Pole to keep the pressure on but save something for the climb. 

     

  115. 15:53:33 CEST

    It's 1'10 for the two leaders with 28km to go. Fuglsang, Bardet and Rodriguez still have a chance for the stage win but they can't afford to give the world champion more than two minutes. 

     

  116. 15:56:09 CEST

    Vanmarcke, the Classics specialists is doing a fine job for his squad today, flying the flag for Lotto NL. It's all up to Gesink though for the final climb, the Dutch climber showing some of his best form in years during this year's Tour de France. 

     

  117. 25km remaining from 195km

    15:56:50 CEST

    25km to go. The two leaders have 1'24 on the chase and 10'51 over the peloton. 

     

  118. 15:57:35 CEST

    Froome, Nibali, Contador, Quintana, van Garderen are all in the main field. Who will strike first on the final climb? 

     

  119. 15:59:29 CEST

    Onto the flat section before the final climb and the race is heading towards a massive showdown on . Plateau de Beille.

     

  120. 16:01:59 CEST

    A few more riders have linked up with the second group, including Sicard and Barta. The two leaders have 11'16 over the peloton.

     

  121. 20km remaining from 195km

    16:04:05 CEST

    20km to go and just one climb left. The world champion is on the front and setting the pace at the moment as we approach Plateau de Beille.

     

  122. 16:05:03 CEST

    It's Konig on the front for Team Sky, still no pressure has been put on them during the stage. Are we about to see another show from Froome?

     

  123. 16:07:52 CEST

    What can Vanmacke pull out of the bag on this climb? He's not suited to the mountains but he's held his own today as Westra is caught by the main field. 17km to go.

     

  124. 16:08:45 CEST

    Team Sky have the peloton strung out with Konig still on the front and Poels just behind him. At this rate Froome will be left with at least four men for the final climb. 

     

  125. 16:09:54 CEST

    The two leaders have 1'51 on the chase group of Rodriguez, Bardet and others. 

     

  126. 16:10:16 CEST

    Pinot has gone back to the team car. 

     

  127. 16:11:29 CEST

    Almost onto the lower slopes of the ascent but we're already climbing with the world champion setting the pace. Can he pick up a stage win here for Etixx?

     

  128. 16:12:01 CEST

    Rodriguez is trying to get the chase going but it's just not happening, they're all waiting for the final climb but will they run out of time?

     

  129. 16:12:37 CEST

    Cherel almost goes into the barriers on the wet roads as Bardet sets the pace.

     

  130. 16:13:18 CEST

    Behind Team Sky, Movistar, Tinkoff and BMC have their teams lined out. The final showdown of the Pyrenees is about to take shape.

     

  131. 16:14:05 CEST

    Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) is doing all of the work as AG2R lead the chase from the second group on the road. 

     

  132. 16:15:03 CEST

    It's Poels on the front for Team Sky, still, as they approach the final climb as Cherel leads Bardet at the front of the second group. 

     

  133. 16:15:21 CEST

    The peloton pick up Roy and few more from the early break. 

     

  134. 16:15:40 CEST

    20km to go for the main field.

     

  135. 16:16:16 CEST

    Vanmarcke is having to dig deep while Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) looks comfortable at this stage. 

     

  136. 181.2km remaining from 195km

    16:17:00 CEST

    Can Bardet save his Tour with a stage win today? He's putting Cherel to work as with 13.8km to go Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) attacks and drops Vanmarcke.

     

  137. 16:17:20 CEST

    The World champion has gone clear and has 13.6km to go. 

     

  138. 16:18:21 CEST

    The rain is falling consistently now as Cherel leads the chase group. The peloton are not yet on the final climb. 

     

  139. 16:19:19 CEST

    The peloton is down to around 40-odd riders. as Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) opens up a gap but the effort is starting to show as he strains and grimaces up this brutally tough climb. 

     

  140. 16:19:52 CEST

    Cherel though his holding the world champion at around 1'30 as he paces Bardet and the rest up this punishing slopes. 

     

  141. 16:20:43 CEST

    Movistar have started to move up alongside Froome and Team Sky before the climb starts. The final climb is about to start for the peloton. 

     

  142. 16:21:35 CEST

    Lotto NL also move up having seen Vanmarcke dropped earlier from the leading group. Dan Martin is starting to lose ground once more. 

     

  143. 16:22:07 CEST

    And Kennaugh hits the front of the peloton as they start the climb, out of the saddle for the British national road champion. 

     

  144. 12km remaining from 195km

    16:22:49 CEST

    12km to go for Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) as Kennaugh, Porte and Roche hog the front of the peloton. 

     

  145. 16:23:48 CEST

    No sign of action from Movistar at this point as Kennaugh taps out the pace needed to keep everything together. 

     

  146. 16:24:26 CEST

    Contador is quite far back in the main field at this point. That's not a good sign this early on the climb. 

     

  147. 11.4km remaining from 195km

    16:25:20 CEST

    Pinot is still there and starting to move up as in the second group Fuglsang powers clear with Bardet and Rodriguez. 11.4km to go.

     

  148. 16:26:18 CEST

    Kennaugh out of the saddle and doing all the damage on the front of the main field as now Hesjedal is dropped. 

     

  149. 16:26:53 CEST

    Meintjes has also made it over to the second group as Tinkoff Saxo set the pace for the peloton.

     

  150. 16:27:22 CEST

    10.8km to go and Rodgriuez attacks and takes Bardet and Fuglsang with him. 

     

  151. 16:27:43 CEST

    Now Talansky is starting to fade. 

     

  152. 16:28:06 CEST

    Contador though has put Rogers and Majka on the front though with all the GC favourites around him. 

     

  153. 16:28:22 CEST

    Kennaugh and Jungles both dropped by the main field. 

     

  154. 16:28:47 CEST

    Bardet, Rodriguez and Fuglsang are 50 seconds down on Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step)

     

  155. 16:29:23 CEST

    It's still Tinkoff on the front, the main field reduced to less that 20 riders. 

     

  156. 16:29:45 CEST

    10km to go now for the world champion. Can he hang on?

     

  157. 16:30:05 CEST

    The chasers are just 38 seconds down though.

     

  158. 16:30:21 CEST

    Rogers has been dropped having done his work on the front. 

     

  159. 16:30:34 CEST

    Kreuziger now sets the pace for Contador. 

     

  160. 16:31:37 CEST

    Froome looks strong, with Quintana and Valverde on his wheel. Nibali, Contador and van Garderen are all there too.

     

  161. 16:32:20 CEST

    Contador still has two men on the front as Fuglsang attacks but he's matched by Rodriguez and Bardet. 

     

  162. 16:33:42 CEST

    Roche has been dropped now by the peloton and Gallopin has been dropped. That's a worry for the Frenchman. 

     

  163. 16:34:12 CEST

    The yellow jersey group is down to around 15 riders as Barguil is now in trouble and starting to lose ground.

     

  164. 16:34:53 CEST

    No, Barguil allows a gap to open up but then closes it. The trio chasing Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) can't get organised. Bardet isn't working.

     

  165. 16:35:24 CEST

    Up ahead and the world champion is just fighting his way up the climb. Alone. 

     

  166. 16:36:02 CEST

    Majka now sets the pace with Porte on his wheel. He's upped the pace as Rodriguez attacks.

     

  167. 16:36:35 CEST

    And Barguil loses ground as Rodriguez goes clear of his rivals.

     

  168. 16:37:21 CEST

    Porte is now setting the pace for the yellow jersey group. Contador has used up all of his men as Rodriguez catches Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step) with 7.8km to go.

     

  169. 16:37:48 CEST

    The Katusha rider goes to the front as Bardet is dropped by Fuglsang. 

     

  170. 16:38:28 CEST

    And Rodriguez goes clear as Fuglsang catches Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx - Quick-Step)

     

  171. 16:38:57 CEST

    He goes passed the world champion but is 12 seconds down on Rodriguez. 

     

  172. 16:39:22 CEST

    Van Garderen is at the back of the yellow jersey group. That's not a good sign.

     

  173. 16:39:50 CEST

    Porte is driving on and he's eliminating Froome's rivals for him.

     

  174. 16:40:45 CEST

    Froome still has Thomas too so it's advantage Sky with three riders in this group. Contador is on his won. Van Garderen has Sanchez and Quintana has Valverde. 

     

  175. 16:41:03 CEST

    Nibali and Pinot are also there and Contador attacks. 

     

  176. 16:41:19 CEST

    The Spaniard has a gap but Porte is on his case.

     

  177. 16:41:49 CEST

    Porte already has him in his sights. Can Contador push on?

     

  178. 16:42:16 CEST

    Contador is being brought back by his former teammate. Caught.

     

  179. 16:42:27 CEST

    And now Nibali has attacked. 

     

  180. 16:43:11 CEST

    Porte, again on the front just ups the pace, holds the gap but Nibali is putting up a bit more resistance than Contador.

     

  181. 16:43:43 CEST

    Nibali can't create more than 30m though and Froome still has two men with him. 

     

  182. 16:45:03 CEST

    The yellow jersey is down to around 8 men, three from Sky, two from Movistar included. Mollema is at the back and hanging on. We've already lost Gesink it appears. 

     

  183. 16:45:36 CEST

    And now Valverde lifts the pace, Porte matches him and so does Thomas and the rest. Mollema and Contador look to be on the ropes.

     

  184. 16:45:59 CEST

    Valverde is on the front and bringing Nibali to within touching distance.

     

  185. 5km remaining from 195km

    16:46:33 CEST

    Up ahead Rodriguez has 5km to go, Fuglsang at 45 seconds.

     

  186. 16:46:50 CEST

    Valverde goes again but once more Porte can keep him in check.

     

  187. 16:47:18 CEST

    And Nibali has been caught by Valverde and then Porte and the rest of the GC riders.

     

  188. 16:47:47 CEST

    And now Porte moves to the front with Thomas and Froome on his wheel. Team Sky in control.

     

  189. 16:48:26 CEST

    Rolland is also here, along with Pinot and van Garderen, Contador, Mollema and Quintana.

     

  190. 16:48:49 CEST

    Yellow jersey group:

    Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
    Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
    Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
    Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
    Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
    Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
    Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr
    Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
    Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
    Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team

     

  191. 16:49:32 CEST

    Porte is just wearing them all down and he's seen off attacks from Contador, Nibali and Valverde. 

     

  192. 16:50:18 CEST

    And Quintana attacks. Porte cracks and Thomas takes over.

     

  193. 16:50:42 CEST

    Thomas has enough to bring back Quintana. Instantly. 

     

  194. 16:51:13 CEST

    And now Pinot is starting to struggle at the back of the group.

     

  195. 16:52:01 CEST

    Thomas takes over on the front of the peloton with Froome on his wheel. The yellow jersey hasn't had to do any chasing yet today.

     

  196. 16:53:02 CEST

    Mollema and Pinot are hanging on at the back of the main group, still. Rodriguez is still clear and has less than 3km to go. He should hold on for the stage win.

     

  197. 16:53:38 CEST

    Rodriguez has 1'10 over Fuglsang as Thomas still leads the yellow jersey group.

     

  198. 16:53:40 CEST

    Rodriguez has 1'10 over Fuglsang as Thomas still leads the yellow jersey group.

     

  199. 16:54:43 CEST

    And Froome attacks.

     

  200. 16:55:08 CEST

    Only Quintana and then Contador can match him.Van Garderen makes it too.

     

  201. 16:55:25 CEST

    And Valverde has attacked.

     

  202. 16:55:55 CEST

    And now Froome chases with the rest and then Quintana attacks but he's matched. 

     

  203. 16:56:29 CEST

    Quintana, Froome, Contador, van Garderen and Valverde are left but others are coming back. Thomas once again moves to the front.

     

  204. 16:56:58 CEST

    Just over 1km to go for Rodriguez. 

     

  205. 16:57:58 CEST

    Mollema is fighting to come back to the yellow jersey group, the others have made it as Thomas continues on the front of the group.

     

  206. 16:59:17 CEST

    And Quintana goes again, Froome chases, as does Contador and the rest of the group.

     

  207. 16:59:42 CEST

    But here comes Rodriguez, who takes his second stage win of this year's race. 

     

  208. 17:01:27 CEST

    Fuglsang is about to cross the line and take second place on the stage, Bardet third.

     

  209. 17:03:11 CEST

    Thomas is leading the GC candidates to the line. The Welshman has been on the front for so long but responded to so many attacks from Froome's rivals.

     

  210. 17:04:14 CEST

    Is there anything left from Froome's rivals or will the yellow jersey make a move for it himself? Thomas is setting such a high pace though...

     

  211. 17:05:29 CEST

    Into the final 1km for the GC contenders with Thomas leading them home.

     

  212. 17:06:59 CEST

    And Valverde attacks and will take a second or so from Froome and Quintana. Then the rest of the group come over the line. 

  213. 17:08:02 CEST

    Gesink and Mollema are coming to the line together but they've both lost time while Gallopin and Talansky are further down the climb. 

     

  214. 17:09:31 CEST

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 5:40:14
    2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:12
    3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:49
    4 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:34
    5 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:04:38
    6 Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18 0:05:47
    7 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:03
    8 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:28
    9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:46
    10 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:06:47

  215. 17:09:59 CEST

    And Talansky's group come over the line, having lost around three minutes to their GC rivals.

     

  216. 17:17:05 CEST

    A similar stage to the one we saw on this climb in 2011 where none of the GC favourites could really make the difference. It's advantage Froome though who gets through the stage and marks out all of his rivals.

     

  217. 17:18:37 CEST

    For Contador, Nibali and Pinot there was at least some signs of improving form ahead of the Alps next week.  

     

  218. 17:20:20 CEST

    Nibali is now back in the top ten while Movistar occupy third and fourth overall. 

     

  219. 17:24:42 CEST

    Here's where we stand now on GC:
     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 46:50:32
    2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
    3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:58
    5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
    6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
    7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:05:32
    8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:07:32
    9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:47
    10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:02

     

  220. 17:30:31 CEST

    Jakob Fuglsang:

    It was hard. I was playing it a bit the moment he went away. I wanted Bardet to close it, because I thought he was playing with us not wanting to pull, not wanting to do anything. In the end he didn't have the legs, and when Purito gets a gap he's difficult to catch.

    We also started attacking early in the climb, and we still with 10km to go. It would be a long way to the top if we didn't get moving a little bit. If you're only attacking and counterattacking. I thought OK, let's ride a little bit, and normally the less hard parts should be more in my favor, but it didn't work out today.

    I'm happy that I had good legs today. Yesterday I had an off day. I'm happy I could be there today, but it's my fifth second place in a Tour stage, and I would like to change it for a victory. I'll have to try again later.

    Vincenzo is still the leader in the team, but I think it's obvious that we cannot only focus on that. We still have to go and chase some success in the breakaways.

     

  221. 17:38:30 CEST

    van Garderen:

    I knew Sky had a really strong tam and they were going to kind of neutralise all the dangerous guys, so when they were jumping I just sat behind Sky to make sure that they could pull them back. Hopefully those guys keep doing that so they can waste a few of their bullets, and then in the third week they might pay the price.

    There were a few guys that I needed to mark, guys who are close to me on time, and I feel like I did a pretty good job staying close to them, and staying within my limits. So, yeah, it’s all going to plan.

     

  222. 17:48:48 CEST

    A reminder of where we stand on GC after the Pyrenees with Chris Froome firmly in control:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 46:50:32
    2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
    3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:58
    5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
    6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
    7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:05:32
    8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:07:32
    9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:47
    10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:02

     

  223. 17:52:57 CEST

    Team Sky were simply too strong for their rivals today, controlling the pace on the final climb, when it really mattered and despite a number of attacks from some of the best climbers in the world their team hand more than enough in the tank to protect Froome. Thomas's performance certainly stood out and he is on course for a top ten position in Paris at the very least. 

     

  224. 18:04:29 CEST

    Here's what the GC looks like outside of the top ten overall:

     

    11 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:09:43
    12 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:25
    13 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:12:53
    14 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:13:33
    15 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:13:45
    16 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:13:57
    17 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:17:05
    18 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:19:32
    19 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:26:57
    20 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:28:19

     

  225. 18:15:54 CEST

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find our complete report, results and photos, right here.

     

  226. 18:16:37 CEST

    And our stage 13 race preview is right here.

     

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