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94th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Live Ticker
By Nick Bull
Date: 4/4/2010
94th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Live Ticker

94th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Live Ticker Part 1
Eight Riders ins the escape lead the peloton by over ten minutes.... Live Now
Ronde van Vlaanderen

Sunday 4th April 2010

1300 CET - Welcome to the Daily Peloton's live coverage of the 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Race Parcours

Courtesy De Ronde van Vlaanderen 

Read Giles Belbin's extensive race preview and his history of the tour of Flanders.
Official updated start list, here.

1301 CET - At the moment we have eight riders upfront. They are Nicolas Rousseau (Ag2t la Mondiale), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne), Michele Merlo (Footon), Oliver Bonnaire (La Francaise des Jeux), Michael Ignatiev (Katusha), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Floris Goesinen (Skil-Shimano), and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil). They attacked early on in the stage. They current have a lead of around 12 and a half minutes.

1302 CET - Before the race, Phillipe Gilbert said: "For me the favourite is Tom Boonen. Flecha, maybe, he's in decent shape. And there's always Devolder. Maybe Thor Hushovd."

This year we pass over 15 climbs. Their vicious nature, along with the distance make this arguably the best one-day race of the season.

1303 CET - 137 km to go, the lead group have a gap of nine minutes.

The weather isn't as cold as predicted; the sun is trying to emerge from the clouds and there is now rain.

Marco Bandera's fan club and the tifosi wait for the riders on the Grammont.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1305 CET - Small crash in the middle of the pack. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) has thrown his bike to the side of the road. He and two of his team mates went down

DP writer Chris Graetz predicts a Devolder victory today. Quick Step could either play that card, or aid some guy called Tom Boonen - who incidentally appears to be everyone else's favourite.

Belgian Devolder is looking for his third consecutive win here. He rides with #1 on his back, Boonen has #2. BMC are lead by 2007 winner Alessandro Ballan (#191), and he has George Hincapie and Marcus Burghardt (both former Gent Wevelgem winners).

Cervelo don't have 2009 runner up Heinrich Haussler riding, but do have Thor Hushovd as their leader. Philippe Gilbert tries with #93 on his back for Omega Pharma-Lotto, and 4th placed rider last year Martijn Maaskant could be an outside bet yet again.

1315 CET - 130 km to go, 8'21" is the lead.

Saxo Bank leading the peloton right now, working for Matti Breschel and Fabian Cancellara.

1318 CET - Out of our leading eight, Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) is the rider who interests me the most. People will be fully aware of his combative nature, and took victory in stage 6 of the 2010 Tirreno-Adriatico, having been in a breakaway.

I'm not surprised to see a Vacansoleil rider upfront; they must be seething from ASO's decision not to invite them to the Tour de France.

1321 CET - Frank Hoj is now pulling the Saxo train in the peloton. 7'32" is the gap for our leaders.

1322 CET - 123 km remaining. The echelons are forming in the peloton. Three or four small groups have lost contact from the main group.

We have 18 km before the leaders reach climb #3 of the day, the 463 meter Molenberg. Where the breakaway group are now, it appears some light rain has fallen. Luckily the sun is trying to dry it up; I don't have any news on how the conditions on the cobbles.

Mikhail Ignatiev leads Floris Goesinen  in the break.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1328 CET - I can't see anyone from our lead group surviving. Their lead is now hovering around the seven minute mark, as Sky come to the front to help Saxo Bank.

1330 CET - If you're just joining us, here are the breakaway group: Nicolas Rousseau (Ag2R), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne), Michele Merlo (Footon), Oliver Bonnaire (La Francaise des Jeux), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Floris Goesinen (Skil-Shimano), and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil).

They lead by 7:00 with 118 km to go.

1332 CET - Two riders have escaped from the peloton and have a twenty second lead over the field. No names yet - one is from the Footon team, who have that ridiculous jersey.

1333 CET - This looks ominous: the clouds have turned very dark and the wind has increased slightly. Typical Flanders weather.

Michael Barry and Kurt Asle Arvesen - looking splendid in his national champions jersey - are now doing the work for Sky. I wonder if Juan Antonio Flecha or Ian Stannard will fare in the proceedings later on today. I'm surprised to see Arvesen working; both him and Flecha placed in the top ten in 2008, when only half the field finished the race.

Team Sky takes a pull on the front with Ian Stannard and Juan Antonio Flecha. Boonen in his Belgian champions jersey follows. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1340 CET - 113km to go. 6'22" is the gap. Crash in the peloton as they pass through the town on Ooike. Geoffrey Lequarte (Radioshack) and Lars Bak (HTC) have fallen on the cobbles, along with Daniel Lloyd (Cervélo).

1344 CET - Our two chasers have been reeled in. The main field are looking good, as they bring the gap down to 5'47". At the back of the pack, Sebastien Rosseler (RadioShack) is trying to get back on after falling a moment ago.

While I don't expect them to fare well today, Lance Armstrong, Cadel Evans and Mark Cavendish are all riding here today. Their inclusions are surprising; perhaps the first two are here to ride some cobbles which pop up in that race in July. Cavendish needs the miles in his legs.

1348 CET - Another crash. This blocks the width of the road. Sergei Ivanov fell, and Gorka Intxausti (Euskatel) is still on the floor in some pain.

1349 CET - Wow, this crash happened upfront. Adriy Grivko (Astana) - about five from the front of the group - went down and others had nowhere to go. David Millar (Garmin) and Cavendish were also affected. The field are nervous today. It looks like most of the riders involved in that last crash have rejoined. Hopefully there will be no more falls for the time being.

Quick Step are contributing very little to the chase this afternoon. While Sky, Saxo Bank and Cervélo are pulling, Quick Step are thanking....

1355 CET - 103km to go. 4'52" is the gap for the 8 man lead group.

Having commented on Armstrong's notable absence a few minutes ago, guess who is at the front of the pack now?!

Lance Armstrong on the front. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1356 CET - Russian champion, and 2010 Amstel Gold winner, Sergei Ivanov has just rejoined the pack after being involved in the crash. 2 km of cobbles at Varant is now giving the peloton a challenge. Narrow and bumpy; this is brutal. You can see how much movement the surface has on the bikes.

1400 CET - 100km to go. Gap to our leaders: 4'17"

Upfront we have: Nicolas Rousseau (Ag2R), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne), Michele Merlo (Footon), Oliver Bonnaire (La Francaise des Jeux), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Floris Goesinen (Skil-Shimano), and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil).

Right, the main group are off the cobbles and into the village of Kerkhove

1401 CET - David Millar has just rejoined the pack after being caught up in an earlier crash. No news on the Euskatel rider Insausti who fell.

1402 CET - Eventful day for RadioShack's Rosseler. Having fell earlier he now has a flat and will spend more energy chasing up to the pack again.

1403 CET - Our leaders hit the first difficult climb of the day, the 1.25 km Kruisberg. Average gradient of 5.3% - but luckily no cobbles this time around. Despite not being the steepest, six of our leaders are having problems following Ignatiev and Gosinen (Skil Shimano) in the first part of the ascent. The rider struggling the post is Michele Merlo from Footon, but he is just to get back on.

1407 CET - 96 km to go, and the breakaway group lead by 3'11". Meanwhile the peloton start the Kruisberg. This should cause any problems for them, although Kevin Hulsmans had a small collision at the foot of the climb.

1409 CET - FDJ rider Yauheni Hutarovich looks like he's hit a brick wall on this climb. Upfront, Saxo Bank have five riders pulling. Sky are keeping their eye on affairs too.

Just a heads up - we'll move into Part 2 of the live coverage when there is 80 km remaining.

1413 CET - Looks like Liquigas rider Aleksandr Kuschynski collided with a sign that was positioned right on the roadside. He appears to be ok and will remount.

1415 CET - The peloton are split into two groups again, though I suspect the race will be coming back together soon. However, the chase is not helped by more road furniture, which is all over this current piece road.

1416 CET - 90km to go. 2'16" is the lead for our eight man group of Nicolas Rousseau (Ag2R), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne), Michele Merlo (Footon), Oliver Bonnaire (La Francaise des Jeux), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Floris Goesinen (Skil-Shimano), and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil).

1417 CET - It appears the two large groups have re-formed to make one large peloton again. Guess what? It's still Saxo Bank doing the work.

1418 CET - Another crash. Servais Knaven (Milram) was one of three involved. Remember, he won the Paris-Roubaix in 2001.

1419 CET - On a small incline, the peloton almost grinds to a halt at the rear. Narrow roads + slow moving riders = recipe for disaster. Upfront, Saxo Bank have formed a mobile road block. Have they showed their hand too early? Interestingly, only Cancellara is not working.

Another stop at the rear of the bunch. This could get dangerous on the Koppenberg.

1425 CET - 85km to go. 2'09" is the lead for the eight man group. The peloton has split into three groups as they pass through Bercham. It appears that all the favourites are in the first group. Saxo Bank STILL pulling. Frank Hoj and Stuart O'Grady are doing the work on the front. Further back, it looks like Robbie McEwen has been dropped.

1426 CET - With our leaders Nicolas Rousseau (Ag2R), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne), Michele Merlo (Footon), Oliver Bonnaire (La Francaise des Jeux), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Floris Goesinen (Skil-Shimano), and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil) out front with 1'43",

Our live Coverage Continues in Part 2

Official Updated Start List
2010 Race Preview
Tour of Flanders - A History

Related Articles
94th Ronde Van Vlaanderen - Race Preview
94th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Pre-Race Weekend Previews
94th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Live Ticker Part 2

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