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95th Tour de France - Stage 4 ITT Live
By Staff
Date: 7/8/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 4 ITT Live

95th Tour de France - Stage 4 Live
The test against time in Cholet opens today with Danny Pate setting the early time to beat. Follow the action here.

Stage 4 Cholet - Cholet  ITT 29 km
We join the time trial in progress, 101 riders have already started and Danny Pate of Garmin/Chipotle has set the time to beat. it's a tough time-trial as it's hilly for the first 19-20 km. The last 10 km are mainly dragging descents. In the first part of the race the riders have a headwind and in the final part tailwind. Bart Hazen is our commentator today.

The current top 10 is
1. Pate Danny 199 Garmin Chipotle 00:36:54
2. Clement Stef 142 Bouygues Telecom 00:37:18 :00:24
3. Terpstra Niki 157 Team Milram  :00:28
4. Riblon Christophe 108 Ag2r-La Mondiale  :00:32
5. Bertogliati Rubens 172 Saunier Duval - Scott :00:36
6. Froome Christopher 57 Barloworld 0 00:39
7. Backstedt Magnus 192 Garmin Chipotle  :00:44
8. Moreau Christophe 121 Agritubel  :00:45
9. Del Nero Jesus 175 Saunier Duval - Scott  :00:48
10. Rosseler Sébastien 96 Quick Step  :00:54

It will be the first big day for the G.C. riders and the first day they will test their legs against their rivals. By the end of the day the top of the rankings will be more definitive as to who is the stronger of the favourites. Danny Pate riding for Garmin/Chipotle is a time-trialist. He is a former U23 world champion in Lisboa (Portugal)

 © Amaury Sport Organization 

Time Checks
Saint-Andre-De-La-Marche, 11km
La Romagne, 19.5 km

Thomas Voeckler comes in in 38:37 and is 26th at the moment. Not a good day for the polka dot men to shine. The Manxman Mark Cavendish is at the 19,5 km point. Cavendish is not TT specialist and so his time is not the best. We have 2 intermediate checks on the course. the first after 11 km, the second after 19,5 km and than the finish after 29,5 km. Rubens Bertogliati is after 11 km the fastest so far while Pate has the best time thus far after 19.5 km.

75 riders left to start; all the big guns will start within the next 90 minutes. The next one off the ramp is German Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner). Förster finished 9th a day ago but won two stages in the Volta ao aAlgarve and the Dutch Food Valley Classic this year.

Not exactly Thomas Voeklers discipline. 71rst at 4:46 in the final result.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

the next one off the ramp is French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis). Chavanel is having a great season so far. His wins in the 2008 season are: 5th stage Tour of Mediterranean, 6th stage Paris Nice, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl, 5th stage Volta a Catalunya and the French TT Championship.

Stuart O'Grady (CSC) leaves the gate. O'Grady is the 2007 Paris-Roubaix winner. No further introduction has to be made. O'Grady can normally do a good TT. Last year O'Grady had to abandon the race after a crash in a mountain stage in which he broke several bones.

The 2007 winner of the Tour of Flanders Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) comes in with a time of 37:29 and is 5th at the moment. A great time for Ballan. Cavendish is in too, completing his test against the clock. . Cavendish is likely targeting tomorrows stage to Chateauroux. The final stage for the sprinters as we head to the Central Massif on Thursday.

1500 CEST - Martijn Maaskant (Garmin) and 2007 stage winner in the Tour Robert Hunter (Barloworld) are off the ramp as well. Sprinters Gert Steegmans and Robbie McEwen. Both former stage winners in the Tour are off the ramp as well. Bit by bit the better TT riders are about start. Markus Fothen starts at 15.00 CET, Voigt 15:06 Kreuziger 15:08 and Menchov 15:14. so we are about 15 minutes from the favorites start.

98 Riders Have Finished Far. The Current Top 5 Are:
1. Pate Danny 199 Garmin Chipotle 00:36:54
2. Clement Stef 142 Bouygues Telecom 00:37:18 00:00:24
3. Terpstra Niki 157 Team Milram 00:37:23 00:00:28
4. Riblon Christophe 108 Ag2r-La Mondiale 00:37:27 00:00:32
5. Ballan Alessandro 72 Lampre 00:37:30 00:00:35

Sylvain Chavanel has a good start. At the 11 km point he is 6 sec slower than Bertogliati. A current 2nd time at the first time check. William Bonnet (Credit Agricole) comes in with a time of 28:14 which is a current 19th time. Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) is at the 19.5 km check with a disappointing time.

The next five riders to start are:
124. KREUZIGER Roman 15:08:00
125. VAUGRENARD Benoît 15:10:00
126. BOTCHAROV Alexandre 15:12:00
127. MENCHOV Denis 15:14:00
128. GILBERT Philippe 15:16:00

Sylvain Chavanel is at the 19,5 km check and has the fastest time out there. 10 seconds faster than Pate. The winner of the Tour de Suisse Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) is off the ramp. Kreuziger lost 38 seconds yesterday as he finished in the group Menchov/Ricco. French Benoit Vaugrenard, a former French TT Champion, is now off the ramp. Vaugrenard is riding for La Francaise des Jeux.

1513 CEST - The weather is dry at the moment, but the sky above is grey and rain is threatening to be a spoiler for the last riders on the course. O'Grady having a rough time out on the course, at the 19,5 km check he is 77th 2.00 down on Chavanel. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is now off the ramp. Denis will want to do a good ITT in order to improve his GC position and get some time back: 38 seconds lost yesterday.

The 2nd of the first stage Philippe Gilbert (FDJ) is now off the ramp. Gilbert is not a TT specialist but we will definitely see him back in some other stages later on this Tour. Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) comes in with a time of 38'54 and is 54th at the moment.

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) comes in at the finish and sets the new time to beat: 36:52 and is 2 seconds faster than Pate.he lost 8 seconds in the final 10 downhill km, but good  enough to beat the American rider. The next one off the ramp is "the Cobra" Riccardo Ricco. The 2nd of the 2008 Giro D'Italia was one of the riders who lost 38 seconds as well. 

Riccardo Ricco Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

At the 11 km check Voigt is 21 seconds faster than the second Bertogliati. O'Grady rolls in and has the 82nd best time.

The Current Top 10 At The Finish Is:
1. Chavanel Sylvain 181 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 00:36:53
2. Pate Danny 199 Garmin Chipotle  00:00:02
3. Clement Stef 142 Bouygues Telecom   00:00:26
4. Terpstra Niki 157 Team Milram  00:00:30
5. Riblon Christophe 108 Ag2r-La Mondiale 00:37:27 00:00:34
6. Ballan Alessandro 72 Lampre 00:37:30 00:00:37
7. Bertogliati Rubens 172 Saunier Duval - Scott  :00:38
8. Froome Christopher 57 Barloworld  :00:41
9. Backstedt Magnus 192 Garmin Chipotle  00:00:46
10. Moreau Christophe 121 Agritubel  00:00:47

Jens Voigt shook Chavanel's time and set the new standard for the checks.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

South African Robert Hunter comes in with the new 10th time. Hunter almost passed his two minute man, Maaskant at the finish. Ok here we go, next ten to start should light up the top results:
135. Gutierrez José Ivan 15:30:00
136. Nibali Vincenzo 15:32:00
137. Popovych Yaroslav 15:34:00
138. Lang Sebastian 15:36:00
139. Efimkin Vladimir 15:38:00
140. Duque Leonardo 15:40:00
141. Lövkvist Thomas 15:42:00
142. Kohl Bernhard 15:44:00
143. Martinez Egoi 15:46:00
144. Cunego Damiano 15:48:00

For the GC it will be interesting to see what Lövkvist, Cunego and Nibali will do.

The current top 5 at the 11 km check is: Jens Voigt 14:09, Denis Menchov 14:13, Rubens Bertogiliati 14:30, Sylvain Chavanel 14:36 and Christopher Froome 14:37.

Thomas Lövkvist on the road. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) is in with a 57th time, his time 39:10. Roman Kreuziger is at the 19,5 km check - 6th - 53 seconds down on Voigt. Yaroslav Popovych and now also Sebastian Lang are off the ramp. Ricco is at the first time check... 1.07 down on Voigt, not exactly burning up the asphalt is he. Ricco will have to do better today to get his maillot blanc back.

The current top 5 at the 19,5 km check is: Voigt
1. Jens Voight  00:25:05
2. Sylvain Chavanel  00:25:39 00:00:34
3. Danny Pate  00:25:50 00:00:45
4. Rubens Bertogliati  00:25:52 00:00:47
5. Christophe Riblon 00:25:55 00:00:50

Denis Menchov comes at the 19,5 km check. Menchov sets a good pace and sets the 2nd time. 5 seconds behind Voigt.

Jens Voigt comes in at the finish and sets a new best time of 36:19.40 Thomas Lövkvist and Bernhard Kohl are off the ramp too. Roman Kreuziger comes in with a time of 37:35 and is 10th at the moment a little disappointing for Kreuziger.

The GC riders who didn't loose time are to come; he first one off the ramp now is former Giro winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre) after him we will get Cancellara, Zubeldia, Devolder and Sastre. At the 19,5 km check Ricco looses 2,15 already on Voigt.

Benoit Vaugrenard, the 2007 French champion, comes in with a time of 38:54 for 50th. José Ivan Gutierrez is doing well only 9 seconds down at the 11 km check on Voigt.

Menchov (Rabobank) comes in with a time of 36:18 and is 1 sec faster than Voigt new time to beat.

Denis Menchov breaking the early time barrier. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

All hands on deck for the animal himself. World Champion Fabian Cancellara. Cancellara is the top favorite for both the stage win and yellow. who is going to beat him?  Now Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) off the ramp.

At the 11 km check the new top 5 is:
1. Voigt
2. Menchov at 4 sec
3. Nibali at 5 sec
4. Gutierrez at 9 sec
5. Bertogliati at 21 sec

2007 Belgium Champion Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) is off the ramp. About 30 riders left  to start. José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse) is at the 19,5 km 22 seconds down on Voigt. A 3rd time. One of the Tour favorites Carlos Sastre (CSC) is off the ramp.

Our live coverage continues in Stage 4 ITT Part 2

Stage 4 Profile

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