95th Tour de France - Stage 17 Live
Four attackers lead with 5 minutes Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Remy di
Gregorio (FDJ), Peter Velits (Milram) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) as they start
the climb of the Galibier...
Stage 17 Embrun - L'Alpe d'Huez 210 km
Welcome to our live coverage of stage 17. Setting out from Embrun, the race begins to rise steadily for thirty kilometres. From
there, the roads begin to rise first to the Cat. 3 Cote de Sainte-Marguerite,
there are three more climbs to follow , all beyond category: the 22km of the Galibier-
admittedly from its ‘easier side’ - begins. During the descent, the race passes
over the Col du Telegraphe (6km of climbing) before passing briefly into the
valleys. The Col de Croix-de-Fer is 29km long, although that figure includes
around 5km of descending. This included, it is the longest climb in this year’s
Tour, and the parts where the road is going up have an average gradient of over
It seems unlikely that any of the GC contenders will attack here; instead they
will plan to have as many of their team with them at the bottom of the final
climb. The opening two kilometres are, bar one section at 10km, the hardest of
the ascent. The real contenders will survive this as others are dropped – the
final Mountain battle begins there.
19 of the 25 men in the Yellow Jersey after the Alpe have won the Tour – three
more (Zoetemelk in 1978, Delgado in 1987 and Fignon in 1989) came second.
Stage 17 Profile
- Stage 17
Last 10 km
There are also two sprints. One just before the Galibier and one in the deep
final at the ascent of the Alpe D'Huez. Fränk Schleck starts the stage in the
leader's jersey. Freire (Green), Kohl (Polka dot) and Andy Schleck (White) are
the other jerseys.
The unofficial start in Embrun is just given. It will be the toughest stage
in the Alps and it's likely the queens stage of this year's Tour de France. The
official start has just been given. Let the action begin.
Immediately attacks. Seven riders in the attack with amongst others Nicolas
Vogondy (Agritubel). Three new riders in the attack with Euskaltel, Milram and
La Francaise des Jeux. This morning Francesco Chicchi didn't start as he
finished outside the time limit yesterday.
The riders in the break are Remy di Gregorio, Peter Velits and an
unidentified Orange Warrior. The three leaders have 10 seconds on the bunch
which is chasing. The orange warrior in the break is Ruben Perez. Carlos Barredo
counter attacks; still 200 km to go and all the tough climbs yet to come we are
surprisingly off to a fast start. Barredo has been caught bu Perez, Di Gregorio
and Velits still up front.
Jens Voigt chases the three leaders and gets 6 riders on his wheel with
Popovych and Schumacher. Schumacher goes on alone he seems to have recovered
well from his efforts a day ago.
We now have four leaders as Schumacher bridges up to Di Gregorio, Velits and
Perez. The four leaders have 10 seconds on the bunch. But more riders in the
bunch trying to bridge across. CSC comes to the front to take control, the pace
slows. In the meantime a Agritubel and Cofidis rider on the move, the chasers
are Stephane Auge and Geoffroy Lequatre.
1204 CEST 190 km to go. The four leaders
have about 15 seconds on Auge and Lequatre and 20 seconds on the bunch. The
bunch is in action again with some more attacks. Auge and Lequatre are caught.
The four leaders have 36 seconds on the peloton and the gap is still growing.
The pace slows as CSC gains control of the peloton. The gap rises to 1
minute the four leaders are Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Remy di Gregorio (FDJ),
Peter Velits (Milram) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel). Schumacher is the best ranked
rider of the four. The roads are going up. The gap is up to 1.41
1217 CEST 180 km to go. The gap of
Schumacher, Velits, Perez and Di Gregorio is up to 2.04. They are 1 km from the
summit of the Cote de Sainte-Marguerite (Cat 3) Schumacher and Di Gregorio both
have points for the KOM ranking. It's likely that they both would like to
collect the points. Schumacher really recovered well from his efforts yesterday.
He rode in the lead for over 100 km and did the Lombarde and the Bonette alone
till he was caught 6 km from the summit.
Peter Velits is a first years pro with Milram and the current U23 World
Champion. Velits is a good climber and a good sprint when needed. Schumacher is
a first at the top of the Cote de Sainte-Marguerite (Cat 3). Di Gregorio was 2nd
and Perez 3rd. Next to come is the Galibier; more attacks by the climbers
and stage hunters.
CSC has increased the pace. The gap is now up to 3.00. The GC placing
of the riders in the break are:
26. Stefan Schumacher at 22:95, 51. Di Gregorio Rémy 1"07' 20", 68. Peter Velits
1h 31' 00", 91. Ruben Perez 1h 52' 51".
1232 CEST - 170 km to go The gap is up to
3.34 with O'Grady, Sörensen and Arvesen in the lead of the bunch for CSC... the
peloton looks happy to let the quartet go as the gap rises to 4.10 as they are
ride towards the Col du Galibier. They are now in the famous town of Briancon.
The last stage winner in Briancon was Juan Mauricio Soler in 2007. Soler won the
stage after he led across the Galibier taking the stage and the polka dot
1248 CEST - 160 km to go. we are 50 km in
the stage and the gap is up to 4.34. They are almost at the ascent of the Col du
155 km to go, the gap 5.05. Our "Fab
Four" are on the approach to the via the Col du Lautaret; 8 km to the start of
the Galibier. In today's stage the riders will climb about 60 km. A day of pain
and natural attrition. They are now on the ascent of the Lautaret/Galibier. 22,5
km to the summit; hopefully we will get some action in the bunch. We don't
expect the big guns at this point, but do expect attacks from others The f inal
8-9 km of the climb are the toughest, with about 8-9% average. the first part
isn't steep with an average of around 5% or less.
Monetier-Les-Baines, 57.5km - The first
intermediate sprint is won by Remy di Gregorio. they are no threat for the green
jersey of Oscar Freire.
1306 CEST - 150 km to go. The peloton is
now on the Galibier. Four attackers lead with 5 minutes Stefan Schumacher
(Gerolsteiner), Remy di Gregorio (FDJ), Peter Velits (Milram) and Ruben Perez
(Euskaltel) still 16 km to the summit for the leaders. The riders have run into
windy conditions on the climb now racing into a headwind.
143 km to go The gap is down to 5.12 with
O'Grady, Sörensen setting the pace Cancellara sits ready in 3rd position to take
over. Arvesen comes to the front and takes a long pull. Carlos Sastre climbs
comfortably at the rear of the peloton in the tail gunner position. He's there
to bring back any rider that has a mechanical problem.
1334 CEST - 140 km to go. The gap is 5.06
as CSC paces the break. 9 km to the summit of the Galibier and the steeper parts
are yet to come. The quartet up front continue to work well as Gregorio takes a
long pull. The peloton are all together as they go up the long gradual climb
with snow capped mountains rising on both sides of the road. The road is lined
with fans and motor homes.
6.5 km to the summit with the four
leaders working well together. their gap is 5.20 on the bunch which is still
together no riders dropped; but stringing out along the climb as the gradient
rises slightly. Di Gregorio continues to lead the four ahead. Jimmy Casper is
the first one to drop off the pack, no doubt paying the price for his effort
yesterday; it will be tough for him to reach the finish if he doesn't catch a
gruppetto later on in the stage.
5 km to the summit as nothing has changed. I think the bunch will cross the
top of the Galibier together. Milram's Peter Velits leads the escape, Schumacher
follows. 2 km to the summit of the Galibier. The favorites will have to attack
today to get time on Evans in preparation for the stage 20 57 km time trial.
What we don't know is how early they will attempt an escape or if they will
leave it to the final climb of the Alpe de Huez. We both think the attacks will
come on the penultimate climb of the Croix de Fer, with CSC starting its assault
by pressing the front to isolate and tire Evans there.
1357 CEST - 1 km to the summit. On top of
the Galibier the first one over wins 5000 Euros for the Souvenir Henri
Desgrange. Henri is a former director of the Tour de France. If the riders look
down to their right they can see the bunch a few corners down. The break is on
top of the Galibier. Schumacher crosses the top first ahead of Di Gregorio and
Velits. Schumacher wins the 5000 euro and claims the max points.
1405 CEST - 120 km to go, Attack Voeckler
in the bunch, Wegmann, Kohl, Txurruka and a Barloworld rider follow Voeckler.
Kohl is trying to get the points but if he goes on with Wegmann he can maybe put
some pressure on CSC for the GC. The Barloworld rider is John Lee Augustyn, the
unfortunate rider who crashed in the descent of the Bonette yesterday. The
7 riders are trying to bridge across to the chasing group with Kohl. At the
moment Kohl is the virtual overall leader. At the back of the bunch riders
starting to fall out the back.
Kohl, Voeckler and Augustyn are as first of the bunch on top of the Galibier.
Starting the descent - Crash of Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) in the break. He and Di
Gregorio misjudged a turn; Di Gregorio corrected. Perez gets on his bike
again and has to chase like a mad man to return. Voeckler, on the descent and is
alone in the chase now. Crash Adam Hansen and Freddy Bichot, both are ok, up and
riding. Perez is back in front, again four leaders. The gap falls to 4:22 with
Voekler between the fab four and the CSC led bunch. Voeckler gets company of
Txurruka and Barredo.
1412 CEST - 120 km to go Schumacher and
Perez are the better descenders in the beak as Di Gregorio and Velits are 50
meters behind, The four in the break are back together, the gap has fallen to
Our Live coverage continues:
Stage 17 Live
Col de la Croix de Fer, 156km (Hors Category)
L’Alpe du Huez, 208km (Hors Category)
Bourg d’Oisans, 195km
Stage 17 Profile
- Stage 17
Last 10 km
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Break of Four: Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Remy di Gregorio (FDJ),
Peter Velits (Milram) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel)