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Tour de France 2009: Stage 6

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Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of Tour de France stage six. Today the riders will race from Girona to Barcelona, in Spain.

The stage is about to start.

The riders face 181.5km, with five categorised climbs before reaching Barcelona.

The stage starts at 12:45, but there is a short neutral zone where the riders will parade through the city of Girona. Girona, Spain, is the Europe base of team Garmin and also the old Euro-base of Lance Armstrong (Astana).

Many other non-Garmin North Americans base themselves in Girona.

The actual start should be around 12:55.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) won yesterday's stage to Perpignan, but the overall classification stayed nearly the same.

General classification after stage 5
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 15:07:49
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:19
4 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0:00:23
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0:00:31
6 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:00:38
7 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Astana 0:00:51
8 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 0:00:52
9 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Slipstream 0:01:06
10 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:01:07

Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) should keep the leader's yellow jersey today. It could be a bunch sprint today in Barcelona, but we hear there is rain there and escape riders may be encouraged by Voeckler's performance yesterday.

The race covers five classified mountains:
Km 32.0 - Côte de Sant Feliu de Guixols - 2.0 km climb to 5.4% - Category 4
Km 55.0 - Côte de Tossa de Mar - 3.8 km climb to 4.2% - Category 4
Km 98.0 - Côte de Sant Vicenc de Montalt - 3.3 km climb to 5.2% - Category 3
Km 110.0 - Collsacreu - 4.1 km climb to 5.2% - Category 3
Km 159.0 - Côte de la Conreria - 4.7 km climb to 4.5% - Category 4

The Spaniards and Americans that live in this zone could be at an advantage. A strong group could form on the Côte de la Conreria and stay ahead of the chase group for the final 22.5km.

The racing has now started.  177 riders have left Girona for Barcelona.

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) was the only non-starter today. He crashed yesterday after 120km and broke his left arm. Despite the broken arm, he finished the stage.

We see a lot of attacks going, but none have remained free yet.

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream) lives in Girona and writes a Tour de France diary for us. In his first entry he talks about the team time trial, where Garmin finished a close second to Team Astana.

Bradley Wiggins, sixth overall, rides for team Garmin.

"Every day is bloody hard," he said yesterday after the stage. "Today we had to concentrate all day, and tomorrow will be the same. It was really nervous; there were a few moments when it did split, but there are so many different levels at this Tour: there are 100 blokes who are good and 100 blokes who are not so good, and it's all mixed up. As soon as there was any dangerous looking split it was so hard, because everyone's trying to be at front."

Wiggins hope to achieve a top classification spot when the race ends in Paris, July 26.

"Physically I'm in the shape of my life," continued Wiggins, who has lost around 7kg since last year. "I'm going much better than I was in Beijing [where he won golds in the individual and team pursuits, despite being struck with a virus on the eve of the Games]. I was in pretty bad shape there, really."

169km remaining from 181km

We are 12km in to the race, but there has not yet been a successful attack.  The race nears Llagostera.

Liquigas' Roman Kreuziger is 15th overall, 1:31 back, after five days of racing at the Tour de France. He came to the Tour de France after a third overall in the Tour de Suisse, behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

His form is still strong, he placed seventh in the opening time trial in Monaco.

Ivan Basso responded today to comments that his younger teammate Kreuziger would be upset had he raced the Tour de France in the same Liquigas team.

"He doesn't understand that I am a very serious professional. I did not have the Tour de France in my programme, but if I was there I would have no problem in helping him," Italy's Basso told Cyclingnews.

Check back with for a full news piece.

We hear there is rain in Barcelona. We can confirm it was a dry start in Girona, temperature around 24°C.

The Tour de France last visited Barcelona in 1965, when Spaniard José Perez-Frances won the stage. Italy's Felice Gimondi was a neo-professional that year when he lined up for the Tour de France, he went on to win the race three weeks later ahead of Raymond Poulidor.

Gimondi had just come off racing the Giro d'Italia. He helped his teammate win and he finished third.

Gimondi is only one of five riders to win all three Grand Tours – Giro, Tour and Vuelta. The others are Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Alberto Contador. Contador is third overall so far in this Tour de France.

151km remaining from 181km

The riders are still all together. They are approaching the day's first climb, the Côte de Sant Feliu de Guixols.

Jussi Veikkanen (Française des Jeux) leads the mountains classification and wears the maillot blanc à pois rouges thanks to his escape the other day to Brignoles.

Mountain points

1 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux 9 pts
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 6
3 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux 6
4 Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano 6
5 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5
6 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Agritubel 4
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 3
8 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 3
9 Marcus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram 3
10 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 3

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) attacked out of the peloton. He is chased back before the top of this climb.

149km remaining from 181km

Alexandre Botcharov (Katusha), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) lead over the top of the climb, respectively.

Felice Gimondi took the yellow jersey on the third stage of the 1965 Tour. He was already in the lead for seven days when the race traveled to Barcelona.

"Perez Frances escaped that day," said Gimondi to La Gazzetta dello Sport of the Barcelona stage. "It was a long escape, over two climbs, descents, and then victory for him.

"We arrived in Barcelona, three circuits on the Montjuic auto track. We were dirty, sweaty, black like miners. I cleaned off the road tar with gasoline. I then went to the podium, [Spanish dictator Francisco] Franco awarded me the jersey."
 

142km remaining from 181km

Seven riders try to move clear, including USA's George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC), Brit David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) and Spanaird Oscar Freire (Rabobank). The main group has pulled them back.

Freire's teammate, Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), is from Barcelona. We will see if he will try an escape today.

The rain in Spain strikes again. "It is raining cats and dogs in Barcelona, and is only 20° Celsius," reports Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner.

Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel sees his chance in today's stage. He told Cyclingnews' Kröner that he doesn't expect a sprint at the end.

"The climb with 20km to go will break the peloton up," he said. Also the final climb, a 2km ramp up to the finish line will be too much for the sprinters, the Frenchman said.

Last year's winner, Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), was held up behind some riders, but is now out of trouble. We will try to get more some more information on this.

Brit Millar is free. He is joined by Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step). The two are gaining time on the main group.

Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) joins Millar and Chavanel. They have around one minute on the main group.

127km remaining from 181km

Their advantage is 1:35.

126km remaining from 181km

So, we have two Frenchmen and one Scot ahead of the main group.  Millar knows the roads well, he is based in Girona.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis)
Peloton at 1:55

Sylvain Chavanel, the second of Quick Step's two team leaders behind Tom Boonen, wants to repeat his 2008 Tour de France stage win this year. Last year he won the Montluçon stage ahead of Jérémy Roy.

He was ready to pull the bunch for his teammate's chances in a field sprint yesterday in Perpignan, but the stage eventually favoured the breakaway that carried countryman Thomas Voeckler to victory.

Chavanel told Cyclingnews he wants to join an escape. "The Pyrenees are not impossible to overcome, contrary to the Alps," he said. "It will be hard, but we've done worse.

"I still want to win a stage, but I'm not going to tell you which one."

Chavanel took his moment today, one day before the mountain stage into the Pyrenees.

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) won Paris-Nice stage one this year and held the leader's jersey for three days. It his first season with Belgium's Quick Step team.

The team will point for sprint wins with Tom Boonen when it has the chance. He is suffering a little in these days but promised to be on form and winning soon.

During Wednesday's fifth stage he endured bad luck and a tough day battling back into contention from two punctures.

"I came back after the first puncture," said the Belgian champion, who was originally excluded from the Tour after his out-of-competition positive test for cocaine, but won his appeal the day before the Grand Départ.

"The moment I reconnect [with the front group], I puncture a second time," he continued. "That was too much bad luck."

Boonen said he was unsure of today's stage, which has a 6.6% climb that comes just 1500m before the finish. "It might be too steep for me."

116km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis)
Peloton at 3:27

"It could be a day for me, but it is also a day for escapees," said Oscar Freire (Rabobank). "I hope we can control the race and we arrive in a sprint. It won't be a sprint like we have seen before, the strengths of the riders will be more important here with the climbs."

"It is a pity, a young guy in his first Tour de France and he is already at home," said Erik Breukink regarding Robert Gesink (Rabobank).  Gesink did not start today because of yesterday's crash. "The mountains are coming and he was prepared for that. He is young and he will be back."

Chavanel won the sprint in Lloret De Mar ahead of Augé and Millar.

A recap on the points competition:
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - HTC 96 pts
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 70
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream 54
4 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram 42
5 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 41

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wears the green leader's jersey, or maillot vert
 

106km remaining from 181km

Astana and Cervélo are near the front of the group.  They are 3:23 behind the three leaders.

Brit David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) is tenth overall at 1:07, so he is in the virtual yellow jersey. If the escape stays clear it will only be by a matter of seconds, so Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) will keep the leader's jersey.

The trio sees rain clouds on the horizon. The race is about to become even more interesting.

The trio are coming up to the second intermediate sprint in Sant Pol De Mar and the feed zone in Can Villa, 2.5 kilometres later.

102km remaining from 181km

The first rain drops are coming down. There is also a crash, Eduardo Gonzalo (Agritubel) falls down after making contact with one of the other riders. The Spaniard is now talking with the team director back at the car.

He puts on a rain cape and re-joins the main group.

Katusha and Milram lead.

The trio's advantage is less now. They only have 2:42 over the group of Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis)
Peloton at 2:42

The group seems to be moving slower now that it is raining. No one wants to risk a crash ahead of the key mountain stages.

The trio arrive for the second sprint.

96km remaining from 181km

Millar leads over the line ahead of Chavanel and Augé. They did not sprint and look concentrated on gaining time over the main group.

92km remaining from 181km

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides just behind the main group. He is returning from he Saxo Bank car, where he got a rain cape. Of course, the cape is yellow.

89km remaining from 181km

David Le Lay (Agritubel) and Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) both crash on the left side of the road. The rain has made these roads slick and dangerous.

Le Lay is slower to get going. He is adjusting his bike and starting to chase back now.

Le Lay has to stop again for another adjustment.

That crash was in the feed zone.

The stage travels along the costal roads, off to the riders' left is the beach. No one is on the beach today though due to the bad weather.

85km remaining from 181km

The trio approaches the third of five climbs, the Côte de Sant Vicenc de Montalt. They have only 1:56 on the Cancellara group.

Augé leads the trio over the top of the climb. Chavanel gets second and Millar third.

Rain continues to come down lightly.

Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) accelerates off the front of the group. Angelo Furlan (Lampre-NGC) is going the other way, off the back of the group.

The group is 1:56 back at the top of the climb.

The fans have not let the bad weather affect them. They are lined along the road, waiting for the riders to pass.

Augé leads the trio, Millar second and Chavanel in third. They maintain an advantage just under two minutes.

79km remaining from 181km

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the rider off the front, not Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi). He took fourth over the climb, but is now back in the Astana-led group.

Astana is leading the group to keep its leaders, Armstrong and Contador, out of trouble on the wet roads.

79km remaining from 181km

Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) accelerates ahead of Millar and Chavanel. The two have let him go clear, but not far. It looks like they will all stay together.

74km remaining from 181km

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rides solo, trying to close the gap to the three leaders -- Millar, Augé and Chavanel.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 26"
Peloton at 1:42

"I don't know the roads that well, I am from the south of Barcelona," said Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank). "I do knew the final climb on the circuit well. It will be a stage for Freire or Hushovd.

"I am excited and I will enjoy the Tour today, it is always good to have the Tour pass your home."

70km remaining from 181km

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is a fourth year professional and competed in the Tour de France in the last two years. He finished 49th in 2008 and 22nd in 2007.

He is winless as a professional, but that may change today. He is now with the three leaders, making four with 70km left to race.

71km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Peloton at 1:45

66km remaining from 181km

The rain has stopped for the moment. The roads look fairly dry. Katusha is helping team Astana lead the race.

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) has a flat tire, he will stop quickly and have it changed.

Augé led Chavanel and Millar over the fourth climb, the Collsacreu. He will wear the mountains jersey at the end of the day.

The points at the start of the stage:
1 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux 9 pts
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 6
3 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux 6
4 Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano 6
5 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5
6 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Agritubel 4
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 3
8 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 3
 

Silence-Lotto is pacing Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) back to the main group. Furlan is on the back of the Silence chase.

61km remaining from 181km

Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) has 14 mountain points. Jussi Veikkanen (Française des Jeux) led heading into the stage with nine points.

This will likely change tomorrow when the race travels into the the high mountains. There are five climbs tomorrow, one is category one and one is hors catégorie.

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) wants to win the final mountains' jersey this year.

"Winning the jersey at the Vuelta gave me the idea to try for it at the Tour, too," he said. "Moreover, the route this year is well-suited to attacks in the mountains. Three stages start with climbs right away, so I hope to be out front on those days."

"It wasn't me who told him to set himself this goal, I swear!" said Cofidis manager Eric Boyer. "He suggested it, and I think he's now capable of it. He has to attack in the Pyrenees right away, then we will see how many points he can make. He needs to be in the top three [of the classification] by the end of the first week to remain in contention. If he is not, then he might let go of his goal and aim at a stage victory instead."

58km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Peloton at 1:12

52km remaining from 181km

Cervélo leads the peloton. They are at 1:35 behind the front four.

The weather is nicer, there is no longer rain. This will be better for the finish, on wet roads it could have been dangerous and lending itself to crashes.

Thanks to everyone writing via e-mail and posting on the forums. Please keep it up!!!

Cervélo will be working for Thor Hushovd or Heinrich Haussler at the finish. It is also looking out for its classification leader, Carlos Sastre.

To find out more about the team read Haussler's diary...

"Stage five was pure stress from start to finish. No one really knew how strong the wind was going to be or what direction it was going to come from and it caused havoc in the bunch. As a team we're not in a position to just roll with it and take our chances, we've got Thor Hushovd and Carlos Sastre, and that means we have to work for them and stay alert throughout the race."

Read more...

Milram will work for Gerald Ciolek if it comes down to a sprint.

"A sprint is expected in Barcelona and I'm feeling confident," said Ciolek yesterday.

The team's classification leader, Linus Gerdemann, agreed and looks forward to the mountain stage on Friday. "It could be something for our sprinter Gerald Ciolek. Then we finally go into the mountains to Andorra."

Does Cancellara have a shot?

Ninety5rpm's wrote on our forum, "He can probably keep the jersey on Thursday (6)... but what about Friday (7)? He seems to be in the best form ever, winner of Tour de Suisse, monster in the ITT, TTT and on the flats in the wind!"

Some pundits actually think that Cancellara can win the Tour de France. Please keep posting your thoughts on our forum.

142km remaining from 181km

The four are heading towards Granollers. Millar leads the escape, which has an advantage around one minute and a half. It is small, but if they arrive at -10km with the same advantage then they will have a chance to win.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Peloton at 1:31

Is the race already over for Cadel Evans?

"I've never been in this position on the Tour de France before the mountain stages, we will see what will happen. But I feel good, the Tour is not over for me," he told L'Equipe.

Australia's Evans finished in the top ten in the last four years. Last year and in 2007 he placed second.

His Silence team had a bad team time trial on Tuesday and on Monday he lost 41 seconds to Lance Armstrong (Astana). It will be hard going for Evans, who is known to follow riders and not attack.

34km remaining from 181km

The rain starts to come down again. The four leaders have an advantage that is near one minute.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Peloton at 1:01

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) is back with the directeur sportif at the team car. He gets some gels and water, and also talks a little bit of strategy.

The four enter the closing circuit with 13 kilometres to go.

There is a crash on this roundabout. We see a Garmin, a Columbia and a Cervélo rider on the ground.

30km remaining from 181km

The Cervélo rider is Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam), there is also Michael Rogers (Columbia-HTC) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream).

It also looks like a Lampre rider crashed.

Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) is chasing back to the main group, solo.

He sits behind the team car to save some energy.

28km remaining from 181km

David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) attacks. Chavanel, Txurruka and Augé chase.

27km remaining from 181km

The other three really look to be suffering and are not able to pull back Millar. It was a smart move by Garmin's Millar. He has 54" over the main group and 15" on the trio.

26km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 15"
Peloton at 54"

25km remaining from 181km

We thought France's Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) would have a chance. He won the Brabantse Pijl one-day race in similar conditions last year.

Txurruka is chasing solo.

25km remaining from 181km

25km for Millar, who has a one-minute gap.  Txurruka is right behind Millar, though.

They are approaching the final climb, Côte de la Conreria, at 22.5km left to race.

23km remaining from 181km

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) is leading the chase with all of team Astana on his back wheel.

Chavanel and Augé are back in the main group.

23km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 25"
Peloton at 48"

Millar nears the top of the Côte de la Conreria.

22km remaining from 181km

Millar tops the Côte de la Conreria. Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is not gaining ground on Millar. He crosses the climb second.

Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) is chasing solo, off the front of the group.

Millar now needs to manage this descent, which could be harder than the ascent due to the wet pavement.

20km remaining from 181km

Millar has 32" with 20km.  It is not much and he will be caught.

Txurruka still chases solo, behind Millar and in front of the main group.

17km remaining from 181km

Millar looks uncomfortable on this descent.  Once he gets on the flat he will use his time trial strengths.

Astana leads the chase, Saxo Bank's Cancellara is the eighth rider back.

16km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 31"
Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) at 40"
Peloton at 1:00

Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) joins Txurruka. The duo will work to chase Millar.

15km remaining from 181km

Pauriol won the GP di Lugano and GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise one-day races this year.

Millar's gap is going back up! He may make it to the finish solo. The two chasers are at 46" and the main group is at one minute.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) at 46"
Peloton at 1:00

12km remaining from 181km

Millar is in full time trial mode, he has his arms on the tops of the bars and is gaining time. He now has 1:09 over the chase. His concern will be those final five kilometres, it rises up to 96m.

11km remaining from 181km

Pauriol and Txurruka are nearly back with the main group.

Millar is cheered on by thousands of fans who have turned out despite the rain.  The gap is 1:12.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) at 1:00
Peloton at 1:10

10km remaining from 181km

It appears to be Milram on the front of the peloton. It has the duo in its grasp through the city streets of Barcelona.

10km remaining from 181km

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) are caught.

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Peloton at 1:05

8km remaining from 181km

A crash, Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) are on the pavement.

AG2R is working on the front.

7km remaining from 181km

Millar has 53"

Scot Millar is a three-time stage winner at the Tour de France, once in 2003, 2002 and 2000.

6km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Peloton at 45"

Another crash, this one looks worse.

A Cofidis rider and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) are involved. He make3s his way back to the bike.

Milram leads the race.  B. Eisel is also near the front.

5km remaining from 181km

Millar has 41"

These crashes will help Millar.

Boonen is riding again, on a spare bike.

4km remaining from 181km

David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) has his head down, time trialling through the city centre of Barcelona. It is just down the road of his Euro base in Girona, where the stage started.

4km remaining from 181km

Situation
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)
Peloton at 31"

Over in the Tour of Austria, Dries Devenyns of Quick Step has won the fifth stage, ahead of Jeremy Hunt of Cervelo and Maxim Belkov of ISD. Columbia's Michael Albasini continues to lead the overall ranking, with three more stages to go.

3km remaining from 181km

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) leads the race. Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) is third wheel.

Milram is working for Gerald Ciolek (Milram) today.

Millar has 23" with 3km left to race.

The road goes upward from here.

It is a small chase group, Ballan and Pellizotti are in the group.  Will someone try to counter-attack out of this group?  Pozzato is also there in the group.

2km remaining from 181km

Millar with 18" at 2km left.

He races towards the art museum and then will take a right to start the last 1.6km.

Menchov loses ground.

Millar only has eight seconds.

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Saxo Bank) leads the chase. Liquigas helps.

Millar is caught, right near the 1km banner.

1km remaining from 181km

We are in the final 1km.  Martin and A. Schleck are here too.

Freire is still there, so is Hushovd.

Irish Champion Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) is in the move.

Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) leads the race.

Freire is at the front, now Pozzato

Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) moves up, but Hushovd is on his right.

1 Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam)
2 Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
3

A strong win by Hushovd, who make take over the green jersey from Cavendish.

Other riders are coming in, a long day out for many riders.  The rain stopped, but the roads are still wet.

1 Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam)
2 Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
3 José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) roj
4 Gerald Ciolek (Milram)
5 Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
6 Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
7 Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC)
Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale)
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

GC

1 Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
Lance Armstrong (Astana)
Alberto Contador (Astana)
Andreas Klöden (Astana)
Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream)
Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC)

Norway's Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) won his first stage since last year's stage two. It was his seventh career stage win.

Recap: Pozzato went early on the left, Freire surged on the right to catch the Italian Champion Pozzato. In Freire's wheel was Hushovd, who swung it around the right just in time to win.

Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finish in a group now, well back behind Hushovd.

A group with Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) finishes.

Cancellara leads the race over Armstrong, tied on time. Armstrong's teammates follow: Contador is in third at 19 seconds, Klöden is next, 23 seconds, and Leipheimer in fifth.

The overall is sure to change tomorrow, when the 96th Tour de France faces its first mountaintop finish, in Andorra.

Please join us tomorrow for more live coverage.

Au Revoir!

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