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Tour de France 2012: Stage 10


Welcome to our live coverage of stage 10 from the 2012 Tour de France. Let's hope that the riders took full advantage of the rest day yesterday as today's stage is a 194.5km humdinger that includes the first HC climb of the Tour so far, the Col du Grand Colombier.

We've got just under ten minutes until the riders start the stage.

There's a long way to go in this year's race. We still haven't quite reached the halfway point. But Bradley Wiggins has put himself in a commanding position at the top of the overall general classification, mainly thanks to his searing performance in Monday's time trial.




1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 39:09:20
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:53
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:02
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:19
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23
8 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:14
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:20
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:29

194km remaining from 194km

And we're off and running...

189km remaining from 194km

And we have an early break. Three riders have gone ten seconds clear, including green jersey holder Peter Sagan (Liquigas).

Cyril Lemoine (Saur-Sojasun) and breakaway artiste Andriy Grivko (Astana) are the two riders with Sagan.

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) launches a brief counter attack but is quickly reeled back in by the main peloton.

182km remaining from 194km

These three have been in front for 10km now. The gap is still only 20 seconds though.

Today's stage is the first time that the Grande Colombier has been used in the Tour de France. It's fearsome reputation precedes it though, and it is a regular feature of the Crtiterium du Dauphine. That race was won this year by current race leader Wiggins for the second consecutive time, so it shouldn't hold any fears for him.

VIDEO: Watch former yellow jersey holder Chris Boardman's preview of today's stage right here.

Another counter attack has proved short lived. This time it was about 20 riders trying to bridge the gap.

Green jersey holder Sagan is the best-placed of the leading trio in the overall classification. He's in 41st position, over 23 minutes back. Grivko is in 68th place and Lemoine is in 158th.

RadioShack-Nissan's Frank Schleck has all but written off his chances of a podium finish in Paris when the race reaches its conclusion on July 22. Read his comments here.

165km remaining from 194km

And Lemonie has fallen off the back of this break and has joined the main peloton. Sagan and Grivko remain about 15 seconds clear. Looks like the peloton don't want them to get away.

That's a pretty scorching opening to this stage. The riders have already completed 30km in just over half an hour.

And it's now looking like the peloton is breaking up a bit...

Sagan and Grivko are 25 seconds clear. A large counter attack has formed in behind and have broken clear of the main peloton. Just waiting for confirmation of all the names involved.

And we now have seven riders at the front. Sagan and Grivko have been caught by Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), David Millar, David Zabriskie (both Garmin-Sharp) and Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat).

Correction - some techincal problems there on the radio. The Lead group is considerably bigger than seven. Those names are all there but there's several more too.

158km remaining from 194km

There's actually 23 of them. A huge break. Waiting on confirmation of the names now. They're almost two minutes clear.

Right, finally had official word from up the road. There's 25 of them in this break. They are (deep breath):


Burghardt and Cummings (BMC); Popovych and Voigt (RNT): Arashiro (EUC): Martinez (EUS); Sagan (LIQ); Scarponi (LAM); Millar and Zabriskie (GRS); Peraud (ALM); Jeandesboz (SAU); Horrach (KAT); Casar, Hutarovich and Ladagnous (FDJ); Sanchez (RAB); Kroon and Morkov (STB); Fofonov and Grivko (AST); Devenyns (OPQ); and Gerrans and Goss (OGE)

Scarponi is the highest ranked of these in the GC. He was in 27th place at the start of the stage but was over 10 minutes in arrears of Wiggins.

A few more facts about the Grande Colombier. It's 17km long, reaches a maximum height of 1501m and the riders will start their ascent just after they complete 130km...

When the field in the Dauphine took on the Grande Colombier in June, three of the riders in this group were involved in a breakaway that day: Fofonov, Martinez and Jeandesboz.

140km remaining from 194km

Gap is now pushing up towards the five-minute mark. Today has been fast and furious so far.

Away from the Tour, seven-time winner Lance Armstrong has refiled his lawsuit against USADA, reducing the original draft down from 80 pages to 25. You can read the latest update here.

Well we thought it was fast and furious, and it is. Average speed for the first hour today has been confirmed at 49.8km/h. The fastest of the 2012 Tour so far...

Lots of these riders in this escape have already featured in breakaways in this Tour. Grivko, Voigt, Arashiro, Morkov, Peraud, Sanchez and Kroon.

And ten of them have previously won a stage at the Tour de France: Burghardt, Popovych, Voigt, Sagan, Millar, Zabriskie, Casar, Sanchez, Kroon, and Gerrans.

128km remaining from 194km

The gap is now remaining pretty steady at around the 5:30 point.

The leaders aren't too far from the first climb of the day. There's about 15km from the bottom. It's a category two, so a nice starter for the main course of the day, the Grande Colombier, which comes afterwards. And, speaking of food, the feeding station is waiting for the riders after this first climb.

To the east there's another WorldTour event going on, the Tour of Poland. It got underway yesterday and one of the big stories was an injury to Dutch rider Niki Terpstra, which might keep him out of the Olympics. You can read about it here.

Yesterday's opening stage in Poland was won by Liquigas rider Moreno Moser. You can read the report, check out the results and look at the photos from the opening stage right here.

On a day of historical coincidences, last year's ninth stage from the Tour de France has its own relevance. Sanchez won, Casar was runner-up and Voeckler took the yellow jersey despite crashing. He held it right up until the end of stage 19. All three men are in this break today.

115km remaining from 194km

Gap is now up to nearly six minutes...

France is well represented in the break here. Five of riders represent the home nation. Plenty for the local fans to shout about...

The leaders are ascending up the first climb now. Gap is continuing to increase.

With plenty of mountain points on offer today, let's have a look at the top 20 in the current KOM standings. Morkov, Voigt and Sagan are all in there:


1 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 21 pts
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 20
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 18
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 16
5 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 12
6 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 9
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 9
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan 9
9 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 8
10 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 5
11 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5
12 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 5
13 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 4
14 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 4
15 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 4
16 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 2
17 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 2
18 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 2
19 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2
20 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar 2

Sky are conspicuous by their absence in the leading group. They are all surrounding Wiggins back down the road. Cavendish is still there for now, but let's see where he is after this first climb.

105km remaining from 194km

Gap has just crept over the seven-minute mark for the first time.

Conditions are almost perfect for bike racing today. Temperatures in the early 20s, sunshine and very little wind.

The average speed for the second hour was almost exactly 10km/h less than the first - 39.6km/h.



1. Michael Morkov (STB) 5pts

2. Andriy Grivko (AST) 3pts

3. Jens Voigt (RNT) 2pts

4. Thomas Voeckler (EUC) 1pt



By my reckoning that puts Morkov above Wiggins into fifth place in the KOM standings...

Main peloton have just passed through the feeding station.

Sanchez has stopped to change bikes but doesn't appear to have lost too much time on his fellow escapees.

94km remaining from 194km

We're well past halfway now. The second half of this race is likely to take longer than the first though.

As mentioned, Scarponi is the highest placed of this breakaway in the GC. Although he is a huge name in professional cycling, he has limited experience of the Tour. The 32-year-old Italian has only raced once - a 32nd-placed finish in 2004.

Our editor Daniel Benson caught up with UCI President Pat McQuaid at the start line this morning. Find out what McQuaid said on some of the recent developments in the USADA case against US Postal right here.

We also caught up with former rider Charles Wegelius ahead of the start. Here's what he had to say about today's stage:


"There’s a little bit less time to the finish than there was in the Dauphine. But with yesterday’s rest day and time trial before this stage, it has breakaway written all over it. Getting a guy in the break is a bit of a numbers game but hopefully the right guy can get in the right move.

"With the accidents we’ve had there are some extremely strong riders still a bit further behind than you’d expect and that might make it a bit more interesting for them to go with breakaways. I think that Sky have an extremely strong team and all the capabilities to control the race over every terrain."

80km remaining from 194km

80km to go. Gap is steady at around seven minutes. There's a big downhill descent now and then an intermediate sprint. And after that, the Colombier...

Chance for Sagan to strengthen his grip on the points standings here, though Goss is his nearest pursuer in the standings and is also in this break. This is the top 20 ahead of this imminent sprint:


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 217 pts
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 185
3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 172
4 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 129
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 109
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 95
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 89
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 82
9 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 78
10 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos - Shimano 76
11 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 69
12 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 68
13 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 65
14 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 55
15 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 55
16 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 53
17 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 47
18 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 45
19 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 45
20 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 45

Voeckler has punctured. Arashiro drops back to help his teammate.

Handing over to Susan now while I take a break...back soon

Susan stopping by to see what is going on ... you mean the rest day is over?

68km remaining from 194km

Ladagnous jumps out of the break group and takes a slight lead.

Just trying to figure out where we are at the moment: looks like the lead group is in the flat section between climbs. Which means that our first Hors Categorie climb of the race, the Col du Grand Colombier, is rapidly approaching.

But first we will have the day's intermediate sprint, and who but green jersey Peter Sagan is in the break group. Looks like an outstanding chance for him to pick up some more points.

Sagan and Goss go for the points, and Goss takes them. Hutarovich went with them, and crossed the line second, so Sagan ended up only third.

Sagan now has only a 27-point lead over Goss in the points ranking for the green jersey.

60km remaining from 194km

With 60km to go, the gap is now at 6:26.

And the lead group starts up the big climb, with Europcar leading the way.

Lotto Belisol leads the peloton through the intermediate sprint. No points here for Andre Greipel, but the team wants to make sure Jurgen Van den Broeck keeps his chances for a good finish today.

The first riders of the break group are falling back on this climb, Sagan and Horrach (Katusha).

This climb is a long one, 17.4km.  The average gradient is only 7.1%, but it has two sections of 12%.

Some action back in the main group? Van Den Broeck moves up and perhaps out.

And of course by now riders are dropping back from that group, with Tony Gallopin one of the first to go.

57km remaining from 194km

The gap is now under six minutes, and falling rapidly. Now at 5:49, to be exact.

Millar is the next to drop back from the lead group.

Sky once again firmly in control of the group, with Boasson Hagen leading the way for the yellow-clad leader Bradley Wiggins.

The lead group has shattered now.

Scarponi now leads the way, with Voeckler, Sanchez, amongst others with him.

We see Philippe Gilbert at the back of the peloton.

The five now in the lead are: Scarponi, Voeckler, Peraud, Sanchez and Devenyns.

OK I'm back now. Thanks for holding the fort, Susan.

As expected this climb is really taking its toll

Adn we now have a leading group of seven riders as they continue to ascend.

It's Fofonov and Casar that have got back to the leading group.

52km remaining from 194km

The main peloton are still well over six minutes behind.

Martinez is trying to close on the leading seven. And Casar seems to be the one struggling.

50km remaining from 194km

Leaders are entering the final 50km. No long now until they reach the summit of this huge, iconic climb. Sanchez is looking strong at the front here.

Voeckler takes his turn on the front. He's undone his jersey and is sporting a vest underneath...

Lots of shade on offer on this climb. Good job really as the lungs and limbs are bound to be burning.

Voeckler and Sanchez make a bid to get away up front. The other leaders haven't let them get too far away.

Back down the road Sky are surrounding their race leader and shepherding him up this climb.

They are pretty unchallenged at the front of the main peloton. For now anyway.

Voeckler, Sanchez, Scarponi and Devenyns have dropped the other leaders. They are fast approaching the top of the Colombier.

Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) just attempted to lift the pace at the front of the main peloton. Sky immediately covered the move.

Loads of fans lining this climb. Decision to come here looks like a good one from the organisers.

Voeckler pushing - points look his.

And indeed he does. The 25 points on offer launch him to the top of the KOM standings.

And for the leaders, the next big descent begins. Voeckler has taken off.

But the other three have got him well in their sights. Scarponi, don't forget, is one of the best descenders in the peloton.

38km remaining from 194km

The main peloton is now edging closer to the top of the Colombier now. Van den Broeck has gone clear. Evans has gone to the front. Nibali there too. Both have passed Wiggins.

Wiggins responds, flanked by two of his teammates. Rivals looking to force Wiggins into taking risks. Will he fall for it?

PUNCTURE: One of Wiggins' wingmen, Rogers, has punctured...

Nibali attacks once more from the main peloton. Scarponi is good coming down hills, but Nibali is even better. Sky's Chris Froome has gone in chase of him.

30km remaining from 194km

Back up front, the four leaders are entering the final 30km. They are almost five minutes clear of Wiggins and the main peloton.

Nibali has already reached the stragglers from the original breakaway.

Advantage of Nibali catching them is that he can use the strengths of his teammate Sagan...

Final climb is not too far away. It's category 3 and is 'only' 7.2km long. It will feel a lot further after what they've been through on the Colombier.

Speaking of which, here are the official results from the Grande Colombier climb:


1. Voeckler (EUC) 25pts
2. Scarponi (LAM) 20pts
3. Sanchez (RAB) 16pts
4. Devenyns (OPQ) 14pts
5. Voigt (RBT) 12pts
6. Casar (FDJ) 10pts
7. Martinez (EUS) 8pts
8. Fofonov (AST) 6pt
9. Grivko (AST) 4pts
10. Peraud (ALM) 2pts

Nibali now has 45 seconds on Wiggins...

Evans and BMC have now come to the front of the Wiggins group. Sky seem to be taking a breather.

Leaders are well on their way up the final climb. Nibali's group have just started it.

Nibali now on his own here. Real test for him on this final climb. Can he stay clear of his GC rivals?

Nibali was 2:33 down on Wiggins at the start of today. Richie Porte is back leading Wiggins' group as they try to keep Nibali in check.

Nibali continues to pass the remnants of the original break. Grivko now riding alongside him.

24km remaining from 194km

Leaders are about halfway up this final climb. Both Nibali and the Wiggins group are closing in on them.

Gap between Nibali and Wiggins group coming down again. Just over 30 seconds. Nibali will be hoping to extend it on the descent, if he can make it over the top with a decent lead.

Leading four are almost there at the top of the climb. Meanwhile Nibali is in danger of being reeled in by Sky...

Is Nibali just taking a breather? Will he attack again after the summit? He's now been swallowed up by Wiggins' group and has taken a position just ahead of the race leader.

Looks like Voeckler has taken the mountain points again, up the road. They're over the top and descending now. Gap is almost exactly three minutes to the yellow jersey group.

Yes, Voeckler will definitely take possession of the mountains jersey tonight from Kessiakoff.

The remainder of this stage is virtually all downhill, except for a potentially tricky last kilometre with a gentle incline.

15km remaining from 194km

Rolland and Van Den Broeck have attacked from the Wiggins group on this descent. They have opened up a gap of around 20 seconds.

Teejay Van Garderen (BMC) is trying to get back to the Wiggins group. He's pushing hard but looks like he's struggling today.

10km remaining from 194km

Last 10km here. Looks like these leading four are heading for the stage win. Who will it be?

Voigt has now got onto the tail of the four leaders. Out of nowhere. What an effort...

And Van Garderen has almost reached the Wiggins group. He's looking to preserve his 8th place in the GC.

So now we have a leading group of five. Devenyns has done the least amount of work up front thus far...

Rolland and Van Den Broeck now have 40 seconds on the yellow jersey group.

6km remaining from 194km

Scarponi injects some pace out at the front...

And Voeckler takes over for the umpteenth time. If Devenyns has done the least amount of work up front, Voeckler has definitely done the most...

And it looks like Devenyns has just woken up. He's attacked...

He's quickly gone 40 metres clear. Voigt is after him quickly...

2km remaining from 194km

And Voigt has put a lot of distance between him and Scarponi, Sanchez and Voeckler. Still chasing Devenyns...

Voeckler is now chasing Voigt. Has he left it too left? Devenyns looks like he has enough of a lead up front...

Final kilometre...

And Voeckler passes Devenyns with ease. Voigt too...

Voeckler hanging on up the final incline...

Sanchez up into second just ahead of Scarponi. Riders treading water...


1 Voeckler

2 Scarponi

3 Voigt

Home crowd delighted at Voeckler's win. Well deserved after the effort he put in over the course of the entire stage. Voigt put in a superhuman effort to close up on the leading quartet but he didn't quite have enough in the tank to pull off the win.

Voeckler didn't panic there when Devenyns attacked in the final 2km and was countered by Voigt. He kept both men in his sights and his finishing kick just before the final incline was enough to hold off the chasers.

Just waiting for official updates about the state of the GC...

It's Voeckler's third stage win at the Tour in his career. He's emotional at the finish. A few weeks ago his knee problems looked certain to keep him out of the race.



1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 4:46:26
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:03
3 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:07
4 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:23
5 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:30
6 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:02:44
7 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
10 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:02:52



1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 43:59:02
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:53
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:02
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:19
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:04:48
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:29
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:31

So a red letter day for Voeckler and the local crowd as the Frenchman racks up the second home stage win of the 2012 Tour de France.


Another good day for Wiggins and Sky too, with his lead at the top of the GC undiminished after a gruelling mountain stage.


Van Den Broeck moves up in the standings and closed his own gap on Wiggins by 32 seconds, but he remains almost five minutes adrift of the Englishman.


Check back here for a full report, results, video highlights, reaction and photos as we get them.


And join us tomorrow for more live coverage of another titanic day as the race heads into the heart of the Alps.

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