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97th Tour de France - Stage 2 Live Part 1
By Bart Hazen
Date: 7/5/2010
97th Tour de France - Stage 2 Live Part 1

97th Tour de France - Stage 2 Live Ticker Part 1
The break of seven

Jersey Leaders Stage 2

Maillot Jaune: Fabian Cancellara  Saxo Bank
Maillot Vert: Alessandro Petacchi
Maillot Blanc: Tony Martin HTC/Columbia
Team: RadioShack
Monday 5, July

Stage 2; Monday 5th July; Brussels - Spa, 201km
Welcome to the second stage of the Tour de France. The second stage will take the riders on Belgia soil from Bruxelles to Spa over 201 km.
During the stage the riders will get 6 categorized climbs:
•Km 98.0 - Côte de France - 2.2 km climb to 6.2 % - Category 4
•Km 128.5 - Côte de Filot - 3.9 km climb to 4.5 % - Category 4
•Km 136.0 - Côte de Werbomont - 4.5 km climb to 3.5 % - Category 4
•Km 161.5 - Côte d'Aisomont - 4.5 km climb to 5.2 % - Category 3
•Km 167.5 - Col de Stockeu - 3.0 km climb to 5.9 % - Category 3
•Km 189.0 - Col du Rosier - 6.4 km climb to 4 % - Category 3
The last climb is about 10 km before the finish

Graphic © 2010 Tour de France

We can mention that Adam Hansen (HTC) didn't start the race due to his crash yesterday. HTC announced he broke some bones.

The first one to attack today was Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel after 10 km. A few km ahead he got company of 7 other riders namely Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Jerome Pineau (Quick Step), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis). Sebastien Turgot (Bbox) and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre).
The eight got a maximum lead of 7 minutes but after 75 km of racing the gap is down to 4.30 due to the work of the Saxo Bank team of yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara

The temperatures for the moment are 21 degrees. The riders are racing on dry roads for the moment but it seems to be raining at the finish in Spa. The best ranked rider in the break is Rein Taaramae. He started the stage as 33rd at 45 seconds from Cancy. We also had one intermediate sprint already. The result:
1. Roelandts
2. Chavanel
3. Gavazzi

Today's stage is a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Can a sprinter win today's stage? or will it be a stage for a break.

Let's take a look in the break. We have two Omega Pharma and two Quick Step riders. For these teams the stage is very important as it are both Belgian teams who want to win on home soil. Lotto has two good riders with Giro stage winner Matt Lloyd and Belgian fast guy Jurgen Roelandts. Lloyd won a similar stage in the Giro. Chavanel and Pineau -  two French riders in a Belgian team are a \dangerous duo too. Pineau was very good in the Giro winning the fifth stage. Chavanel has proved in the past he is a good finisher too.

Marcus Burghardt recently won two stages in the Tour de Suisse and is a man in shape. Two years ago he also won a stage in the Tour. Taaramae, Turgot and Gavazzi are good riders too. From the break Gavazzi and Roelandts are the fastest.

Chavanel won a stage in the Tour as well in the same years as Burghardt (2008)The riders have covered 90 km now. The gap of the 8 is down to 3.40

Some transfer news Italian Champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) is going to ride for the Green-Lime squad of Liquigas-Doimo in 2011.

1438 CET - Still 105 km to go the gap down to 3.16.  The break is now on the first climb of the day the Cote de France.
The first climb in this stage and the first in the 2010 edition of Le Tour.

They are sprinting for the KOM points now. Jerome Pineau takes the points with Giro KOM winner Lloyd in second and Taaramae in third. One of these three riders will likely get the polka dot jersey after the stage.  Back in the bunch Saxo Bank gets some help of the Cervelo Team

Cervelo is probably counting on Thor Hushovd today. Hushovd who got a third place yesterday has good chances for the Green jersey now with rivals Freire, Farrar and Cavendish not taking any points in yesterdays stage due to the crashes. Its likely that Hushovd can survive today's stage better than someone like Cav'. But a good Cav' can survive the climbs too as he has proved by winning SanRemo.

1447 CET - 100 km the to go, the gap is 3.37 In the Giro Donne its the Giro di Teutenberg. Ms. Teutenberg won today's fourth stage as well, "Teut" won the previous three stages too. Kirsten Wild took 2nd and Shelley Evans third. Teutenberg is amazing as she already has 19 or 20 wins this season.

The eight. Chavanel, Pineau, Lloyd, Roelandts, Turgot, Gavazzi, Burghardt and Taaramae are working well together. The gap stays equal around the 3.30

1456 CET - The skies are dark and cloudy. The past days it was warm and temperatures above 30 and even above 35 degrees. Today is around 21-22 degrees and some typical summer thunderstorms to be expected. From tomorrow and wednesday the temperatures will go up again if we believe the weather girls.

 We now see the bothers Schleck in the lead of the bunch. Andy in the lead followed by Fränk. Do they have plans to attack on the Rosier or on the Stockeu to try to make up some time on Armstrong and Contador?

If the weather turns bad, it could present an opportunity to split the peloton and gain an advantage on their rivals... it's also not a day to be caught out of the front because of a crash or split... the weather will certainly be upping the nervousness in the pack.  

 yep. its not an easy stage. GC riders have to pay attention as there is always a possibility that riders like Vinokourov and other "classic" riders will attack in the final.

1500 CET - 90 km to go,  the gap 3.22 1 km to the second intermediate sprint. The second sprint is won by Jurgen Roelandts. Turgot in second and Pineau third. Roelandts now has won both intermediate sprints.  Roelandts was 10th in yesterdays stage with collecting these points he is doing a good job for the green jersey for now.

1507 CET - Its starting to rain. With the warm weather of the past days the roads can become very slippery and dangerous. Its not raining hard yet but the first drops are coming down to earth. Yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara is returning in the bunch. Not sure what happened if he had a mechanical or something. He came back alone without any teammates.

 The gap of the break is down to 3.06. Tomorrow will be another exciting stage with the cobbles to come on another "classics" style stage.  Most of the riders probably have never seen a cobble like the ones in Paris Roubaix before. It will be for sure another exciting day in the saddle and we think that a few of the GC riders will loose time

 78 km to go - the gap is down to 2.55. Vinokourov is eager to win today's stage or tomorrow stage as his "friend" the president of Kazachstan will celebrate his birthday. it would be a nice birthday present for him and the Astana (the capital of Kazachstan) team.

 The riders are now on the Cote de Fillot, at the 128.5 km marker;i s is a 3.9 km long Cat 4 climb averaging 4.5%. Omega Pharma team captain Jurgen Van den Broeck punctured but has been brought back by three teammates

Almost on the top of the Filot. 500 meters to the top... Taaramae, Pineau and Lloyd sprinting again for the points - Pineau takes the points again . Taaramae 2nd and Lloyd third. I believe the KOM jersey will be Pineau's after today's stage if he continues like this on the next climbs.

 The RadioShack team is coming to the front, displacing the Cervelo team. We see Popovych, Paulinho, Klöden and Horner surrendering "The Boss" 

Yesterday Andre Greipel won the first stage in the Tour of Austria. Today was the second stage with finish on top of the Kitzbuhler Horn. The win in the stage went to Riccardo Ricco. Ricco won very convincingly. He had a 58 seconds gap on Emanuele Sella and Sergio Pardilla.  Possoni, Augustyn, Machado, Gusev, Denifl and Ovechkin finished fourth to ninth, in that order.

 1534 CET - Back to the Tour.67 km to go and th gap 2.27. They are now on the third climb of the day the Côte de Werbomont  at Cat. 4, 4.5 km climb of 3.5 %.

 We have a crash in the bunch with Anthony Charteau (BBOX) and a rider of Caisse D'Epargne but all are back in the saddle,

In the Tour of Austria Ricco is also the new overall leader. Sella and Pardilla 2nd and 3rd overall. 500 meters to the top of the Werbomont. Pineau for the third time as first on the top. Taaramae again 2nd and Lloyd again third.

Cervelo, RadioShack, Liquigas and Saxo Bank on the front - It's raining a little harder now in the Ardennes. Alessandro Petacchi in front of the bunch too, Petacchi is someone who can survive the climbs here and later in the tour and can become a serious contender for green if he is willing to reach Paris.

1544 CET - 63 km  to go, We will be moving into part two of our live ticker soon. The riders have done three of the six climbs. The remaining three climbs are:
161.5 km - Côte d'Aisomont - 4.5 km climb to 5.2 % - Category 3
167.5 km - Col de Stockeu - 3.0 km climb to 5.9 % - Category 3
189 km - Col du Rosier - 6.4 km climb to 4 % - Category 3

 60 km to go -  to Spa and the gap of the eight Chavanel, Pineau, Lloyd, Roelandts, Gavazzi, Burghardt, Taaramae and Turgot is 2.22.

1549 CET - Gap down to 2:05, our leaders continue to work well togehter. In sports Spa is very famous from the Formula One Grand Prix and other race events on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.

Gap goes under 2 minutes as Another crash happens in the bunch due to the wet descent.  Simon Spilak, Julian Dean, Sebastian Lang, Jurgen Vandenbroeck, Mickael Delage and a bunch of other riders went down. Delage seems to be the worst off getting medical attention now after bouncing off a metal road barrier.

Delage has wounds all over his face, I guess the French rider will be the next abandon. Due to the crash the bunch has broke into two parts... Liquigas, Saxo Bank and RadioShack on the front.

55 km to go the gap down to 1.50 - Bunch two is coming back; as the first bunch is "waiting". The GC guns are all in front. Andy Schleck, Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador all three are riding next to each other. "Stay in front and avoid trouble is the job today.

1556 CET - Gap down to our 8 leaders 1.37. Abandon Mickael Delage after his nasty crash. One rider less for Omega Pharma/Lotto.

52 km to go, gap down to 1.18. Sylvain Chavanel took a slight advantage on his break companions...  Chavanel is not going full power but the others can't close the gap right now.

Our Live Coverage Continues in Part 2

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