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94th Tour de France - Stage 1Live Coverage
 
By Staff
Date: 7/8/2007
94th Tour de France - Stage 1Live Coverage
 

 

94th Tour de France - Stage 1
London to Canterbury 203 km

We join the race with 78km to go... the first 45 minutes was a neutral zone with a sightseeing Tour through fan packed streets of London. Directly after the official start there were lots of attacks but the first real one was from British rider David Millar (Saunier Duval). Millar had quite fast a lead of more than 1.00. Then Stephane Auge (Cofidis), Alexander Kuschynski (Liquigas), Andriy Grivko (Milram) and Fredy Bichot (Agritubel) went in the chase. The peloton let them go as CSC took control over the race.

It took more than an hour before the chasers caught Millar, as David waited on them. Millar took the first two intermediate sprints and won the first KOM, while Bichot won the second KOM sprint. David Millar is the animator in the break of 5 and their lead is still about 6.00 with less than 80 km to go. There maximum lead gained was over 6.00.

Eduardo Gonzalez (Agritubel) abandoned the race already after a crash in the early part of the stage.

1504 CET - The situation with 75 km to go is that we still have Millar, Grivko, Kuschynski, Auge and Bichot in the lead. The peloton led by Cancellara's CSC team is 4.50 down on them.

The situation with 75 km to go is that we still have Millar, Grivko, Kuschynski, Auge and Bichot in the lead. The peloton led by Cancellara's CSC team is 4.50 down on them.

David Millar (Saunier Duval) is the best ranked rider in the team. He already took 12 boni seconds during the stage thus far, with maybe another 6 sec at the final intermediate

Will CSC and the peloton let Millar get into yellow? David Millar (Saunier Duval) is the best ranked rider in the team. He already took 12 boni seconds during the stage thus far, with maybe another 6 sec at the final intermediate sprint.So he can take 18 seconds and is 33 sec down on Cancellara, which would bring him to rank 3. Only if Millar wins the stage he can take the yellow jersey from Cancellara; but Millar is still in the running for the polka dot jersey, after two KOM sprints there are three riders with 3 points with still 1 KOM to go in the final. Millar, Bichot and Kuschynski have all three points.

Quick Step and Credit Agricole are going to help CSC in the chase now. The fab 5 are still working well together. 70 km to go and still a lead of 3.55. The peloton should drive it a bit easier otherwise they will catch the 5 leaders too early; unless the non sprinter teams have something in mind on the final climb of the day. We think about riders like Gilbert and Voeckler. Or why not someone from Britain? like Charly Wegelius (Liquigas) or Geraint Thomas (Barloworld)?

 In 3 km we will get to the 3rd and final intermediate sprint of the day.

1523 CET The gap is down to 2.50 Kuschynski wins the final intermediate followed by Grivko and Bichot. They didn't gift any seconds to Millar.  It was Bichot who was second at the sprint , Grivko 3rd.

1530 CET - 60 km to go, T-Mobiles magenta mob should favor an inform Cavendish for today's win. Expect the boys in pink at the front soon  the gap is down to 2.16

Predictor-Lotto and Credit Agricole are have put  a few men up there with CSC. Fredy Bichot (Agritubel) attacks the break, the cooperation is shattered by the attack. Bichot is reeled in again while the gap is drops to 2.15.

Riders down! Crash in the bunch with Mercado, Zandio and Lancaster;  but it seems all without serious injuries as they get up and ride.

Good old Fabio Baldato wins the openings stage in the Tour of Austria. Gerald Ciolek 2nd and Elia Rigotto 3rd.

50 km to go and the gap is stays for the time being at 2.20. Bichot in the attack again with Auge and Kuschynski. Grivko and Millar gave up there efforts and let them go. Millar and Grivko sit up and wait to be absorbed by the peloton.

The three leaders have a gap of 2.00 with 47 km to go. CSC continues the chase with a few Lotto and Credit Agricole riders trading off at the front. Quick Step, joins the chase and Grivko and Millar caught by the bunch.

Ok so the stage is starting to be set up for the sprint finish with Quick Step, Predictor/Lotto and Credit Agricole set to take the lead for their sprinters: Tom Boonen, Robbie McEwen and the leading trio dangling off the front of what will soon be a sprinters led bunch... Saunier Duval comes to the lead of the bunch as well, prolly for Ventoso. 

1555 CET - 38 km to go, Auge, Bichot and Kuschynski the three in front have 1.00 on the bunch. The peloton will want to save the catch a bit closer to the finish, no point in wasting their energy too soon. Flat tire for Leipheimer, but his Discovery mates will bring him back to the bunch muy pronto.

1606 CET - 30 km to go, the gap of the three in front is down to 32 seconds; it won't be long now that they will have their noses in the wind. About 10 km and we will arrive at final climb of the day. Bichot wants the break to  be in front until the top of the KOM, so Bichot can take the polka dot jersey for Agritubel. If we look to the stages a head he could keep this jersey for a couple of days.

Saunier Duval and Quick Step are working hard at the front, the gap is down to 20 seconds. Auge is on the attack now, Bichot and Kuschynski reeled in by the bunch.

Auge has a patent on long breaks, he did this a few times earlier this year. 26 km to go and his gap is up to 30 seconds. Auge is going for the prize of the most agressive rider and the polka dot jersey. Anyway I see Millar in the front of the bunch again, so maybe Millar will go for the KOM jersey as well; this will  keep it exciting for the KOM jersey in a rather boring transitional stage which will be most likely be decided at the finish in Canterbury.

1615 CET - Crash in the bunch again with Arvesen, De Groot and some others. All the riders are up and chasing back on. Cioni and McEwen was involved too and has to chase to come back in the bunch; otherwise it's over for McEwen in today's stage. Looks like Rik Verbrugghe was involved as well.  The riders of Predictor-Lotto are waiting on McEwen.

1619 CET - 20 km to go, Auge is now on the top of the climb and takes the points. Millar is 2nd on the climb and is likely be the first wearer of the polka dot jersey. Certainly a good reward for Millar for his efforts today. Mechnical problem for Mark Cavendish, what a disaster for the sprinter

Auge is reeled in by the bunch. Less than 20 km to go and Quick Step in the lead of the bunch. The purple and blue jerseys of Lampre/Fondital joins the blue jerseys of Quick Step at the front of affairs to control the front for Daniele Benatti. T-Mobile is up there too in front of the bunch. They may  have to change plans now as Cavendish is still not back in the bunch due to that technical problem.

1627 CET - 13 km to go, Likely that Bernhard Eisel will sprint for the magenta team today. McEwen is still not back in the bunch for Lotto.

10 km to go, The group McEwen is back in the bunch again after the crash, speed is going up as the sprinters teams drive the front to discourage opportunist attacks.

1633 CET 5 km to go, Lotto, Quickstep, et al drive the pace at the front. If Tinkoff was here we would have seen more action at this point as they did in the Giro d'Italia this year.

Lampre and Quick Step still in the lead of a very nervous peloton with 3 km to go to the first sprint finish of the 2007 tour de France.

Lampre off the front now, Quick Step is setting the pace, 2 km to go...

The others are moving up, Milram takes the lead for Zabel

Final km - Hunter starts the sprint.... McEwen is coming and comes around Hunter

Robbie McEwen wins!!!

What a wonder, a crash, a chase back,  first having lots of pain on his wrist and now winning the race; well done for the work of Predictor-Lotto and Rockin Robbie.

Provisional Results: 1. Robbie McEwen, 2. Thor Hushovd, 3. Tom Boonen, 4. Sebastien Chavanel, 5. Romain Feillu, 6. Robert Forster, 7. Oscar Freire, 8. Marcus Burghardt, 9. Francisco Ventoso, 10. Thomas Vaitkus

What a magnificent sprint of the kangaroo, he won with a few bike lengths. Well it wasn't British Glory today but it was one for the Queen and the Commonwealth and Australia.  Robbie's face was painted in pain as he sprinted to the finish. In the post race interview he said he was in a lot of pain after the crash and the sprint only increased the agony. This is McEwens's 12th stage win in the Tour de France

CSC's Fabian Cancellara will collect his yellow jersey for the second time today, with little change in the general classification if any.

The jerseys after stage 1:
Race Leader Yellow: Fabian Cancellara
Points Green: Robbie McEwen
U-25 Best Young Rider - White: Vladimir Gusev
Climbers Polka Dot: Millaro

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of the 2007 Tour de France, Photos and results to follow. Join us for stage 2 as the race returns to 'the continent' with a 167 km test from Dunkirk  to Ghent (Belgium),.
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