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95th Tour de France - Stage 16 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/22/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 16 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage  16 Live Part 2
Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher away in a solo effort and over the Col de la Lombarde with 9:22 on the yellow jersey group...

Stage 16 Cuneo - Jausiers 157 km
76 km to go and Schumacher leads the descent.

Race Positions (Col de la Lombarde, 72.5km)
- Stefan Schumacher out front
Time gaps in relation to Schumacher
- Christophe Le Mevel @ 2'10"
- Thomas Voeckler @ 3'15
- Group containing Popvych, Voigt, Dessel, Siutsou @ 4'29"
- Group containing Cunego, Szmynd, Valijavec @ 5'05"
- Group with Oscar Friere, Peter Weening, Igor Astarloza, Egoi Martinez Philipe Gilbert at 7.25
- Peloton @ 9'22"

Over the summit at 14:48 Cest The Top 10 At The Summit
1. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) 20pts
2. Le Mevel (Credit Agricole) 18pts – at 2’10”
3. Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) 16pts – at 3’15”
4. Popovch (Silence/Lotto) 14pts – at 4’35”
5. Siutsou (Columbia) 12pts
6. Voigt (CSC) 10pts
7. Dessel (Ag2r) 8pts
8. Augustyn (Barloworld) 7pts
9. Rosseler (Quick Step) 6pts
10. Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) 5pts

Stefan Schumacher on the top of the world. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1455 CEST - 70 km to go. Cancellera leading the Peloton on the descent, Team CSC still have the majority of their team on the front. The bunch is 9.39 down on Schumacher; but its likely we will get some action on the Bonnette. Schumacher is in the valley now. Cancellara flats... he gets a wheel change and is back in action.

60 km to go - 9:51 the gap as Schumacher flies up the valley... the gap goes 10:09

1459 CEST - David Moncoutie who attacked today in the beginning of the stage has a good reason to do so. If he doesn't get any results in this Tour and the rest of the season he won't get a contract renewal. In the meantime the group Cunego joined the group Popovych. On the roadside, Schumacher gets joined by the Yellow Jersey - alas it's only a fan and he can't handle the pace.

Crash on the descent. It's Arnaud Coyot, the Caisse d'Epargne rider overshot the corner, and looks hurt, he's on his feet. Possibly the tyre had come off the rim on his bike, I think he just misjudged the corner. There wasn't really that much of a corner, and the wheel looked shot when the camera showed the team car/bike - because the bike hit that big stone which was the obstacle. Voeckler has been caught by the Popovych group.

1514 CEST - 55 km to go, Schumacher solo with 11 minutes on the peloton... first chaser: Christophe Le Mevel at about 3.00. Then about 31 chasers with Popovych, Cunego, Voigt, Monfort and others followed by the peloton led by CSC... then as you would expect some riders fighting to hang on that have fallen out of the groups. 

Valjavec is almost the new virtual overall leader as he is 6.27 down on Fränk Schleck; the overall the current positions of the riders up front are:
13. Valjavec Tadej  06' 27"
15. Cunego Damiano 7' 43"
16. Monfort Maxime  08' 34"
21. Casar Sandy  14' 00"
25. Siutsou Konstantsin 19' 06"
27. Popovych Yaroslav  21' 13"
29. Schumacher Stefan  22' 30"

Schumacher has increased his gap to 5.00 on the Valjavec group and 11.43 on the bunch. So Valjavec has 6.43 already so he is the new virtual leader on the road.

Alexandr Botcharov of Credit Agricole cheered on by the fans.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The 31 riders in the chasing group are: Popovych, Arvesen and Voigt (CSC), Txurrka (EUS), Arroyo, Gutierrez and Portal (GCE), Hincapie and Sivtsov (COL), Augustyn and Cheula (BAR), Fischer (LIQ),Cunego, Szmyd and Tiralongo (LAM), Pauriol (C.A), Dessel and Valjavec (ALM), Lequatre (AGR), Flecha (RAB), Tschopp and Voeckler (BTL), Knees (MRM), Casar (FDJ), Chavanel, Dumoulin, Moncoutie and Monfort (COF), Hesjedal and Pate (GAR)

The peloton looks a fair size right now, so many riders have rejoined on the descent. However, with the pack less than twelve minutes away from the final climb, this will whittle down again.

50 km to go as Flecha, Dumoulin, Pate and others drop off the chase. The peloton is 12.00 behind now. Schumacher has 3.45 on Le Mevel and about 4.45 on the first chasing group with Valjavec, Cunego, Popovych.

Schumacher is now on the first slopes of the Cime de la Bonette-Restefond, Zubeldia is I think the missing rider in the chasing group. As Euskaltel had two riders up there next to Txurruka

I think Schumacher should ride the climb at his own pace and not worry about anyone closing in on him; the length of the climb is what makes this climb so hard, so his cadence and rhythm is very important hereIf he has over a minute advantage at the top of the climb he can descend into the finish to win. He has good chance to win the stage with a 4.30 advantage on the climbers like Cunego and Valjavec. Liquigas is helping CSC in the lead of the bunch.

Cunego group climbs. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

15:25 CEST - 46 km to go.  Counter-Attackers...Astarloza, Gilbert and Carrara are 7’00" behind Schumacher. Zubeldia and Rosseler are at 7’10". So Zubeldia isn't in the Cunego group. Le Mevel is now swept up by the Cunego group.

20.6 km to the summit for Schumacher. So here we go; can they close the gap to Schumi or do they want to? The chase group with Cuneo et al has started the climb gap falls below 4 minutes. CSC will want to take time out of Valjavec. Gap down to 11.35 as Liquigas and CSC increase the pace. The peloton shrinks as riders become unglued at the back of the peloton the gap 11:17.

41 km to go. Schumacher has 3.16 left on Cunego and his companions... gap down to less than 11.00. its waiting for the first attacks. Cancellara is hammering the pedals now on the front, followed by Gustov and Andy Schleck. This is where CSC will inevitably show their strength; Schleck needs to gain enough time to protect the jersey in the final Time Trial.

Friere has been dropped by the Peloton; earlier on he was out front, showing how difficult these climbs are. Still 18 km to the summit. The chasing group is thinning out too, they are 2.55 behind Schumacher. Schumacher is not going to win this stage that's for sure... the bunch is now 10.20 back; Gustov is now setting the pace. Cancellara off the front. Zabel dropped.

41 km to go, The Cunego, Popovych, Valjavec or Monfort are quickly closing down on Schumacher who continues to resist but looks to be weakening. The bunch is now 9.50 behind. Who knows if it explodes the winner could come out of the first chase group or the peloton at this point.

40 km to go - Schumacher still has 2.43 on the Cunego group, 2.33 now - 9:28 on the peloton. Gilbert, Rosseler, Zubeldia and Astarloza are now caught by the bunch. Zubeldia goes out the back.

1552 CEST - 38 km to go. 8:31 the gap to Schumacher.  It's amazing to see how many of our original breakaway riders have been caught, then shed out of the Peloton. Gilbert, Demoulin, Freire... There will be a lot more, too - the pace being done by the CSC team is so impressive. It appears that Evans has no teammates left. Danny Pate (Garmin) is the latest rider to be reeled in by the pack, and I guess he'll be shed out the back soon.

Fothen is looking strong today, and his help will be invaluable to Bernhard Kohl. I think this again shows how weak - or ill prepared - Silence Lotto are in a GC battle.

1556 CEST - Valjavec attacks from the second group.  He wants to gain as much time as possible, the Maillot Jaune could, but probably won't, be his tonight if these gaps stay the same. Popo up front are they expecting Cadel to join him? It could be, but he was blown out so early on the Prato Nevoso he may not be any help to Evans if they do.

1558 CEST - Schumacher has 12.5km left of the climb. Cungeo's group are at 2'30", and any attacks from this group will whittle the German up front lead away.

1600 CEST - Schumacher leads the Peloton by 7'49". The large Cunego group are 2'00" in arrears. Dessel, Valjavec and Hincapie are working hard in the second group. Voigt is there to mark the Ag2R rider Valjavec and potentially help Schleck if the pack catch this group.

Valjavec has attacked, Popovych, Augustin (Barloworld) Suitsou go with him; Cunego and Schzmidt are dropped following this attack. Valjavec's efforts have whittled the group down to a handful. Gap to the peloton 6:33.

33 km to go. Schumacher is still up front, 9.5km away from the Summit. He is struggling, and our second group are sure to catch him. Arvesen has been caught by his teammates, and takes over the pulling at the front of the pack. I guess he was given the call to slow and wait for his leader.

1514 CEST - Current Situation
- Stefan Schumacher
- Popovych/Valjavec group @ 48'
- Peloton @ 5'16"

Our live coverage continues: Stage 16 Part 3

Stage 16 Profile

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