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97th Tour de France - Stage 6 Live Part 1
By Bart Hazen
Date: 7/9/2010
97th Tour de France - Stage 6 Live Part 1

97th Tour de France - Stage 6 Live Part 1
A bold trio of adventurers  makes their entrance on the stage as the bike mob chases...

Jersey Leaders Stage 6

Maillot Jaune: Fabian Cancellara Saxo Bank
Maillot Vert: Thor Hushovd Cervello TestTeam
KOM:  Jérôme Pineau Quick Step
Maillot Blanc: Geraint Thomas Team SKY
Team: Saxo Bank

Friday 9th July
Stage 5 Live Report Part 1, Part 2

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Stage 6 Montargis - Gueugnon 227.5km
Welcome to the sixth and longest stage of the Tour de France from Montargis to Gueugnon over 227.5 km. From the start Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) attacked. The three got a maximum gap of 8 minutes after about 50 km of racing. Atthe moment the gap of the three is down to 6.26 with 120 km to go.

The riders have done one sprint and two KOM sprints already. Mathieu Perget took the points on both climbs today the Cote de la Chapelle and the Bouhy. Sebastian Lang took the intermediate sprint

HTC-Columbia and Saxo Bank are leading the pace in the bunch. It's the final chance for sprinters for the next days as the riders turn into the mountains tomorrow. I'm sure Cavendish is up to go for another win... but then so is Petacchi and Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd.

Taking a look to the break. Sebastian Lang is for sure the most experienced rider. He's pro since 2002 and started his career with Gerolsteiner. He is riding for his current team since 2009. His best result in the Tour was a third place behind Honchar and Landis in a time trial in 2006. That year he was also fourth in the prologue.

Mathieu Perget is pro since 2006 with Caisse d'Epargne and won the Tour de Limousin in 2009. This is his debut in the Tour; he has ridden the Giro  d'Italia three times with a 72th place as a best result.

Ruben Perez Moreno is pro since 2005. The first year with Orbea before he joined Euskaltel in 2006. His best result in the Tour was a 50th place overall in 2007. This is his fourth tour already. For Lang it's his sixth. This year Perez won a stage in the Bayern Rundfahrt.

Graphic © 2010 Tour de France

110 km to go the gap is down to 5.47. Gueugnon the finish of today is a city in the region Bourgondie. The city has about 9000 inhabitants. It's for the first time in history the Tour comes to Gueugnon.   The start town Montargis has 16.000 inhabitants. The town is called "the Venice of Gâtinais" with his lots of bridges and canals. The Tour has been here four times times in the past. In 1969 Herman van Springel won the stage, in 2002 Robbie McEwen and yesterday it was Mark Cavendish. in 1976 a stage of the Tour started in Montargis and brought the riders to Créteil

In the Giro Donne the stage win went to USA's Mara Abbott. She also took over the maglia rosa from Marianne Vos. yesterday it was Trixi Worrack (Noris Cycling) who won the first stage of the 2010 Krasna Lipa. Worrack was the best over Sarah Düster and Romy Kasper.

There isn't  much happening anything, in a way its a lot like yesterday with the peloton keeping vigilant to not lose control of the gap to our three leaders so they can roll them back into the bike congregation for a another mass revival at the finish.

1515 CET - 100 km to go and the gap 5.31 after 2hours and 15 minutes of racing. It's an up and down parcours today. The final km is very technical with a final straight line of 500 meters to the finish.

The gap of Lang, Perget and Perez is down to 4.45 with HTC's Grabsch and Monfort doing most of the work. 90 km still to go.

Below is  top 10 of today's mountain stage in the Women's Giro. Tomorrow will be the toughest stage in the Giro Donne with finish on top of the famous Stelvio.

1. Mara Abbott 100 20
2. Emma Pooley Cervelo Test Team 01:27
3. Judith Arndt Team Columbia Women 01:40
4. Tatiana Guderzo Team Valdarno Umbria
5. Tatiana Antoshina Team Valdarno Umbria 01:56
6. Claudia Haüsler Cervelo Test Team
7. Marianne Vos Nederland Bloeit 03:22
8. Edwige Pitel S.c. Michela Fanini Record Rox
9. Evgenia Vysotska
10. Amber Neben Webcor Builders Cycling Team 04:00

Papa Kim Kirchen Congratulations
In other news congratulations are in order for Kim Kirchen and his wife who announced the birth of their twins boys  yesterday, Liam and Mika. The boys weight weighed in at  2,9 and 2,4 kg. “I’m very happy” said Kim “I got out from Hospital and I was able to stay close to my wife when my children born.

Speaking about his personal health after his removal from the Giro a few weeks ago for what was thought to be a heart attack, Kim said, "Now I feel better, I’m up and walking and doing all the normal things. The doctors don’t understand what’s happened, they are continuing to study what happened so they understand"

1540 CET - 83 km to go the gap 4:26. Lang, Perget and Perez in front with Lang doing most of the work. In the back still Monfort and Grabsch doing the work for HTC. Our lead trio continue to work well together; getting some cheers for small groups of fans that line the country roads.

Giles Belbin has finished his parcours preview of the second week of this tour that starts with Stage 8 with second week starts on Sunday where week one ended,  in the Jura mountains and first summit finish at the ski resort of Station des Rousses which is followed with a rest day on Monday.

So far  it's an easy going in the stage. Quite warm. The gap 4:10 with 75 km to go.

1555 CET - Monfort and Grabsch are still doing the work on the front of the peloton with about 70 km to go

The gap is down to 3.50. The chances for success of the break go down minute by minute as the gap falls. The stage is tipped as another day for the sprinters with Cavendish and Petacchi as the real favorites having won a stage already.

Hushovd in the green jersey so far hasn't been the fastest; but with a stage win in Arenberg already he is also a contender for a top 5 and to extend his lead for the maillot vert.

70 km with a lead of the three of 3.39 - Normally if the sprinters teams would aim to catch the leaders with about 30 km to go. We can expect them to slow a little so they don't catch the leaders too soon. It may just end  like yesterday making the catch in the final 10 km.

However another scenario presents itself with the final  climb summit where the sprinters and classics riders may attempt to distance themselves by attacking on the time and try to stay away the final 23 km to the finish. For the sprinters who can climb its n opportunity to split the peloton on the climb and lose some of their 'gravity challenged' fellow fastmen.

For a small group of one day men the climb may provide the launch pad for a group to open a gap to deny the sprinters in Gueugnon. I think the peloton will try to catch the riders before the climb starts and avoid having to chase on the descent where a small group will have the advantage...

65 km togo - Gap 3:20. The final 15 km will be very fast as the riders will have the wind from the back.

1612 CET - 3:00 the gap - Race leader, 'Fabulous Fab' Cancellara coming back from the cars after a visit to the team car for a few drinks and a chat with Bjarne Riis, Cancy has his number, 13 worn upside down .

56 km to go - the gap has taken a fall to 2:39. A flat for two stage winner in the recent Tour de Suisse, Marcus Burghardt (BMC) he is underway again and will be back in the bunch soon.

1629 CET - The leaders are on the penultimate climb of the day, the cat. 4 Cote de Montarons. Our trio are attacking the climb. With 50 km to go their advantage is down to 2:05.

 the climb isn't long or tough but due to the distance and the heat it can seriously hurt some of the riders who haven't their best legs today 2,7 km to the top.

The gap of Lang, Perget and Perez takes another hit and is now down to 1.55. Perget takes also the points on the Montargons with Lang in second and Perez in third.

1636 CET - Gap down to 1.45. If the bunch continues like this the break will be caught before the final climb if we take into account the 1 minute per 10 km rule. HTC and Saxo Bank on the front with Liquigas riders moving up to the front.

 40 km to go - HTC with all their riders on the front already. The gap to our brave trio still around the two minutes. HTC/Columbia will  want to see the peloton together for the final climb and control the pace up up the climb so as not to lose Cavendish... Lampre and Cervélo on the other hand  will want to split the peloton and leave Cavendish behind and other sprint rivals behind, or tire them on a fast climb, as Hushovd and Petacchi are more able climbers... the question is: can they accomplish that mission?

Green jersey Thor Hushovd has a mechanical problem but it is solved while riding.

1653 CET - Quick Summary: We have three leader Sebastian Lang, Mathieu Perget and Ruben Perez. They attacked in km 1 and got a max. gap of 8 minutes after 50 km of racing. HTC picked up the pace in the bunch and with 36 km to go the gap is 1.24.

Our Live Coverage Continues in Part 2

Celebrating our tenth year!

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