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Live updates – Tour de France Stage 2

5:10 p.m. A quick calculation shows that Lampre's Reubens Bertogliati retains his hold on the yellow jersey, two seconds ahead of Erik Zabel. Zabel, who could have earned the jersey had he finished in second, keeps the green points jersey. Meanwhile, Hushovd is still on the road, within 5km of the finish. We hope he makes the time cut. 5:01 p.m. The Telekoms are leading out Zabel perfectly. Zabel is getting a nice lead-out from Fagnini and Lotto's McEwen is coming on strong... Riders are all across the road and... It's Oscar Freire, the reigning world champion who takes it! McEwen is

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Luxembourg – Saarbrücken 181 km

5:10 p.m. A quick calculation shows that Lampre’s Reubens Bertogliati retains his hold on the yellow jersey, two seconds ahead of Erik Zabel.

Zabel, who could have earned the jersey had he finished in second, keeps the green points jersey.

Meanwhile, Hushovd is still on the road, within 5km of the finish. We hope he makes the time cut.

5:01 p.m. The Telekoms are leading out Zabel perfectly.

Zabel is getting a nice lead-out from Fagnini and Lotto’s McEwen is coming on strong…

Riders are all across the road and…

It’s Oscar Freire, the reigning world champion who takes it!

McEwen is second and Zabel is third.

5:00 p.m. It is a hard charge to the finish. All of the teams are fighting it out.

4:55 p.m. We are now down to 3km to go and Hinault is back in the fold.

The Telekoms are up front, but Bertogliati is moving in to contest the finish.

4:55 p.m. Hinault (No relation to Bernard, by the way) remains up front. But with 5km remaining, the sprinters’ teams are going nuts and really driving the peloton.

Up front are the Telekoms, Lotto and Domo. Hinault’s teammate Stuart O’Grady is keeping an eye on Zabel.

4:52 p.m. Voigt has been caught by the field, but Hinault is now off on his own. He has about 10 seconds.

With 9km to go, Telekom and Lotto are driving the chase.

4:49 p.m. As Voigt is being reeled in, his teammate Seastian Hinault has jumped out of the field to try and bridge up.

He now has a slight 5-second advantage and is working his way up to Voigt.

4:47 p.m. Voigt’s effort is beginning to wane. Telekom has trimmed his advantage down to 25 seconds. They can see the errant German right now.

It looks like the day will end with a sprinters’ battle.

4:43 p.m. With 15km to go, the Telekoms have trimmed Voigt’s lead to 45 seconds.

Lotto is now lending a hand.

At the back of the field, Hushovd is still trying just to make it to the finish. Rabobank’s Erik Dekker has been dropped and is riding toward the ffinish on his own.

4:40 p.m. Voigt has 17km to go. He has a lead of 1:00 over the field.

The field is completely strung out with Telekom driving the chase.

Hushovd is still suffering.

4:35 p.m. Voigt is the only man off the front. He has just passed under the 20km to go banner.

The other men in the break have all been swallowed up by the field.

There has been a crash in the field, though no one has suffered any serious injuries.

Meanwhile Hushovd is still suffering at the back of the field. He is stopping regularly to get massages from his team car. We hope he can pull it off.

4:32 p.m. Voigt is off on his own. He is giving it his all and trying a 22km individual time trial to the finish.

4:27 Voigt is driving the break and the two Frenchmen are simply trying to hang on.

The trio of leaders has just passed through the day’s third intermediate sprint, which no one bothered to contest.

van Hyfte is still chasing in no-man’s land.

Telekom is driving the chase. The gap is up to about 1:00.

4:23 Voigt has caught the two leaders, and the two Frenchmen are trying to stay with him. The gap is about 35 seconds.

Meanwhile CSC’s Paul van Hyfte is chasing hard off the front of the peloton.

4:19 p.m. Hushovd suffered after his long break. His legs began cramping up and had to stop to get a quick leg massage from his team car.

He is back on his bike.

With 30km to go, the two leaders are just 25 seconds ahead of the field. Meanwhile, Credit Agricole’s Jens Voight has attacked off the front of the field, trying to bridge to the leaders.

He’s a German and is likely looking to score a win, something he is quite capable of pulling off.

4:12 p.m. The two leaders’ advantage is now down to 1:05. The will soon be caught. They have clearly given up.

There are 35km remaining.

The counter-attacks are likely to kick in when those two are close to being reeled in.

4:01 p.m. Man, these crowds are amazing. John Wilcockson reports that “you usually don’t see crowds this big until you reach the mountains. That last climb was so packed it was almost like L’Alpe d’Huez.”

The two men up front are taking it easy. They have been off the front since km 12 and they are at 142. A loooong day in the saddle under the hot sun.

3:57 p.m. The two leaders are apparently giving up hope of stealing a stage win. They are slowing.

The Telekom team is moving up to the front, in anticipation of a possible Zabel win, which would be welcomed by all of the German fans lining today’s course.

3:52 p.m. Berges is now the climbers’ jersey holder. He took the KOM ahead of Chavanel. Chavanel was even kind enough to give Berges a little shove as he moved back to let his breakaway partner take the top points. Their lead is now just about 3:00.

Hushovd has been pulled back into the peloton.

3:45 p.m. The two leaders are coming up on the climb, a 1-kilometer ‘wall’ that hits 12-percent at some points along the way.

Berges is now set to take over the climber’s jersey.

3:39 p.m. Hushovd has slowed considerably and looks like he will be reeled back into the field.

The two leaders are at the 126km mark. The climb is coming up in 6km. Their lead is at around 2:40.

3:32 p.m. At km 122, the two French riders have an advantage of 3:50 over the field. Hushovd is about 1:27 behind the two.

The two men will have a tough time holding this to the end, especially after St. Wendel, when the road turns into a moderate headwind. Berges may be happy to settle for holding it until the climb, where he will most certainly take over the climber’s jersey — assuming he makes it there before the field swallows up the break.

3:26 p.m. At km 119, the two French riders at the front — Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour) and Stéphane Berges (Ag2R) — are 4:10 ahead of the main field and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) is about a minute behind them.

3:22 p.m. We are at km 114. Hushovd has been dropped by the other two. He trails the two Frenchmen by 40 seconds.

By the way, John Wilcockson is in St. Wendel — the site of several Mt. bike World Cups. The crowds are huge, says Wilcockson. “Easily a million people on the sides of the road today. The roads are packed all the way from Luxembourg to here.”

3:20 p.m. Our three leaders are at the 113km mark and their advantage has slipped down to 4:20, which in theory, would make Chavanel the leader on the road by one second.

Lampre is still at the front of the main field.

A quick note for American Television viewers: OLN’s live coverage of the stage kicks in in about 10 minutes. By the way, OLN, we really do miss Bob Roll, he was great during the Giro.

3:10 p.m. The leaders are now at the 107km mark. They are maintaining a lead of around five minutes, which means they are likely to reach the next climb — Alsweiler-Heid at 132.5km — ahead of the field. And that means that Berges will be tied for the lead in climber’s points, even if he finishes third among the three men in the break. It is likely, however, that his two partners would be happy to let him scoot across the line first — as was the case on today’s first climb. If that is the case on this climb, Berges will enjoy a four-point lead in the standings.

He also has a lock on the most aggressive rider title, which he earned yesterday for being in that long break.

2:59 p.m. The peloton has passed through the second sprint. A time check by John Wilcockson in the VeloNews car shows the three leaders — Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour), Stéphane Berges (Ag2R) and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) — are still enjoying a lead of 4:50

2:54 p.m. The three leaders have passed through the day’s second sprint in the following order:
Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour)
Stéphane Berges (Ag2R)
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)

The remain about 5:00 ahead of the main field.

Dekker continues to have difficulty. He is, of course, recovering from a broken femur earlier in the year and then yesterday he suffered cuts and bruises from a crash. By the way, Jonathan Vaughters mentions Dekker and his condition, in his diary entry submitted after Stage 1. Titled “TheTour de France sucks!”, it suggests Jonathan had a pretty bad day yesterday, too. 2:45 p.m. Race radio reports that the average speed for the first two hours of racing has been right around 44.5 kph. That is certainly much faster than the 33 or so we were averaging yesterday.

The leaders are now at km 94 and are approaching the day’s second sprint mark.

2:35 p.m. The three leaders have passed through the feedzone at km85 in the German town of Merzig. Their lead is now right at 5:00.

Back in the main field, Rabobank’s Erik Dekker was having difficulty on the climb. He was dropped twice and, with the help of temmate Marc Wauters (the man who had the yellow jersey last year) managed to regain his position in the field.

Passing through Merzig, by the way, is a huge sign in perfectly worded English proclaiming “Erik and the Telekoms: You are simply the best!” There is also a sign — again in English — wish Zabel a happy birthday. He turned 32 yesterday.By the way, if we have to rely on race numbers to keep up on any breaks today, here is a quick and easy reference for you to check race numbers by:U.S. Postal
1. Lance Armstrong (USA)
2. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)
3. Roberto Heras Hernandez (Sp)
4. George Hincapie (USA)
5. Benoit Joachim (Lux)
6. Floyd Landis (USA)
7. Pavel Padrnos (Cz)
8. Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col)
9. José L.Rubiera Vigil (Sp)
Telekom
11. Erik Zabel (G)
12. Rolf Aldag (G)
13. Udo Bölts (G)
14. Gian Matteo Fagnini (I)
15. Giuseppe Guerini (I)
16. Danilo Hondo (G)
17. Bobby Julich (USA)
18. Kevin Livingston (USA)
19. Steffen Wesemann (G)
ONCE
21. Joseba Beloki (Sp)
22. José Azevedo (Por)
23. Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (Sp)
24. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Sp)
25. Jörg Jaksche (G)
26. Isidro Nozal (Sp)
27. Abraham Olano (Sp)
28. Mikel Pradera (Sp)
29. Marcos A.Serrano (Sp)
Kelme-Costa Blanca
31. Oscar Sevilla (Sp)
32. Santiago Botero (Col)
33. Francisco Cabello (Sp)
34. Jose Javier Gomez (Sp)
35. José Enrique Gutierrez (Sp)
36. Santiago Perez (Sp)
37. Toni Tauler (Sp)
38. José Angel Vidal (Sp)
39. Constantino Zaballa (Sp)
Cofidis
41. Andrei Kivilev (Kz)
42. Daniel Atienza (Sp)
43. Inigo Cuesta (Sp)
44. Bingen Fernandez (Sp)
45. Massimiliano Lelli (I)
46. Nico Mattan (B)
47. David Millar (GB)
48. David Moncoutié (F)
49. Cédric Vasseur (F)
CSC-Tiscali
51. Laurent Jalabert (F)
52. Tyler Hamilton (USA)
53. Andrea Peron (I)
54. Jakob Piil (Dk)
55. Arvis Piziks (Lat)
56. Michael Sandstød (Dk)
57. Carlos Sastre (Sp)
58. Nicki Sørensen (Dk)
59. Paul van Hyfte (B)
Crédit Agricole
61. Christophe Moreau (F)
62. Frédéric Bessy (F)
63. Sébastien Hinault (F)
64. Thor Hushovd (Nor)
65. Anthony Langella (F)
66. Anthony Morin (F)
67. Stuart O’Grady (Aus)
68. Jonathan Vaughters (USA)
69. Jens Voigt (G)
Domo-Farm Frites
71. Richard Virenque (F)
72. Dave Bruylandts (B)
73. Enrico Cassani (I)
74. Servais Knaven (Nl)
75. Tomas Konecny (Cz)
76. Axel Merckx (B)
77. Fred Rodriguez (USA)
78. Leon van Bon (Nl)
79. Piotr Wadecki (Pol)
Fassa Bortolo
81. Fabio Baldato (I)
82. Ivan Basso (I)
83. Wladimir Belli (I)
84. Volodimir Gustov (Ukr)
85. Serguei Gontchar (Ukr)
86. Sergei Ivanov (Rus)
87. Nicola Loda (I)
88. Oscar Pozzi (I)
89. Marco Velo (I)
FDJeux.com
91. Nicolas Vogondy (F)
92. Sandy Casar (F)
93. Jimmy Casper (F)
94. Baden Cooke (Aus)
95. Jacky Durand (F)
96. Frédéric Guesdon (F)
97. Bradley McGee (Aus)
98. Christophe Mengin (F)
99. Jean-Cyril Robin (F)
Rabobank
101. Levi Leipheimer (USA)
102. Michael Boogerd (Nl)
103. Bram de Groot (Nl)
104. Erik Dekker (Nl)
105. Addy Engels (Nl)
106. Karsten Kroon (Nl)
107. Grischa Niermann (G)
108. Marc Wauters (B)
109. Beat Zberg (Swi)
Bonjour
111. Didier Rous (F)
112. Walter Bénéteau (F)
113. Franck Bouyer (F)
114. Sylvain Chavanel (F)
115. Emmanuel Magnien (F)
116. Damien Nazon (F)
117. Jerome Pineau (F)
118. Franck Rénier (F)
119. François Simon (F)
Mapei
121. Oscar Freire (Sp)
122. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun)
123. Fabian De Waele (B)
124. Pedro Horillo (Sp)
125. Robert Hunter (SA)
126. Miguel Martinez (F)
127. Tom Steels (B)
128. Andrea Tafi (I)
129. Gerhard Trampusch (A)
iBanesto.com
131. Denis Menchov (Rus)
132. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)
133. Santiago Blanco (Sp)
134. Marzio Bruseghin (I)
135. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp)
136. David Latasa (Sp)
137. Francisco Mancebo (Sp)
138. Unai Osa (Sp)
139. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp)
Lotto-Adecco
141. Rik Verbrugghe (B)
142. Mario Aerts (B)
143. Serge Baguet (B)
144. Christophe Brandt (B)
145. Hans De Clercq (B)
146. Thierry Marichal (B)
147. Robbie McEwen (Aus)
148. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus)
149. Aart Vierhouten (Nl)
 Lampre Daikin
151. Marco Serpellini (I)
152. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat)
153. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi)
154. Alessandro Cortinovis (I)
155. Ludo Dierckxsens (B)
156. Luciano Pagliarini (Brz)
157. Marco Pinotti (I)
158. Raimondas Rumsas (Lit)
159. Jan Svorada (Cz)
Euskaltel-Euskadi
161. David Etxebarria (Sp)
162. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp)
163. Unai Etxebarria (Vz)
164. Igor Flores (Sp)
165. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp)
166. Roberto Laiseka (Sp)
167. Iban Mayo (Sp)
168. Samuel Sanchez (Sp)
169. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp)
Tacconi Sport
171. Dario Frigo (I)
172. Massimo Apollonio (I)
173. Gianluca Bortolami (I)
174. Paolo Bossoni (I)
175. Massimo Donati (I)
176. Andrej Hauptman (Slo)
177. Peter Luttenberger (A)
178. Eddy Mazzoleni (I)
179. Mauro Radaeli (I)
Ag2R Prevoyance
181. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus)
182. Christophe Agnolutto (F)
183. Stéphane Berges (F)
184. Inigo Chaurreau (Sp)
185. Andy Flickinger (F)
186. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
187. Thierry Loder (F)
188. Christophe Oriol (F)
189. Ludovic Turpin (F)
Alessio
191. Laurent Dufaux (Swi)
192. Andrea Brognara (I)
193. Stefano Casagrande (I)
194. Davide Casarotto (I)
195. Ivan Gotti (I)
196. Martin Hvastija (Slo)
197. Ruslan Ivanov (Mda)
198. Cristian Moreni (I)
199. Alexandr Shefer (Kz)
Jean Delatour
201. Patrice Halgand (F)
202. Stephane Augé (F)
203. Jerome Bernard (F)
204. Laurent Brochard (F)
205. Cyril Dessel (F)
206. Christophe Edalaine (F)
207. Stephane Goubert (F)
208. Laurent Lefèvre (F)
209. Eddie Seigneur (F)
 

2:25 p.m. The three leaders are at 75km. There are 106km remaining as they pass through the German countryside on their way to Saarbrücken.

They have a lead of 3:55 right now and the Lampre team is at the front of the peloton, working to at least keep the lead to within managable levels. The best placed rider in the lead group is Chavanel, at 4:19 in 141st place. While Lampre may be content to let them stay off the front, the team will not allow the trio to get within range of the yellow jersey that now sits on the shoulders of their 23-year-old Swiss rider, Reubens Bertogliati (and yes, I had to look up the spelling on that name).

2:05 p.m. The three leaders have crossed over the Cat. 4 Cote de Perl at the 60km mark. Berges took the first spot, earning five points along the way. Chavanel took second (3 pts) and Hushovd earned a point for thrid.

They are still about 4:00 up on the field.

1:57 p.m. Our three leaders are at km 58 and are on the slopes of the first of today’s two rated climbs: the Cote de Perl.

Berges, by the way, is just 6 points out of the climber’s jersey. He managed to score a good dose of points yesterday, while on that long break. He may be the most intersted of those in today’s effort to score as many points as he can.

1:49 p.m. Our VeloNews car has pulled over for a nice lunch in the German countryside. Rupert Guinness, sports reporter from the Australian is already enjoying a nice Rose’ with his lunch at a roadside Cafe’.

Tour duty is tough and it takes real pro’s to bring you the news.

Meanwhile… the three leaders are cooperating nicely and are building their lead. The are at km 54 (with 127km remaining) and have an advantage approaching 4:00.

None of the riders poses a serious GC threat to the man in yellow: Ruebens Bertogliati. Chavanel is the best placed at 4:19 in 141st place.

1:44 p.m. Sorry again folks. We had some technical difficulties.

Just to review what has happened thus far: The attacks began fast and furious right after the 12:41 start in Luxembourg.

12 riders escaped at km 2 and built a maximum lead of 12 seconds. The were reabsorbed at km 12, where Chavanel counter-attacked. He was joined by the other two at km 14.

At km 19, there was a crash in the field. Among those involved were Benoiit Joachim (Postal); FDJeux.com’s Baden Cooke and Dario Frigo (Tacconi Sport). Frigo needed to grab a teammate’s bike to rejoin the field. The others were able to rejoin with no problems.

1:41 p.m. There are now three riders off the front of the main field: Stéphane Berges (Ag2R); Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour).

They now have a three-minute advantage over the field. They have crossed over the day’s first intermediate sprint, which was won by Chavanel, who beat Hushovd to the line. Berges brought up the rear of the lead group.

1:35 p.m. Sorry folks we have had an extraordinary set of technical issues this morning. We hope we have them all straightened out. We’ll have a quick recap of the action thus far.