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95th Tour de France - Stage 14 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/19/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 14 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage  14 Live Part 2
50 kilometers to go, the gap of the fantastic four is falling as Liquigas, Milram and Bouygues Telecom lead the chase...

Stage 14 Nimes - Digne les Bains, 182km
1535 CEST - 47 km to go
. The gap is down to 2.20.

45 km to go and 1.50 the gap as the riders climb the long approach over the long false flat 1 to 2% to the start of the final climb. The Fantastic four are fueling up and getting water bottles from their team cars at the moment. Actually the four look good, continue to cooperate and are keeping a fast pace. If they have saved something in the tank for the climb and the race to the finish they may have a chance of victory still.

1545 CEST - gap down to 1.28 for Tankink, Bonnet, Casar and Gutierrez, the Average speed is still 46 km/h, in about 1hour we are in Dignes-Les-Bains. It's an early finish, it may turn out to be the fastest stage this year... but that's good as they have a long transfer this evening.

40 km to go and the gap falls to about 1.00. Liquigas and Milram string out the peloton with Evans and company about 15 riders back. The pace has made yet another acceleration. Bouygues Telecom, Liquigas, and Milram still in control of the peloton as they drive the group through a long flat valley of newly plowed fields... up front the four continue to battle on fighting to keep ahead of the chase.

Other news the penultimate stage in the Tour of Qinghai Lake is won by Jure Kocjan ahead of Jackson Rodriguez and Gregor Gazvoda. Tyler Hamilton remains in the overall lead . With 1 stage to go he has 10 seconds on Marek Rutkiewicz.

The second stage in the Vuelta a Madrid is won by Angel Vicioso ahead of Francisco Mancebo. Oleg Chuzda is the new overall leader. It's a strange week with riders getting caught on doping and former doping users or suspects winning races, perhaps seeking some redemption.

34 km to go the Fantastic Four increase their gap to 1:35.

30 km to go, the quartet has 1:22 and continue to ride with determination... If they can hold on over the summit we just might see the victor come out of this group. As I said that the gap is measured at 58 seconds... well good luck to the optimists up front.

José Ivan Gutierrez attacks in the break. Tankink and Casar reacts, Bonnet in trouble, Gutierrez goes on the others pass too - gap down to 48 seconds. Not surprising as Gutierrez is a good climber/TT specialist.

25 km to go - Gutierrez away solo... Bouygues and Liquigas still in the lead of the bunch. Gutierrez has 1.02 on the bunch.

1610 CEST - José Ivan Gutierrez has 21 seconds on Casar and Tankink and 1.02 on the bunch. Bonnet is about to get caught. Milram is helping now in the chase too. Bonnet has been caught. The gap down to 53 seconds - The two chasers at 31 seconds. The peloton is strung out over 500 meters. Ivan is absolutely hammering it at the front.

20 km to go, The gaps 40 seconds on Casar and Tankink and 45 seconds on the bunch. Casar and Tankink are caught by the bunch... solo leader.

1614 CEST - So the situation is: Caisse d'Epargne rider José Ivan Gutierrez in front with 45 seconds on the bunch. In a few km we will get the final climb. A frantic and fast chase as the gap goes down to 40 seconds. 18 km to go - 42 seconds the gap.

35 seconds left for Ivan with 16 km to go. Buckle up folks the peloton is likely to explode when the catch is made on the climb. Liquigas and Bouygues still working in the bunch. 15 km to go the gap 30 seconds. 14 km - 20 seconds... the peloton has Guitierrez in sight.

13 km to go and Quinziato of Liquigas is absolutely killing the pace at the front. 12 km to go and Ivan holds the 20 second gap. The riders are on the final climb of Col de L’Orme. 9 km to the finish at the summit.

Attack of Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues) lots off riders dropping off the back as there work is done. Counter attacks - Voeckler is caught as a Lampre rider attacks; Gutierrez has been caught too. The Lampre rider in the lead now. The rest are back too. Amets Txurruka accelerates with Barredo in his wheel - Barredo attacks.

1628 CEST - 10 km to go, Liquigas is setting the pace. Barredo is caught too. Cavendish has been dropped. Kreuziger and Popovych setting the pace. The bunch is about 50 riders strong.

9 km to go - Attack Oscar Pereiro (Caisse) Pereiro caught, Evans is closing down lots of gaps on the front. Not taking any risks. Attack Fofonov then Philippe Gilbert but no one gets away.

7 km to go, For the sprinters Oscar Freire is up there for sure. Arvesen leads the pace now. Attack of Sylvain Chavanel. Milram is leading the chase in the bunch. Zabel seems to be there too. Over the summit - Kreuziger takes the points. Gerolsteiner's Kohl follows with Andy Schleck on his wheel.

5 km to go, Chavanel has 100 mt advantage. Columbia now at the front leading the bunch.

3 km to go - Columbia and Milram in control of the front. Chavanel is going strong but the bunch is coming... can he hold out?

2 km to go, Chavanel is caught... Up to another sprint but not with a full bunch this time.

80 meters to go... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Final km, Columbia and Milram in the lead setting the pace. Thor Hushovd is up there too.
The sprint has begun... the pace is not high... Feillu attacks... and the winner is...

Over the line... and celebrates... Vittoria Oscar Freire
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Oscar Freire!!!

Erik Zabel again 2nd, check that 3rd, Leonardo Duque was 2nd.

Freire does good for the green jersey as he extends his lead over Cavendish. Freire takes the first stage win for Rabobank in this Tour de France but definitely a great one.

Leonardo Duque of Cofidis reaches out to congratulate Freire on his success.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Without accidents, Freire is going to win the green jersey in Paris. He will be the first Spaniard to accomplish the feat, which is a great honor for the 3 times World Champion.

Stage 14 Results:
1. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank 4h 13' 08"
2. Duque Leonardo 186 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone
3. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"

4. Dean Julian 193 Garmin Chipotle 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
5. De Jongh Steven 94 Quick Step 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
6. Ballan Alessandro 72 Lampre 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
7. Perez Ruben 26 Euskaltel - Euskadi 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
8. Pineau Jérôme 145 Bouygues Telecom 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
9. Tosatto Matteo 98 Quick Step 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
10. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
11. Florencio Xavier 143 Bouygues Telecom 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
12. Schumacher Stefan 111 Gerolsteiner 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
13. Elmiger Martin 105 Ag2r-La Mondiale 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
14. Lang Sebastian 117 Gerolsteiner 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
15. Pozzato Filippo 61 Liquigas 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
16. Lequatre Geoffroy 128 Agritubel 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
17. Augustyn John-Lee 52 Barloworld 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
18. Froome Christopher 57 Barloworld 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
19. Isasi Inaki 23 Euskaltel - Euskadi 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00"
20. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 4h 13' 08" - 00' 00

Cadel Evans remains in the overall lead, as well no changes in the jerseys. A group with Cavendish comes now in about 3,30 down on Freire.

Yellow: Cadel Evans
Green: Oscar Freire
White: Vincenzo Nibali
Polka dot: Sebastian Lang

Top 10 overall with the alps to come for tomorrow is
1. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 59h 01' 55"
2. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank 59h 01' 56" - 00' 01"
3. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 59h 02' 33" - 00' 38"

4. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner 59h 02' 41" - 00' 46"
5. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank 59h 02' 52" - 00' 57"
6. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank 59h 03' 23" - 01' 28"
7. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 59h 03' 51" - 01'56
8. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale 59h 04' 27" - 02' 32"
9. Astarloza Mikel 22 Euskaltel - Euskadi 59h 05' 46" - 03' 51"
10. Nibali Vincenzo 67 Liquigas 59h 06' 13" - 04' 18"

This concludes our live coverage for today. Thanks for joining Bart Hazen and me today. We welcome you back tomorrow for stage 15 from Embrun to Prato Nevoso. It's the first day in the alpes. During the stage the riders will climb the highest climb in the 2008 Tour the Hors Category Col Agnel in the first 58 kilometers; followed by  the Cat. 3 Colle del Morte, and the final summit finish on top of the Cat.1 Prato Nevoso. Tomorrow the attacks on Evan's yellow jersey will come for sure.

 © Amaury Sport Organization 

Suggested Reading:
Nick Bulls Stage Preview: Tour Course Previews Week 3
John Summerson's: Tour de France Major Mountains - Part 1 & Part 2
Andy McGrath's: King of the Mountains Contenders

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