95th Tour de France - Stage 19 Live
Join us for the live action on the road to Montlucon
Stage 19 Roanne - Montlucon, 163km
Stage 19 Profile
Welcome to our live coverage of stage 19. Another day much like
yesterday's stage. With Paris now in sight,
and a time trial following the day after, this is going to be the last chance
for anyone to race away from the Peloton and take the stage honours.
Aside from two early climbs that come within the opening 40km, the roads to
Montlucon are more rolling than strenuous. It is likely that the breakaway group
that decides the race will set its stall out just after the climbs – tactically
making the move is the key part of the race.
At the moment we have four leaders with Egoi Martinez (Eus), Stefan
Schumacher (Gst), Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre).
They have about 1.10 on the peloton led by Liquigas who missed the break. These
four guys attacked on the climb after about 10 km of racing.
The points for the first ascent of stage 19 were won by: 1. Schumacher (GST)
4pts 2. Fedrigo (BTL) 3pts 3. Ballan (LAM) 2pts 4. Martinez (EUS) 1pt we are 40
km far in the stage.
Damiano Cunego didn't start today, having announced his withdrawal last night
after medical treatment and consulting with the team doctor. Damiano crashed
landing on his face and chest received 5 stitches in his chin. After the
consultation with the team doctor the decision was made to withdraw. Damiano
fought bravely to finish the stage after his injury in the first 30 kilometers. Get well
The points on the 2nd climb of the day: the cote de la Croix-Rouge at 42 km
were taken by 1. Stefan Schumacher followed by Pierrick Fedrigo and Alessandro
Ballan (LAM) with 116 km to go the gap of the four leaders is down to 45
There are also two intermediate sprints in the second half of the course, the
first in Chantelle (at 102.5km), the second in Commentry (22km from the finish).
Caisse D'Epargne and Liquigas are working well together on the chase in the
Transfer news: the second French rider who will join Sylvain Chavanel at
Quick Step is Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom).
Yesterday in the Tour Feminin en Limousin - Poitou Charentes started. The
prologue was won by U23 European Champion Ellen van Dijk. She was faster than
Edwige Pitel and her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten.
All the riders in the break have been in former breaks in this Tour. Martinez
was second in the stage to Prato Nevoso as he was beaten by Simon Gerrans.
Alessandro Ballan was third in the stage won by Kurt Asle Arvesen. Stefan
Schumacher won the first ITT and this is his 3rd break the last few days. The
first two were in the stage to Jausiers and to Alpe D'Huez. Fedrigo tried
several times to but without success, gap down to 40 seconds this might not be
his day either.
Other news: Saunier Duval will return in racing from the Classica San
Sebastian. As Saunier decided to withdraw it's sponsorship the name of the team
will now be SCOTT - American Beef. As bike supplier SCOTT takes the honors of
Saunier for the rest of the season and American Beef is the new co-sponsor.
Quick Step in the chase now too with Caisse and Liquigas. Barredo the second
of St Etienne is up front working. the gap of Schumacher, Ballan, Fedrigo and
Martinez is down to less than 40 seconds.
In the fourth stage of the Thüringen Rundfahrt
we have at the moment two leaders with Alison Powers and Loes Gunnewijk. The gap
of both girls is 25 seconds on the bunch. In the Thüringen Rundfahrt both Powers
and Gunnewijk have 42 seconds on the bunch after 50 km of racing.
1453 CEST - 100 km to go, Gap down to 20
seconds. The pace is fast, some riders in trouble following the pace, gap down
to 12 seconds. The four brave warriors are caught by the bunch, the quartet
attacked after 10 km of racing and has been in the wind for 60 kilometers.
Unfortunately for them Liquigas wanted this break back, now they have their
The next one to attack is Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) but he can't get away
(are we surprised?) Serial attacker Sylvain Chavanel on the attack joined by
Popovych but the bunch don't let them go. Attack of Lequatre - he company of
Sebastian Langeveld. Caisse D'Epargne reacts; Leonardo Duque is the next one to
attack. Valverde reacts but can't bridge across. Leonardo Duque has been caught.
The next one to attack is his team mate Sylvain Chavenel. Who else?
90 km to go - Chavanel has 5 seconds on
the bunch... Chavanel has 5 seconds on the bunch. About 8 riders in the counter
attack now - its a no go for the eight. Chavanel persists... Jeremy Roy joins
Chavanel, two leaders. Roy and Chavanel have 12 seconds on the peloton; looks
like they have an pass from the teams to go the gap is 20 seconds. French fans
will of course be delighted.
Thüringen Rundfhart update: after 60 km
of racing Powers and Gunnewijk have 1.50 on the bunch.
1515 CEST - Chavanel has been so
attacking this race, he deserves some kind of reward via a stage win. Today? It
seems unlikely as the bunch freewheel. After almost 80 kilometres of full-on
riding, it will be a big relief. 40 seconds gap. Behind, race leader Carlos
Sastre stops for a pee. It's a good time to go. Vladimir Karpets won the 85th
Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia . For a more detailed report check Fabio's
1517 CEST - 80km to go for our new
leaders, Chavanel and Roy. The gap is flying up, now 1'20". I think we can take
that as a note of approval by the peloton. The gap is up to 2.45. Jeremy Roy is
pro since 2004 with La Francaise des Jeux. In 2003 from 24/8 he joined as a
stagiaire. Roy completed the Vuelta three times, and rode the Giro 2008 as well.
The gap is up to 4.00 already as they cross the Pont Charles de Gaulle.
Abandon Christophe Brandt (Silence-Lotto).
70 km to go, the gap rises to 4:50 In the
front we have Liquigas, Milram, Caisse, Columbia and Rabo all with one rider in
front of the bunch. I'd say the teams are in agreement to finish the stage in
mass sprint and manage the gap to our leaders.
67 km to go - 5'00" for the French pair
Thüringen Rundfahrt: Powers and Gunnewijk
have a gap of 2.44 on the bunch. Gunnewijk is the virtual leader on the road
now. Monica Holler, Andrea Thürig and Diana Ziliute went in the counter attack
but where chased down quite fast. Katherine Carroll abandoned the race in the
Team CSC has announced Fabian Cancellara has extended his contract by three
years to 2011.
Gap falls to 4:28 - Marcus Burghardt sits at the back of the peloton with the
red number. He will still be ecstatic after yesterday's trackstand/grandstand
stage finish... Carlos Barredo, however, is still hitting his handlebars to vent
his fury in coming second...
60 km to go, the gap 4.18. Liquigas and
Milram are doing most of the work. Zabel goes for third in the sprint, and
nobody follows. It will cost him some energy for the final bunch kick in
Perhaps Chavanel is the new Durand? Certainly nobody else has tried harder to
get off the front in this year's race, If we wins Flanders and Tours he will.
He's signed to Quick Step for 2009, so who knows! Frenchman on a foreign team; a
big step; same for Jerome Pineau.
Can Sastre win the Tour? Of course he can. Yes, but he won't. If you look to
the final TT's over 50 km in the Tour of the past years. The difference between
Evans and Sastre was always around the 1.00 - 1.15, so that's enough only last
year was different.
Evans' final TT was very strong, he needs another one of those. It's
interesting. It will come down to pressure-handling and recovery skills,
alongside time-trial ability. Did Wednesday affect Sastre badly? I think Evans
will take 1.50-2.20 out of Sastre, nonetheless making it an incredibly close
Sastre needs a good start - if Evans gets 30 seconds in the opening 10km,
that's it. I anyone gets the Chris Carmichael newsletter, Carmichael agrees that
Sastre can win, even if only by a few seconds. I give him the nod too. Evans has
been tired too with the tactics CSC has done in the three alps stages. And you
know what a yellow jersey can do with a rider? more confidence, morale boost
A Sastre win would perhaps be more popular, considering his Alpe heroics.
Agreed it depends on the start and how much Evans can take there. if it's still
10-20 seconds at first time check Sastre will win. If its more Sastre will loose
confidence or either Evans can too if he sees Sastre is able to keep the same
So, the Daily Peloton pundits are split. Tomorrow will be fascinating, and
come down to seconds to decide the race.
Chavanel and Roy have gone through the village of Bellenaves and are
negotiating a lengthy 200m (in altitude) climb - it's clear on the map, but is
unclassified. 34 km to go in Thüringen
Many don't like Evans for his boring, methodical, tactical way of racing and
apparent whiny personality. Some admire him greatly for his grit and sacrifice
though. Sastre isn't exactly Mr. Charisma to the media either, and he bided his
time in this race till that explosion on the 21 hairpins outside Bourg d'Oisans.
On the other hand, the race doesn't need an exciting winner. Just a clean one!
1600 CEST - 50 km left for the duo in
front. Their gap is slowly being sheared away, now at 4'00" exactly. CSC now in
the lead of the bunch. Seems the Sprinters teams are off the front, they will be
back in the final kilometers. the gap is up to 4.14 as the guys in front
are now threat for Sastre.
This will suit the two breakaways, though staying away is still unlikely. A
two-up break also succeeded the last time the Tour was in Montlucon: Serge
Baguet outsprinted Jakob Piil in 2001. Well, Lelli was a distant third member of
the escape that day. Flecha, Feillu and Wegmann have dropped out of the bunch a
while ago. They are now over 20 minutes behind on the break according to Rabo
sport director Erik Dekker.
CSC don't have to chase this down hard. They seem to be asking the question:
"do you want the win today, sprinters?" With 4.23 the gap they have to
start a chase soon if they want to have another bunch sprint. I would have
thought Quick Step would be pulling as they need a Stage win.
45 km to go, 4:38 the gap to our French
duo Sylvain Chavanel and Jeremy Roy. The bunch need to get their ass in gear or
it'll be an all-French competition for the win.
The Live Coverage Continues:
Stage 19 Live
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