Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 11 of the Tour de France. Today's stage is a 33km individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast.
As our live coverage begins, 55 of the 182 riders have completed the time trial.
Canada's Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) has set the fastest time so far, stopping the clock in 38:04.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is the favourite to win the time trial. He is out on the course now and has set the fastest split time after 22km.
Martin set a time of 24:42, Tuft was almost a minute slower in 25:35.
Jeremy Roy (FDJ.fr) is currently second fastest at the finish in a time of 38:12.
Tony Martin is in the final part of the course and will finish in about ten minutes time.
Thomas DE Gendt (Vacansoleil) has set the new fastest time of 37:30.
But Martin has smashed it, stopping the clock in a time of 36:29. That will be hard to beat.
But Martin has smashed it, stopping the clock in a time of 36:29. That will be hard to beat.
Martin leads De Gendt by a massive 1:01.
David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) is only seventh fastest at the first time check in 10:58. Martin set a tie of 10:21.
Tony Maetin covered the 33km course at an average speed of 543km/h. With the breeze picking up, that will be a tough time for anyone to beat.
Sadly there are confirmed reports that roadside spectators have thrown urine at Mark Cavendish during his time trial. We'll try and find out more.
Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) has set the 12th fastest time with 39:33.
Spanish TT champion Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) is out on the course. Lets see how he fares at the first time check. He could be a contender today.
Castroviejo set a split time of 10:51.
That's good enough for equal fifth time but he's well off the time of Tony Martin - 10:21.
David Millar won his first ever Tour de France time trial in 2000. He has finished seventh fastest today, with a time of 39:33.
Millar finished 2:34 slower than Tony Martin.
For now Mark Cavendish has refused to comment about reports he had urine thrown at him.
Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) stops the clock in 40:21. For many of the riders today will be recovery day. They will not ride flat out but will still need to push hard to avoid any chance of finishing outside the time limit.
Cyclingnews Editor Daniel Benson has spoken to Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere, who has confirmed that urine was thrown at Mark Cavendish during the time trial.
We will have a story on the incident soon on Cyclingnews.
Castroviejo is fifth at the second time check, 1:24 behind Martin.
Susan here for a few minutes.
Rein Taaramae is at the second time check, and is 13th, nearly two full minutes down.
Tony Martin says he is "very optimistic" that his time will hold up and win this time trial, but he knows that he will have to keep an eye on some of the good riders still to come.
Jens Voigt is on the road - the oldest rider in the race.
The slowest rider so far, by the way, is Astana's Assan Bazayev, at 7.21 down.
Philippe Gilbert is 13th at the second time check, 1:47 down.
Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen has finished: 3:52 down. Apparently most of the Sky riders have been told to take it easy today and save their energy for supporting Chris Froome the rest of the Tour.
Amael Moinard (BMC) gets a loud send-off from the many fans as he takes to the course.
Peter Sagan is heading to the finish line, and looks like he will have a pretty good time.
He is currently seventh, at 2:18 down.
Simon Gerrans, the former yellow jersey, has finished as 22d.
Lovely sunshine and warm temperatures today. Plus this lovely finishing area.
Jon Izaguirre's Euskaltel-orange skinsuit is glowing in the sunshine. He is tenth at the second time check.
Tom Dumoulin (Argos) is putting in a good time, fifth at the second time check.
Gerrans comes in to the finish as 27th, +3:29.
25km to go for Tejay Van Garderen (BMC).
And the first African rider to wear the yellow jersey -- Daryl Impey, Orica-GreenEdge -- is now on his way.
Tom Danielson (GarminSharp) is 67th at the second time check.
Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) is in action, wearing his South African TT champion's jersey.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) seems to have found his legs. He is second fastest after 9.5km, 18 seconds slower than Tony Martin.
Fortunately the tide is out at Saint-Mount-Michel. The riders will not face a race against the the tide, only against time.
Thibaut Pinot (FDj.fr) is out on the course. He's fighting his demons after a terrible time in the Pyrenees but is carrying on in the Tour.
Richie Porte (Team Sky) is about to set off. Could he be a surprise winner?
Nico Roche goes through the second time split. He sets a time of 26:36.
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) is fighting hard on out the road.
Porte is tucked in an aero position and giving it 100%.
Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) sets a time of 39:01, for tenth fastest.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) stops the clock in a time of 39:49.
Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is off!
Roche comes in and sets a time of 39:04.
Chavanel is wearing his red, white and blue French national champions jersey.
After finishing his ride, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) warned that the early kilometres of the course are more demanding than the road book suggests:
“I was surprised because I thought the parcour was completely flat but in fact there were a few little climbs in the first part of the course and that put me in the red and I had to recover in the middle part. The wind was more favourable towards the end, so the last few kilometres are very quick,” he said.
Van Garderen finished 3:19 behind Tony Martin and is currently 29th on the stage.
Porte is holding his head very low in a tightly tucked aero position.
Porte is seventh fastest at the first split, 25 seconds slower than Martin.
Chavanel is on a good ride. He set a time of 10:28 at the first split. That's just seven slower than Martin and he could benefit from the stronger tailwind.
Porte passes the second split in 25:36. That's 53 seconds down on Martin.
Chavanel is approaching the 2nd time split at 22km.
Porte is quick, taking third with a time of 37:50. That's 1:20 down on Martin however.
Chavanel has lost ground in the second sector. He is 55 seconds down on Martin.
Mick Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) starts his TT. For a start list of all the big names, click here.
Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar) struggling. He's outside the top 50 at the second time split. He is targeting the polka dot jersey rather than the GC.
Cadel Evans (BMC) rolls down the start ramp. The veteran Australian is hoping to move up overall with a good ride today.
There are just 15 riders left to start the TT.
Evans is diving through the corners, cutting close to the barriers and the huge crowds.
Here comes Chavanel, setting a time of 38:06 He is 1:36 behind Martin.
Talansky is going well. He is eighth fastest at the second split, 1:21 slower than Martin.
These later performances and the time splits seem to indicate that the wind has turned and is now slowing the riders.
Martin's time looks unbeatable.
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) stops the clock with 38:37.
Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Leopard) is out on the course. Watch this video to see him speak about his Tour and the TT. Click here.
Talansky's ride puts him in ninth place for the moment. Pretty good for the young American.
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) sets off. He could climb up to seventh overall today with a good ride.
Quintana sets off for his race of truth. He's wearing the white jersey as best young rider.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) is completing his warm up, wearing his yellow skin suit. He sets off at 16:54 local time.
Contador is on the start ramp. He crosses himself, gets ready and then rolls off. Can he gain time on Froome today or will he lose more time?
Schleck seems to be taking it steady in the TT. He is 3:27 down on Martin after 22km.
Contador is dancing on the pedals on one of the early climbs.
Cadel Evans (BMC) has produced a solid ride, with a final time of 38:59. He's 2:30 down on Martin.
Evans was beaten by Rogers, Talansky and even Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
Valverde starts. Just Froome to go now.
Schleck sets a high time of 41:13, that's only 108th place.
Here's Froome dog on the start ramp. Can he beat tony Martin today? We'll find out in 36 minutes or so.
Froome rolls down the start ramp and quickly gets into his tuck onboard his Pinarello TT bike.
Kwiatkowski finishes strong, with a time of 38:00. That's an excellent ride by the young Polish rider.
He was 1:31 down on Martin but is currently fourth fastest.
Froome is dressed in yellow but has blue mitts.
39:22 for Fuglsang (Astana).
Quintana is having a tough day. He is out of the top 50 after 22km.
Contador is spinning his gear but is not going well. He is slower than teammate Rogers.
Boom. Froome is 1 second faster than Martin at the first time split.
Froome could gain a significant chunk of time on all his rivals, even if he fades and does not win the TT.
Contador was only 11th at the second time split. He could lose close to two minutes to Froome today. That would be a huge blow.
Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) are fighting to limit their losses.
Froome has a powerful pedal action but moves his ankles very little.
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is also close to 50th place with a time of 40:05.
Contador can see Mont-Saint-Michel but he's fighting a head wind and so probably seeing double.
Here comes Quintana.
He has a bad days and loses the white jersey to Kwiatkowski.
Here comes Contador.
He sets 38:44, he's outside of the top ten and so will lose a big chunk of time to Froome.
Froome is flying. He sets a time of 24:40, two seconds faster than Martin. He could win the stage but will definitely gain time on his GC rivals.
His rivals are losing close to 3 second per kilometre.
Froome is riding down the middle of the road, following the line and then moving slightly left and right to take the curves at speed.
ten Dam sets 39:01.
The top ten will undergo a major reshuffle after the stage. One rider looks set to gain more than anyone else: Chris Froome.
Only Valverde and Froome are still to finish.
Mollema sets a time of 38:34. That's 10 secs faster than Contador.
Froome fades in the final and so Tony Martin wins the stage!
Froome set a time of 36:41, officially 12 seconds slower than Martin. However he gained a huge amount of time on his GC rivals.
Tony Martin was expected to win the stage but nobody expected Froome to push him so close and gain so much on his rivals.
Froome's great ride has extended his overall lead on Valverde to 3:25.
Bauke Mollema (Belkin) is third overall at 3:37, with Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) fourth at 3:54.
The Tour de France is now Froome's to lose. But does anyone have the strength and courage to try and take him on in the Alps next week?
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Phamra-Quick Step) also did well today. He climbed from 13th place to seventh and also moved past Quintana to retake the best young rider's white jersey.
As Froome pulls on the yellow jersey yet again, we'll wrap up today's live coverage.
Check out cyclingnews.com for a full stage report, a huge photo gallery, news and reaction.
Join us on Thursday for full live coverage of stage 12. It is over 218km from Fougeres to Tours in central France. It is flat and so expected to finish in a high-speed sprint finish.
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