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Live updates – Stage 7- Bagnoles-de-l’Orne – Avranches 176km

5:30 p.m. Here are the preliminary results from today's stage. As you can see from the overall standings, Armstrong has lost some time, but the impact was not too serious. He was caught up in a crash about 2km from the finish. 1. Bradley McGee (Aus), FDJ, 176 km in 4:10:56. (42.083 kph)2. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), A2R, at 00:00.3. Pedro Horillo (Sp), MAP, at 00:00.4. Robbie McEwen (Aus), LOT, at 00:00.5. Erik Zabel (G), TEL, at 00:00.6. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), C.A, at 00:00.7. Jan Svorada (Cz), LAM, at 00:00.8. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJ, at 00:00.9. Fred Rodriguez (USA), DFF, at 00:00.10. Thor

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5:30 p.m. Here are the preliminary results from today’s stage.

As you can see from the overall standings, Armstrong has lost some time, but the impact was not too serious. He was caught up in a crash about 2km from the finish.

1. Bradley McGee (Aus), FDJ, 176 km in 4:10:56.
 (42.083 kph)
2. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), A2R, at 00:00.
3. Pedro Horillo (Sp), MAP, at 00:00.
4. Robbie McEwen (Aus), LOT, at 00:00.
5. Erik Zabel (G), TEL, at 00:00.
6. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), C.A, at 00:00.
7. Jan Svorada (Cz), LAM, at 00:00.
8. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJ, at 00:00.
9. Fred Rodriguez (USA), DFF, at 00:00.
10. Thor Hushovd (Nor), C.A, at 00:00.
11. Andrej Hauptman (Slo), TAC, at 00:00.
12. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), BAN, at 00:00.
13. Francois Simon (Fra), BJR, at 00:00.
14. Mario Aerts (Bel), LOT, at 00:00.
15. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), EUS, at 00:00.
16. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita), COF, at 00:00.
17. Piotr Wadecki (Pol), DFF, at 00:00.
18. Denis Menchov (Rus), BAN, at 00:00.
19. Dario Frigo (Ita), TAC, at 00:00.
20. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), KEL, at 00:00.
 OVERALL AFTER SEVEN STAGES1. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (Sp), ONE, 27:39:59.
2. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONE, at 00:04.
3. Jorg Jaksche (G), ONE, at 00:12.
4. Abraham Olano (Sp), ONE, at 00:22.
5. Isidro Nozal (Sp), ONE, at 00:27.
6. Jose Azevedo (Por), ONE, at 00:28.
7. Marcos Serrano (Sp), ONE, at 00:30.
8. Lance Armstrong (USA), USP, at 00:34.
9. Tyler Hamilton (USA), CST, at 00:53.
10. Andrea Peron (Ita), CST, at 00:53.
11. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CST, at 01:00.
12. Laurent Jalabert (Fra), CST, at 01:04.
13. Roberto Heras (Sp), USP, at 01:06.
14. Nicki Sorensen (Dan), CST, at 01:09.
15. Floyd Landis (USA), USP, at 01:13.
16. George Hincapie (USA), USP, at 01:19.
17. Jose Luis Rubiera (Sp), USP, at 01:26.
18. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus), USP, at 01:26.
19. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr), FAS, at 01:36.
 20. David Millar (GBR), COF, at 01:40.
 21. Ivan Basso (Ita), FAS, at 01:41.
 22. Pavel Padrnos (Tch), USP, at 01:46.
 23. David Moncoutie (Fra), COF, at 01:52.
 24. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), FAS, at 01:58.
 25. Erik Zabel (G), TEL, at 01:59.
 26. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), BAN, at 02:01.
 27. Wladimir Belli (Ita), FAS, at 02:02.
 28. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita), COF, at 02:04.
 29. Andrei Kivilev (Kzk), COF, at 02:09.
 
 

5:18 p.m. World Champion Oscar Freire is coming across the line. He still looks to be in pain from the crash.

5:14 p.m. Moreau is still struggling toward the finish, along with most of his Credit Agricole teammates.

5:12 p.m. In the final kilometer, Mapei’s Pedro Horillo attacks… but he is caught in the final meters.

He is caught by Bradley McGee (FDJeux.com) and McGee wins the stage.

Behind him, Armstrong finishes 26 seconds off of the winning time.

5:10 p.m. The leaders have been caught.

Up front, Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) is attacking.

Armstrong is chasing back on and he looks to be catching the tail end of the main field.

5:09 p.m. There has been a crash again. Armstrong appears to have been delayed by the crash.

5:06 p.m. The chase continues despite the crash. The gap is down to 13 seconds. These boys are going to be caught.

In the back, Didier Rous (F) Bonjour appears to have broken his collar bone and is out of the race. Friere is up and riding, though he seems to have hurt his back.

5:05 p.m. There has been a crash.

Several riders are down, including Oscar Friere, Mapei’s world champion and Credit Agricole’s Christophe Moreau… and most of his team.

5:03 p.m. The leaders are 5.5 km from the finish. The gap is just 26 seconds.

5:02 p.m. The peloton is driving hard and the gap continues to shrink. The leaders are riding through Saint Quentin, just 30 seconds ahead of the field.

5:01 p.m. These guys are not giving up, but it looks like they are going to be pulled back in.

5:00 p.m. The leaders are 9km from the finish and their lead is down to 43 seconds.

4:59 p.m. The peloton crossed under the 10km banner 45 seconds behind the leaders.

4:58p.m. With 10km to go, the gap is down to 40 seconds. The Telekom squad is in on the chase now.

4:56p.m. With 12.5km to go, the gap is down to 50 seconds.

4:55 p.m. The leaders are 13km from the finish. The gap is down to 55 seconds.

4:52 p.m. The leaders are 15km from the finish and are maintaining their advantage. The gap is now 1:10.

4:50 p.m. The leaders are 18km from the finish, but their lead is down to 1:15.

The Jean Delatour team is now driving the chase. Laurent Brochard — former world champion and the peloton’s best mullet– appears ready to try for a stage win in his home region.

4:44 p.m. Leon Van Bon takes the first spot on the top of the climb. Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin takes second and Franck Renier (Bonjour)third

With 21km to go, the leaders’ advantage is down to 1:49.

4:42 p.m. The three leaders are within a kilometer of the top of the climb, but their lead is now under two minutes.

4:39 p.m. The three leaders are climbing the L’Embranchement. The last time check gives them an advantage of just 2:30.

We’ll get another time check at the top of the climb.

4:36 p.m. The three leaders are on the slope of the day’s second rated climb, the L’Embranchement, which crests at 154km, or 22km from the finish. Though the Tour often gives a Cat. 4 rating to things not much bigger than a speed bump, this one is a toughy.

4:33 p.m. The three leaders are working well together at the front, but the chase is on and they have lost 30 seconds over the last three kilometers. The lead is now just 2:50.

4:30 p.m. Thirty-two km from the finish, the leaders are 3:20 ahead of the main field.

Other teams — including Allesio — are moving up to give ONCE a hand.

4:22 p.m. 38km from the finish, the leaders have increased their advantage back up to 3:34.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Bastille Day stage, one of the most important to fans in France: starting in Saint-Martin-de-Landelles in the west of France – a hotbed of cycling which produced France’s last great Tour rider, five-time winner Bernard Hinault – the stage turns southwards towards Plouay.

Plouay, a town of only 5000, played host to the world road race championships in 2000 – and should consider itself spoiled with a stage passing by only two years later.

The stage itself is not too difficult. Except for three minor climbs, there is little to worry even the worst of the peloton’s climbers, although the final ascent of the day is only three kilometers from the finish line which comes into view after a final straight of almost 400m.

Before arriving in Plouay, the Tour will cross Saint-Meen-le-Grand – the native town of one of cycling’s biggest names, three-time Tour winner Louison Bobet, who won in 1953-55.

4:16 p.m. The ONCE team is still at the front of the peloton. It looks as if the break is destined to be reeled in before the finish in Avranches.

Here is a look at the current points standings for those of you wondering how things stand between Erik Zabel and Robbie McEwen.OVERALL Points:
1. Erik Zabel (G), Telekom, at 150 pts
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Lotto, at 143
3. Oscar Freire (Sp), Mapei, at 101
4. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, at 100
5. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), C.A, at 84
6. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), Ag2R, at 80
7. Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Tacconi, at 76
8. Jan Svorada (Cz), Lampre, at 75
9. Francois Simon (F), Bonjour, at 69
10. Laurent Brochard (F), Jean Delatour, at 61

4:15 p.m. Vaughters is back with the field. The leaders’ advantage is now under three minutes. We are 44km from the finish.

4:12 p.m. Vaughters is now making contact with the back of the field.

4:11 p.m. The leaders are at km 130 and their lead is down to 3:05.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Tour will put on its festive face on Sunday when it heads to Britanny in the hope a Frenchman will grab the honors at the end of the 217.5 km eighth stage.

CSC’s Laurent Jalabert, the former world number one (1990-95) and considered by many as the greatest French rider in recent years, is everyone’s favorite to give the hosts a reason to smile on Bastille Day.

Jalabert complied with the country’s implicit request last year, winning the stage on July 14 at Colmar to repeat his Bastille Day feat of 1995 at Mende.

4:05 p.m. Vaughters is checking in with the race doctor to have his scrapes looked at. Of course, he also got a bit of a boost from the momentum of the doc’s car.

Vaughters’ teammate Anthony Langella has dropped back to help him back up.

The leaders’ advantage is now down to 3:15.

4:04 p.m. Vaughters is still chasing, working his way through the race caravan.

The leaders are at km 125 and are about 3:30 ahead of the main field.

3:56 p.m. Vaughters has stopped again and has taken a new bike. He is back chasing.

Ahead the three leaders are 3:40 ahead of the field. The peloton is moving pretty slowly and Vaughters should be able to catch up.

3:56 p.m. There has been a very minor crash at the back of the field.

It looks as though VeloNews’s contributor Jonathan Vaughters has been delayed by the mess. His bike has been buggered up but he has gotten things fixed up and is on his way back to the peloton. The gap is not too bad, though, and he will probably make it back up.

3:49 p.m. The food and nature breaks in the main field have allowed the three men in the lead to re-up their advantage to 3:55.

The leaders are at 115. We have 61km to go to the finish in Avranches.

3:45 p.m. The leaders are under 3:30 and the pace in the peloton has eased off. Indeed, some riders have pulled off to take a quick nature break, while other riders are taking it easy and having a quick bite.

3:43 p.m. The leaders are at 110km and have seen their advantage cut down to 3:30.

3:38 p.m. The lead trio has passed through the day’s third intermediate sprint — Tessy-sur-Vire (107km). The sprint was not contested by the three men. Renier crossed through first, followed by Van Bon and Morin.

The leaders’ advantage is currently down to 3:45. The ONCE team of race leader Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is still setting tempo at the front of the field.

3:35 p.m. We are at 105km. The leaders’ advantage is down to 4:30.

3:29 p.m. We have just passed 100km and the three men up front — Leon van Bon (Domo), Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin — are 5:03 ahead of the main field.

3:22 p.m. At 95 kilometers, the three leaders are maintaining an advantage of 5:20.

For those of you with Outdoor Life, live television coverage kicks in in the United States in about eight minutes.

For the rest of you, we will do our best to keep you updated directly from France. Tomorrow there will be no live OLN coverage in the U.S. as CBS’s contract gives them Sundays from here on out and they simply run a wrap-up in the afternoon. So, you’ll be stuck with the web for live coverage tomorrow.

3:17 p.m. At km 93, the leaders have once again increased their lead. They are now 5:20 ahead of the main field.

3:11 p.m. We are at the half-way mark of today’s stage — 88km down and 88km to go.

The three leaders — Leon van Bon (Domo), Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin — are now 4:55 ahead of the field.

3:02 p.m. We may have the first sign that the break is losing momentum, albeit a small sign.

Our last time check using the official VeloNews timing system (A.K.A. Wilcockson’s wrist watch) gave the leaders an advantage of 4:40. If correct, they have lost about 10 seconds over the past 3km. Not much, but a sign that ONCE is montitoring the break closely.

3:00 p.m. The three men in the lead — Leon van Bon (Domo), Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin — are now at 80km (96km remaining) and are maintaining a lead of around 4:45.

2:47 p.m. At 74km the three leaders are now approaching a five-minute lead. The ONCE team is continuing to monitor the front of the field, given that were the stage to end right now, Renier would be taking the yellow jersey from Igor Gonzalez Galdeano. Of course, there are still another 102km to go.

2:43 p.m. The three leaders are now at km 71. They have upped their lead to 4:45 over the main field.

By the way folks, some of you have complained about the size of the stage map being too large for those browsers that do not allow you to re-size the pop-up window. As a result, some of you could not see the start or finish to today’s stage. Sorry about that. Your ever-faithful web geek (that would be me) has gone ahead and re-sized the image, so go ahead and give it a try again. Thanks as always for your feedback. We are trying to respond ASAP… mail can be addressed to Rosters@7Dogs.com.

2:33 p.m. Reneir took the day’s second sprint, though again, the men did not break their rhythm to contest it. Van Bon was second and Morin, third.

They are now at km 68 and have 106km remaining.

2:32 p.m. The three leaders are now at the day’s second sprint. Results in a moment.

2:27 p.m. The three leaders have crossed over the Mont Pinçon and have an advantage of nearly 4:00 on the main field.

Morin took the top spot, earning 5 climbers’ points. Renier was second and Van Bon took third.

Coming up, the sprint at Aulnay-sur-Odon(64km).

2:22 p.m. The leaders are coming up on the Cat. 4 climb up Mont Pinçon. John Wilcockson, Rupert Guiness, David Walsh of the Sunday Times of London and VeloNews editor Kip Mikler are all in the Velo-mobile today. Wilcockson reports that the crowds up Mont Pinçon are “massive.” It is the July 14th weekend — Bastille Day is tomorrow — and we are in a part of France that loves the sport, so the crowds are not a big surprise, but it’s still remarkable to see people 5 to 10 deep along the slopes of a Cat.4 climb.

2:19 p.m. The three men in front have an advantage of 3:30, making Renier the leader on the road, by 2 seconds.

Not surprisingly, ONCE is now setting tempo at the front of the field.

2:14 p.m. The three men up front — Leon van Bon (Domo), Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin — are at the 53km mark and thir lead is coming up on three minutes.

2:09 p.m. At 48km, the time check gave the leaders an advantage of 2:20. They have 128km remaining.

Take another look at the detailsof today’s stage.As you can see from the profile, this is not justanother flat sprinters’ fest. Despite the fact that there are just tworated climbs, the road to Avranches is a constant grind. (Though, to be honest, we believe that purely vertical section at 33km on the course profile to be a bit of an exaggeration.)

2:04 p.m. At 45km, the three leaders have exteded their advantage to 2:00.

As we said, ahead is the Cat. 4 climb at Mont Pinçon(61km), followed almost immediately by the sprint at Aulnay-sur-Odon(64km).

1:58 p.m. At 41 km, the three leaders have built their lead to 1:30.

A quick glance down the overall standings, shows Renier to be the highest on GC, in 65th place at 3:28. Morin is in 127th at 7:06 and Van Bon is in 148th at 11:05.

Renier is also sixth in the KOM race, with five points, well behind Christophe Mengin’s 39.1:55 p.m. Bessy and Casar are back in the peloton.

The three leaders are now at 39km and have a 50-second advantage over the field.

1:53 p.m. The three leaders — Leon van Bon (Domo), Franck Renier (Bonjour) and Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin — have 45 seconds on the main field.

Two riders — Frédéric Bessy (Credit Agricole) and Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com) are trying to chase, but making little progress.

1:47 p.m. The three leaders have an advantage of 30 seconds over the field. The two chasers behind them never did make it and are back in the field. There are still attempts to attack out of the peloton in order to bridge up to the break, though none has succeeded thus far.

Ahead at 61km is the Cat. 4 climb up Mont Pinçon, followed by a sprint just 3km later.

1:45 p.m. Renier won the sprint ahead of Van Bon and Morin rounded out the top three. The three were intent on cooperating, though, and did not contest the sprint.

1:43 p.m. The three leaders clearly have enough of a buffer to steal the sprint from the men contesting the points race.

We’ll have results in a second.

1:39 p.m. Dessel is with Davide Casarotto (Alessio) and they are just 10 seconds behind the other three. The peloton is another 20 seconds behind them.

The sprint is coming up in 2km.1:37 p.m. At the 25km mark, the three men are still ahead of the field, by a small margin. They are being chased by two more riders, one of whom is Jean Delatour’s Cyril Dessel. The other we have yet to identify.

Lotto is driving the chase.

1:35 p.m. Renier and Van Bon have been joined by Credit Agricole’s Anthony Morin.

1:34 p.m. Leon van Bon (Domo) and Franck Renier (Bonjour) have attacked and have a small margin at the 22km mark.

1:29 p.m. It’s still quite active at the front of the field, though escape may be tough, given the tight points contest.

Lotto appears especially interested in keeping things under control at least until the sprint at St. Georges des Groseillers (29.5 km).

We are now at km 22.1:24 p.m. Chavanel has been caught. The Lotto team drove the chase. They are working to set up their man Robbie McEwen for the day’s first sprint, coming up at 29.5 km.

It’s a short 1km climb to the sprint mark, so it should be tough.

1:22 p.m. Chavanel is on his own at 15km. He has 10 seconds on the field.

1:21 p.m. At 12km, Chavanel is 12 seconds clear of the field. It is still unclear if Bodrogi has managed to join him. Stay tuned.

1:19 p.m. We are at the 10km mark. Bonjour’s Sylvan Chavanel attacked at 8.5km. He has been joined by Laszlo Bodrogi (Mapei).

1:14 p.m.Well, we didn’t need a time gap. The two escapees are back in the peloton.

1:12 p.m. Stéphane Berges (Ag2R) and Fabio Baldato (Fassa Bortolo)have attacked and have a slight lead over the peloton. We do not have a time gap yet.

1:09 p.m. Jens Voigt of Credit Agricole tried a short attack at the 2km mark. He was brought back in quickly and we are at the 4km mark.

Here is a look at the detailsof today’s stage.

Ahead:

INTERMEDIATE SPRINTS: St. Georges des Groseillers (29.5km), Aulnay-sur-Odon(64km) and Tessy-sur-Vire (107km). Cat. 4 climbs at Mont Pinçon(61km) and L’Embranchement (154km).

1:04 p.m. Good morning to our U.S. audience. The seventh stage of the 2002 Tour de France has begun. The weather is quite nice today. It is cooler than it has been and there is a slight wind.

There were 185 starters today, the most recent departure from the start list was Alexandre Shefer, who suffered injuries in a crash yesterday.