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95th Tour de France - Stage 11 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/16/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 11 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage  11 Live Part 2
12 riders on the escape with a 15 minute gap on the peloton have started the climb of the Col de Portel... Moinard attacks...

Stage 11 Lannemezan - Foix, 166km
About 5 kilometres to the top for Moinard, and he leads by 35 seconds. Moinard in front, 11 chasers. Back in the peloton riders are already dropping out of the back. Casper and Bichot of Agritubel are among those lagging, as is  Bertogliati of Saunier Duval

Moinard has a gap of 47 seconds 5 km to the summit of the Portel. Oscar Pereiro attacks out of the bunch, is this a first move for a Caisse D'Epargne coupe? What is Pereiro up too actually all alone? Pereiro has already 1.00 on the Evans group. An uphill crash for Carlos Barredo on a tight, narrow hairpin. He looks ok though.

1525 CEST - 3.5 km to the top of the Col de Portel. Pereiro is 6.00 down on Evans overall. He is already 1.30 up on the pack - perhaps this will catalyze Silence-Lotto into a reaction. So Lotto can't give him too much space, and if they do, Pereiro is likely to take the opportunity as we discussed earlier regarding the 2006 Tour

Moinard has 16'09" on the group Evans. Cancellara and Voigt take up the pace on the front for CSC. Behind, Cavendish is unsurprisingly dropped. 1 km to the summit of the Portel as Moerenhout drops of the chasing group.

1534 CEST - Moinard goes over the top, his advantage will be around 2.00 on his former fellow fugitives. The chasing group behind Moinard breaks into two parts: Wegmann, Fedrigo, Ballan and Fofonov are in the front part, 1'45" down on Moinard as they cross the summit. It's now a long, fast, sweeping descent down to Saint-Pierre de Riviere.

53 km to go - Pereiro is about 1.50 in front of the bunch. Have Caisse d'Epargne said "OK, Plan A(lejandro) didn't work, so let's go with Plan B and Pereiro?" These tactics are not exactly conservative though. There's every chance he'll have wasted his energy, and will be hoovered up inside the last 10km. It's nice to see this attacking spirit though.

With CSC at the front of the bunch the gap is up to 16.21-  as Lotto is totally off the front only Evans up there. Not quite CSC express today, more like CSC gently pulling into the station, perhaps they will open the gas in the valley below.

1545 CEST - 1km to the summit for 2006 Tour champion Oscar Pereiro. Moinard pushes hard on the descent moving very fast; his gap is growing on his chasers. Maybe he can keep his lead until the finish in Foix. It would be a great effort for the young French rider if he can accomplish that.

The GC would suggest he is one of the best climbers in the group. It's just how he will do on the 20km run-in from the Col del Bouich to the finish which is the problem. Clearly, he is a fearless descender. Moinard is a promising climber just as Rolland, Pauriol and Di Gregorio. But they still have to prove they can grow and become a kind of Virenque, without Virenque fall from grace.

Transfer news on that note: recently-crowned European U23 road race champ Cyril Gautier (a French champion? Quel choque!) has signed for Bouygues Telecom for 2009. Pereiro is on top of the Portel 14.30 down on Moinard. The bunch is on top of the Portel 16.32 down on Moinard. Pereiro still has 2.00 on the bunch - actually 1.45 as Pereiro was on top 14.45 down. Moinard has a gap of 2.03 on the chasing group of his former break mates.

1554 CEST - 40knm to go. Pereiro is driving hard on the descent... I wonder if he is thinking more about the honor of the stage win or the money prize? He's French. So he dreamt of attacking with 7km to go on the Col de Portel and soloing to victory in pretty Foix since he was 6 years old. I think without accidents the stage win is for Amael Moinard. Because I wonder who is going to chase in the chasing group. The two Credit Agricole riders can set the pace; not sure they can catch the French rider.

Like Moinard, let's not over think this. If he can keep a lead of 1.30 to 2 minutes over the Col del Bouich, then he can think about victory. But there's still 11 strong, fresh-ish riders behind. Moinard his gap is up to 2.11. Perhaps, in a Durandian moment, he seriously did just get bored of riding slowly? Pereiro is losing time, gap 1:50 is he is waiting again for the bunch? Cancellara is on the front leading the descent. it would be a good day for France if Cofidis takes another stage win. And a second French guy taking a stage after shorty Dumoulin.

1600 CEST - Barloworld is really thinning out with 5 riders left in the race. Felix Cardenas is the third Barloworld rider who left the race today. The first was the non start of Duenas due to his positive test and the second was Paolo Longo. Longo had to leave the race after a nasty crash in which he broke his collarbone. Pereiro is still about 1.30 in front of the bunch

30 km to go - Cancellara leads the chase with Evans in escort with his Silence/Lotto mates at 7th wheel. Moinard's gap is down to 1.50. It will be definitely hard now for him to stay in front but you never know. We've barely seen any pictures of the rest of the escape in the last thirty minutes, but it's finely-poised. Still 11 chasers as Koos Moerenhout leads the chase for Moinard. Moinard is off the saddle and accelerating through the outskirts of Foix.

Moinard almost misjudges a corner. He's on the outskirts of Foix - the route goes into it, then back out for the Cat 3 Col del Bouisch, then back in. Moinard is now on the Cote del Bouich. 5 km to the summit. This climb will be telling, He can't afford to lose much more time. 16:23 the gap to Moinard to the peloton. Fofonov leads the chase of the 11. CSC is not closing in on the group ahead.

1614 CEST - 25 km to go. Moinard is still going strong. He needs to try and discourage the chase. That flat 20 kilometres to Foix after the ascent is still going to be the make-or-break moment though. Moinard is still 1.30 ahead of the 11 chasers and 16:26 ahead of the peloton led by CSC.

21 km to go -1620 the gap. On the top of the Col Del Bouich Moinard still has 1.09 on the 11 chasers led by Pozatto, Wegmann and Ballan. Ouch. It's going to be really difficult for him now. Pereiro still about 1.30 in front on the bunch. Pozzato leads Ballan, Wegmann and Arvesen - all men whose names wouldn't look amiss as stage winners in Foix.

17 km to go - Moinard has 39 seconds left now. Oscar Pereiro only has 1.03. His efforts may all be in vain, after all; so called chasse-patat for Pereiro. The gap falls to under 15 minutes as the 11 close down to Moinard. The eleven are still working evenly behind to reel in Moinard. Of the group, on paper, Wegmann, Pozzato, Velo, Elmiger and Arvesen all have decent sprints on them. It may well come down to a well-timed attack, instead.

15 km to go. The bunch led by CSC is 16.00 down on Moinard, Evans in escort with five team mates on their wheels. We now will have a dangerous descent as Alessandro Ballan attacks out of the chasing group.  He was blocked a bit on the descent by the motorbike, actually.19 seconds is the difference. It's a question of time now for Moinard. Vaugrenard accelerates now. Pereiro has 40 seconds left on the bunch.

10 km to go - 1540 the gap. On a long straight road, the break can see Moinard. But they are beginning to hesitate and stop working. Di Gregorio, Chavanel, Vogondy... and now Moinard. Lots of French so-nearlys in this Tour de France. He's about to be caught, same for Pereiro. A nice effort of the Spaniard but no success

1633 CEST - 8km to go - Moinard is giving everything to avoid being caught, but the gap is below 10 seconds now.7 km to go - the bunch is 15'56 down.

Still Moinard persists. They are hanging him out to dry. 6 kilometres left. The chasers are looking around, but the attacks will start soon...

1639 CEST - 5 km to go... Moinard gutting himself to stay off the front. His lead is a mere 6 seconds. Moerenhout on the front now. Attack from a Crédit Agricole rider Fofonov. Martin Elmiger in the attack now with Arvesen in his wheel. Moinard has been caught. Moinard has no energy left as he drops off. Arvesen flicks the elbow, Elmiger hesitates. Now he comes through.

3 km to go But they have barely two seconds. Elmiger isn't coming through, and Arvesen is frustrated. The gap is bigger, but they have to keep working. Norwegian champ Arvesen powers away and looks back... Ballan is crossing the gap!

2 kilometres to go, three men in front now. Arvesen attacks, but Elmiger and Ballan are on him. They all sit up briefly. These dangerous cat-and-mouse tactics... Nobody wants to lead this one out... now Elmiger accelerates.

Final km.. Moerenhout brdiges up to the three. four leaders...  Ballan has hardly seen the front, perhaps he is freshest. Ballan in the attack but others follow Ballan finds himself on the front. They're all looking around. On paper, Arvesen or Ballan are fastest?

Arveson leads for the line with Ballan and Elmiger coming on strong...
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The sprint has started. Arvesen leads it out... Elmiger on his wheel. Ballan coming round... And the winner is... Kurt-Asle Arvesen?  So close, for sure Moerenhout fourth. Elmiger came round near the barriers; Arvesen could have flicked him. He chose not to. It was very tight on the line... Arvesen thinks he's won it.

The Winner is... Kurt-Asle Arvesen

Elmiger throws his bike while Arveson sits up to celebrate the win. Ballan and Moerenhout finish 3rd and 4th. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1. Kurt Asle Arvesen
2. Martin Elmiger
3. Alessandro Ballan
4. Koos Moerenhout
5. Botcharov
6. Fedrigo
7. Pozatto
8. Vaugrenard
9. Wegmann
10. Velo
11. Fofonov
12. Moinard

Yep, just Arvesen. The three crossed the line very close together. That'll go nicely with his two Giro stage wins - the 2003 one was also won in his national jersey. A first stage win for CSC. And he is another rider who wins stages in all the three Grand Tours. Botcharov in fifth; Crédit Agricole failed to use their numerical advantage. Arvesen led through the last, tight corner, and just held off the others from there. A classy win.

Botcharov et al finish... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1654 CEST - Meanwhile, 15 minutes back, the peloton is racing towards the finish. The sprinters will go for the minor points.

First words from an overjoyed winner, Kurt-Asle Arvesen. "Just great. great day for me. It was a hectic final, but everything went well for me. I had really good legs, and that helps. It has been up and down [Arvesen had leg problems], in Tour de Suisse, I was really down, didn't know if I could make it into the Tour team. but I went home, had some easy rides and massage. Then I won the Norwegian championships - the best I felt since the spring."

Scrapping over the final sprint points - Thor, Zabel, Duque and Freire in the green jersey. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Final km for the peloton - gap 1444 at the moment. Hushovd leads into the final corner. Hushovd takes the first points on offer followed by Zabel, Duque and Freire over the line.

Cadel Evans remains in the overall lead - no changes in the top 10 of the overall ranking.

Tomorrow sees a bumpy 168.5km from Lavelanet to Narbonne. A question of bunch sprint or breakaway? Hushovd will be looking to close the gap on Freire, for one.Credit Agricole will want the  bunch sprint as will Columbia I think with  Ciolek now instead of Cav'. It's a downhill last 20k though so Columbia should have the choice of either pair of fast legs in Narbonne.

Stage 11 Results - Top 20 (official)
1. Arvesen Kurt-Asle 12 Team Csc Saxo Bank 3h 58' 13"
2. Elmiger Martin 105 Ag2r-La Mondiale 3h 58' 13" - 00' 00"
3. Ballan Alessandro 72 Lampre 3h 58' 13" - 00' 00"

4. Moerenhout Koos 135 Rabobank 3h 58' 15" - 00' 02"
5. Botcharov Alexandre 83 Credit Agricole 3h 58' 24" - 00' 11"
6. Fedrigo Pierrick 141 Bouygues Telecom 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
7. Pozzato Filippo 61 Liquigas 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
8. Vaugrenard Benoît 169 Francaise Des Jeux 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
9. Wegmann Fabian 119 Gerolsteiner 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
10. Velo Marco 159 Team Milram 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
11. Fofonov Dmitriy 85 Credit Agricole 3h 58' 27" - 00' 14"
12. Moinard Amaël 187 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone  00' 29"

13. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
14. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
15. Duque Leonardo 186 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
16. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
17. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
18. Florencio Xavier 143 Bouygues Telecom 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51
19. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"
20. Flecha Juan Antonio 132 Rabobank 4h 13' 04" - 14' 51"

General Classification After Stage 11
1. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 46h 42' 13"
2. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank 46h 42' 14" - 00' 01"
3. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 46h 42' 51" - 00' 38"

4. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner 46h 42' 59" - 00' 46"
5. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank 46h 43' 10" - 00' 57"
. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 46h 44' 09" - 01' 56"
8. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose 173 Saunier Duval - Scott 46h 44' 23" - 02' 10"
9. Ricco Riccardo 171 Saunier Duval - Scott 46h 44' 42" - 02' 29"
10. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale 46h 44' 45" - 02' 32"

Botcharov climbed up to 18th overall 6.07 down on Evans.

Cadel Evans takes the stage for another emotional acceptance of his maillot jaune with his eyes wet with tears of joy. It's starting to sink in that his boyhood dream of being in yellow has happened.

The jerseys after today's stage:
Yellow: Cadel Evans
Green: Oscar Freire
Polka dot: Riccardo Ricco
White: Riccardo Ricco (Vincenzo Nibali will wear the jersey as he is second in the ranking)

This concludes our live coverage Thanks for joining Andy McGrath, Bart Hazen and me for the live report of stage 11. We'll be back with the official results and Sirotti photos. Read Nick Bulls preview and predictions for Stage 12 here.  

See you on Thursday for the live report of Stage 12. Stage 12 Profile

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