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01:01 PM: Happy Bastille day and welcome
to VeloNews.com’s Live Coverage of the 10th stage of the Tour de France, a 156-kilometer race from Pau to the summit finish at Hautacam.
This short stage starting in Pau (population 82,000) has a double bite at the end and will decide who will be the contenders for overall victory. The first half skirts the mountains on rolling roads that encourage breakaways, while the second half has the two hors-categorie climbs: the mighty Col du Tourmalet (17.7km uphill at almost 7.5 percent to 2115 meters elevation) and the rugged ascent to the finish at the ski station of Hautacam (14.4km to a height of 1520m, averaging 7.2 percent, with some nasty double-digit grades in the middle).
In between the two giants is an eye-watering 18km descent to Luz-St. Sauveur and another 18km of mostly downhill roads through the Gorge du Luz. Then comes the brutal uphill to the line.
Riders have left the village departe and are scheduled to reach the official start after a trip through the neutral zone. We expect the flag to drop at around 1:10 p.m.
01:11 PM: And there they go
The peloton is on its way to only the Tour’s third ever finish at Hautacam. Only three, but each of them has ended with the man wearing the yellow jersey holding it all the way to Paris. In 1994, already race leader Miguel Indurain conceded the stage to Frenchman Luc Leblanc by two seconds, but more importantly he gained two minutes on his nearest rival Tony Rominger. Two years later, Bjarne Riis toyed with his opposition (led 49 seconds back by another confessed EPO user, Richard Virenque). And in 2000, though Lance Armstrong failed to catch breakaway Javier Otxoa by 42 seconds (after starting the climb to Hautacam almost 10 minutes behind), the American took 3:19 out of Jan Ullrich and 5:10 out of Marco Pantani in the final 15km to take the maillot jaune.
01:13 PM: An attack from the gun
Four riders tried to take an early dig and the peloton was having none of it. Their back. The peloton is all together at the 3km mark.
01:19 PM: A big break
We have 24 riders off the front of the field and the pace is already quite high.
The gap is small, so we do not have ID’s in the bunch, beyond the fact that green jersey holder Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is in the mix.
01:21 PM: At the 11km mark
the 24 leaders are still only about 25 seconds ahead of the field. Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d’Epargne) and Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) are up there. We’ll have a full list soon.
01:28 PM: Who is up there?
We are trying to compile a list, but here’s what we know so far. The list includes riders’ positions on GC:
27. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Silence-Lotto at 4:34
35. Markus Fothen (GER), Gerolsteiner at 7:43
41. Ivan Gutierrez (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne at 12:44
47. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA), Bouygues Telecom 14:22
59. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA), Credit Agricole at 20:07
62. Sebastian Lang (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:21
64. Filippo Pozzato (ITA), Liquigas at 26:30
67. David De la Fuente (ESP), Saunier Duval at 30:19
74. Remy Di Gregorio (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 32:29
77. Oscar Freire (ESP), Rabobank at 35:27
79. Leonardo Duque (COL), Cofidis at 35:58
80. Matteo Tosatto (ITA), Quick Step at 36:37
85. Fabian Wegmann (GER), Gerolsteiner at 39:45
87. Fabian Cancellara (SUI), CSC at 40:02
90. John-Lee Augustyn (RSA), Barloworld at 42:21
91. Hubert Dupont (FRA), Ag2r at 43:23
95. Inaki Isasi (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 45:39
112. Nicolas Vogondy (FRA), Agritubel at 54:16
121. Rubens Bertogliati (SUI), Saunier Duval at 57:02
150. Marcus Burghardt (GER), Team Columbia at 1:11:01
158. Giampaolo Cheula (ITA), Barloworld at 1:14:37
167. Jeremy Roy (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 1:21:58
01:33 PM: At 18km
the lead group is now 1:25 ahead of the main field.
01:38 PM: 22km
and the leaders have 1:40 on the main field.
01:44 PM: Bike switch
Fabian Wegmann – the German national champion – has made a bike switch. He’s back with the leaders at the 28km mark and they have 1:20 on the main field.
With Popovych in the bunch, we can’t imagine the peloton letting this group get too far up the road. De la Fuente’s presence, too, may motivate KOM contenders to give chase.
01:51 PM: Bastille Day
It’s the big Fete Nationale in France today. The holiday is held on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille – the infamous French prison of the old monarchy – on July 14, 1789. Bastille Day stages also offer extra motivation for French riders to win, which will also explain the presence of the many French riders in today’s break.
Of course, the center of Bastille Day celebrations are held on the famed Champs-Elysees in Paris, which bike fans think of as a good warm-up for the real party on the Champs, which comes on the 27th this year, when the Tour ends in Paris.
Today in Paris, by the way, Ingrid Betancourt – the recently rescued Colombian hostage – is being appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. It’s a great day in France all around.
01:52 PM: The 24
have reached the 34km mark and it looks like they are not being given much of a leash. On the way to the Category 3 Cote de Benejacq, the leaders are only 55 seconds ahead of the peloton.
01:55 PM: The climb
It’s a Cat. 3 largely because it’s short. The Cote de Benejacq is only 2.6km, but it averages almost 7 percent, so it does take a bit of an effort.
The leaders are at 35km and the climb summits at 38.5km. So the climbing is about to start.
01:56 PM: Out of this group
We’d have to put our money on De la Fuente to grab the KOM points on this climb.
King of the Mountains, after Stage 9
1. Fuente David De La SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT 61 pts
2. Sebastian Lang GEROLSTEINER 57 pts
3. Riccardo Ricco SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT 50 pts
4. Luis-leon Sanchez CAISSE D’EPARGNE 31 pts
5. Vincenzo Nibali LIQUIGAS 30 pts
6. Sylvain Chavanel COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 27 pts
7. Thomas Voeckler BOUYGUES TELECOM 27 pts
8. Bernhard Kohl GEROLSTEINER 22 pts
9. Aleksandr Kuschynski LIQUIGAS 22 pts
10. Nicolas Jalabert AGRITUBEL 19 pts
02:00 PM: Near the top
the chase – which was being driven by Milram – has eased up a bit. The gap has grown to 1:25 again, but Garmin is now taking up the chase.
02:03 PM: De la Fuente
takes the KOM prize, adding four points to his lead. Pozzatto was next with three points, Duque gets two and Fedrigo takes one point for fourth.
The Garmin boys are picking up the pace and the gap – at 41km – has dropped to 1:10.
02:04 PM: Drop us a line
If you have a question, comment or complaint, feel free to hit the “Contact our editors” link below the Live Update window. We’ll read all of them, answer many and even post a few during today’s coverage.
02:05 PM: Up next
the sprint at Lamarque (at 44km). Like the climb being nabbed by the man in the KOM jersey, we can expect green jersey leader Oscar Freire to do his best to snag this one.
02:07 PM: Points
As you know, Freire is in the green jersey because the man who leads that contest is wearing a jersey of another color.
Points, after Stage 9
1. Kim Kirchen TEAM COLUMBIA 123 pts
2. Oscar Freire RABOBANK 119 pts
3. Thor Hushovd CREDIT AGRICOLE 105 pts
4. Alejandro Valverde CAISSE D’EPARGNE 96 pts
5. Erik Zabel TEAM MILRAM 92 pts
6. Mark Cavendish TEAM COLUMBIA 86 pts
7. Robert Hunter BARLOWORLD 82 pts
8. Riccardo Ricco SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT 75 pts
9. Romain Feillu AGRITUBEL 64 pts
10. Cadel Evans SILENCE – LOTTO 62 pts
02:12 PM: Oscar Freire
02:20 PM: Serious chase
While our escapees are a formidable group, the Garmin/Milram chase effort is taking its toll. The leaders are at the 55km mark and just 45 seconds up the road.
02:21 PM: Today’s weather
It’s in the low 70s, clear and there are relatively light winds (about 5kph) from the Northeast.
02:27 PM: Prize money
We get frequent questions about prizes at the Tour.
Here’s a quick summary:
Yellow jersey – 450,000 euros (about $690,000)
Green (points) jersey – 25,000 euros (about $37,500)
Polka dot (KOM) jersey – 25,000 euros (about $37,500)
White (young rider) jersey – 20,000 euros (about $29,500)
The most aggressive rider, too, is awarded an overall prize of 20,000 euros (about $29,500).
Stage winners earn 8000 euros.
02:28 PM: At 61km
the gap is still dropping. The leaders are now just 35 seconds ahead of the peloton. It’s not likely that the break will survive the Tourmalet and some of these guys may be caught on the Cat. 3 at Loucrup, which summits at 67km.
02:32 PM: Reader question
Neil from Wisconsin writes
What is the general feeling there about Rico’s stage win yesterday? Should we expect another Vino /Landis catastrophe?
Man Neil, we sure hope not. Ricco is under scrutiny anyway, according to a couple of French newspapers. The Tour shouldn’t have to go through that again. We hope that in his idolization of Marco Pantani, Mr. Ricco opts to select carefully from the list of characteristics he cares to emulate, eh?
02:35 PM: The escape group
is breaking apart. All but seven have been pulled back. Freire is one of the seven. We’ll get ID’s on the rest. Those riders are about 45 seconds ahead of the field at the 66km mark.
02:41 PM: KOM
Leonardo Duque gets top points on the Loucrup climb. He led Remy Di Gregorio (FDJ), Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) and Jeremy Roy (FDJ). Also in the group are Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and Hubert Dupont (Ag2r)
02:44 PM: Hard chasing
as the race begins to work its way to the Tourmalet. Up front, theseven leaders are at the 71km mark and are 1:13 ahead of the peloton. The gap is extending largely because many in the peloton are taking a “natural” break.
02:46 PM: The leaders
are approaching the sprint at Pouzac. We can bet that Freire is going for those, but he may ease up after adding to what is now an actual lead in the points race.
02:48 PM: Freire gets the points
crossing the line well ahead of Duque and Roy.
Meanwhile, we see Agritubel’s Freddie Bichot giving chase, with hopes of bridging to the break.
02:53 PM: Reader question
Shooshanig P writes to ask
If you have a moment, can you explain the percentages used to describe the mountain inclines? What do the percentages indicate? Are these different than degree measurements used to indicate an increasing angle?
No problem. It’s a simple formula. If a road rises ten meters over a 100 meter length, it is a ten-percent slope. That means that a 100-percent slope would equal a 45-degree angle, rising exactly what it travels. Most interstate highways in the U.S. are built with the goal of not exceeding a 5-percent slope. There are plenty of exceptions, of course, but that was the original goal.
Meanwhile our leaders have taken advantage of the chasers’ response to the call of nature and extended their lead to 1:45. The urgency of the chase appears to have lessened with the break having been cut to seven from its original 24.
02:59 PM: Evans
As you know Cadel Evans was pretty shaken up by his crash yesterday. He’s sporting some gauze on his arm, but looks pretty comfy on the bike today.
03:00 PM: Mmmmm.
No that’s weird. Freire has gone back to his team car for a shoe change. We’ve heard of people switching to climbing bikes, but shoes?
03:04 PM: Gaps
Wow. The peloton has really eased off. The gap to the seven leaders is now up to almost seven minutes and Bichot trails by 1:00. The leaders are grabbing a bit of food before the long grind up the Tourmalet.
03:10 PM: The gaps
The tenacious Bichot has closed to within a minute. The peloton, meanwhile, is now 8:30 behind the break, a clear indication that the original break just was to big too risky, especially with Popovych in there.
03:12 PM: Bichot
is closing in. He’s now 45 seconds behind the seven escapees. The peloton is ambling toward the Tourmalet. Can’t really blame them for taking it easy for now.
The leaders are closing in on the lower slopes of the climb. Their suffering will begin soon.
03:15 PM: Speaking of money
We mentioned prize money earlier. There is a special prize to offered to the rider who summits the Tourmalet first today. Of course there are climbing points, but there is also the Jacques Godet prize of 5000 euros (about a million-billion dollars if our devaluation continues at its current speed) in honor of cresting the high point of this Tour de France stage. The prize is awarded to the man whose memorial stands high on these slopes and made a huge impact on the development of this race as its organizer.
03:17 PM: On the climb
Our seven leaders are on the climb. Bichot has closed to within thirty seconds and the peloton is enjoying an easy, sunny ride in the valley below.
03:20 PM: The peloton
has reached the base of the Tourmalet. Saunier Duval has put three riders up front and they are already putting pressure on.
Ahead, Bichot is now just 20 seconds behind the lead group.
03:25 PM: Sprinters
are being spit off the back of the peloton as Saunier Duval applies the pressure.
03:27 PM: Remy Di Gregorio
Has moved ahead out of the break. He wants the Goddet prize.
03:30 PM: Back in the peloton
which is now 7:46 behind the leaders, we see several riders trying their luck.
The pace is high, with a group of 10 riders – including Voeckler and Saunier Duval’s Jufre – has formed about 15 seconds up the road. All the big GC players are in the field.
03:37 PM: Sastre
has moved two riders up to the front of the peloton to set tempo. Sastre is an experienced tour rider and the CSC rider has ridden a quiet Tour so far.
03:40 PM: De la Fuente
the man in the KOM jersey has been dropped by the peloton. It’s always a strange sight to have the polka dot jersey struggling on the climb, but quite common, especially in these early mountain stages.
03:43 PM: Di Gregorio
is now 1:02 ahead of the rest of the original break. Bichot is back by another minute and then a the peloton is at 7:52 under the control of the CSC team.
03:46 PM: Hincapie
has been dropped by the peloton.
Up ahead Di Gregorio is still on his own, about 1:13 ahead of the others from the break. Cancellara, is setting tempo in that group, while his teammates are setting tempo in the peloton, 7:40 back.
03:51 PM: Freire
We need to mention that despite switching into his magic climbing shoes, the green points leader has been dropped by the men in the break. He’s fading back and is a couple of minutes behind.
It is an absolutely gorgeous day on the Tourmalet today. Off the top of our heads – and that includes our admittedly fading memory – we can’t remember really crappy weather on Bastille day at the Tour. Is that a sign that God is French… or a bike fan?
03:57 PM: De Gregorio
is now nearing the top of the Tourmalet. He’s 1:49 ahead of the five in chase group 1 and 3:20 ahead of Freire. The peloton is now 7:32 back.
04:02 PM: Big crowds
Di Gregorio is working his way through large and enthusiastic crowds on the final kilometer of the climb. He’s 2:02 ahead of the Cancellara group.
Back in the peloton, we see several riders suffering, and Stefan Schumacher has just been spit off the back.
04:03 PM: Cunego
has been dropped by the peloton, which is still being led.
Oh man! There goes Valverde. He’s being dropped under the pressure of the CSC tempo.
04:06 PM: 20 points
Di Gregorio takes the top KOM points. Back in the peloton, the CSC team is still setting a hard tempo. Stijn Devolder has been dropped, Valverde, Cunego… wow. CSC has Voigt and the Schleck brothers doing the damage.
Still in there are Kim Kirchen and Cadel Evans… and Ricco, can’t forget Ricco.
04:08 PM: In the peloton
It’s Voigt setting tempo. He has Sastre on his wheel, Menchov is there, Evans and Vande Velde … and Kirchen is holding his own, but drifting to the back of the group, but hanging on.
04:10 PM: What an animal
Voigt is just driving the pace like a madman. His mouth is hanging open and you can tell he’s putting in a big, big effort.
The yellow jersey group is now over the top.
04:11 PM: Valverde crests
about 27 seconds behind the yellow jersey group.
04:12 PM: Whoa!
This is a tough descent and it’s not always the riders who suffer. One of the motorcycles went down. Ouch.
04:16 PM: The speeds are
just incredible on this descent. Riders can hit about 80kph at points and it would be even faster were it not for the fact that this road is switchbacked and there are no guard rails here (which could be a good thing).
Valverde is latched on to the back of Oscar Peirero.
04:19 PM: Points and time at the KOM
1. Di Gregorio 20pts
2. Roy 18pts – at 2:10
3. Dupont 16pts
4. Duque 14pts
5. Fothen 12pts – at 3:10
6. Cancellara 10pts – at 3:45
7. Freire 8pts – at 4:30
8. Ricco 7pts – at 6:00
9. Voigt 6pts
10. Sastre 5pts
04:21 PM: Freire
is about to be caught by the Kirchen group.
Ricco, meanwhile, is poised to move into the KOM jersey. He’s in second place now, but he’s likely to grab some extra points on the final climb, which De la Fuente is not likely to do.
04:24 PM: With 32km remaining
Di Gregorio leads his three closest chasers by 2:20. Then Fothen trails by 30 seconds and Cancellara by another 30. The yellow jersey group – with Sastre, Vande Velde, Menchov, Evans, Ricco and others – is at 6:05.
04:25 PM: Valverde
is chasing back on. He’s about 10 seconds behind the yellow jersey group.
04:29 PM: In Luz St. Sauveur
the crowds are absolutely huge in this beautiful mountain town. Ahead, we still have a gradual but fast drop to the base of the final climb to Hautacam. Pereiro and Valverde are nearly back in the group. One guy who surprised us, by the way, is Schumacher. He blew early on the climb, but he’s now with Valverde. Nice job, Herr Schumacher.
04:30 PM: Cancellara
is back with the yellow jersey group and doing a ton of work at the front. The extra horsepower is making it hard for Valverde to catch.
04:32 PM: Wow
The CSC train is putting the hurt on. The Valverde group is now 40 seconds off of the yellow jersey group.
04:36 PM: CSC
is really doing a job. They have the world time trial champion setting a brutal pace at the front of the yellow jersey group. They also have Voigt there, with Sastre close… and hovering at the back are the Schleck brothers. CSC is certainly going to hit this climb with all guns blazing.
Menchov, Ricco, Vande Velde and Evans are benefitting from the CSC effort. Of those, only Ricco has a teammate with him.
04:38 PM: Valverde
is now more than a minute behind the CSC choo choo. Apparently he’s missed his train … and getting his ticket punched. The train has left the station and he’s standing on the platform watching it go…. okay, okay, enough of that. Sorry.
04:41 PM: CSC
has five riders in the yellow jersey bunch. They are doing the bulk of the work… check that, they’re doing all of the work.
Valverde continues to lose time.
04:43 PM: Yow!
CSC has put 2:00 into Valverde. They are also sweeping up remnants of the break. The sped past Roy and Dupont and are now less than 1:45 behind Di Gregorio… remember him?
04:45 PM: Yehaw!
With 16km remaining for De Gregorio the chase has cut his advantage to 1:04.
In the CSC group, we see Evans (Silence-Lotto), Sastre, Cancellara, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Voigt (CSC), Kirchen (Columbia), Duenas Nevado (Barloworld), Nibali (Liquigas), Fothen and Kohl (Gerolsteiner), Menchov and Freire (Rabobank), Ricco, Cobo and Piepoli (Saunier Duval), Vande Velde (Garmin), Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Dupont, Efimkin and Goubert (Ag2r), Roy (FDJ) and Duque (Cofidis).
04:47 PM: Up, up and AWAY!!!!
Di Gregorio hits the climb, with just 40 seconds on the CSC chase.
04:50 PM: Di Gregorio
Is nearly caught. The pace in the CSC group is high. Freire and Fothen have been spit off the back.
Voigt is pushing the pace as they close in on Di Gregorio. He’s 12 seconds up the road.
04:52 PM: Caught
Di Gregorio is caught and Voigt finally blows.
Andy Schleck doesn’t look to comfy, but his brother is now attacking off the front. He has Ricco on his wheel.
04:53 PM: Kirchen in trouble
The Schleck attack put a lot of people into trouble. Andy Schleck is trailing. Kirchen has been seriously gapped… and now Sastre attacks.
04:55 PM: Sastre back in the group
and there goes Frank Schleck. Piepoli on his wheel and Vladimir Efimkin wrks hard to close the gap.
Evans and Vande Velde are back with Ricco and Sastre and Menchov.
04:56 PM: Efemkin
has faded as Schleck and Piepoli cross under the 10km to go mark.
Evans is in trouble, so is Sastre.
04:58 PM: Kohl and Cobo
have bridged up to Schleck and Piepoli and Efemkin (who fought back on)
Down the hill, Valverde – already 2:00 down – has dropped a chain. Another delay.
05:02 PM: Evans
is trailing the leaders by about a minute and just as it looked like Kirchen fought back Evans takes a big dig.
Go Cuddles. He is actually attacking. Good on ya mate.
05:08 PM: The current situation on the road
We have three leaders Cobo, Frank Schleck and Piepoli. They are about one minute up on the Evans group, which includes Sastre Ricco, Menchov, Vande Velde and Nibali.
05:10 PM: Schleck gapped
the two Saunier Duval men have moved ahead of Schleck, but the CSC man is fighting back.
Evans is setting tempo in the little group at 1:32.
Kirchen has lost 2:15.
05:13 PM: Schleck fighting back
Schleck continues to fight back to the Saunier Duval men. They have lead of 1:37 on the Evans group.
Meanwhile Valverde is well back on the road, trailing by more than 3:00.
05:14 PM: Our three leaders
are now four kilometers from the finish.
They lead the Evans group, which includes Menchov, Sastre, Vande Velde and Ricco, by 1:35.
05:17 PM: Up front
we have Frank Schleck with Leonardo Piepoli and Juan Jose Cobo crossing the three km to go line. The Evans group is now at 1:57.
05:19 PM: Schleck
is in a position to take the yellow jersey, if he keeps this up. He started the day in 11th at 1:56.
The Saunier Duval men attack!
05:20 PM: Cobo and Piepolli
Are pushing it and they have gapped the CSC man. There are 1.75km remaining.
05:21 PM: Schleck has already
lost 12 seconds to the two Saunier Duval men. The Evans group is at 2:03.
05:22 PM: Evans
is driving hard over the last 2km. He has a chance to move into the yellow jersey. Menchov and Vande Velde and Sastre are there with him. We will have to watch the times
05:23 PM: The final kilometer
Schleck is in the final kilometer, trailing the two Saunier Duval men by 18 seconds.
05:23 PM: The final kilometer
Schleck is in the final kilometer, trailing the two Saunier Duval men by 18 seconds.
05:24 PM: Evans
is having to do the bulk of the work in that group. If he wants the jersey, he has to work for it.
05:25 PM: The two Saunier Duvals
It looks like Ricco is good for his word. His teammate Piepoli wins and Cobo crosses, with both arms raised.
05:26 PM: Schleck
finishes at 24 seconds. Now we have to watch the clock.
05:26 PM: Kohl
finishes for third at about 1:00.
05:28 PM: Vande Velde
Man, he looks fresh. He’s charging to the finish. The Evans group finishes at 2:18, so it looks like Evans will get the jersey…. barely.
05:29 PM: What a stage
It’s going to take a bit to sort through the damage.
Let’s see. Here comes Kirchen. He finishes at 4:17.
05:31 PM: Wow
Evans gets the jersey… by ONE SECOND!
Oh this is turning into a heck of a Tour.
05:31 PM: Valverde
finishes in a group of riders that includes Cunego… he’s lost a big, big chunk of time today.
05:33 PM: Vande Velde
has held on to third. He’s now 38 seconds out of the jersey.
05:35 PM: De Gregorio
crosses the line at about 9:00. A could ride by a guy who spent much of the day out on his own.
05:43 PM: Well, they promised this stage
would shake things up.
Here are the top-10 for the stage finish:
1. Leonardo Piepoli (ITA) SDV – 156km in 4:19:27
2. Juan Jose Cobo (ESP) SDV – same time
3. Frank Schleck (LUX) CSC at 28
4. Bernhard Kohl (AUT) GST at 1:06
5. Vladimir Efimkin (RUS) ALM at 2:05
6. Riccardo Ricco (ITA) SDV at 2:17
7. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC at 2:17
8. Cadel Evans (AUS) SIL at 2:17
9. Denis Menchov (RUS) RAB at 2:17
10. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin at 2:17
The GC picture sure has changed.
1. Evans, 42:29:09
2. F. Schleck, at 0:01
3. C. Vande Velde, at 0:38
4. Kohl, at 0:46
5. Menchov, at 0:57
6. Sastre, at 1:28
7. Kirchen, at 1:56
8. Cobo, at 2:10
9. Ricco at 2:29
10. Efimkin, at 2:32.
05:51 PM: Valverde
Valverde, who began the day in sixth place overall at 1min 12sec behind overnight leader Kim Kirchen over five minutes off the pace of stage winner Leonardo Piepoli.
It means Valverde is now in 14th place overall at 4min 41sec behind new race leader Cadel Evans.
05:53 PM: That’s a wrap
It’s been a big shake-up in the overall picture and the Tour is wide-open this year.
Tune inon Wednesday for what is likely to be a bit mellower stage, but with one-second separating first and second place, who knows? Meanwhile, everyone gets a break, with a rest day scheduled in Pau. Ahhhhhhhh.