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Live updates – Tour de France Stage 1

5:38 p.m. Credit Agricole's Christophe Moreau has finished some 3:40 behind the main field. Bertogliati finished 19th yesterday, so with his 20-second bonus today, he has earned him the yellow jersey. Quite a win. 5:34 p.m. Talk about your good timing. Bertogliati pulled off the win. Zabel is second, McEwen is third. 5:33 p.m. Lampre's Rubens Bertogliati has attacked. 5:33 With 1km to go Telekom is at the front. 5:31 So, with 2.5km left, it's all together. The big names are up front, including O'Grady; Zabel; Jalabert and Armstrong are up front. Telekom is trying to set up their

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Luxembourg – Luxembourg

5:38 p.m. Credit Agricole’s Christophe Moreau has finished some 3:40 behind the main field.

Bertogliati finished 19th yesterday, so with his 20-second bonus today, he has earned him the yellow jersey. Quite a win.

5:34 p.m. Talk about your good timing. Bertogliati pulled off the win. Zabel is second, McEwen is third.

5:33 p.m. Lampre’s Rubens Bertogliati has attacked.

5:33 With 1km to go Telekom is at the front.

5:31 So, with 2.5km left, it’s all together. The big names are up front, including O’Grady; Zabel; Jalabert and Armstrong are up front.

Telekom is trying to set up their man Zabel for a win on his 32nd birthday.

5:30 Telekom is leading the chase at the front of the peloton.They have pulled the breakaway group back in with 3km to go.

5:28 There are some awfully good names in this break. FDJeaux’s Jean-Cyril Robin and Taconi’s Peter Luttenberger are up there, too.

The gap is 20 seconds with 4km to go. Landis is hanging at the back, but not helping.

5:24 That lead group of six was formed on the wheel of Axel Merckx. Michael Boogerd, Sergei Ivanov and Floyd Landis are in there, too.

5:23 Passing under the 10km marker, the three leaders have been caught and the counter attacks have started again.

It looks like Floyd Landis (Postal) is in a small group at the front.

5:21 Lefèvre is still off the front. Fassa Bortolo’s Ivan Basso and Domo’s Dave Bruylandts have attacked off the front of the field and are moving up on Lefèvre.

5:20 Jean Delatour’s Laurent Lefèvre has scampered off the front of the lead group.

The peloton has absorbed the other three in the break.

5:19 p.m. The leaders are on the day’s last rated climb. They may win the KOM points, but the peloton is just 12 seconds back.

5:15 p.m. Now the Rabobank team is taking over at the front of the field. The chase is working and the leaders have had their lead trimmed to 30 seconds. We are 15km from the finish.

5:11 p.m. The four leaders are 17km from the finish… and more importantly, seven kilometers from the day’s last climb.

The leaders have an advantage of 35 seconds, which makes Casar the new leader on the road, since he began the day 22 seconds out of first.

5:09 p.m. With 19km to go, the four leaders have a 35 second advantage over the field.

CSC and Postal are leading the peloton.

5:02p.m. Sandy Casar, Laurent Lefèvre and Cristian Moreni have joined Serpellini. With 25km to go, the four leaders have an advantage of 30 seconds.

5:00p.m. We have 26km to go.

Lampre’s Marco Serpellini is off the front, by about 15 seconds ahead of a small chase group of three riders. The peloton — led by Postal — is another 10 seconds behind.

4:58 p.m. You think you’ve had a bad day at the office…

Christophe Moreau managed to chase back on, rejoined the peloton and then he crashed again.

Moreau is chasing again.

4:52 p.m. If you look at today’s profile you’ll see these final kilometers are going to be tough.

The attacks are coming fast and furious.

Right now Telekom’s Giuseppe Guerini is off the front with a small group including Walter Bénéteau (Bonjour).

4:49 p.m. Bortolami earned the first spot in the sprint, Piotr Wadecki (Domo) took second and Jacky Durand earned the third spot.

We have 30km to go.

4:48 p.m. We are coming up on the day’s second intermediate sprint.

Gianluca Bortolami (Tacconi) took the sprint.

Moreau and his group have rejoined.

4:47 p.m. The leaders have been caught.

Moreau and his CA teammates are about 20 seconds off the back of the peloton.

4:45 p.m. At the 154km mark, the group of 12 leaders — including Rabobank’s Michael Boogerd and Postal’s Lance Armstrong, as well as best young rider jersey holder David Millar — is just a few seconds ahead of the peloton. Leading the chase are the CSC and ONCE teams.

4:39 p.m. The group of nine has caught up with the three leaders. The peloton is moving in on that lead group.

Credit Agricole’s Christophe Moreau is still chasing hard.

4:38 p.m. Berges has rejoined the other two leaders, but they have just 20 seconds ahead of a group of nine riders that includes Lance Armstrong.

4:37 p.m. Stéphane Berges (Ag2R) has been dropped by Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre). Mengin was the first to crest the hill and will earn the climber’s jersey today.

4:36 p.m. Rik Verbrugghe and Brad McGee attacked on the Wormeldange and were qickly chased down by Lance Armstrong.

4:33 p.m. The three leaders are coming up on the slopes of Wormeldange. It’s a short, but very difficult climb and is likely to break things up, perhaps in the break and almost certainly in the main field.

The three men up front are 2:10 ahead of the field.

4:28 p.m. Moreau has rejoined the field. The three men up front still have an advantage of 2:15.

4:27 p.m. Race radio reports that there has been a crash in the field. Among the victims are Axel Merckx and Christophe Moreau. They are chasing back.

4:20 p.m. We are about 10km from the slopes of the tough climb up the Wall of Wormeldange, a near-15-percent, one-kilometer hill.

The three leaders are still up around 3:25.

4:17 p.m. The three men in the front — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– are at the 135km mark. They have upped their lead back up over 3:00 again.

4:09 p.m. With the CSC team at the front of the peloton, the chase is making a touch of progress.

The three men at the front have an advantage of 3:00.

4:02 p.m. The three leaders have 66km remaining. They have their lead trimmed to 3:10.

3:54 p.m. With 70km remaining (122km covered thus far), the three men in the front — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– have had their lead trimmed further to 3:16.

3:51 p.m. Race radio reports that the CSC team’s chase is beginning to have an effect. The three leaders have had their advantage cut to 3:25.

3:46 p.m. The three leaders are at the sprint at the 117.5km mark. They have been leading since 55km and have a lead of 4:05.

Dierkcxsens takes the day’s second intermediate sprint.

3:40 p.m. With 80km remaining, the three leaders — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– have an advantage of 4:05.

Laurent Jalabert’s CSC team is leading the chase in the peloton. Lance Armstrong’s Postal squad is holding back. Postal team spokesman Dan Osipow said this morning that the team is not too concerned about holding on to the jersey this first week.

Jalabert, on the other hand, is aching to grab it.

3:34 p.m. Tour radio reports that the three leaders have bumped their advantage to 4:05. They are at the 107km mark.

3:28 p.m. The three leaders are at km 104. They have an advantage of 3:15 and have been out front for 50km. Right now, Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre), the best-placed rider of the three is the leader on the road. Let’s see if that lasts to the finish.

American television viewers who get OLN can now watch the stage live. Coverage kicks off in about one minute.

3:18 p.m.We are at the half-way mark of today’s 192km stage. We have covered 96km and there are 96km remaining.

The three leaders — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– are holding a three-minute advantage over the field. 3:10 p.m. The reults of the days second ranked climb are as follows:Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) — 5 pointsLudo Dierkcxsens (Lampre) — 3 pts
and Stéphane Berges (Ag2R) — 2 pts.

The peloton is nearly three minutes behind the leaders. CSC is still leading the chase.

3:01 p.m. The leaders have bumped their advantage up again. Our last time check gives them an advantage of 2:38.

They are now coming up on the cobbled climb up the Cat. 4 Cote de Vianden at 87km. It’s a short 2.7km climb averaging 5.7 percent.

This is clearly one of the toughest opening stages of the Tour in many years. With some tough climbing ahead near the finish, this race is somewhat remiscent of a Spring Classic like Liege-Bastogne-Liege and not a sprinters’ holiday like they usually are early in the Tour.

2:59 p.m. We weren’t kidding about those speeds. The leaders and the peloton were hitting speed of 90- to 100kph on the descent.

Francois Simon, the man who had the yellow jersey for so long in last year’s Tour, punctured and was forced to chase like a mad man on that drop. Remarkably, he caught back on.

CSC is now leading the chase and the leader’s advantage is around 1:30.

2:49 p.m. The three leaders crested the hill with an advantage of 3:35 over the rest of the field. Berges crossed first, ahead of Mengin and Dierkcxksens.

By km 72, the three leaders have had their lead cut to 2:25.

Coming up is a a killer descent: 17 percent down for 2km. The only good thing is that most of it is straight down… until a hard turn at the bottom. Our man John Wilcockson says they should be hitting a 100kph on the descent.

2:39 p.m. The three leaders now have an advantage of 3:00.

We are at 69km with just about 500 meters to go to the top of the climb.

2:29 p.m. At 66km, the three leaders — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– have an advantage of 2:05.

2:29 p.m. we are at the 59km mark (there are 133km remaining). Coming up is the Côte de Hoscheid – a 4.2km 3rd category climb averaging 5.9 percent, but it hits 10 percent in spots.

The three leaders are still up by 15 seconds or so.

2:27 p.m. The riders involved in the crash are all back in the peloton.

2:22 p.m. Three riders — Stéphane Berges (Ag2R), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) and Ludo Dierkcxsens (Lampre)– have moved off the front and have a 15 second lead.

2:21 p.m. There has been a crash three km after the sprint. There were about 20 riders in the crash.

The pace has picked up following an attack from Bonjour’s Sylvian Chavanel. He was quickly caught but the pace remains brisk.

2:13 p.m. McGee was caught by none other than Telekom’s Erik Zabel, who then went on to take the intermediate sprint. Meanwhile, Laurent Jalabert grabbed the third spot in the sprint, which gives him two seconds of bonus time, which effectively makes him leader on the road, by a whopping 3-tenths of a second.

2:12 p.m. An attack!

Brad McGee (FDJeux.com) scampered off the front with 1km to go before the sprint.

2:08 p.m. 48km covered; 144km to go. The peloton is just 2km from the intermediate sprint. As you can see from the profile, it is at the end of a long uphill and then up and over a slight false flat.

John Wilcockson reports that CSC-Tiscali and Lampre are driving the pack, in hopes of securing the yellow jersey for Jalabert or Rumsas.

2:05 p.m. 44km covered; 148km remaining. Moderate pace, no attacks.

1:55 p.m.We have reached the 40km mark (152km remaining) and there have been no attacks. The day’s first intermediate sprint is coming up in 10km.

1:50 p.m.We’re coming up on the end of our first hour of racing. The peloton has covered 33km and there have been no attacks.

So far, our Jack Durand prediction hasn’t proven to be too accurate. (But recall, we were also the folks who said Armstrong was not a shoo-in for the prologue win.)

1:40 p.m. 31km – 161km to go. Still no attacks. (I believe we are beginning to see a pattern develop here.)

1:35 p.m. 27km – 165km to go. Still no attacks.

1:30 p.m. 24km – 168km to go. Still no attacks.

1:24 p.m. We are now 17km into today’s stage and the pace remains moderate and the group is still together.

You may be wondering what could be in sttore for Lance Armstrong’s current time in yellow. The last time he took the prologue was in 1999. Two days after taking the lead at the 1999 Tour Armstrong conceded the yellow jersey to a sprinter, Jaan Kirsipuu. The Estonian achieved that feat by winning stage 1, placing second on stage 2 and collecting some intermediate sprint time bonuses, to amass more than the 36 seconds he conceded in the prologue.

1:18 p.m. The injury reports from yesterday were fairly minor and each of the four riders who crashed are racing today.

We spoke with Credit Agricole’s Jonathan Vaughters before the start today. He said he’s taking a relaxed approach to this opening week, in that he says he is here “only to work in the mountains for Christophe (Moreau). I could lose two-and-a-half hours out here in the flats and be fine with that.”

1:10 p.m. Everyone is together and the pace is moderate.

How much do you want to bet that when there is an attack today, it will include our favorite headbanger Jack Durand?

1:01 p.m. The peloton is underway.

You may be wondering what the delay was at the start. The ceremony today at the start at the Place du Glacis centers around the Tour’s new ethics guidlines. The riders are taking the pledge to conduct themselves in a fair and ethical manner throughout the Tour. Of course, much of the driving force behind the effort to include the pledge is the result of the doping problem that has been in the headlines, especially since the 1998 Tour scandal.

We commend them for taking the pledge, and hope everyone there takes the promise seriously.

12:58 p.m. We’re coming up on the start. From the look of today’s profile you can see that we will be coming up against quite a few hills, only four of which are ranked climbs.

Some of these we actually encountered during the Giro this year, including the Wall of Wormeldange, a near-15-percent one-kilometer hill. The Giro hit that in the opening kilometers of a stage. This time, coming just 45km from the finish, it could be a major factor.

By the way, we are seeing lots of Americans out on the course today. This is probably the biggest number of stars-and-stripe-clad fans we’ve seen at the Tour. We wonder if it will be like that all the way to Paris this year.

12:42 p.m. Good morning to our American readers. Things are off to a little slower start today. The ceremonial start at the Place du Glacis in Luxembourg is taking a little longer than planned. The peloton should be heading out and on the way toward the rolling start on the N. 12 very soon.

VeloNews’s John Wilcockson reports that the weather is quite nice for a bike race today. Temperatures are in the sixties and there is a slight wind (10mph) from the southwest. The wind, however, should not be much of a factor since the roads are heavily wooded around here.

All 189 riders are starting today. Check herefor a complete description of today’s stage.