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95th Tour de France - Stage 10 Live Part 3
 
By Staff
Date: 7/14/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 10 Live Part 3
 

95th Tour de France - Stage  10 Live Part 3
On the descent of the Tourmalet the Hors Cat Hautacam looms ahead.  4 riders off the front Di Gregorio leads with six minutes. Riders dropped try to regroup with the  yellow jersey group...

Stage 10 Pau - Hautacam, 154km
Stage 10 Profile.  
1620 CEST - 32 km to go.
Valverde is coming back; the gap between the group Kirchen and them is 25 seconds. Dupont, Roy and Duque are 2.14 behind our lone leader Rémy di Gregorio, with the peloton - yellow jersey group at 6.26.

30 km to go. Di Gregorio is in the valley now, 12 km to the start of the climb of the Hautacam. The road continues to descend slightly. Cancellara has waited on the group Kirchen. He is now in front and hammering his pedals as the pace goes up in the valley; gap falls almost immediately to 5.30.

26 km to go Caisse D'Epargne is now leading the chase in the group Valverde, not sure how much they are behind. Di Gregorio has 5.00 on the group Kirchen. This is worrying, they should have made contact by now. Have Caisse d'Epargne put their eggs in the wrong basket? Cancellara and Voigt are doing a two man time trial on the front until the ascent of the Tourmalet before Sastre and the Schlecks have to take over.

Gap down to 4.00 for Di Gregorio; the group Valverde is already over 1.00 behind - bye bye GC ambitions. This is the biggest surprise yet, and we haven't even hit Hautacam yet. The age old formula proven? Good Dauphiné equals a bad Tour? Anyway, it's too early to judge. CSC still plugging away on the front, destroying di Gregorio's lead at will. Down to 3'35". 3.20 for Di Gregorio. CSC is going to unleash all three of their G.C. hopefuls on the coming climb. No gifts on Bastille Day - di Gregorio is suddenly hemorrhaging seconds quickly.

Behind, Valverde and Cunego are at a loss to match the cohesion and power of the CSC led group in front. The group Valverde/Cunego is already 1.40 behind Incredible! They will loose 3 minutes or more and they haven't been soft-tapping either this is a full out pursuit of the leaders group.

1635 CEST - 20 km to go, 3:00 gap. Duque, Dupont and Roy are still in no man's land - the latter has done no turns on the descent, trying to help his colleague. Cancy and Voigt still hammering the pedals the gap falls to 2.40. Duque, Dupont and Roy must be close to being caught.

1637 CEST - 19km to go, Di Gregorio has 2.30 on a motoring maillot jaune group. Just 5 km till the start of the race's first summit finish, Hautacam. Dupont, Duque and Roy are caught by the CSC express. So the situation: Di Gregorio in front with 2.10 on the CSC express. Valverde and company already 2.30 behind.

Indeed, any GC hopes over for the Valverde/Cunego group. What a disappointment for them. Actually it might have been expected as Valverde and Cunego never showed any signs in the past 3/4 years to win a Grand Tour. Not expected - Valverde won the first summit finish in 05 so while he might not win le Tour, nobody could have EXPECTED them to lose 2.30 BEFORE the final climb... OK Cunego won the Giro in 2003 but he had one competitor his own team mate Simoni.

16 km to go, as Di Gregorio is down to 1.25. You have to feel for the young Frenchman, he was powerless against a CSC cavalry charge today. The climb starts in 3 km. Stijn Devolder is in a group with Carrara, Popovych and Aerts over 3.00 down I guess, as he is behind the group Valverde. Kirchen sits in at the back with Andy Schleck, this group is strung out. Gap 1.00 to Di Gregorio.

1645 CEST - Under the 15km banner for the bunch and they are 48 seconds down. Di Gregorio will be reeled in on the lower slopes of this mountain. Di Gregorio is now on the Hautacam, gap 40 seconds; the group CSC express/Kirchen on the Hautacam. Moises Duenas (Barloworld) in that front group Good ride from a Tour de l'Avenir winner. The Valverde group almost 3.00 behind. Duque, Fothen, Cancellara, Freire the riders of the former break out the back as the climb kicks in.

Di Gregorio had 15 seconds, Voigt still hammering the pedals. Cancellara loses their wheels going  backwards so fast; he has a fun 12 kilometres left. He will probably lose 20 minutes by the summit. Bernard Kohl is climbing well on Voigt's wheel, Efimkin is also there. Evans just pops out, about six back - he is well-poised. Andy Schleck in last wheel. Ricco attacks as Voigt falls off the front.

Di Gregorio has been caught. Fränk Schleck attacks - Piepoli responds and counters. Andy Schleck drops off the back. More of a testing acceleration from Schleck, not 100%. Fränk Schleck goes again... Kirchen is gone. Duenas dropped. Piepoli and Efimkin right there, with Evans and Menchov near them. Only about 10 men in the lead group now. Cobo goes on the attack as Sastre reacts. Vandevelde still hanging in there. Sastre attacks...

Fränk Schleck attacks, Piepoli reacts, Efimkin bridges across - three leaders. Schleck took advantage of a tiny lull in the stop-start attacking. Ricco loses contact. Cobo up there too.

10 km to go - Kohl, Evans, Menchov, Cobo, Sastre and Vandevelde are behind our leading three. Kohl attacks - Cobo joins Kohl. Vandevelde bridges up to them. Efimkin struggles out the back. Evans is in trouble! Efimkin rejoins, he looks stuck to the tarmac as he grimly tries to regain the attackers. Kirchen is 36 seconds down on Schleck, Piepoli and Efimkin. Schleck leads under the 10km to go banner. Valverde with a chain problem.

We now have 5 leaders as Cobo and Kohl bridge across. Cobo ramps up the pace - Piepoli apparently wants this stage, is he going to get it? Kirchen already 56 seconds down. The Evans group is 35 seconds down on the quintet in front. A reminder; Frank Schleck is best-placed of the men in front, 11th overall and 1'56" behind Kirchen. Evans attacks in the group, nobody reacts.

Yes, Kirchen is about to catch Evans and Co.. A huge acceleration from Evans! No-one responds. But the guys with Menchov are back Evans is caught. The break has 1.00 on the Evans group. We're almost halfway up this climb, unbelievable action so far. Three leaders now as Kohl and Efimkin are off the break Schleck, Piepoli and Cobo in front. Ricco, Sastre, Evans, Menchov, Nibali, Vandevelde are the chasing group. Kirchen is 1.24 down and fighting to rejoin the front of the race.

7 km to go - Ricco attacks and Sastre takes a long time to react! Nibali is dropped, Vandevelde is 10 metres off the back too, as Menchov accelerates. The rest follow, and Vandevelde is bravely still up there. Cobo Acebo attacks in front, Piepoli doesn't react (of course). Schleck has to pass. Saunier Duval going for a third win?

Kirchen is 1.47 down. Piepoli attacks with Schleck - Saunier Duval have tired the CSC man. Is it going to be a 1-2 for Saunier? Two leaders now: Leonardo Piepoli and Juan José Cobo. Cobo drops back from Piepoli, the Italian goes on. Schleck and Cobo back together. We have a chasing group with Evans, Menchov, Sastre, Ricco, Vandevelde and Nibali. Piepoli has 1.23 on the group Evans.

5km to go - Piepoli has 50 metres on Schleck and Cobo. Goubert and Duenas are back with the Evans group too. Cobo, Piepoli and Schleck back together. From one Luxembourger to another: Schleck could take the maillot jaune. He needs 14 more seconds to leapfrog Evans. At the 5 km mark the gap is already 1.43 between them.

Back down the road to Hautacam, Valverde is really in trouble. He is getting dropped by everyone. In front, the gap is up to 1.50 between the leading three and the pursuers - the Luxembourg guys exchanging the yellow jersey today? The three in front are NOW 2.00 in front of Evans. Fränk Schleck is now the new virtual leader, but falls off the break. Parkeggio, his motor seems to be empty. 

3km to go - Cunego now passes Andy Schleck. Cunego is 4.30 behind the three in front.

2 km to go - Kirchen is already 3.25 down Cobo and Piepoli in front, who will they choose for the stage win, Piepoli or Cobo?


60 meters Piepoli leads Cobo... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Final Km - Yesterday, it was all Piepoli, Piepoli, Piepoli. A first Tour stage win for the 35 year old? or a first stage win for the 27 year old Cobo? Fränk Schleck is about 20 seconds behind the Red Bird duo. Will Cadel Evans gain any time on Schleck to gain the maillot jaune? Both must be near-empty. Cobo is dropped. Cobo has problems  following Piepoli. 500 mt to go, Piepoli waits on Cobo. What a show from Saunier Duval. Two mountain stage wins in a row. Chapeau.

400 meters... 200 meters... Piepoli is almost smiling, he knows that this is massive. and the winner of the 10th stage is...

LEONARDO PIEPOLI!!


Piepoli and Cobo celebrate. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Juan José Cobo is 2nd; they both raise there arms. Here comes Schleck, he is giving EVERYTHING he has. A Luxembourg champion to take the maillot jaune from his compatriot Kirchen?  Fränk Schleck comes in third 28 seconds down on the Saunier Duval couple. Here comes brave Bernard Kohl for fourth...1.05 down on Piepoli.


On the limit - Frank Schleck finishes. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

If Evans finishes at 2'18" or greater, Frank Schleck has yellow.1:30 down with 400 meters to go... It'll be close, Evans might just take his first maillot jaune... Efimkin is in as fifth 2.05 down, Evans crosses at 2.16?

Evans seems to have yellow with 1 or 2 seconds advantage. I think he's saved it by two seconds? Incredible. He didn't look like he knew about it. Congratulations Australia...

Cadel Evans is the new Maillot Jaune!


Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov finish a tough day in the saddle.
  Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Kirchen still battles up the mountain, collecting polite applause. He's had a great spell in yellow. Vandevelde saved Evans to keep the yellow jersey... if Vandevelde didn't work Schleck would have has it.  Nibali crosses at 3.40. Now Astarloza in at 3.57, the best Euskaltel finisher in the Pyrenees. Kirchen comes in at 4:19.

The Top 10 Stage 10
1. Piepoli Leonardo 179 Saunier Duval - Scott 4h 19' 27"
2. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose 173 Saunier Duval - Scott - 00' 00"
3. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank    00' 28"
4. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner   01' 06"
5. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale    02' 05"
6. Ricco Riccardo 171 Saunier Duval - Scott     02' 17"
7. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank     02' 17"
8. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto   02' 17"
9. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank  02' 17"
10. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle  02' 17"

Evans has 1 second advantage on Schleck. That is insane. What a fine stage. Kohl has become a GC danger too, leaping into the top five.

300 metres to go for Valverde, who has regained some energy. Sanchez is now in at 5.22, Cunego leads Ten Dam and Valverde over the line... it's almost 6 minutes. Valverde, Cunego and Ten Dam are now in at 5.50.

I think Freire keeps the green jersey, and Ricco takes both KOM and Maillot Blanc; or in other words the polka dot and the white jersey.

Cadel Evans leads the G.C., Frank Schleck 2nd, Vandevelde 3rd at 38, Kohl 4th at 46, 5th Menchov 57, 6th sastre 1'28, 7th kirchen 1'56, 8th Cobo

More riders finishing: Monfort, Pereiro and Kreuziger are in at 7.02, Sivtsov is in at 7.35,  and Schumacher a few seconds later. The damage is huge. This stage promised much and hasn't disappointed, eh Bart? Phew, that was non-stop action for the last 15km. It was exciting stage, a little disappointing between the real favorites. as Evans did the tactics in which he is damn good, following the others; but in one way for CSC it's good that Lotto has the yellow jersey now they have to do the work at the front.

Lots of men who never set the Tour alight before came to the fore - Cobo, Piepoli, Schleck, Kohl... well, all the main favourites looked to be lacking. They may well come back in the last week though. Indeed it could become an interesting last 2 weeks; but they will have to gain at least a few more minutes on Evans if they want to win the Tour. On that evidence though, none of the big names appear to be that strong...

Oscar Freire comes in 14 minutes down on Piepoli, Devolder is now in at 14.35 Ouch, Tour contender, my assos. Stick to the cobbles for now Stijn. Popovych and Aerts are now in at 16 minutes. Cancellara doesn't lose 20 minutes as Andy predicted but he does almost 4 minutes faster.

The New Overall Top 20:
1. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 42h 29' 09"
2. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank   00' 01"
3. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle  00' 38"

4. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner  00' 46"
5. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank  00' 57"
6. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank    01' 28"
7. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia   01' 56"
8. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose 173 Saunier Duval - Scott   02' 10"
9. Ricco Riccardo 171 Saunier Duval - Scott   02' 29"
10. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale  02' 32"
11. Astarloza Mikel 22 Euskaltel - Euskadi  03' 51"
12. Nibali Vincenzo 67 Liquigas  04' 18"
13. Sanchez Samuel 27 Euskaltel - Euskadi    04' 26"
14. Valverde Alejandro 31 Caisse D’epargne   04' 41"
15. Valjavec Tadej 109 Ag2r-La Mondiale  05' 23"
16. Cunego Damiano 71 Lampre  05' 37"
17. Pereiro Sio Oscar 37 Caisse D’epargne   06' 01"
18. Schumacher Stefan 111 Gerolsteiner  06' 11"
19. Duenas Nevado Moises 56 Barloworld   06' 43"
20. Monfort Maxime 189 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone   06' 47"
21. Kreuziger Roman 65 Liquigas   07' 00"

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of Stage 10. Thanks to Bart Hazen and Andy McGrath for providing the commentary. Tomorrow is the first rest day with action resuming on Wednesday in stage 11, 167.5 kilometers from Lannemezan to Foix. Pruhomme. The course features two category three climbs with the cat 1 Col de Portel summit at 110 kilometers. The final Cat. 3 climb of the Col Del Bouich summits at 145 km only 31 km from the finish a stage where anything is possible from a successful early break or a late attack in the final 40 km. Read Nick Bulls preview and predictions for Stage 11 here.  
Stage 11 Profile.

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