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Live coverage

Tour de France 2011: Stage 2

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage two of the Tour de France. Today its the fast and furious 23km team time trial around Les Essarts.  

There is just a few minutes until the Saxo Bank-SunGard team begin their ride. Alberto Contador's team is the firstoff after their crash delays yesterday.

The teams start at seven minute intervals to avoid them catching each other on the loop around Les Essarts.

Saxo bank is now on the ramp and ready to roll.

3-2-1 and they're off!

The opening roads are narrow and so Saxo Bank is taking it steady before they up the speed.

Saxo Bank is out into the country side and riding in a single line.

The next team off is the men in orange: Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Euskaltel are on the start ramp. How much will they lose today after 23km o fracing?

Major time differences are not expected today as the course is completely flat and only 23 kilometers long. There are intermediate time checks at 9km and 16.5km. An average time of 25 minutes is expected.

Vacansoleil-DCM is off next. Thomas  De Gendt should be riding despite hurting his collarbone and dislocating both his  thumbs in a crash yesterday.

Saxo Bank take a corner and were loudly booed by the crowd.

Saxo has already lost a rider: Ben Noval has dropped off the back.

The time of each team is taken on the fifth rider over the line, so teams need to finish with at least that number. 

Vacansoleil-DCM on the start ramp now with nine riders. And they're off.

Saxo Bank is riding down the middle of the road, following the white line.

Euskaltel pass the first time check after 9km. They're 16 seconds slower than Saxo Bank.  Mranwhile, Saxo has lost another rider. Jesus Hernandez has down been dropped.

Saxo Bank pass the second time check in 17:01. but they're down to seven riders.

Indeed they've only got six riders left.

AG2R-La Mondiale is the next team off. Nico Roche will be hoping to limit his losses to his key overall rivals, especially as it's his birthday today.

TTT warm-up is underway at the team bus #TDF http://yfrog.com/h293971590j

@Ride_Argyle Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 13:52:52

The Cyclingnews reporters are in Les Essarts for the TTT and will have all the news and inside info after the finish.

Saxo bank is close to the finish but Matteo Tosatto is now swinging off the back.

Here they come....

Richie Porte brings them home in a time of 25:16.

Vacansoleil has now passed the first time check in 9:37.

Saur-Sojasun is on the start ramp.

Euskaltel snaking across the road but they're 38 seconds slower than Saxo Bank.

Here come AG2R at the first check.

They set 9:30, third fastest so far but 30 seconds slower than Saxo Bank. However John Gadret is sat at the back.

Here come Euksaltel to the finish. They're 54 seconds slower than Saxo Bank.

We're doing special Tour de France news summaries this year. The latest one is here

Rabobank is now out on the course, trying to gain precious seconds for Robert Gesink. 

Here come Vacansoleil, finishing in a time of 26:03.

Once again Cyclingnews and Easton Cycling have teamed up for a contest during the Tour. We have some great prizes line up for you, ranging from a signed BMC team jersey to the grand prize, a complete BMC Teammachine SLR0. For more, just click here. (link: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/win-a-bmc-teammachine-or-easton-schwag-during-the-cyclingnews-tour-de-france-trivia-challenge )

All you have to do is answer one trivia question and you are automatically entered. And you get 21 chances, one per stage!

Here is today's trivia question in the Easton/Cyclingnews Tour de France Trivia Challenge:

Which team won the last Tour de France Team Time Trial (in Montpelier in 2009)?

If you need a hint, click here. (link: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-de-france-2009/stage-4

You are entered for the random drawing for prizes by filling in your answer here. (link: http://easton.cyclingnews.com/ ) Good luck!
 

FDJ has just left the start ramp and is picking up speed.

Here comes Rabobank at the first split.

They set a timee of 9:10, three seconds faster than Saxo Bank.

Race strategy will be decisive today, as will discipline and positioning. The smoother a  team is, the faster they should be.

Here comes AG2R.

The French squad sets a time of 25:41.

FDJ looks smooth but are they fast?

Liquigas-Cannondale is off and then next in seven minutes is Garmin-Cervelo. They're the favourites today.

FDJ set a time of 9:21 at the first split. Pretty good.

Rabobank is second at the second split: 16:58.

Saur-Sojasun finish now in a time of 25:50.

Garmin on the start ramp. Their start will be vital if they are to win.

World champion Thor Hushovd is wearing the polka-dot jersey today.

Julian Dean lead through the first few corners but Garmin is now up to speed.

Here comes Rabobank. Can they beat Saxo Bank?

They were three seconds faster at the second time check.

Rabobank sets a time of 25:00. They are the new leaders, moving past Saxo Bank. Interesting...

Rabobank was 16 second faster than Saxo Bank.

Local heroes Europcar are off and will no doubt get huge cheers along the 23km course.

 

 

Garmin has set the new fastest time after 9km. 9:03. Faster than Rabobank by six seconds.

Dean has been dropped but Garmin still has eight rider working hard.

FDJ finish now with 25:34. Pretty good by the French team.

Garmin is blasting down the straight country road.

They now take a let turn and accelerate back up to speed.

Quick Step set off as Liquigas get close to the finish. 

Europcar set 9:24 at the first split.  Pas mal. Allez!

Garmin are blazing on. They have set a time of 16:45 at the second split, 13 faster than Rabobank.

Liquigas sets a time of 25:45.

Garmin next in.

Garmin down to six riders but looking fast.

Movistar is about to start but every one is wating to see what Garmin do. They will set the bench mark for the likes of Sky, Leopard Trek, HTC and RadsioShack.  

Quick Step sets 9:18 at the first split.

Here come Garmin. They shold be fastest but will it be enough to win? 

Hushovd brings them home and he could be in yellow tonight.

Garmin set: 24:48. New fastest time.

Hushovd dragged them to the finish with Vande Velde and Danielson both with him.

Garmin always targets the TT as did Jonathan Vaughters during his own career.  You can read about his success with Credit Agricole in 2001 here. 

Astana is next off. Here are the final teams and their times:

15:54 Astana
16:01 Katusha
16:08 Team Sky
16:15 Lampre-ISD
16:22 Cofidis
16:29 RadioShack
16:36 HTC-Highroad
16:43 Leopard Trek
16:50 BMC
16:57 Omega Pharma-Lotto
 

The Astana riders are wearing ery shiny skinsuits. They look fast but will they be after the 23km?

Movistar is through the first check with 9:24.

Alberto after TTT: you can lose the #tdf everyday, but it is won in the mountains

@julienpretotRTR Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 14:54:09

That's an interesting comment by Contador but this year's Tour de France has definitely become a handicap race and he is racing with an extra weight in his pockets.

There's an eerie calm in the camp as the boys prepare to put the smack down http://t.co/IXZyirS

@franmillar Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 14:56:34

Europcar sets a time of 25:38. Fifth so far. Bravo!

Quick step is on one of the rising roads, where vital seconds can be won or lost. They still has seven riders.

Vacansoleil have a tv on the side of their bus showing the race. Nice way to get a crown #TDF http://twitpic.com/5km62m

@dnlbenson Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 14:47:57

Katusha off next with theirall Russian team.

Garmin was fastest at both time checks. Other teams will have to go fast from off to beat tthem. 

Astana sets 9:09 at the first check, six seconds behind Garmin.

Astana did the first 8km at 58km/h. Garmin were even faster!

Here comes Quick Step to the finish with six riders.

Quick Step sets 25:44.

That's seventh fastest and almost a minute slower than Garmin.

55.6kph average for Garmin Cervelo on a windy circuit...that's a tough target......

@Chris_Boardman Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 15:03:38

Team Sky are next off, with Wiggins in the white British champion's jersey.

There they go. With Thomas leading the line in the best young rider's white jersey.

Chris Knees wobbled off the back for a second but should be one of the real engines of Team Sky's ride today.

Garmin got early lead but rode 2nd part slower than Rabo. If HTC or Radioshack stick together they should go faster

@inrng Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 15:06:02

Katusha sets 9:20 at the first split.

Thomas and Wiggins are doing massive turns when they hit the front.

Movistar finish with a time of 25:57.

Lampre start, with the Italian TT champ Adriano Malori expected to drag them round the 23km course.

Sky coming to the first split now.

Sky set 9:02, just one second faster than Garmin. 59.7km/h average speed.

Astana has finished with a time of 25:20.

Sky lost Zandio and Knees at the same time.

Cofidis starts now, with RadioShack after them.

Wiggins on the front for Sky before pulling over on the left side and dropping down the line. 

Geraint Thomas has a great chance of becoming the first Welshman in yellow tonight if Sky can win the TTT. 

Sky has lost a few seconds and are now four seconds slower than Garmin after the second split.

Garmin set 6:45, Sky did 16:49.

Garmin set 16:45.

Sky has switched to almost a double line. That helps but is risky.

RadioShack set off. They are the only ones who can perhaps better Garmin and Sky.

HTC could also be a threat.

Here come Team Sky. Can they do it?

Only six riders left in the Sky line.

Swift is gapped.

Sky can't afford to lose another rider before the finish.

Swift gets back on the back.

Wiggins bring them home.

Sky: 24:52. second place, four seconds behind Garmin.

HTC is out on the road but Bernhard Eisel lost his wheel and crashed on a corner. 

Eisel is a stronger TTT rider and road captian. He will be missed.

Garmin will be watching the race eon telvision, knowing thet could be about to win their first ever TDFstage.

Lampre finish but well off the pace with 25:52.

Leopard Trek on the ramp now. Can Cancellara drag them to victory? And help Schleck gain more time on Contador?

Cancellara leads them off and gets them up to speed.

If Leopard Trek dominate the TTT then Linus Gerdemann would be in yellow.

HTC lost Eisel early on and only set 9:11 at the first split.

Cofidis are close to finishing.

Surprisingly RadioShack are not super fast. They were fifth at the first split and fourth at the second, 17 seconds behind Garmin. That is a huge amount to pull back. 

Garmin should get the champagne ready.

Nervous.

@Vaughters Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 15:45:24

Wiggins (in fluent French), "we're super happy on the bus... we've taken time on Contador... we're happy today"

@inrng Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 15:48:05

BMC start off, with Cadel Evans in a green skinsuit.

HTC look good but lack the umph to challenge Garmin.

Leopard Trek set the fourth fastest time at the first split. Seven second slower than Garmin. 

RadioShack finish with a time of 24:58. Solid result by the boys in red. They pulled time back in the finale but  are 10 secs slower than Garmin.

Cancellara has just done  huge turn for Leopard Trek before drifting back and taking his place in the line.

Omega Pharma-Lotto will soon be the last team to start with Philippe Gilbert in yellow.

Provisional third place for Radioshack

@inrng Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 15:54:25

Omega is up to speed but how much will Gilbert lose today? He needs to limit his losses so he can have a shot of taking back yellow on Monday.

BMC looking good at the first split: 9:04. Third fastest.

 

Can they keep it up? If they can, Evans has a shot at yellow. He is three seconds ahead of Hudhovd on GC.

HTC finish with a time of 24:53 They have finished fast and taken third from RadioShack.

Leopard still looking good but another rider has dropped off the back.

24:53 for HTC-Highroad in the TDF Stage 2 TTT, 3 teams left to finish...

@HTCHighroad Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 16:02:30

BMC are shedding riders and only have 7 left.

Lepard Tek was third at the second check, 8 seconds slower than Garmin.

Omega Pharma is already 25 seconds behind Sky, confirming that Gilbert will lose the jersey. But to who? Hushovd? Evans? It's gonig to be close.

If you are still awake in Australia, it could be a special moment for Aussie cycling.

Wow. Leopard Trek finish fast with 24:53, beating HTC to hold third place by a few hundredths. 

BMC set a time six second slower than Garmin.

Evans is just three seconds off yellow. Can they find them before the finish?

Garmin staff anxiously waiting for end of #tdf TTT http://yfrog.com/gyjqzmyj

@julienpretotRTR Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 16:09:44

BMC next in. 3km to go.

Omega Pharma is fighting a losing battle and it must be a painful day for Gilbert in yellow.

The clock is ticking for BMC....

BMC has to finish faster than 24:51 for Cadel to take yellow.

Evans brings them home, with Garmin watching closely.

He missed it by a second or so. BMC set 24:52.

Garmin-Cervelo has won the TT and put world champion Thor Hushovd  in the yellow jersey.

Provisional result:

1.Garmin-Cervelo 24:48
2.BMC 24.52
3.Sky 24:52
4.Leopard Trek 24.53
5.HTC-Highroad 24:53
6.RadioShack 24.58

Evans has also gained 24 more seconds on Contador. He has 1:41 on the Spaniard after just two stages. 

Omega Pharma still to finish but Gilbert has lost the yellow jersey. His team is off the pace.

In official results Sky has been elevated to second because of their lower hundredths fof a second.

In the GC, Thor Hushovd leads Cadel Evans (BMC) by one second but the Australian could take it on Monday's tough finish. 

Here come Omega Pharma but finish 39 seconds slower than Garmin.

What a close race! There were five times within five seconds of each other and 2nd to 5th were within one second!

It's a day of celebration for Garmin-Cervelo as Huhovd heads to the podium.

Well that about it for our live coverage. We're going to bring you the provisional results and then land the Cyclingnews blimp. 

Jonathan Vaughters is getting emotional:

Thank you to every single person who works for Team Garmin-Cervelo. And thank you to all of our fans.... I think I just pee'd my pants.

@Vaughters Sun, 3rd Jul 2011 16:30:45

Results#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Garmin-Cervelo0:24:48  2BMC0:00:04  3Sky   4Leopard Trek0:00:05  5HTC-Highroad   6RadioShack0:00:10  7Rabobank0:00:12  8Saxo Bank-SunGard0:00:28  9Astana0:00:32  10Omega Pharma-Lotto0:00:39  11FdJ0:00:46  12Europcar0:00:50  13AG2R0:00:53  14Quick Step0:00:56  15Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:57  16Saur Sojasun0:01:02  17Lampre-ISD0:01:04  18Katusha   19Movistar0:01:09  20Vacansoleil-DCM0:01:15  21Cofidis0:01:20  22Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:22  General classification after stage 2#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo   2David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo   3Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing  

Provisional results:

1 Garmin-Cervelo 0:24:48
2 BMC 0:24:52
3 Sky 0:24:52
4 Leopard Trek 0:24:53
5 HTC-Highroad 0:24:53
6 RadioShack 0:24:58
7 Rabobank 0:25:00
8 Saxo Bank-SunGard 0:25:16
9 Astana 0:25:20
10 Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:25:27
11 FdJ 0:25:34
12 Europcar 0:25:38
13 AG2R 0:25:41
14 Quick Step 0:25:44
15 Liquigas-Cannondale 0:25:45
16 Saur Sojasun 0:25:50
17 Lampre-ISD 0:25:52
18 Katusha 0:25:52
19 Movistar 0:25:57
20 Vacansoleil-DCM 0:26:03
21 Cofidis 0:26:08
22 Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:26:10

General classification after stage 2
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo
2 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing

There is Garmin-Cervelo on the podium. They are enjoying their first ever Tour de France stage win.

Jonathan Vaughters gets lifted on the to the shoulders of the riders and rightly celebrates their win.

As Garmin-Cervelo celebrate and Hushovd pulls on yellow, we'll say goodbye. See you tomorrow for more great racing from this thrilling Tour de France.

We'll have all the news, photographs and interviews fron the finish in Les Essarts very soon here on Cyclingnews. A demain cher ami..

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