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Tour de France 2014

Date range:
July 5-27
  • Tour de France, France, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      190.5km
      Start location:
      Leeds
      End location:
      Harrogate
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      201km
      Start location:
      York
      End location:
      Sheffield
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      155km
      Start location:
      Cambridge
      End location:
      London
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      163.5km
      Start location:
      Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
      End location:
      Lille Métropole
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      155.5km
      Start location:
      Ypres
      End location:
      Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      194km
      Start location:
      Arras
      End location:
      Reims
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      234.5km
      Start location:
      Épernay
      End location:
      Nancy
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      161km
      Start location:
      Tomblaine
      End location:
      Gérardmer La Mauselaine
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      170km
      Start location:
      Gérardmer
      End location:
      Mulhouse
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      161.5km
      Start location:
      Mulhouse
      End location:
      La Planche des Belles Filles
    • Rest Day 1

      Start location:
      Besançon
      End location:
      Besançon
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      187.5km
      Start location:
      Besançon
      End location:
      Oyonnax
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      185.5km
      Start location:
      Bourg-en-Bresse
      End location:
      Saint-Étienne
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      197.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Étienne
      End location:
      Chamrousse
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      177km
      Start location:
      Grenoble
      End location:
      Risoul
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      222km
      Start location:
      Tallard
      End location:
      Nîmes
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      Carcassonne
      End location:
      Carcassonne
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      237.5km
      Start location:
      Carcassonne
      End location:
      Bagnères-de-Luchon
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      124.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Gaudens
      End location:
      Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      145.5km
      Start location:
      Pau
      End location:
      Hautacam
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      208.5km
      Start location:
      Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour
      End location:
      Bergerac
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      54km
      Start location:
      Bergerac
      End location:
      Périgueux (ITT)
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      137.5km
      Start location:
      Évry
      End location:
      Paris Champs-Élysées
  • Race history

July 14, Stage 10: Mulhouse - La Planche des Belles Filles 161.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 10 of the Tour de France from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles.

  1. 13:55:48 CEST

    We’re set for another decisive stage in this year’s race as we head further into the mountains for the biggest summit finish of the race so far. Seven climbs in total, with a summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles where Chris Froome won his first Tour de France stage in 2012. At just 161.5km, the stage is relatively short but with so much climbing spread over the distance we’re sure to see some significant time gaps at the finish.

  2. 13:57:13 CEST

    The stage starts in a little over 30 minutes from now as riders begin to sign on. There are a lot of nervous faces out there and it's a good time for you to read over our preview of the stage, right here.

  3. 13:57:52 CEST

    Jean-Christophe Péraud says...

     "This stage will have an impact on the overall and position on the final climb is everything. Don't be surprised if a breakaway is successful - all the French riders will be in it to win it on Bastille Day. I think whoever wins here will have an explosive kick."

     

  4. 13:59:17 CEST

    • Yellow Jersey

    And here's where things stand on GC heading into the stage. Nibali sits second now after letting go yesterday but he still has a lead over all  his main GC rivals.

    1 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 38:04:38
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:34
    3 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura 0:02:40
    4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:03:18
    5 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:03:32
    6 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:04:00
    7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:01
    8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:07
    9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:08
    10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:13
    11 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:04:26
    12 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:36
    13 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
    14 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:44
    15 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:05:06
    16 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:08
    17 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:11
    18 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:05:28
    19 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:05:56
    20 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:06:12

  5. 14:03:13 CEST

    As Barry Ryan noted in his story last week "There is barely a metre of flat from the moment the race hits the category 2 Col du Firstplan after 20 kilometres, and there are no fewer than seven climbs on the menu all told, including four category one ascents – the Petit Ballon (9.3km with an average gradient of 8.1%), Col du Platzerwasel (7.1km at 8.4%), Col des Chevrères (3.5km at 9.5%) and the final haul to the line (5.9km at 8.5%)."

  6. 14:05:31 CEST

    The final climb was used as a summit finish for the first time in 2012, although the time gaps weren't huge the climb gave everyone a decent indication as to would feature for the top places in the Tour. Here's how the leading riders finished the stage that day:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:58:35
    2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
    3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:07
    5 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:19
    6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:44
    7 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:46
    8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
    9 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:50
    10 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:56

  7. 14:06:29 CEST

    Sunny at the start but that will be of little comfort for the riders as there are heavy showers expected for most of the stage.

  8. 14:18:26 CEST

    Roughly 15 minutes until the start of the stage as we see the new race leader make his way to the startline. Ridley have provided a rather fetching new bike for today while the Frenchman, leading the Tour on Bastille Day, has gone for black shorts. We applaud the fashion statement. Black is the new yellow.

  9. 14:21:25 CEST

    • Lotto Belisol

    There's a large assumption that Tony Gallopin will lose the race lead today. Well, last time the race finished he roughed up around 1:30 to Nibali. On paper today is a harder stage but the Frenchman has yellow on his shoulders and while the team will look to back Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Gallopin certainly has a chance.

  10. 14:33:13 CEST

    Local boy Pinot has talked about today's stage.

    “The riders competing in the Tour de Franche-Comté had to climb it the next day. They were all over the place,” Pinot recalls, before going on to highlight the particular difficulty of climbs in this region.

    “The end of this stage takes place in what is like the Basque Country of the Vosges Haut-Saônoises,” he says. “They are short passes, from five to eight kilometres in length. The Chevrères reminds me of the Mur de Péguère, which we climbed [on the Tour] in 2012. It’s a narrow forest road where riders can’t go any more than three abreast.

  11. 14:38:34 CEST

    The riders are off with and already we have a break up the road and Katusha are hunting it down. Perhaps they're trying to send Rodriguez up the road for more KOM points.

  12. 14:38:54 CEST

    Lotto are also on the front of the race and there's even a move from Peter Sagan already.

  13. 14:39:35 CEST

    The main break though has 19 seconds on the main field. As we see Rodriguez trying to catch him.

  14. 14:40:34 CEST

    Sagan and Rodriguez link up and they have a Netapp rider with him. Now can they catch the seven riders already up the road. Voeckler and Riblon are both in that first move.

  15. 14:46:07 CEST

    The gap to the first group moves out to roughly a minute. Can Sagan and his two companions make contact with the leading seven as the bunch sits up?

  16. 14:49:34 CEST

    No contact yet between the two groups as we see Visconti take a long turn on the front. They don't want to wait for Sagan and Rodriguez, that's for sure.

  17. 14:50:51 CEST

    Rodriguez is leading the chase though with Sagan and Barta tucked in. Sagan of course wants the intermediate sprint points but there's one major climb before that point.

  18. 14:51:24 CEST

    Lotto meanwhile, with Griepel, set the pace on the front of the peloton with the gap to the first group at 3'18.

  19. 14:53:09 CEST

    A few words exchanged at the front between Moinard, Visconti and Riblon. This is one of the best small breaks we've had in the race so far. The rain is starting to fall on the riders though as Sagan takes a turn in the second group.

  20. 14:53:47 CEST

    Pineau has attacked from the bunch, Sagan and Rodriguez are 47 seconds down on the seven up ahead.

  21. 144km remaining from 161.5km

    14:54:35 CEST

    The gap to the leaders is now at 3:46.

  22. 14:56:46 CEST

    Meanwhile Brailsford has told the press that Wiggins hasnt' yet signed with Team Sky. This morning when Cyclingnews asked him a direct question about it he was evasive but later stated that "“Brad is a great champion and has been integral to the Sky story. We are keen to support him in the best way as he works towards his ultimate goal of achieving more Olympic success in Rio."

  23. 14:58:13 CEST

    Interesting move to see Movistar and Astana both send men  - and key men - up the road already. Visconti was superb in last year's Giro and Westra has been in top form in this year's Tour de France. Could we see the race split apart well before the final climb?

  24. 15:00:04 CEST

    And now the seven man break hit the bottom of the first climb with a lead of 4'19. The rain is coming down a little heavier as Voeckler goes back to talk to his team car.

  25. 15:01:00 CEST

    Back to the bunch and Griepel is getting in his work early as he sets the pace for Lotto and the race leader.

  26. 15:01:49 CEST

    Visconti drops back to the car and hands in his rain jacket. The leaders are looking good at this stage but Rodriguez is closing on them.

  27. 15:02:19 CEST

    Really heavy rain now for the peloton.

  28. 15:05:04 CEST

    The gap is coming down as Rodriguez sets the pace. He's just after KOM points and his group are about to make it ten riders in the lead group, with 136km to go.

  29. 15:06:30 CEST

    Rodriguez gives Sagan a pat on the shoulder for helping him make it to the leaders.

  30. 15:07:48 CEST

    So our perfect ten are : Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar), Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale), Lieuwe Westra (Astana Pro Team), Amaël Moinard (BMC Racing Team), Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Team Katusha), and Jan Barta (Team NetApp-Endura)

  31. 15:12:21 CEST

    The leaders have 4:26 on the peloton as we see Contador and his teammates move up towards the head of the field on the first climb.

  32. 15:14:31 CEST

    And now IAM Cycling are leading the chase from the bunch. They don't have a man in the break so they're looking to chase the ten man move. It's going to be a big ask though as we see Voeckler take a turn, glance back at Rodriguez and then settle back into the break. Chavanel is leading the peloton for now.

  33. 15:15:41 CEST

    Pineau has been caught and he's sharing the pace setting on the front of the peloton.

  34. 15:17:16 CEST

    The ten leaders are now 1km from the summit of the first climb. It's a second cat climb with a max of five points up for grabs for the first rider. Rodriguez needs those points to chip away at Tony Martin's lead in the KOM.

     

    1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 18 pts
    2 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 17
    3 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale 17
    4 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 12
    5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 11
    6 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 8
    7 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 6
    8 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling 6
    9 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge 5
    10 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing 4

  35. 15:17:45 CEST

    Sagan is currently setting the pace with Rodrigues on his wheel, ready to pounce.

  36. 15:18:30 CEST

    Almost at the top of the Col du Firstplan and Voeckler has attacked with Rodriguez on his weel.

  37. 15:19:02 CEST

    The Spaniard takes it in a close sprint but the rain is so heavy now as the riders take on the descent.

  38. 15:19:28 CEST

    At the back of the peloton riders are already getting dropped, with Demare one of the first to crack.

  39. 15:21:09 CEST

    Well race radio is saying the Voeckler won that sprint front Rodriguez as we see the Europcar rider lead Sagan on the descent. It will be interesting to see if Sagan sits up after the intermediate sprint.

  40. 15:25:56 CEST

    It it's Sagan who attacks on the descent and is now clear of the break. He'll take first at the intermediate sprint for sure now.

  41. 15:26:27 CEST

    The peloton meanwhile have closed the gap to the break to 2'31.

  42. 15:33:27 CEST

    Sagan takes the points but behind the break, as Sagan is caught, the peloton have split into several groups.

  43. 15:35:52 CEST

    There's a group off the front of the bunch that includes Tony Martin and  Kwiatkowski.

  44. 15:39:29 CEST

    And the break are on the second climb of the day but Kwiatkowski and his group are making ground.

  45. 15:40:09 CEST

    Lotto have now come to the front and are setting the pace and they're certainly giving it everything as they start the next climb.

  46. 15:41:22 CEST

    Kwiatkowski has a minute on the peloton at this stage, with 115km to go. This is a real gamble from Omega as we see a couple of riders struggle at the back of the break.

  47. 15:42:31 CEST

    Up ahead Voeckler and Rodriguez are trading turns as Griepel starts to slip off the back of the peloton.

  48. 15:43:00 CEST

    And that looks like Terpstra is suffering too.

  49. 15:46:13 CEST

    Visconti has drifted to the back of the break and is trying to get those currently sitting on to take a turn. With 6km to go until the summit Westra stamps on the pedals and he's caused problems with Sagan dropped, Barta struggling and Gerard off the back too.

  50. 15:47:47 CEST

    Kwiatkowski is at the back of this second group of five while Tony Martin sets the pace. In the first group there are a number of shallow digs as the strongest riders aim to get rid of the passengers.

  51. 15:48:09 CEST

    Westra has gone again and at the moment only Voeckler can go with him.

  52. 15:49:25 CEST

    Westra has Moinard making contact but Rodriguez is in a spot of bother. The Astana man is looking so, so strong.

  53. 15:50:09 CEST

    The Kwiatkowski group has around 40 seconds on the yellow jersey group.

  54. 15:51:21 CEST

    Rodriguez has made contact so we now have four riders in the lead of the race: Westra, Moinard, Voeckler and Rodriguez. The rest of the break have been blown away.

  55. 15:51:50 CEST

    And Ted King has left the race. He was struggling all morning.

  56. 15:52:51 CEST

    Some really contrasting styles in this lead four for Westra just looks like he's riding on thin air as he taps away: totally different to Voeckler.

  57. 15:53:21 CEST

    Visconti has made contact so we now have five riders leading the race with 111km to go and the gap to the field at 3;50.

  58. 15:54:38 CEST

    The Kwiatkowski group has two minutes over the peloton now so he's in second place on the road.

  59. 15:56:35 CEST

    Greipel has made it back to the front of the peloton, the pace has eased slightly and he's back on the front setting the pace. Meanwhile Riblon is closing in on the leading five. He should make contact before the summit of this climb.

  60. 16:00:25 CEST

    Tony Martin is leading Kwiatkowski through the riders already dropped from the main break and we now have six leaders with Riblon making contact. He didn't panic he just reached into his suitcase of courage™, presumably the one that Hincapie lent him, and found the will to make contact.

  61. 16:03:00 CEST


    And Barta has picked up his suitcase of courage ™ from left over luggage and made contact with the leaders too.

  62. 16:04:00 CEST

    Rodriguez is just setting a steady tempo now, trying to calm things down before the sprint. Voeckler changes the script and comes through with Westra on his wheel.

  63. 16:04:17 CEST

    1km to go until the summit of the Petit Ballon and Westra takes over.

  64. 16:05:38 CEST

    The Martin and Kwiatkowski group are closing in on the front group as they pick up a couple more riders.

  65. 16:06:57 CEST

    Grey sky, plenty of mist as Rodriguez attacks from the front. Voeckler is chasing.

  66. 16:07:28 CEST

    This time it's the Spaniard who takes the max with Voeckler second.

  67. 16:09:21 CEST

    So ten points for Rodriguez and eight for Voeckler. There should be a general re-grouping on th descent now but the riders will need to rider with some caution as the roads are wet. The Kwiatkowski group ar around 35 seconds down on the leaders with the peloton at 4'28.

  68. 16:12:32 CEST

    And now the peloton crest the top of the climb with the gap at 4'30. The pace is steady, Griepel still in the mix as Lotto continue to lead the race leader.

  69. 16:17:37 CEST

    We're about to see a 13 man group link of with Martin and Kwiatkowski in there with the early break.

  70. 16:19:20 CEST

    No flat roads as the break start climbing once again with Martin on the front setting the pace with Kwiatkowski in second wheel. We're hearing that Machado has crashed out out of the race. He started the stage in third overall. That's a big blow for him and his Netapp team.

  71. 16:21:40 CEST

    The new configuration has all the success of a RadioShack Leopard merger with riders all over the place. Too many passengers

  72. 95km remaining from 161.5km

    16:22:44 CEST

    Still over 95km to go and Roche is by the side of the road and he needs a new bike as we head towards the Col du Platzerwasel.

  73. 16:23:41 CEST

    We're now hearing that Machado is still in the race. He did crash though, that's for certain. As at the head of the peloton it's Astana and Lotto on the front. Saxo wont work yet as they'll want Roche to come back

  74. 16:24:01 CEST

    And it looks like Contador has fallen.

  75. 16:24:17 CEST

    He's standing up but he has cuts all over his legs it seems.

  76. 16:24:33 CEST

    The right knee is having treatment.

  77. 16:25:13 CEST

    It looks like the yellow jersey is sitting up but Contador still isn't back on his bike.

  78. 16:25:38 CEST

    He's losing time as well as blood as the doctors look after him. Riis is there but where are Contador' teammates?

  79. 16:26:09 CEST

    Contador now has a problems with his shoes. He's no in a panic but this is costing him a lot of time.

  80. 16:26:33 CEST

    Contador is now back in the saddle and riding again.

  81. 16:27:03 CEST

    He is four minutes behind the main field. And he still has a problem with his shoes.

  82. 16:27:42 CEST

    That's a four minute gap to the yellow jersey group. Contador, even if the peloton slow up, has a huge task ahead of him.

  83. 16:28:47 CEST

    Contador is now with the team car. He's getting more help but still no teammates with him. Riis is looking very concerned as you would imagine as Contador climbs alone. Up ahead and Astana are setting the pace at the front of the yellow jersey group.

  84. 16:29:28 CEST

    Contador is having a mechanical check but it doesnt look good for the two time winner of the Tour de France.

  85. 16:32:25 CEST

    Contador now has three men with him but the gap to the main field is at 3;30. It's coming down but slowly. Kwiatkowski though is riding into the yellow jersey.

  86. 16:34:10 CEST

    Astana have to ride as Kwiatkowski is a major threat on GC. Tough for Contador under different circumstances the bunch might wait. Not today and he has massive task ahead of him.

  87. 16:35:01 CEST

    It looks like Contador is pulling back time though. He's back with the medical car one more time though.

  88. 16:35:38 CEST

    Meanwhile the entire Astana team are on the front of the peloton.

  89. 16:36:22 CEST

    Contador has two men with him now and he's leading the chase having had more medical attention. Roche is one of the riders with Contador.

  90. 16:36:53 CEST

    How many risk is Contador will or able to take on the descent of this climb? 

  91. 16:37:18 CEST

    Up ahead in that main break Tony Martin is still setting the pace with Kwiatkowski on his wheel.

  92. 16:37:41 CEST

    The leaders have 1km to go until the summit with a gradient of around 10 per cent.

  93. 16:38:15 CEST

    Contador is 2:30 down on the Nibali group.

  94. 16:39:17 CEST

    Contador is cutting through groups on the road as he rides on his spare bike. His shorts are cut from his earlier fall.

  95. 16:41:04 CEST

    The yellow jersey group are just riding tempo, 4:10 down and now Rodriguez and Voeckler attack. Rodriguez has too much for him and craetes a gap. He takes another ten points and stretches his lead in the KOM.

  96. 16:42:14 CEST

    The main field are 1km from the top of the climb, Astana still riding tempo with Nibali looking comfortable.

  97. 16:42:52 CEST

    Contador is now three minutes down on the yellow jersey group.

  98. 16:44:50 CEST

    Machado has made it back to the Gallopin group but the yellow jersey is suffering.

  99. 16:46:46 CEST

    Greipel has double take as he watches Alberto Contador struggle past him. The yellow jersey group are near the summit of the climb.

  100. 16:47:43 CEST

    Contador really only has a short window in which to close this gap. So far he's taken a minute back but it's not enough as the main field head through the feedzone. The descent is going to be massive fo Contador.

  101. 16:48:42 CEST

    And he's losing more time. Contador is now at 3:43 behind the main field.

  102. 16:49:03 CEST

    The Tinkoff leader has his entire team and Griepel with him.

  103. 16:55:45 CEST

    Contador is now four minutes down. Astana continue to set the pace with the Kwiatkowski group still four minutes up. We still have another four climbs to go and 80km of racing.

  104. 16:57:23 CEST

    And Contador is once more back with Contador. The pair are talking as Rogers drops back to help. It's touch and go, Contador could quit the race. They cant take too many risks on the descent even if they wanted to due to the heavy fog.

  105. 16:58:20 CEST

    And it's 4'40. Contador is done, surely. He's almost nine minutes down on the lead group and now Contador is getting a pat on the back. He's about to stop.

  106. 16:59:32 CEST

    And that's it. Contador has stopped and he's getting into the team car. It's all over and we lose another pre-race favourites. First Froome and now Alberto Contador.

  107. 17:03:17 CEST

    • Tinkoff-Saxo

    Confirmation now comes from the race radio that Contador is out. We saw Rogers drop back, and there was a brief pat on the back between the pair but it's all over. Astana keep the pressure on as they drive the field. The Tour, in all its brutality, waits for no man.

  108. 17:07:43 CEST

    And here's our story on Contador leaving the race. We'll add more to it as soon as we have more information from the rider and team.

  109. 17:08:24 CEST

    The break with Kwiatkowski has 4'25 over the peloton.

  110. 17:10:22 CEST

    Right now Kwiatkowski is in the race lead by around 30 seconds. Martin is still on the front of the first group and driving the pace. Amazing given the efforts that he made yesterday.

  111. 17:11:35 CEST

    Just a quick reminder that you can find all our Tour de France videos, right here.

  112. 64km remaining from 161.5km

    17:12:31 CEST

    We're onto the next climb with Martin still setting the pace and Astana are just holding the gap at 4'23.

  113. 17:13:24 CEST

    Gallopin is still struggling at the back of the Astana led field. He's paying for his efforts has we see Horner ride near the front with Rui Costa close by.

  114. 17:20:44 CEST

    The leaders with Martin still doing all the work have 4'30 over the peloton.

  115. 17:21:23 CEST

    Westra and Barta have been picked up by the main field.

  116. 17:23:00 CEST

    Lotto have posted two men on the front as Gallopin moves up towards near the front of the bunch. He's struggled so far and briefly lost contact on the last major descent.