95th Tour de France - Stage 2 Live Part 2
Thomas Voekler and Sylvain Chavanel continue their duel with the peloton as the
skies turn grey as the wind tears at the peloton
Stage 2 Auray - Saint Brieuc, 165km
1528 CEST - 70.3 km to go. the Peloton
reach the top of the climb, led by Christophe Moreau (Agritubel). They are 2'54"
behind the leaders
67.5 km - Voeckler takes maximum points
over the final climb of the Cote de Saint-Mayeux. We are now just a few
kilometres from the final sprint at Corlay. Caisse d'Epargne leads the chase at
the front of the peloton Chavanel and Voekler show no signs of weakening or
submitting to the chase. With no climbs till Thursday and the stage to
Superbesse, Voeckler is assured of several more days in polka-dots.
After taking third on the climb, Christophe Moreau is persisting. Led by
David Lelay - a summer transfer from Bretagne-Armor Lux after a fine
early-season - they are currently in no man's land, 1'40" down on the
breakaways. They've already put two minutes into the peloton though. Impressive
stuff. Lelay is a Breton through-and-through by the way. I'm waiting for the
French media to start saying Moreau is a potential Tour winner......it's
traditional for it to happen in July. L'Equipe inevitably will give over column
inches galore if Moreau fires away on Superbesse. The Tour de France is fast
becoming the country's version of Wimbledon for Britain - it's been 20 years
since a Frenchman last won.
60 km to go, 3:35 gap. It is pouring down
rain now as Voekler ups the tempo on the front... Yet cornering is done at a
much slower speed. Lelay and Moreau are only 50 seconds behind.
4 leaders now as the Agritubel riders have bridged the gap, what an
impressive show of riding. Albeit, a slightly optimistic move. Surely the
peloton will catch our four man lead group. Meanwhile the chase goes on spread
out on the road in an echelon format to beat the wind as the Agritubel car tries
to pass through the peloton... easy going there lads.
France definitely to the fore today - three of their best-known domestic
riders are flying the flag on the road to Saint Brieuc. They should save up this
energy for Bastille Day though. That said, July 14 sees a finish on Hautacam...
54km to go - Moreau, Lelay, Chavanel and
Voeckler lead by 2'36"- La Francaise des Jeux and Caisse d'Epargne are
leading the chase.
Today is the tour de France so best of luck to those currently toiling in the
Etape du Tour. Many will be on the Tourmalet and heading for Hautacam... at the
moment among them Daily Peloton's editor at large, Londoner Mark Sharon. Stay
tuned for Mark's report and review of the equipment he is using today in the
1600 CEST - Just 47km to go, and the gap
has held for the last few kilometres. These fresh legs are keeping the pace up.
The deficit is 2'34" for the pack. Still it's the Francaise des Jeux team
contributing to the chase as Valverde's crew gets a break.
40km to go - The echapée is just
beginning to feel the pinch. 2'06" is the gap, no worries for the peloton
considering the amount of kilometres they have to reel this quartet back in.
1613CET - 37.9km: The leaders have a gap
of 1'47" now, the Peloton are clawing our cohesive breakaway group rather
efficiently. It won't be long before the race is altogether, though I suspect
they may be hung out for some distance yet.
Sébastien Chavanel must fancy himself today, because Francaise des Jeux are
still on the front, working to bring in the break. I suspect his brother won't
be too pleased with that. Considering the Williams sisters must be the only
sibling act to face one another in a Wimbledon final, we have an awful lot of
brother acts in the Tour: the Chavanels, the Schlecks, the Jalaberts... there
must be a few more, we had the Gonzalez de Galdeanos too. The Indurians, The
Bobet's indeed, I was thinking even in recent years. A ridiculous amount. The
Zbergs... The Bobet's are slightly out of the 'recent' years category
1623 CEST - 30km left, and 1'30" is the
advantage. The bunch are biding their time: don't want to catch the break too
early. Voeckler is struggling to keep up, his breakaway companions may be
shedding him soon. Thomas fights to stay on the wheel in the breakaway, he must
be in a world of pain after two successive days in front. At the back of the
peloton Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval) has had a mechanical problem and
pulls back to the Mavic support car.
1627 CEST - 25km for our leaders Behind,
Rubens Bertogliati is a crash victim on a wet patch on a corner. His claim to
fame is his victory in the second stage of the 2002 Tour, which also bagged him
a day in the maillot jaune.
Further back, Juan Mauricio Soler has been dropped. I can't see him
completing the week, he must be in considerable pain. He has fractured his
scaphoid on the left hand in the Giro, and has a problem on his right, but
refuses to quit what is his main goal for the year. It'll be a long ride into
Saint-Brieuc: demanding physically and mentally. The cameras and photographers
will crowd round like vultures, hoping for a tearful abandon. I can't see that
as an option for stoic Soler.
1631 CEST - Speaking of suffering, 1'12"
is the lead for our four breakaways. To recap, originally it was just Chavanel
and Voeckler, but they were joined 20km ago by Agritubel pair Lelay and Moreau.
Quick Step are moving up the peloton now; they need to show that they are more
than just a Boonen-orientated team in the Tour. Well... a Steegmans-orientated
team instead. Plus ca change, eh.
1633 CEST - Under the 20km banner for the
leaders, the gap is just 1'04". I can't see today's finish suiting Steegmans.
Then who? Carrara did well to finish with the front group yesterday, I think he
was 13th. There is a bit of a brutal short climb at the finish Indeed, the
little climb could break it up. I loved yesterday's opener, so different to the
usual sprinter-fest. Hopefully today's stage will throw up a few surprises too.
At the back of the field, spare a thought for Soler. Accompanied by
Bertogliati, he is 2'30" down and that's with 20km to go... up front Voekler
seems to have recovered and takes a pull at the front of the leaders. The
proverbial merde is about to hit the fan. The break are resisting really well,
but the peloton are about to hit the after-burners.
15km to go, 1'00" is the finely-poised difference.
Caisse d'Epargne back at the front with Quick Step giving way briefly...
Valverde has got his team working on the front as the road begin to become
cluttered with road furniture. Caisse will want to escort Valverde to the finish
at the front if they intend to keep the leaders yellow cape.
1643 CEST - 12km to go. 54 seconds the
difference. Now Crédit Agricole and Quick Step hit the front to take over the
chase. This is going to be a fast and furious chase. Will Valverde attempt a
second stage victory today? Valverde will do well i think, but not THAT well.
Hushovd maybe or Freire. All the lead group need to do is to keep working
together....from there you never know.
Going on the principle the bunch takes a minute per 10km, these plucky guys
have no chance. 10km to go - The lead is
down to 43 seconds, but Moreau is still firing on all cylinders on the front.
The Agritubel riders are injecting some pace up front. All credit to them, they
are really worrying the peloton, who are eyeballs out in pursuit.
1647CEST - 7km to go, The gap is now 36",
Credit Agricole, FDJ and Quick Step are all contributing. No sign of Robbie
McEwen just yet, Cavendish is near the front. Jimmy Engoulvent swings off the
front after doing a monster turn for Crédit Agricole. Valverde is near the
front, yet he only has a couple of team-mates surrounding him; Liquigas start
moving up for Pippo Pozzato.
5 kilometres to go - The gap is 30
seconds. It could easily be extinguished on the climb near the finish, but this
is great resistance. The four man group are hanging on! Voeckler is the weakest
man in the group, any true acceleration will see the gutsy Frenchman dropped.
4km to go now - 28" is the gap The
Peloton are strung out, there roads are narrow and this will hinder their
efforts. This is the hill where Chris Boardman crashed in the 1995 Prologue. Up
the small ascent, the break is leaking seconds. Just 22 seconds now. Moreau is
all-out on the front. Four Quick Step riders on the front, Steegmans in final
Voeckler looks back, as if he expects to see the pack any time soon. Only 20
seconds. Another two seconds have been lost.
3km to go... and 13 seconds. It's done.
Game over surely! Chavanel attacks! Voeckler has responded, what is he made of!
2.5km to go - 11" is the gap. 2500 metres for Sylvain Chavanel. He has 12
seconds. Moreau and Voeckler are distanced. Lelay is caught by the peloton
under the 2k banner. The Team Colombia boys are now at the front of the pack.
Only seven seconds for Chavanel, and the peloton can see him now. Moreau and
Voeckler are reprised. Valverde is still there!
Chavanel is riding hard, the Peloton are lurking... Cancellara gives a
massive dig. Crash at the back, Hoste has gone down.
1km to go, Nobody could hold his wheel.
Under the flamme rouge, it's world champion Cancellara. Fabian still leads, he's
looking strong. Looks like Pozzato is chasing. Evans and Valverde still near the
front of the group. He makes the junction but they can't stop there.
Cresting the climb, Thor and rivals spread out across the road....
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
500m to go. Schumacher and Pineau are behind. Pozzato has the sprint to beat
Cancellara, but they've been caught! Valverde Goes!! It's Hushovd.
Thor full out for the line... Photo ©
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
Hushovd leads the sprint, Kirchen was on the move... Columbia were all over
that sprint! But Hushovd nicked it.
Thor Hushvod Wins!!!
What a tough finish. Chaos again at the finish! The hill proved vital in
closing the initial breakaway group down, Cancellara went a little too early.
What an exciting finish too! Pozzato sat on Cancellara hoping he'd drag him to
200m to go. No such luck. The peloton were disjointed, so Cancellara, in
hindsight, could have waited a bit longer. Kirchen's first acceleration was
incredible, but once he got onto Hushovd's wheel, he couldn't overhaul him.
Sixth tour victory in the bag for Hushvod. Photo ©
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
Stage 2 Results (provisional)
1. Thor Hushovd
2. Kim Kirchen
3. Gerald Ciolek
5. Erik Zabel
7. Oscar Friere
GC... Valverde maintains the maillot jaune. Quite a frenetic last 30
kilometres. Valverde, Kirchen, Freire, Cobo, Evans, Pineau, Millar, Ricco all at
A very happy Thor Hushvod steps to the podium to take the kisses from the
misses for his sixth tour stage victory and notches up points for his campaign
for the green jersey. However it is Columbia's Kim Kirchen who has taken over
the lead in the points competition with 54 points.
Voekler retains his climbers jersey after a day picking up points in the
break. Riccardo Ricco arrives and slips into the white jersey of the best young
It looked like the break would be caught with lots of time to spare with an
hour to go, but Moreau and Lelay gave them a bit of extra oomph, and they were
only 2 kilometres from a famous result.
Barloworld's Mauricio Soler made a brave effort today finishing 7:18 after
the winning sprint of Hushvod.
Stage 2 Results
1. HUSHOVD Thor 81 CREDIT AGRICOLE 3h 45' 13"
2. KIRCHEN Kim 41 TEAM COLUMBIA
3. CIOLEK Gerald 44 TEAM COLUMBIA
4. HUNTER Robert 58 BARLOWORLD
5. ZABEL Erik 151 TEAM MILRAM
6. TROFIMOV Yury 147 BOUYGUES TELECOM
7. FREIRE Oscar 133 RABOBANK
8. CASPER Jimmy 123 AGRITUBEL
9. ELMIGER Martin 105 AG2R-LA MONDIALE
10. DUQUE Leonardo 186 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE
All same time
Official General Classification after Stage 2
1. VALVERDE Alejandro 31 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 8h
2. KIRCHEN Kim 41 TEAM COLUMBIA 00' 01"
3. FREIRE Oscar 133 RABOBANK 00' 01"
4. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 173 SAUNIER DUVAL - SCOTT 00' 01"
5. EVANS Cadel 1 SILENCE - LOTTO 00' 01"
6. PINEAU Jérôme 145 BOUYGUES TELECOM 00' 01"
7. MILLAR David 198 GARMIN CHIPOTLE 00' 01"
8. RICCO Riccardo 171 SAUNIER DUVAL - SCOTT 00' 01"
9. SCHLECK Frank 17 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 00' 01"
10. POZZATO Filippo 61 LIQUIGAS 00' 01"
This concludes our live coverage of Stage 2. Join us tomorrow for the live
coverage of Stage 3:
Stage 3 from Saint Malo to Nantes, 195km
Profile here. Nick
Bull's preview of Stage 3
can be found
here. Until then enjoy discussing the race on the forums and in the chat
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