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Live coverage

Tour de France 2014: Stage 11

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 11 of the Tour de France.

We're in Besançon for the start of today's 187.5km stage to Oyonnax. The sun is out, the rest day is behind us and riders are starting to gather on the line. The offical start is roughly ten minutes away.

Rolling road for the majority of today's stage but there are four climbs in the last 50km. It leaves the stage wide open, especially with rest-day legs brought into the mix. The sprinters will be thinking about keep the stage together, while the likes of Sagan and Degenkolb will fancy their chances if they can drop the pure sprinters on the climb. Astana would like a break to go up the road though and there will be attacks from the gun. For our full stage preview, click here.

Roy Curvers says...

"With four hills in the last 50km, this is going to be a difficult final. It is going to be either a stage for the puncheurs, like Chavanel or Gilbert, or I think that it could be more of a stage suited to those sprinters with a big engine - Sagan, Degenkolb or Kristoff."

 

No Gilbert but Orica GreenEdge will be looking to also set Gerrans up, IAM Cycling have Chavanel and Haussler, while Garmin have promised to go on the attack now that Talansky has lost his GC hopes. Tinkoff are in the same boat, with Contador out of the race. Intermediate stages can sometimes be the most exciting in the race and this could be a cracker.

Here's a reminder of where things stand on GC:

 

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 42:33:38
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:02:23
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:47
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 0:03:12
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:03:47
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:56
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:57
9 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:03:58
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:08
11 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:04:18
12 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:04:31
13 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:04:39

If you're in need of a wrap-up from the first ten days of action, we'd suggest you flick through our gallery of images. It's right here.

While we've also shot this little video with Frank Schleck in which he talks about his new Trek bike for the Tour de France.

And the riders are off with attacks from the gun. A small group has slipped clear in the opening few minutes.

The peloton have caught that group, and several other attacks and we just have Adam Hansen leading the race. He'll want some company though.

The Australian has been brought back and it's sparked an attack from Peter Sagan. There's a sprint at 98km of course but at the moment the Cannondale rider is alone. Would any rider want to bridge up to him?

Caught. It makes no difference has Sagan has been brought back by the charging bunch. It could be a long time before the break moves clear. And there's another attack.

Chavanel tried a little move just before Sagan but the Frenchman was quickly caught too.

167km remaining from 187km

Twenty 20km into the stage and we're all together still.

Spotted Wiggins in a Sky team car this morning at the start in Besançon #wiggowatch

@EllisBacon Wed, 16th Jul 2014 12:10:06

In other news Mollema is off to Trek at the end of the year. They need a GC contender for the future and the Schleck brothers are out of contract at the end of the season. Mollema makes sense on that level but transfers cannot be announced until Aug 1, as per the UCI rules. Of course there's no comment from the team and Belkin may still get a new lead sponsor but Mollema and Kelderman are wanted men. Here's the Mollema story.

In the real world this would just be weird, going around and smelling, I mean taking photos of men's shoes but at the Tour de France it's A-Okay. Here's a gallery of photos of shoes riders are wearing at this year's race. The Devil wears pearl izumi, or so it seems.

It's been a really fast start to today's stage and the bunch are strung out having covered 28km in quick time. Still no break though.

Three riders has gone clear now, and they've pushed out a lead of 2:30 on the peloton. Astana seem happy but there will be a lot of frustrated riders in the main field. It's not too late for a counter attack but it needs to come fairly soon.

Just three riders in the break but some decent firepower with Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement).

137km remaining from 187km

The trio have pushed their lead out to over six minutes.

Astana have taken a back seat for now, with Nibali and his team in the middle of the peloton. It's Cannondale and Orica who at controlling the pace in the peloton.

Sagan has been tipped for the stage today. He's had an incredible record in the race so far but hasn't won a stage yet. He has a huge lead in the points jersey though, it's almost in the bag.

The lead to the three riders is at 5:26 so it's coming down. It looks like Orica and Cannondale want to bring everything back before the set of the set of climbs near the finish.

Boo - don't think it was Wiggo this morning after all #shouldvegonetospecsavers

@EllisBacon Wed, 16th Jul 2014 13:09:18

Away from the Tour we caught up with Cadel Evans' agent last night. He told us that the Australian would probably retire at BMC. Read the full story here.

122km remaining from 187km

The peloton have taken another 30 seconds off the lead... this break is coming back and quickly.

At the moment Cannondale have two men on the front of the peloton, and there's one from  Orica as another 20 seconds is chipped off the break's lead. Astana have moved towards the front with Nibali neatly tucked in behind his teammates.

The bunch has pegged the break at 4:30 and it's held there for the last few kms. We still have 108 to go as Cannondale set the pace. A lot of pressure on Sagan's shoulders, some of that self-imposed, it's perhaps fair to say that he's been snatching at wins in the race so far.

Vansummeren is at the back of the peloton right now and it's still strung out. The Belgian has Talansky on his wheel, the American clearly struggling.

Talansky would have been praying for an easy day today, a gentle warm before the next few days but it's been anything but easy so far in the stage.

The break have lost another 30 seconds, it's down to 4:02 with 100km to go.

Cannondale have doubled their efforts on the front of the bunch and Europcar have too because we're coming to the intermediate sprint. Sagan isnt in the mix.

Greipel leads the bunch over with Kittel and Kristoff. Sagan sat back, saving his efforts for th final climbs and the finish.

After the sprint the peloton has kept the pressure on, the gap at 4:10.

The peloton have just gone through the feedzone, Vansummeren on Talansky duty as he rides with his American team leader.

The gap has gone out, the peloton look set to try and catch the break on the climbs stacked before the finish. The time gap is at 4'31 with 85km to go.

Porte, Nibali and Valverde ride close to each other near the front of the peloton as out ahead Delaplace takes a long turn on the fron of the break.

Talansky is in trouble. He's off the back of the bunch and he can't even hold the wheel of a group chasing back on. He's on his own on a shallow gradient. He's alone too...

Talansky is back with the Garmin team car now, his left arm wrapped up from his crashes earlier in the race. He's lost nearly a minute on the bunch already.

The Dauphine winner came into the race with so many hopes and his best form. Several crashes and significant time gaps have seen his race fall apart though. He's still fighting on though.

He just doesnt look comfortable on the bike though, his style laboured as the team car pulls up to him once more. He clearly wants to carry on.

Talansky is losing more time and he's not even in the cars now. He has 74km to go.

The Garmin Sharp car pulls alongside Talansky once more. There's a brief chat and he starts to push on once more. He's over five minutes down on the break and two minutes down on the main feild.

At the head of the bunch Cannondale increase the pace and the break are now at 3:00, Talansky over 5:50.

It's roughly 12km to go until the first climb of the day, the third category Cote de Rogna.

Puncture for Voigt but he's chasing again after just a quick change.

Talansky is now over seven minutes down.

Roche. Zoetemelk, Jansen, Pereiro, Schleck, Indurain, Gimondi, Bahamontes, all say give LA back his Tours http://t.co/OKvWj2fyuN

@fmk_RoI Wed, 16th Jul 2014 14:47:54

Garmin are now driving the bunch along and they're not slowing it down. They have their entire team on the front now.

Slagter is a rider suited for today's stage, Gerrans too as we see him move up as well. We're just about to hit the first climb of the day, 7.6km in length.

52km remaining from 187km

Onto the climb and riders are starting to slip back as Langeveld sets the pace. Delaplace hass been dropped by the break too.

Langeveld pulls over and the next Garmin rider takes over. It's almost all over for Talansky though.

Talansky is off his bike and sitting by the side of the road. He's talking to the doctors and the medical staff but it's all over for the young American.

Back in the peloton and more and more riders are slipping back as Garmin keep the pace high.

Slagter is second in wheel at the moment and Nibali has moved up to near the front of the peloton.

We're into the final 50km of racing and the break is at 1:20 as we see Talansky get back on his bike and pedal on. He's clearly emotional but he just wants to finish and get through the stage. It's a ride to be admired.

Robbie Hunter is driving the Garmin car and he pulls alongside Talansky. They're talking about getting to the finish.

Now there's an attack from Tinkoff Saxo as Elmiger goes clear of Lemoine.

It's Roche. He's shot out from the bunch with Brice Feillu.

Garmin have blown it seems and it's Astana who set the pace at the front of the peloton.

Now an attack frmom BMC as Elmiger sees the 1km to go banner. Roche has now linked up with Slagter and one other rider.  The BMC rider has been caught though.

Lemonie has been caught by Roche, Bakelants and Slagter with Elmiger still clear on his own.

That's a dangerous little group as now Rolland makes a move.

1:08 for Elmiger, the chasing four at 44 seconds.

At the top of the climb Roche pushed on and only Bakelants could make contact.

Elmiger is on the next climb, the Cote de Choux. He has one minute on the main field.

It's Orica who lift the pace at the front of the peloton with Tuft taking a huge turn.

Rolland has gone again and this attack looks stronger. Movistar have also attacked.

Sagan keeps his men on the front though and hasn't been drawn into the attacks just yet.

39km remaining from 187km

Roche and Bakelandts are 21 seconds down on Elmiger, with the bunch at 44 seconds.

Roche and Bakelants are about to make contact with Elmiger, their gap at 44 seconds.

Herrada and Gautier are the next group on the road but there's no time check on them at this stage. The leaders are close to the next climb, the 4th cat Cote de Desertin.

We now have five leaders on the road, with the time check at 35 seconds.

Behind them Cannondale continue to do all the work as we see Chavanel drop back to the IAM Cycling team car.

Elmiger is first over the climb and then drifts to the back of the group and the gap holds at 32 seconds.

A quick reminder that you can find our Tour de France videos

. As Orica and Cannondale once again stamp on the pedals and bring the break back to 25 seconds.

A quick reminder that you can find our Tour de France videos

. As Orica and Cannondale once again stamp on the pedals and bring the break back to 25 seconds.

28km remaining from 187km

28km to and the break have just 19 seconds. Nibali calls the pace to rise and it's happened.

Just one more climb to come, the Cote d'Echallon.

22km remaining from 187km

Sagan continues to wait as his team continue on the front. The five leaders have just 14 seconds and should be caught by the top of the climb as we see Roche attack.

Bakelants is trying to bring it all back together and Elmiger is hanging in there.

IAM tired. Elmiger has been dropped.

And it's Gautier who forces the pace and it's Roche who  is trying to get back on terms.

Elmiger has been caught by the bunch and Rodriguez has been dropped too.

Roche is now on his own and leading the race with 28 seconds on the main field with 20km to go.

Roche has 12 seconds on the rest of the break, the bunch at 26 seconds as the riders grind up this final climb.

Roche is starting to rock his head and shoulders, he's starting to struggle but he's holding is lead as he closes in the top of the climb.

And Serpa and Scarponi, former teammates, crash on the climb. They're both up and riding again though.

It's still Cannondale leading the bunch as the gap to Roche drops to 18 seconds.

Over the top of the climb and now Roche can descend but he has just 13 seconds over the main field.

It looks like Omega are leading the chase now so it's just Roche out in front with 17km to go. It's a technical descent  so riders can't push it too much.

And it's Tony Martin who leads and there are splits all over the place, Nibali and Sagan are in the lead group but there's less than a dozen riders in the yellow jersey group.

Tony Martin continues to set the pace as Roche is brought back.

No flat roads now as the road kicks up. Rui Costa is in the yellow jersey group as well, Porte too it seems as more and more riders latch onto the Martin express.

Sagan is on the front now and he's just waiting for the attacks to start.

13km remaining from 187km

It's Gallopin who attacks first and the Lotto rider has a gap.

Sagan has one more teammate, and he's posted him on the front to lead the chase.

Gallopin only has a couple of seconds as the race hits another sharp descent.

There's around 40 riders left in the yellow jersey group as we see Gallopin hold his lead: just.

10km remaining from 187km

Into the final 10km as Astana move up and set the pace for Nibali and Sagan has attacked on the descent.

It's coming back for Sagan but Gallopin is still clear.

The Lotto rider is cutting through the corners so well as we see Sagan caught.

Tinkoff are now leading the chase behind Gallopin.

Gallopin has 8 seconds with 6km go to.

The Lotto rider is starting to take a few risks but he's keeping it together.

Rogers is leading the chase behind with Sagan in third wheel.

Kwiatkowski, Sagan and Rogers have caught Gallopin with 4km to go.

And Sagan takes it up and starts setting the pace.

It's Movistar who are setting the pace as Rogers leads the Sagan group. The gap is less than 10 seconds.

3km to go and the four are still clear.

Now it's BMC who are leading the peloton.

And Gallopin has attacked and he's got another gap.

2.2km to go

The French rider is closing in on the finish and he's got a decent gap here.

1.3km to go and Gallopin is heading for the win because the chasing three can't work together.

The chase group has been caught.

Gallopin is heading to the line, he just needs to kick once more.

What a win for Gallopin. He holds off the peloton by just one second but has time to raise his arms. He's worn yellow and now he has his stage win.

1 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 4:25:45
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge
6 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
10 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar

General classification after stage 11

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 46:59:23
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:02:23
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:47
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 0:03:12
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:03:47
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:56
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:57
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:08

Gallopin timed his two major attacks to perfection. Sagan and Kwiatkowski seemed to just watch each other once the Lotto rider had attacked.

Talansky, meanwhile, is still out on the road and heading to the finish.

Talansky needs to finish no more than 37 minutes 12 seconds down if my math is correct.

@Laura_Weislo Wed, 16th Jul 2014 16:39:18

You can find our brief report, results and photos, here.

Talansky has around 5 minutes to race through the last 3km.

Talansky makes the time cut.

Thanks for joining us today. You can find our report, results and images from the stage, right here.

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