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95th Tour de France - Stage 13 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/18/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 13 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage  13 Live Part 2
Our brave duo continue to pound away at the front. Over the final climb the gap is 2:39 with 50 km to go. Columbia and Francaise des Jeux tap out the pace on the peloton... can the Franco-Dutch alliance make good their escape to Nimes?

Stage 13 Narbonne - Nimes, 182km
Stage 13 Profile
Over the final climb of the Pic Saint-Loup - former French champ Brard will lead over this one too. Terpstra looks slightly stretched holding his wheel leaving a small gap as his legs are leaking energy. Lang who takes the 3rd spot again ahead of Kohl. We've had a few bumps and rolling hills, but these final 50-odd kilometres will be the flattest of the day.

1633 CEST - 50 km to go the gap 2.30 Still Sebastien Chavanel has his guys leading the pace in the bunch. Wonder why? to gain another 2nd or 3rd place? He still wouldn't be a favourite in a bunch - Freire will be hungry for the win, ditto for Zabel. Hushovd needs one to continue his green jersey challenge, but the pressure is somewhat off as he won in the first week.

Another sprint win Thor Hushovd could be questionable at the moment, as he is ill. He's in doubt if he will be able to continue the Tour. Without Petacchi and Boonen, arguably the sprinting stages have been missing something. To be honest though, could they really have challenged Cavendish? Cavendish has beaten Boonen and Bennati already several times. Petacchi is hard to say but Ale-jet wasn't the dominator anymore as he was a few years ago... a changing of the guard for the sprinters?

45 km to go - gap 2:03, The duo shows no sign of giving up their effort... good thing for us or we would have nothing to talk about. It gets interesting as the first intermediate sprint has to come. Not for the first two spots but for the 3rd one and the points for the green jersey. Speaking of changing the guard, Robbie McEwen has had one of his worst Tours to date so far. Cadel Evans has managed to amass more points than him...

Gap down to 1.44 for Brard and Terpstra. Terpstra takes the sprint ahead of Brard in Saint-Bauzille-De-Montmel. Attack from Juan-Antonio Flecha behind. Juan-Antonio Flecha in the counter , is he going to take the points away for Freire his competitors? It looks like it, the bunch don't look worried. And he does and sits up after the points are collected.

1647 CEST - 40 km to go. In the bunch, Pineau takes his left leg out of the pedal and contorts it on the saddle to stretch it. Flexible. I'd crash doing that, myself. Can we expect in the future that Cav can dominate the way Zabel, Cipollini and Petacchi have in the past? Zabel and Petacchi are better climbers but I think he can do better in sprints; but as good as Zabel he won't become as Zabel won  Milano SanRemo five times something Cavendish will probably never accomplish with his "climbing skills". Potentially, Cavendish can win some classic races too, Paris Tours should be suited for him. Cavendish is still young, but it doesn't look like he can viably improve his climbing that much.

1655 CEST - Gap up to 2:05. Looks like a punishment expedition from the FDJ boys. Here's an interesting blog entry from French hot shot Jerome Pineau. He doesn't mince his words; the most recent entry is entitled: Content qu'il dorme en taule, which means "Happy that he sleeps behind bars". is the address for any Francophones. The gap falls to 1:30 again.

Gap down to 1.22 as the second and Terpstra and Brard are about to arrive at the final intermediate sprint in Villeveille, (155.5km). The peloton is led by one Columbia rider, 3 FdJ riders, and then Silence/Lotto with race leader Cadel Evans in escort. It's now 1.10. They definitely don't have what it takes today. The chase has to take it a little easier otherwise Rabo has to attack with three guys if Freire wants to save his legs for the final skirmish.

Flecha goes in the counter attack again now together with Stephane "I can't stay in the bunch all day' Auge. It looks like Brard and Terpstra are going to roll through this sprint and sit up. Attack from Terpstra. Is it for the sprint or more long-term? Terpstra takes the sprint.  He looks back and continues to keep up his effort. Behind, Flecha sits up while Augé presses on for third. The closest France have to a Jacky Durand, but a lower profile sadly.

23 km to go, Niki Terpstra continues his attack! Niki Terpstra has 35 seconds on Brard and Auge (both Cofidis) and 1.30 on the bunch.

20 km to go, Perennial attacker Augé should try and do it alone now, Brard may in fact be slowing him down. Gap up to 1:42 for Terpstra.

19 km to go, Terpstra already has 1.01 on the French couple and 1.43 on the bunch led by four FDJ. Terpstra is pretty amazing increasing the gap on his own while it looked like he was out of energy on the climbs. Philippe Gilbert grits his teeth on the front. The hard work isn't over yet.

15 km to go - gap 1.20 for Niki on the bunch - Brard and Augé only have 11 seconds on the pack. It'll be the end for them soon. The peloton led by rivals FdJ sweeps up the Cofidis pair.

13km to go - 40 seconds. It's going down the pan fast as Terpstra rides into a headwind. Blood in the water for the sharks in the peloton the gap falls to 32 seconds to brave Niki. Painful to watch as the seconds leak away for the lone breakaway. He's been away for 170 kilometres now. Terpstra is giving it all driving - big ringing it. 10 seconds left - as the FDJ riders dropped off the front of pack after their work is done.

1725 CEST - Attack of Bouygues Telecom as Terpstra has been caught. Last 10k is pan-flat - it's Stef Clement looking for a gap. A national time-trial champion of Holland, about to pass his compatriot. Dutch kill Dutch. He's getting nowhere, as Milram and Liquigas mass on the front. Fnally the prize for the most aggressive rider goes to Terpstra and luckily not to a French rider. Terpstra is already dropped. That was quick. Clement has been caught. Columbia come to the front now. Who's going to be their protected man today?

Crash for Gerolsteiner. It looks like he hit the sign. He merged too early from the roundabout and went flying. Here goes Sylvain Chavanel! Attack of Sylvain Chavanel. I don't know what the Cofidis manager said this morning but this pointless attacks has no sense. The Gerolsteiner's rider's bike has been snapped in half! The Specialized is totaled. One way to ruin a $8,000 bike...

7km to go - Chavanel looks back to see a gap of about 5 seconds. Sven Krauss was the crasher. Better the bike in half than him. Milram leading the chase in the bunch for good-old Zabel.

5 km to go - the gap 10 seconds. Chavanel is down on the drops, he needs every second. Around a tight roundabout, that'll break up the momentum for the bunch. Chavanel is at full throttle flying up the road... marvelous effort.

1733 CEST - 4km to go. Now it's 9 seconds. Milram have four men on the front, dragging him back. Chavanel has been caught, the pace is sky-high.

2 km to go Cavendish is tucked in well, Steegmans and Chicchi also near the front. Fabien Wegmann on the front. Quick Step and Columbia leading the peloton. Ten Dam had a flat tyre just outside the 3 km. So the 21st of the ranking loses time and his good ranking. Liquigas take over on the front, they have three men there.

Final km -  Milram take over, as Chicchi loses the wheel in front. Dean and Cavendish are behind the Milram train... Steegmans is there, in the wind. Milram lead it out for Zabel. Now Renshaw comes through.

Now Cavendish! FOUR STAGES - FOUR


He again came through the middle and no-one could overhaul him. McEwen was on his wheel. 1. Cavendish, 2. McEwen, 3. Feillu, 4. Förster, 5. Freire, 6. Hushovd, 7. Duque, 8. Zabel, 9. Dean, 10. Sebastien Chavanel

... good job by FDJ to finish 10th Over a bike length margin. Freire will retain the green jersey with fifth.

It's simple. When Cavendish hits the front and sees daylight, nobody can match him. Freire probably has a chance tomorrow with a climb in the deep final. He will be a bit sore if he wins the green jersey without a stage win. Tomorrow could be a breakaway day; who knows, perhaps Freire in a break like he did a few years ago with Ballan.

First words from stage winner Mark Cavendish, "Four victories isn't enough - you have to be consistent." Cavendish says about the green jersey. He's STILL not in it. "If I'm tired and get a sniff of the finish, I'll forget everything and go for it. Once again, my team, perfect, perfect job. They dropped me off on the right train, 250 was a block headwind and seemed a long, long way to the line, but I crossed the line first. I was seizing up - I knew I would - so kicked again with 150 to go. "

Stage 13 Results
Narbonne - Nimes
182km - 4:25:42

1. Cavendish Mark 43 Team Columbia  4:25:42
2. Mc Ewen Robbie 6 Silence - Lotto 00:00
3. Feillu Romain 124 Agritubel 00:00
4. Haussler Heinrich 114 Gerolsteiner 00:00
5. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank 00:00
6. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole 00:00
7. Duque Leonardo 186 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 00' 00
8. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram 00:00
9. Dean Julian 193 Garmin Chipotle 00:00
10. Chavanel Sébastien 162 Francaise Des Jeux 00:00
11. Hunter Robert 58 Barloworld 00:00
12. Steegmans Gert 97 Quick Step 00:00
13. Isasi Inaki 23 Euskaltel - Euskadi 00:00
14. Coyot Arnaud 33 Caisse D’epargne 4h 25' 42" 00'
15. Perez Ruben 26 Euskaltel - Euskadi 00:00
16. Florencio Xavier 143 Bouygues Telecom 00:00
17. Maaskant Martijn 197 Garmin Chipotle 00:00
18. Ballan Alessandro 72 Lampre 00:00
19. Förster Robert 112 Gerolsteiner 00:00
20. Casper Jimmy 123 Agritubel 00:00

The G.C. Remains Unchanged

General Classification After Stage 13
1. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto
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. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale 5" 02' 32"
9. Astarloza Mikel 22 Euskaltel - Euskadi " 03' 51"
10. Nibali Vincenzo 67 Liquigas " 04' 18"

This concludes our live coverage. Thanks to Bart Hazen and Andy McGrath our commentators. Join us tomorrow for the final stage of week 2 of the tour: Stage 14 from Nimes to Digne les Bains, a journey of 182 kilometers. The race has 2 category 4 climbs with the Col de l’Orme, positioned just nine kilometres from the finish. Stage 14 Profile

A day good for the long break for the stage hunters, the late attack on the final climb or possibly with the peloton once again led by the teams with hopes of garnering a victory for one of their sprinters. Certainly Rabobank will like this stage for Freire, as will Columbia perhaps supporting Ciolek or Kirchen (?). The one thing we can count on is the day has potential for excitement. Read Nick Bulls preview and predictions for Stage 14 here.  Full results and photos to come...

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95th Tour de France - Stage 13 Live

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