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Live Coverage – Stage 17 Tour de France, 2008

11:23 AM: Good day and welcometo VeloNews.com's Live Coverage of the 17th stage of the 95th Tour de France, a stunning 210.5-kilometer race from Embrun to the top of L'Alpe d'Huez.

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Ben Delaney

  • 11:23 AM: Good day and welcome

    to VeloNews.com’s Live Coverage of the 17th stage of the 95th Tour de France, a stunning 210.5-kilometer race from Embrun to the top of L’Alpe d’Huez.

    With almost 15,000 feet of climbing over three hors categorie mountains, stage 17 is, on paper, the toughest of the Tour. It starts in Embrun, which also saw the start of stage 15, this time heading north through Briancon (42km) and on to the infamous Galibier, Croix-de-Fer and L’Alpe d’Huez that are among the most daunting climbs in the Alps. This stage could well decide the final outcome of the race because the riders will have been in the saddle six hours before coming to the final ascent. The 13.3km, 21-turn climb to the finish at L’Alpe d’Huez (population 1,700) is a classic, averaging 8.6 percent, with the 10th kilometer the steepest at 11.5 percent.

    L’Alpe d’Huez has seen 24 stage finishes, the most recent two years ago when Frank Schleck – the man now in the yellow jersey – outlasted Damiano Cunego at the end of a long breakaway effort. Only two Tour winners have taken the Alpe d’Huez stage. Those was in 1952 (Fausto Coppi) and 2001 and 2004 (Lance Armstrong), although Greg LeMond almost pulled off the same feat in 1986. He was already in the yellow jersey and, on an almost identical course to this year’s, he launched a winning two-man break with teammate Bernard Hinault on the Croix-de-Fer, 55km from the finish. They crossed the line with their hands linked but Hinault’s wheel was just ahead of the American’s.

    So what about this year? Well, a breakaway like those in 1992 (which gave Andy Hampsten the stage win) and 2006 (Schleck) is more than likely, so a rider who has lost time on GC could again win this prestigious stage. Vande Velde?

    If the yellow jersey group reaches the base with all of the major contenders together, the climb seems to favor a rider like Sastre over Evans – based on their respective performances on the climb in 2006.

    Top 10 on GC
    1. Frank Schleck (LUX), CSC at 68:30min16sec
    2. Bernhard Kohl (AUT), Gerolsteiner at 0:07
    3. Cadel Evans (AUS), Silence-Lotto at 0:08
    4. Carlos Sastre (ESP), CSC at 0:49
    5. Denis Menchov (RUS), Rabobank at 1:13
    6. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle at 3:15
    7. Kim Kirchen (LUX), Team Columbia at 3:23
    8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne at 4:11
    9. Samuel Sanchez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4:38
    10. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Ag2r at 5:23

  • 11:32 AM: Today’s weather

    It’s about 17c (62f) degrees at the start today. The sun is out and it’s a beautiful Alpine day with light winds that are unlikely to have an impact on today’s stage. The weather is perfect for this stage, so it seems that it will only be the day’s four ranked climbs that tear things apart on the road today:

    The Category 3 Cote de Sainte Marguerite, which summits at 1185 meters at 31km
    The hors categorie Col du Galibier (2645m at 79km)
    The hors categorie Col de la Croix de Fer (2067m at 156km)
    The hors categorie Alpe d’Huez (1680m at 210.5km)

    There are two intermediate sprints today;
    Monetier Les Bains at 57.5km
    Bourg d’Oisans at 195km (the base of L’Alpe d’Huez)

  • 11:33 AM: In the neutral zone

    the peloton is on the road and heading to the start at the edge of Embrun.

  • 11:36 AM: Drop us a line

    If you have a comment, question or complaint simply hit the “Contact our editors” link at the bottom of our Live Update Window.

    We will read all of them, answer as many as we can and even post a few during today’s coverage… although today’s going to be wild, so it may get busy at times.

  • 11:38 AM: John-Lee Augustyn

    The Barloworld rider who had that spectacular crash yesterday is in the peloton… and yes, the team did get its bike back, but he’s riding a new one today.

  • 11:40 AM: Rolling

    the peloton is nearing the start, with 151 riders ready to take on the toughest stage of this Tour.

  • 11:43 AM: Ready, set… attack!

    The flag is dropped and already a group of 15 riders have moved off the front. If they get a gap, we’ll ID these fellas.

  • 11:45 AM: Break trimmed

    After 2km of racing, only three riders remain off the front of the peloton. Small gap, so we still await IDs.

  • 11:47 AM: At 4km

    our three leaders – Peter Velits (Milram), Remy Di Gregorio (Francaise des Jeux) and a Euskaltel rider whose name we don’t have – are 15 seconds ahead of the peloton.

  • 11:48 AM: At 5km

    the gap is just 11 seconds.

  • 11:52 AM: GC threats?

    Nooooooo…
    51. Remy Di Gregorio (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 1:07:20
    68. Peter Velits (SVK), Milram at 1:31:00
    91. Ruben Perez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:52:51

    At 9km our three leaders have 15 seconds on the peloton, with two riders trying to bridge.

  • 11:54 AM: At 12km

    Quick Step’s Carlos Barredo is closing in on our three escapees, but the gaps remain small

  • 11:55 AM: Carlos Barredo

    Has been pulled back into the peloton. At 14km, our three escapees are now just 13 seconds ahead of the main field.

  • 11:59 AM: Di Gregorio, Perez and Velits

    have been joined by Stephan Schumacher and hanging on to a small lead… just 12 seconds at the 16km mark.

  • 11:59 AM: 10 seconds

    the peloton seems unwilling to let these guys go.

    At 17km the escapees remain withing sight of the peloton

  • 12:02 PM: At 18km

    the gap is up to 15 seconds.

    Of the four, Schumacher is the best-placed on GC:
    26. Stefan Schumacher (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:05.

  • 12:05 PM: At 20km

    Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) and Stephane Auge (Cofidis) are now trying to bridge to the escape.

    The four leaders are 22 seconds ahead of the peloton. We’re not sure where in the middle there, the other two are.

  • 12:06 PM: Gaps

    at 22km, Auge and Lequatre are 20 seconds behind the four escapees and 10 seconds ahead of the peloton.

  • 12:12 PM: The two chasers

    have slipped back to the peloton. At 27km, the four leaders are now 1:09 ahead of the main field.

  • 12:14 PM: At 28km

    the four have 1:20 on the peloton. Has the day’s break been established? It looks like it might be.

  • 12:15 PM: On the Cote de St-Marguerite

    the three leaders are three km from the top of the day’s first climb, a relatively short and easy Cat. 3 warm-up for the big three that mark the day’s stage. They are now 1:39 ahead of the peloton.

  • 12:18 PM: Two minutes

    Our four escapees are now 1.5km from the summit and have a 2:00 advantage.

    To review, the men in the break (and their positions on GC are:
    26. Stefan Schumacher (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:05
    51. Remy Di Gregorio (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 1:07:20
    68. Peter Velits (SVK), Milram at 1:31:00
    91. Ruben Perez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:52:51

  • 12:21 PM: Schumacher

    is wearing the red dossard as the most aggressive rider in yesterday’s stage. He spent much of the day off the front and we may see him earning that distinction again today.

    At 31km, the foursome is now 2:14 ahead of the peloton.

  • 12:24 PM: Up and over

    Schumacher nails the four-point prize at the top of the Cote de Saint-Marguerite. Di Gregorio was second for three points, Perez third, for two and Velits gets one point for fourth.

    The four are now 2:25 ahead of the peloton, having gained a full minute on the 3.5km climb.

    Now, they get the pleasure of tackling the Galibier.

  • 12:27 PM: Through the town of Prelles

    the four leaders are cruising along the approach to the Galibier. They now have 2:36 on the peloton

  • 12:30 PM: At 38km

    our four leaders have extended their lead to 2:45.

  • 12:31 PM: Now three minutes

    The leaders are approaching Briancon and have extended their lead to nearly three minutes.

  • 12:33 PM: 3:03 at 40km

    Our leaders are at the outskirts of Briancon, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and site of some historic stage finishes in the Tour.

    The peloton is being led by the CSC team…. already? Wowie.

  • 12:37 PM: In Briancon

    the four leaders are now at 42.5km and 3:45 ahead of the peloton.

  • 12:39 PM: Now four minutes

    Our four leaders are at the 44km mark and have extended their advantage to 4:00.

  • 12:42 PM: At 45km

    the gap is up to 4:22. It’s clear that the peloton will let these guys hit the Galibier first, but some of them may be pulled back, if someone among the fav’s lights up the action on the climb.

    After an hour of racing, the average has been a brisk 44.6kph.

  • 12:47 PM: At 47km

    the gap is now at 4:30.

  • 12:50 PM: Last time to Briancon

    Last year, the Tour finished in Briancon. Barloworld’s Colombian climber Juan Soler earned an impressive solo win in the 159.5km stage 9 haul from Val-d’Isere to Briancon.

    Soler attacked out of the main field halfway up the 12km Cat. 1 Col du Telegraphe and crossed a three-minute gap to join the remnants of a six-man breakaway on the early slopes of the hors categorie Col du Galibier. He then methodically rode them all off his wheel. From there, the relatively unknown Colombian rider made a daring dash to the finish, charging first over the top of the Galibier, then holding his lead all the way to the finish in Briancon, where he stopped the clock in 4:14:24.

  • 12:52 PM: A few familiar names from that 2007 Briancon finish

    A few of the names atop the day’s leaderboard are at it again this year. Others, well, are not. One unfortunate absence is Soler, who crashed on stage 1 this year, and abandoned after suffering through a few days with a hurt wrist.

    2007 Tour de France, Stage 9
    1. Juan Mauricio Soler (Col), Barloworld, 4:14:24
    2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Épargne, at 0:38
    3. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, same time
    4. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery, at 0:40
    5. Iban Mayo (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:42
    6. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, s.t.
    7. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery, at 0:42
    8. Kim Kirchen (Lx), T-Mobile, at 0:46
    9. Andreas Klöden (G), Astana, s.t., s.t.
    10. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, s.t.

  • 12:53 PM: Back here in 2008

    Our four leaders have opened up their gap to 4:50 at 52km into the stage.

  • 12:56 PM: What happened to Augustyn’s bike? Is it still rolling down the hill?

    John-Lee Augustyn of Barloworld went from the top of the (paved European) world to almost the bottom in a blink of an eye yesterday, careening off the side of the road on the descent from the Col de la Bonette, the highest paved peak in Europe. He was able to scramble back up, but his bike tumbled down the steep dirt and scree for quite some time.

    He eventually got a spare bike, and finished more than five minutes down on it. His battered bike was eventually recovered.

  • 12:58 PM: First sprint coming up at 57km

    In Monetier-les-Bains. Don’t let the ‘sprint’ title fool you, however – we are most certainly climbing up towards the mighty Galibier already.

  • 01:01 PM: CSC on the front

    As with yesterday, CSC has taken control of the pack. Yesterday, the Danish team rode impressively, shedding all but the best climbers in the stage’s final kilometers. However, they couldn’t shake Cadel Evans. With Evans the better TT rider than both CSC’s Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre, it is key that CSC open time gaps in the mountains today. Otherwise, Evans will ride his way into the final yellow jersey on Saturday in the time trial. So, despite being in the yellow now, Schleck (and Sastre) will have to attack the snot out of Cadel today if they hope to win in Paris.

  • 01:02 PM: First sprint results

    1. Remy Di Gregorio (FDJ) 6pts
    2. Peter Velits (Milram) 4
    3. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) 2p

  • 01:06 PM: The Galibier, by the numbers

    2645 meters (8,677 feet) high
    20.9km long
    5,000 Euros cash for the first to the top (like Augustyn scored atop the Col de la Bonette yesterday)
    1st of 3 HC climbs today

    For reference, they’re climbing up from Briancon, elevation 1,193 meters (3,914 feet).

  • 01:10 PM: With the four leaders at 60km, the gap is 5:35

    Australian Stuart O’Grady takes his turn on the front of the CSC-driven peloton.
    You may know O’Grady from such movies as “Paris-Roubaix, 2007.”

  • 01:11 PM: Back in the day on the Galibier…

    The Col du Galibier is one of the greats of the Tour, it averages 5.6 percent over 20km, but reaches 12.1 percent near the top. The climb includes the Col du Lautaret.

    The inclusion of the Galiber in the Tour goes back to 1911, when Emile Georget became the first rider in the history of the Tour to crest that climb. Georget was one of only three riders to actually ride the rough dirt road that year. The rest of the peloton walked on the climb.

  • 01:14 PM: Early race recap

    We have four riders off the front. Three were clear by just 2km into the race:
    51. Remy Di Gregorio (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 1:07:20
    68. Peter Velits (SVK), Milram at 1:31:00
    91. Ruben Perez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:52:51
    Then they were joined at 16km by yesterday’s most aggresssive rider:
    26. Stefan Schumacher (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:05.

  • 01:17 PM: Crowds are big on the Galibier, but on the Alpe…

    …it’s not really a crowd. It’s more like a city.

  • 01:19 PM: 15,000 vertical feet of climbing

    That’s what’s on tap for the guys out there today.

  • 01:22 PM: Quite a few KOM points on tap today

    Kohl still leads the climber’s competition, the top 10 of which looks like this:

    King of Mountains:
    1. Bernhard Kohl (AUT), Gerolsteiner 85pts
    2. Sebastian Lang (GER), Gerolsteiner 60
    3. Thomas Voeckler (FRA), Bouygues Telecom 55
    4. John-Lee Augustyn (RSA), Barloworld 53
    5. Egoi Martinez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi 50
    6. Simon Gerrans (AUS), Credit Agricole 50
    7. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Silence-Lotto 49
    8. Frank Schleck (LUX), CSC 46
    9. Cyril Dessel (FRA), Ag2r 44
    10. Jose Luis Arrieta (ESP), Ag2r 40

  • 01:24 PM: CSC gutters the peloton

    With the crosswinds today, CSC has the field in the gutter, pressed all the way to the right of the road, hoping for a draft that isn’t really there.

  • 01:25 PM: Crash!

    A few Rabobank riders down, but everyone up relatively quickly.

  • 01:26 PM: Garmin-Chipotle riding near the back

    CSC isn’t riding flat out, but the tempo clearly isn’t a mellow one, either. It’s a long single- and occasionally double-file line back down the peloton.

  • 01:27 PM: Climbing in reverse

    Last year, the Tour was bombing down this side of the Galibier. Soler was first over the top, then motored his way into Briancon back down below.

  • 01:31 PM: Four leaders at 69km, 11km from Galibier summit

    Their gap is 5:10.

  • 01:38 PM: Some background on our breakaway companions

    Click on each man’s name for a brief biography.

    26. Stefan Schumacher
    (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:05
    51. Remy Di Gregorio
    (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 1:07:20
    68. Peter Velits
    (SVK), Milram at 1:31:00
    91. Ruben Perez
    (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:52:51

  • 01:40 PM: With many kilometers to climb

    They crowds, cars and campers extend way down to where our leaders are now, 72km into the race, and 7km still go climb to the summit.

  • 01:43 PM: After a HUGE turn, O’Grady finally peels off

    And his CSC teammate Nicki Sorensen settles in to his work at the front of the pack. The 4-man break has 5:10.

  • 01:46 PM: Another beautiful day at the Tour

    A bit of headwind may hassle the riders, but the cloudless sky and warm temps are great for the roadside fans. Bits of shade-protected snowpack still dot the mountaintops, but it’s all summertime up here.

  • 01:47 PM: Vaughters’ take from the Garmin-Chipotle car

    We just spoke with Garmin-Chipotle’s Jonathan Vaughters to ask him about the day’s stage. Vaughters said that the break’s chances of surviving the day are quite small.

    ”I think Bernard Kohl may win today,” said Vaughters. “Either him or one of the CSC three.. Sastre or one of the Schleck brothers.”

    As for Garmin’s top GC hope, Vaughters said he’s hoping Christian Vande Velde can limit his losses today.

    “CVV is okay,” he said. “He’s a bit banged up. He had some trouble after the rest day, as some guys do. We’ll see today. L’Alpe is a better climb for him than yesterday, so I expect he’ll hold his own today. However, after his crash yesterday, we’ll have to wait and see. He’ll be up in the top-10 or really hurt from the crash yesterday and blow up entirely. Obviously, I’m hoping for the former.”

  • 01:48 PM: Speaking of Kohl, how can that guy time trial?

    Bernhard Kohl has had some spectacular performances in the mountains, but this Tour de France may come down to Saturday’s time trial. How does he rate on that front? His most recent time trial, of course, was the stage four 29.5km time trial, which was won by his teammate Stefan Schumacher. Kohl finished in 31st at 1:47, 1:20 behind Cadel Evans, 1:13 behind Menchov, 1:10 behind Vande Velde and one second ahead of Carlos Sastre and 37 seconds up on Frank Schleck.

    4. Cadel Evans (AUS), Silence-Lotto, at 0:27
    6. Denis Menchov (RUS), Rabobank, at 0:34
    8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:37
    20. Andy Schleck (LUX), CSC 1:29
    31. Bernhard Kohl (AUT), Gerolsteiner, at 1:47
    28. Carlos Sastre (ESP), CSC, at 1:43
    46. Frank Schleck (LUX), CSC, at 2:14

  • 01:49 PM: Four leaders seeing 5km to the summit

    The gap is holding at 5:20 for Schumacher, Di Gregorio, Velits and Perez.

  • 01:53 PM: Peloton bunched up on the climb

    CSC continues to dictate the pace, but there seems to be a bit more shelter from the wind here in the high slopes, against the hill and between the cars. The riders are taking the full width of the road now.

  • 01:55 PM: Five riders nose off the front of the pack

    A few guys interested in the KOM competition have squeezed up to and off the front. It wasn’t an attack so much as just jockeying for positioning. They’re back with the pack now, but still near the front. Bernard Kohl, in his polka dot jersey, was among them.

  • 01:59 PM: 1 kilometer to summit for the leaders

    The KOM points probably don’t hold any interest for the four, but that 5,000-Euro Henri Desgrange prize certainly should.

  • 02:00 PM: Schumacher stomps to the summit alone

    I’ll take that check, boys.

  • 02:00 PM: Four riders go clear from the peloton

    Kohl, Wegmann, two others go off.

  • 02:01 PM: Voeckler attacks up and past the four

    He’s going for some KOM points, and Wegmann gives chase.

  • 02:02 PM: Kohl ain’t having it

    He reels in Voeckler. Augustyn is up there with Kohl, Wegmann and Voeckler, too.

  • 02:03 PM: Other riders trying to bridge up to Kohl group

    As the peloton approaches the summit, we now have about three guys trying to get up for KOM points.

  • 02:03 PM: The first four over

    1. Stefan Schumacher (GST) 20pts
    2. Remy Di Gregorio (FDJ) 18pts
    3. Peter Velits (MRM) 16pts
    4. Ruben Perez (EUS) 14pts

  • 02:05 PM: Kohl gives it stick

    Gerolsteiner’s climber is riding away from Barloworld’s Augustyn and Bougyues Telecom’s Voeckler, as they crest the summit. The peloton follows closely behind.

  • 02:05 PM: Crash in the break!

    Perez down.

  • 02:06 PM: Remy di Gregorio caused it

    Coming around a corner on the descent, Di Gregorio misjudged a corner, braked hard and put a foot out. Di Gregorio was right behind him. He locked up his brakes, and went over the side. He recovered quickly though, and was back on and chasing in no time.

  • 02:10 PM: The breathtaking descent of the Galibier

    Multiple choice question, readers. Going down the Galibier, is it:
    A) Gorgeous, with the stunning views
    B) Frightening, with the ‘only-in-Europe’ steep drops with no guardrails
    C) All of the above.

  • 02:11 PM: KOM results

    1. Stefan Schumacher (GST) 20pts (plus that 5,000 Euros!)
    2. Remy Di Gregorio (FDJ) 18pts
    3. Peter Velits (MRM) 16pts
    4. Ruben Perez (EUS) 14pts
    5. Bernhard Kohl (GST) 12pts – at 4’45″
    6. Thomas Voeckler (BTL) 10pts
    7. John-Lee Augustyn (BAR) 8pts
    8. Amets Txurruka (EUS) 7pts – at 4’55″
    9. Kantstantin Siutsou (COL) 6pts
    10. Carlos Barredo (QST) 5pts – at 5’00″

  • 02:13 PM: A second group forms on the descent

    Behind the front four (who split a bit when Schumacher took a solo dig, but then was reeled back), we have Voeckler, Amets Txurruka and another rider or two who have gained an advantage on the peloton.

  • 02:15 PM: Voeckler, Txurruka, Barredo

    Are the three pursuers of the front four: Schumacher, Di Gregorio, Velits and Perez. Voeckler is leading.

  • 02:17 PM: Schumacher and Perez waiting for other two

    Velits and Di Gregorio were temporarily gapped. Schumacher sat up and waited, waving them through with a little frustration. “Come on, then. Take your pulls.” The four are nearing a break from the descent in Valloire, then will tackle the Col du Telegraphe. From there, it’s another bomber descent down into Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

  • 02:19 PM: Voeckler has some serious work to do…

    …If he wants to catch the break, which has a 4-minute-plus lead on him, Txurruka and Barredo. Voeckler’s trio only has 10 or 15 seconds on the peloton.

  • 02:21 PM: Again with the solo move!

    Schumacher has grown tired of waiting, and he’s gone clear of his breakaway companions at the base of the Col du Telegraph.

  • 02:22 PM: Schumacher brought to heel

    Not to sure what the thinking was there.

  • 02:24 PM: Behind, Voeckler’s group is caught by the CSC-led peloton

    Behind the long CSC line is not only the yellow jersey of Frank Schleck, which is to be expected, but also the green jersey of Rabobank’s Oscar Freire. Freire was clearly outshined in the drag races of the early Tour sprints by young Mark Cavendish, but now the veteran rider (and three-time world champion) is showing his endurance as a rider for the long haul.

  • 02:27 PM: The ‘easy’ way up the Col du Telegraphe

    Heading this way, north, over the Col du Telegraphe, makes for a much shorter ascent than the other way round. The awaiting Col de la Croix de Fer, however, is a different kettle of fish; there is no easy way up that bad boy. While the peloton remains largely intact now, it’s likely to be a much smaller group after the Col de la Croix de Fer.

  • 02:29 PM: Hincapie back up from crash

    We didn’t see or hear what happened, but Hincapie is chasing back on after a tumble.

  • 02:30 PM: The Galibier descent got Hincapie

    And perhaps his teammate Adam Hansen, who was reported over race radio to be coming back to the peloton. Hincapie got sideways near the bottom of the Galibier.

  • 02:32 PM: Break on the Telegraph descent now

    Di Gregorio seems to have lost his nerve. After his earlier scare on the Galibier that sent Perez over the side, Di Gregorio is a little skittish (skiddish, perhaps?) on the Telegraph descent.

  • 02:36 PM: A number of riders are chasing back through the caravan

    Besides Hincapie, whose shorts are torn in a couple of spots, there are a few riders working their way back up through the cars to the pack. Most are riders who were dropped by the pace over the Galibier. The Telegraph descent is winding but nowhere near as tight and technical as yesterday’s bomb drop into Jausiers.

  • 02:41 PM: Di Gregorio has lost contact with his break partners

    The gap is about 15 seconds now from the front three to the FDJ climber. He just couldn’t hang on the descent.

  • 02:42 PM: Nearing the feedzone, the gap is 4 minutes to the peloton

    Schumacher, Velits and Perez are nearing St-Julien-Mont-Denis. Di Gregorio has tailed off behind.

  • 02:51 PM: Down in the valley, just past the halfway point

    The peloton, being sucked along by the CSC train, is rolling along a ice-blue river in the valley below the Col de la Croix de Fer.

  • 02:52 PM: Peloton through the feedzone

    Lunchtime in Saint-Julien-Mont-Denis.

  • 02:55 PM: Where art thou, Devil?

    We’ve had a few readers write in asking about the Devil. Here’s one:

    Hi Live Update Guy – I’ve been enjoying the VeloNews live updates and watching Tour action on Versus every night, and have seen no mention of Didi, the renowned German guy who usually attends the Tour dressed in a devil outfit. Is he there? Hope he’s OK.
    Carol L., Bethesda, MD

    Oh he’s here. In the past, he was always staked out in the last 10km. This year his locations tend to be a bit more random. Didi will always be at the Tour… as long as he is able. Born and raised in the old East Germany, he saw he’s been a fixture at the Tour and other great races ever since the Berlin Wall came down in November of 1989. It was, as you can imagine, quite a sight when he first showed up. The root of the costume idea comes from the old German description of the final kilometer of a bike race as being “the Devil’s kilo.” Didi decided that the Tour needed an actual Devil… although, with his massive kinetic bike sculptures, he usually doesn’t manage a spot in the final kilometer, that’s for sure.

  • 02:59 PM: Lunch will do that…

    The breakaway riders’ lead has ballooned out to nearly 7 minutes as the peloton gets distracted with the contents of its musettes.

  • 03:00 PM: Di Gregorio caught in no man’s land

    After being dropped by his breakaway companions on the descent, Di Gregorio has been dangling behind them, not giving up, but certainly not making any headway. He is now 1:40 behind the lead trio.

  • 03:01 PM: A little more descending, one more town, and then…

    The lead trio is heading towards Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the lowest point in today’s stage. From there, it’s up and away to the Col de la Croix de Fer.

  • 03:03 PM: Di Gregorio’s car comes up alongside

    He is not being told to sit up, that’s for sure. Hey, five minutes on the peloton at the bottom of a climb is five minutes, even if you are riding alone.

  • 03:06 PM: The other points competition

    Per longstanding tradition, the VeloNews editorial staff has a running general classification of its own throughout the three weeks of the Tour. Each staff member picks his top three finishers on the day, in order, with 5 points awarded if the winner is chosen, 3 points if the correct second-place finisher is chosen, and 2 points if the correct third-place finisher is chosen. One point is awarded if a podium placer on the day is chosen, but in the wrong order.

    After two weeks, here is the current general classification:
    European correspondent Andy Hood and senior writer Neal Rogers are tied for the yellow jersey at 27 points
    Editorial director John Wilcockson has 20 points
    VNTV Cameraman Brian Patrick has 18 points
    Former VN European correspondent Rupert Guinness is the lanterne rouge at 15 points

  • 03:07 PM: Eisel crashes

    Bernard Eisel has hit the deck. That’s another man down for Columbia. His number was ripped nearly clean off.

  • 03:09 PM: Eisel gets a new wheel

    And is back underway. Roundabouts may be a sensible way to control autotraffic, but they do wreak havoc on bike races. The peloton bunched up coming around one, and Eisel got pinched.

  • 03:10 PM: Should doping affect the VN points competition?

    This is one of many heady questions.

    Rogers, winner of last year’s VN pool winner, was off to a strong start and resumed his winning ways this year by taking the race’s first yellow jersey. But Hood surged into the lead mid-race by picking four consecutive stage winners in Leonardo Piepoli, Kurt-Asle Arveson, Mark Cavendish and Cavendish again.

    There’s been some controversy as to whether or not Hood should still be awarded 5 points for picking Piepoli, as the Saunier Duval rider has since left the race for admitting to EPO use.

  • 03:11 PM: VN picks for today

    Here are who our boys have put their money on for the stage win today:

    Neal Rogers
    1. Constantin Sivtsov (Columbia)
    2. Maxime Monfort (Cofidis)
    3. Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank)

    Andy Hood
    1. Andy Schleck (CSC-Saxo Bank)
    2. Bernard Kohl (Gerolstiner)
    3. Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank)

    John Wilcockson
    1. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    2. Bernard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
    3. Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank)

    Brian Patrick
    1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne)
    2. Constantin Sivtsov (Columbia)
    3. Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

    Rupert Guinness
    1. Carlos Sastre (CSC)
    2. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    3. Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

  • 03:12 PM: Riders being shed on the climb

    CSC’s pace is starting to sting on the lower slopes of the Col de la Croix de Fer. There goes Thor Hushovd off the back.

  • 03:15 PM: Three leaders have 7:20 on the peloton

    Those three are:

    26. Stefan Schumacher (GER), Gerolsteiner at 22:05
    68. Peter Velits (SVK), Milram at 1:31:00
    91. Ruben Perez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:52:51

  • 03:17 PM: Front of the race at 131km

    79 brutal kilometers to go.

  • 03:19 PM: Pi-tou! Pi-tou! Pi-tou!

    The peloton is spitting out riders left and right. CSC drives on.

  • 03:22 PM: Can you match the pace of the world time trial champion?

    Many riders are answering, no. Fabian Cancellara is drilling the front for his CSC mates, Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre, who must place all their chips on the table today. Evans will blow them both out of the water in the final time trial Saturday, and CSC’s climbers must attack and gain time today if they are to win the overall. Regardless of the outcome, you have to salute CSC for putting it all on the line and riding aggressively with every single man.

  • 03:23 PM: Pop, pop, pop

    A few of the men spit out by CSC’s insistent pace: Ciolek, Gilbert, Dean, Sprick, Cioni, Ramirez, Riblon, Dumoulin, Hushovd, Gerrans, Bono, Coyot, Sorensen, Vansummeren, Bonnet.

  • 03:26 PM: Di Gregorio soliders on, four minutes behind the three leaders

    The peloton has cut its deficit to under six minutes to the lead trio.

  • 03:27 PM: Garmin-Chipotle’s David Millar among those dispatched

    There are guys coming off in chunks now. Whole groups are being dropped from the peloton.

  • 03:28 PM: Perez dropped from the break

    Schumacher and Velits are riding away from Perez with 74km to go.

  • 03:28 PM: Schumacher is back to his business attire

    Jersey unzipped, sunglasses on the back of his head.

  • 03:31 PM: We still have 19km of climbing to go

    And that’s just on this climb, the Col de la Croix de Fer. Another 15km await on L’Alpe d’Huez.

  • 03:32 PM: It’s a mild gradient now, and Cancellara is killing it

    Or at least guys like Arrieta, Voeckler, Nibali, who have been dropped.

  • 03:33 PM: Schumacher and Velits have 30 seconds on Perez

    And about five minutes on the pack, which is about to catch Di Gregorio.

  • 03:38 PM: Video scenes from earlier today on L’Alpe

    Click on over to our homepage, and scroll down to watch a video Brian Patrick shot earlier today on the drive up L’Alpe d’Huez.

  • 03:39 PM: Here’s a direct link to that video
  • 03:41 PM: Big Cancellara putting riders in their place

    For many, that place is straight off the back. When he’s done, CSC still has Arvessen, Andy Schleck and Voigt who are waiting and ready to sell out for Frank Schleck and Sastre. O’Grady has already given his all, and dropped back.

  • 03:42 PM: Cancellara cuts Schumacher and Velits’ lead to four minutes

    No way that break will survive.

  • 03:44 PM: Sastre and Voigt are back in the cars

    Dropped? Of course not. They’re just back to grab bottles for the boys. That’s right – team co-leader Carlos Sastre is filling his jersey pockets and neck with bottles for his teammates. No prima donnas here.

  • 03:45 PM: Back in the States – Tour of California announces expanded route

    The Amgen Tour of California will be expanded in 2009, covering more than 800 miles over nine days and visiting 16 host cities, race presenter AEG announced today.

  • 03:47 PM: Where’s CVV?

    Last we saw, Garmin-Chipotle’s Christian Vande Velde was sitting in the peloton, which is taking a fair amount of abuse from CSC’s pace.

  • 03:49 PM: Popovych trying to regain contact

    Cadel Evans’ Silence teammate Yaroslav Popovych is dangling behind the peloton, trying to get back on terms.

  • 03:50 PM: Still more than 10km to climb for the leaders

    Schumacher and Velits have a 3:30 lead on Fabian Cancellara, who continues his one-man-band show on the front of the peloton. Or what’s left of it.

  • 03:51 PM: D-Day – Our man Wilcockson’s take on the stage

    Can be found here.

  • 03:53 PM: Di Gregorio caught and then spit out

    Of the peloton. After spending some time off the front, the FDJ climber is now off the back. Not to worry, he’ll have plenty of company.

  • 03:54 PM: A long and thining line

    Bernard Kohl sits right behind yellow jersey Frank Schleck right up there. Behind Kohl, Cadel Evans. No one is going to be caught napping here.

  • 03:56 PM: Evans has Vansummeren right by his side

    Christian Vande Velde is up there, right behind Kim Kirchen. Valverde is in the mix, with Menchov on his wheel.

  • 04:00 PM: Velits drops Schumacher

    With 60km left in the stage, the young Velits has ridden away from Schumacher.

  • 04:02 PM: With 6km to climb

    Velits, the world under-23 champion has 30 seconds already on Schumacher. The CSC group is only two minutes behind now, though.

  • 04:03 PM: Cancellara has finally blown

    But not before Damiano Cunego got dropped. Now its Kurt-Asle Arvesson on the front in his Norwegian national champ edition of the CSC jersey.

  • 04:03 PM: Velits sees 5km to go

    He has a minute on Schumacher but only 1:45 on the pack.

  • 04:05 PM: Christian Vande Velde hanging tough

    Garmin’s CVV is still up there in the yellow jersey group – you can’t really call it a peloton anymore – as is Evans, Kohl, Menchov, and a select few others. Andy Schleck sits behind Arvesson, awaiting his turn to put the rest in pain.

  • 04:06 PM: Schumacher caught by the yellow jersey group

    No one in the yellow jersey is attacking. CSC’s climbers are sitting in. Bernard Kohl pats Schumacher on the back as he drifts back.

  • 04:08 PM: Yellow jersey is 4km from the top

    Only about 16 riders remain now. Milram’s Velits is the lone rider off the front now. He’s still a few kilometers from the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer.

  • 04:11 PM: The pecking order on the top slopes of the climb

    In singlefile we have three CSC men – Arvessen, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck – followed by Valverde, KOM leader Kohl, Evans, and then perhaps 15 others.

  • 04:12 PM: Roadside air conditioning

    Riders are grabbing water bottles from fans now, dumping them on their heads and backs. It’s not hot, just sitting here, but the climbers’ engines are running hot now.

  • 04:15 PM: Christian Vande Velde locked on

    CSC’s Arvessen continues to lead unassisted. He has about 20 riders sitting on. Andy Schleck just dropped back to grab some bottles. Like Sastre before him, Schleck didn’t hesitate to do domestique work, white jersey or no.

  • 04:16 PM: 1km to go for Velits

    Velits won’t get the stage win, of course, but he’s certainly earned his piece of glory in rolling up the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer alone.

  • 04:17 PM: Now the yellow jersey group sees 1km to go

    The road narrows now, only wide enough for six or so riders across.

  • 04:18 PM: It’s a tunnel of sound for Velits now

    The fans press in on Velits as he rocks his bike up the last few meters.

  • 04:19 PM: Velits crests the summit

    And zips up his jersey over a newspaper for the long descent down to Allemont.

  • 04:20 PM: Kohl takes second uncontested over the summit

    Securing his KOM jersey.

  • 04:23 PM: It’s a 28km descent now

    From the summit down to Allemont. Then, another flat 11km to the second sprint of the day in Bourg-D’Oisans. From there, it’s on. Will the race be decided on the Alpe?

  • 04:27 PM: Velits is holding his lead on the descent

    With 48km to go, Velits has opened up his lead to 1:16 on the yellow jersey group.

  • 04:31 PM: Jerome Pineau has a go

    The Bouygues Telecom rider has attacked the yellow jersey group, which now again contains Cancellara.

  • 04:35 PM: Velits has 1:30 on the yellow jersey group, and Pineau is coming up

    Jerome Pineau is about 50 seconds behind Velits now. As neither is a GC contender, no one is paying the moves much mind.

  • 04:36 PM: Tranquilo descent

    In sharp contrast to yesterday’s descent into Jausiers, where riders where sprinting full stick out of every corner in desperation, gaps were pried open and men went down in hard chase, the yellow jersey group is now taking it relatively easy. There’s no since in killing themselves before the Alpe.

  • 04:39 PM: Another doper takes out another sponsor

    Heating and air conditioning manufacturer Saunier Duval has formally announced that it will immediately cease its sponsorship of the cycling team that bears its name. The news comes after the team pulled out of the Tour de France when its team leader Ricardo Ricco tested positive for a new form of EPO, a Continuous Erythropietin Receptor Activator.
    Meanwhile, L’Equipe reports that Ricco’s roommate, Leonardo Piepoli has admitted using CERA, a drug that he and others thought was undetectable.

  • 04:43 PM: All the favorites comfortably in the group

    Pineau is being given free reign to try and catch Velits while the favorites ready themselves for the oncoming onslaught.

  • 04:48 PM: Who’s there?

    CSC has an armada in the front group:
    Frank Schleck in the yellow jersey
    Andy Schleck in the white jersey
    Kurt-Asle Arvessen in the Norwegian champion’s jersey
    Fabian Cancellara in his “I will eat your lunch jersey”
    Okay, he’s not wearing that particular jersey today. But he’s still up there.
    Jens Voigt may be there.

  • 04:49 PM: The other contenders in the yellow jersey group

    Cadel Evans is there.
    Christian Vande Velde is there.
    Denis Menchov, Alejandro Valverde, Kim Kirchen, Sammy Sanchez, Tadej Valjavec, and Vladimir Efimkim are all there.

  • 04:50 PM: Pineau catches Velits

    The duo have nearly two minutes now on the yellow jersey group, which clearly isn’t interested in their antics.

  • 04:52 PM: Also in the yellow jersey group

    Arroyo (for Valverde)
    Sivtsov (for Kirchen)
    Fofonov (Credit Agricole)
    Goubert (for Valjavec and Efimkin)
    Froome (Barlowrold)
    Weening (for Menchov)
    Casar (FDJ)
    Moncoutie (Cofidids)

  • 04:53 PM: 26km to go for leaders

    30km to go for the yellow jersey group

  • 04:54 PM: CSC’s mob isn’t just on the front

    They’re also all over the road. The team has huge amounts of supporters. The yellow jersey group has just passed over a stretch of road painted white and red, and packed with rapid CSC fans.

  • 04:56 PM: Why do they call him Spartacus?

    Cancellara is on the front. Again. We’ve already been over two HC climbs today, which should have dispatched anyone larger than the super-lean climbers. But here is the big Swiss, muscling his gear at the front of a select group of the best climbers in the world.

  • 04:58 PM: Mayhem on L’Alpe

    After having camped out for hours, if not days, the thousands and thousands of people on L’Alpe d’Huez have hit full-rave party mode. It’s a whole other type of endurance event up here. The Tour riders may be able to put in some impressive rides, but the fans up here can drink.

  • 04:59 PM: Now it’s Arvessen on the front

    Riding for Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre, who are tucked right in.

  • 05:01 PM: 20km to go for the two leaders

    There are a precious few more kilometers of relative flat.

  • 05:03 PM: Pineau and Velits have 1:40

    On the yellow jersey group, which is about 35 strong now.

  • 05:06 PM: The most critical 13.3km of the 2008 Tour de France

    Lay just ahead. The 13.3km L’Alpe d’Huez climb averages nearly 9 percent, with pitches up to 11 percent. There are 21 famous switchbacks that grind up to 1,830 meters (6,003 feet).

    The record from the bottom?
    37 minutes 35 seconds.

    Try that at home.

  • 05:09 PM: Complete yellow jersey group list

    Sastre, Arvesen, Cancellara, Gustov and both Schlecks (CSC)
    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin)
    Evans, Aerts and Vansummeren (Silence)
    Sanchez and Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Valverde and Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne)
    Kirchen and Sivtsov (Columbia)
    Froome (Barloworld)
    Kreuziger (Liquigias)
    Cunego and Szmyd (Lampre)
    Botcharov and Fofonov (Credit Agricole)
    Dessel, Efimkin, Goubert and Valjavec (Ag2r)
    Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
    Vogondy (Agritubel)
    Menchov, Moerenhout, Ten Dam and Weening (Rabobank)
    Lefevre (Bougyues Telecom)
    Casar (FDJ)

  • 05:09 PM: They hit the climb, and Sastre goes!

    Menchov marks him.

  • 05:10 PM: Evans doesn’t flinch, and stays with Schleck

    Sastre needs a lot of time. Evans is watching the yellow jersey. Riders are popping left and right.

  • 05:10 PM: Sastre is caught, but goes again!

    Menchov again tries to claw him back, but fails.

  • 05:11 PM: Sastre blows past Pineau

    Behind Evans’ teammate Aerts leads the chase

  • 05:12 PM: Kohl, Evans, Schleck all at the front

    Sastre still clear by a few seconds.

  • 05:13 PM: Menchov blows

    Sastre drives on

  • 05:13 PM: The GC at day’s start – Sastre needs time

    1. Frank Schleck (LUX), CSC at 68:30min16sec
    2. Bernhard Kohl (AUT), Gerolsteiner at 0:07.
    3. Cadel Evans (AUS), Silence-Lotto at 0:08.
    4. Carlos Sastre (ESP), CSC at 0:49.
    5. Denis Menchov (RUS), Rabobank at 1:13.
    6. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle at 3:15.
    7. Kim Kirchen (LUX), Team Columbia at 3:23.
    8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne at 4:11.
    9. Samuel Sanchez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4:38.
    10. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Ag2r at 5:23.

  • 05:14 PM: Christian Vande Velde hanging tough

    The group is down to about 9 men now. Sastre plows on.

  • 05:15 PM: 11km to go

    Andy Schleck is looking back, taking stock. Evans is still there. Vande Velde is still there. Efimkin is there. Valverede is there. Kohl is there.

  • 05:16 PM: Frank Schleck attacks!

    Evans immediately responds, then Kohl takes the front.

  • 05:17 PM: Sastre has 25 seconds. He leads the race

    Schleck & Schleck are ready to go should Sastre be caught.

  • 05:18 PM: Efimkin goes, Andy Schleck and Vande Velde mark him

    Evans is behind

  • 05:18 PM: Frank Schleck looks calm in yellow

    He’s on Evans’ wheel.

  • 05:19 PM: Efimkin, Vande Velde, Schleck caught

    It’s a group of about 8 again, with Sastre clear by about 30 seconds.

  • 05:20 PM: Under the 10km to go kit

    The yellow jersey group is lead by Kohl.

  • 05:21 PM: Cadel Evans leads Frank Schleck

    Kohl follows with Valverde adn Vande Velde

  • 05:21 PM: Frank Schleck attacks!

    Evans responds, then Valverde counters, with both Schlecks right on his wheel. A gap opens to Evans, Kohl, Vande Velde.

  • 05:22 PM: Andy drills it for his brother – Evans is chasing a few seconds behind

    Vande Velde closes it down

  • 05:23 PM: Valverde leads

    Frank on his wheel, then Evans, then Vande Velde, Kohl, Efimkin.

    Sastre still clear ahead.

  • 05:24 PM: 8km to go – Sastre has 23 seconds

    Yellow jersey group settles down temporarily.

  • 05:25 PM: Efimkin goes, Kohl shuts it down

    Valjavec is also up there with Efimkin for Ag2r.

  • 05:25 PM: Menchov still off the back

    with 8km to go.

  • 05:27 PM: 10 men in the yellow jersey group

    two Ag2r men
    Evans
    Vande Velde
    both Schlecks
    Kohl
    Valverde
    Sanchez

  • 05:28 PM: Vande Velde attacks!

    Andy marks him, followed by Frank

  • 05:28 PM: correction: 3 Ag2r men. Goubert is also there

    Vande Velde leads the group

  • 05:29 PM: 7km to go – Frank Schleck attacks

    Evans marks him and comes round. Vande Velde is right on the wheel

  • 05:30 PM: 6.5km to go Andy Schleck now at the back of the group

    Sastre drives on ahead with a 1:20 gap

  • 05:31 PM: Sastre has the virtual yellow

    But he’ll need more than 1:30 to make it through the time trial with the jersey.

  • 05:32 PM: Ag2r’s Stephane Goubert on the front

    He has Valjavec and Efimkin in the select group.

  • 05:33 PM: 5.5km to go through Dutch corner

    Ag2r still on the front, put Sastre isn’t coming back.

  • 05:35 PM: Goubert, at 38 years old, leads up L’Alpe

    Kohl sits behind. The Schlecks are still there. As are Evans, Vande Velde, Valverde, Efimkin, Valjavec and Menchov, who has clawed his way back in.

  • 05:36 PM: Sastre has nearly two minutes

    The cat-and-mouse attacking and countering has caused two key things: Sastre to get clear, and Menchov to get back into the group.

  • 05:37 PM: 4km to go. It’s truth time for Sastre

    He is now nearing the kind of gap he needs to hold the yellow lead through the time trial.

  • 05:37 PM: Valjavec attacks, Andy leaps onto his wheel

    They’ve got a good gap

  • 05:38 PM: Correction: that is Efimkin, not Valjavec up there for Ag2r

    He is marked by CSC’s Andy Schleck

  • 05:39 PM: Evans attacks with 3.5km to go!

    Andy Schleck gets on him, with the rest of the group immediately behind.

  • 05:40 PM: Evans isn’t trying to drop the group, just regain time on Sastre

    Sastre has two minutes.

  • 05:41 PM: 3km to go – Sastre is riding through a tunnel of sound

    Evans drives the chase behind. The group remains intact, and no one is going to help Evans.

  • 05:42 PM: 9 men in yellow jersey group now – Valverde attacks!

    Vande Velde closes it with Evans

  • 05:43 PM: Evans goes immediately back to the front, suffering out of the saddle

    Vande Velde, Valverde and the Schlecks are still there. As is Kohl, Menchov and two others.

  • 05:44 PM: 2km to go – Sastre has 2:17

    Evans drives the chase. Valverde sits right behind Evans.

  • 05:45 PM: Evans drags the group without help

    On his wheel: Valverde, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Christian Vande Velde, Bernard Kohl, Denis Menchov, Sammy Sanchez.

  • 05:46 PM: 1.2km to go. Sastre has 2:28

    Evans can’t hesitate now, as Menchov pulls up alonside.

  • 05:47 PM: Sanchez launches a huge attack!

    Andy Schleck jumps clear in pursuit, as does Menchov. Evans continues at the same pace.

  • 05:48 PM: Sastre takes the win atop L’Alpe d’Huez

    The clock is at 2:20 and counting.

  • 05:48 PM: Sanchez is riding alone

    Sanchez goes under the 1km to go kite. Andy Schleck is in between Sanchez and the Evans group.

  • 05:51 PM: Sanchez takes second and Schleck third?

    It was a bike throw at the finish. Then there’s a gap to the yellow jersey group, which contains Evans, Vande Velde, Valverde, Menchov.

  • 05:52 PM: CSC’s work has paid off

    But will Sastre have enough time to keep the jersey through the time trial on Saturday?

  • 05:53 PM: 2:15

    That was the final gap between stage winner Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto).

  • 05:54 PM: Top 10 results

    1. Carlos Sastre, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:07:58
    2. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel – Euskadi in 6:10:01 at 2:03
    3. Andy Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:01 at 02:03
    4. Alejandro Valverde, Caisse D’epargne in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    5. Frank Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    6. Vladimir Efimkin, Ag2r-La Mondiale in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    7. Cadel Evans, Silence – Lotto in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    8. Denis Menchov, Rabobank in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    9. Christian Vandevelde, Garmin Chipotle in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    10. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner in 6:10:13 at 02:15

  • 05:57 PM: Top 10 results

    1. Carlos Sastre, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:07:58
    2. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel – Euskadi in 6:10:01 at 2:03
    3. Andy Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:01 at 02:03
    4. Alejandro Valverde, Caisse D’epargne in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    5. Frank Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    6. Vladimir Efimkin, Ag2r-La Mondiale in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    7. Cadel Evans, Silence – Lotto in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    8. Denis Menchov, Rabobank in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    9. Christian Vandevelde, Garmin Chipotle in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    10. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner in 6:10:13 at 02:15

  • 05:59 PM: Top 10 results

    1. Carlos Sastre, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:07:58
    2. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel – Euskadi in 6:10:01 at 2:03
    3. Andy Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:01 at 02:03
    4. Alejandro Valverde, Caisse D’epargne in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    5. Frank Schleck, Team Csc Saxo Bank in 6:10:11 at 02:13
    6. Vladimir Efimkin, Ag2r-La Mondiale in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    7. Cadel Evans, Silence – Lotto in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    8. Denis Menchov, Rabobank in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    9. Christian Vandevelde, Garmin Chipotle in 6:10:13 at 02:15
    10. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner in 6:10:13 at 02:15