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93rd Tour de France - Stage 13 Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 7/15/2006
93rd Tour de France - Stage 13 Live Coverage

93rd Tour de France - Stage 13 Live Coverage

Stage 13 Béziers and Montélimar 230 km
This one probably would be a day for the sprinters in most years, but the way things are going, who knows? It has five Cat 4 climbs in the 230 km between Béziers and Montélimar, and while the sprinters could get motivated and chase everything down, it could also be a day where the frisky opportunists who are over a half hour behind on GC will give it everything for a breakaway win. The two successive Cat 4 climbs in the final 35 km could serve as a launching pad for the winner of the day.
Todays Map or the parcours
Race Profile

Here is the poem of the day from Dancing on the Pedals: The Found Poetry of Phil Liggett, the Voice of Cycling by Doug Donaldson and Phil Liggett.

Their job now is very simple:
You race to the limit of your ability.
When you can’t do any more,
you get out
of the way.
Stage 13, 2002

1444 CEST – 100 km left. On this longest stage of the Tour, a breakaway of five men has gotten away and looks to me like it will stay away. Jens Voigt (CSC), Oscarp Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne), Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), and Andriy Grivko (Team Milram) have a lead of 19:37 over the very apathetic peloton.

The peloton is going through the feed zone at a very slow and careful pace. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is near the back and gets his bag of fuel. The Phonak guys are nominally on the front of the pack, but they clearly are not motivated to chase hard and waste their energy today. Floyd Landis in his Yellow Jersey fiddles with his food behind his boys.

1500 CEST – 89 km left. The gap of the five leaders is up to 19:50. Jens Voigt is a very popular guy. He's just a big, bad man on a bike. He's the kind of guy who will attack all day long and give it his all. He won a Tour stage in 2001, but he spends a lot of time off the front of this race. He has won a lot of races in his career (almost 40), and for someone who is not a sprinter or a GC man, that is a lot. He also wore the Yellow Jersey in last year's Tour. Jens is one of those guys who will risk everything on an attack instead of just sitting in the peloton to play it safe. He also got into the first long break yesterday that was eventually reeled in.

1516 CEST – 75 km left. The gap is up to 21:30. The peloton really doesn't care today. Will the peloton ever raise the pace? Chavanel is also a guy who has won a lot, 14 races in his career including the Tour of Belgium and Four Days of Dunkerque. He really came to prominence a few years back in Paris-Nice, where he got a high GC placing and attacked like crazy all race. He's currently 64th on GC at 37:06, but this stage will move him way up.

Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel), yesterday's hero, rides up along the peloton with his jersey bulging with bottles. What a guy. Pereiro is the man in this break who is highest up the GC: he is 46th at 28:50. They will have to raise the pace in the peloton soon, or he will climb up a little too high. Pereiro is a GC threat who has had a subpar Tour so far. He won a Tour stage last year (Stage 16), and he was the man who George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) came around and beat at the top of the climb on Stage 15 last year.

1533 CEST - 67 km left. The break rolls on, and so do the thrills in today's Tour de France. Wow, 67 km of pure awesome to go. Maybe these guys in the break will start attacking each other? Well, that will probably happen on the last climbs a ways down the road still. Little Tommy Voeckler smiles charmingly in the bunch. Voeckler, in need of some help from the medical car... Headache?

Voeckler commented on his crazy attack a couple of days ago on the big mountain stage. He eventually lost over a half hour on the day after he couldn't maintain his attack. He said later that he would rather attack like crazy and fail then just sit comfortably in the bunch and do nothing. You have got to love that mentality as a fan. It's a hot one today. The Phonak team sets the pace in the peloton, jerseys flapping. Floyd looks like the king.

Grivko of Milram is not a big winner: he has only won one race in his career, and that was a time trial championship of the Ukraine. He is really a hard rider who usually helps chase down breaks and do leadouts for sprinters like Zabel and Petacchi. Well, Floyd says hi to the TV camera and Phonak starts to raise the pace a little. Stuey O'Grady smilingly talks into his radio, and loads up on bottles at his team car. Not surprisingly, we now get some helicopter shots of some castles to help liven up this stage. ?

Every time they show the rear of the peloton, it says Arierre de la peloton, and I see Derierre de la peloton. How awesome would it be if it actually said that? Oscar Freire brings up the Derriere de la Peloton...

1550 CEST - 53 km left. Phonak wouldn't mind if Pereiro took over Yellow, it seems. The peloton is now over 26:behind the break. Yawn. The peloton gives a little jump of surprise, then relaxes...
The fifth man in the break is Manuel Quinziato. The Italian from Liquigas never won a pro race heading into this season. He's come close: he was 2nd in a stage of the Tour de Georgia in 2005, and he was 2nd in the Italian time trial championships in 2003.


Todays Map of the parcours
Race Profile

coming up at:
195.5 km Côte de Saint-Maurice d'Ibie - 1.1 km climb to 4.6 % - 4 Category
205 km Côte de Villeneuve de Berg - 1.8 km climb to 5.3 % - 4 Category

1612 CEST - 41 km left. The gap of the breakaway is now 27 minutes. Only another 1:50 will be necessary for Pereiro to take over the Yellow Jersey.  The two leaders are heading into the final two Cat 4 climbs of the day. This could see some attacking in the break, most likely from Pereiro who is not a good sprinter at all.

All the Phonak guys are on the front of the peloton still. They don't look too bothered yet; they're using a well known British tactic and boring their rivals into submission.

By the way, Pereiro took 2nd at the first intermediate sprint of the day and 1st at the second intermediate sprint. Hope that wasn't too confusing of a sentence. At any rate, he's picked up 10 in time bonuses on the road. If he gets a placing in the top three at the finish, it could effect the GC race. He's that close to Yellow right now.

The break is 27:43 now. This breakaway could cause some changes in the Teams competition too. T-Mobile leads that competition right now, and CSC is 5th at 7: 52. With Voigt in this break, CSC could pass T-Mobile. Pereiro leads the break up the climb. He's pushing the pace because they are now 28:up on the peloton, and he's just a Garzelli-hair away from the GC lead on the road.

16:26 CEST - Phonak is playing chicken with the other teams in the peloton. How big of a gap can they give this break before somebody else comes up to help chase? Will Rabobank or T-Mobile or Davitamon-Lotto or even Gerolsteiner come up to help? too bad Hink didn't get into this break, sigh;  he got into the Voigt break yesterday, but that got chased. Grivko has a chain problem and needs a bike change in the break.

1633 CEST - 28 km left. Alexandre Bullwinkle Moos brings his Phonak mates at the front of the peloton some water bottles. They have kept the lead of the break at 28', which means that Pereiro is still just out of Yellow. The five men in the break still taking turns and working well together heading up the final climb. So no attacks yet. It must still be too far out for one of them to think he can make it to the finish solo.

Here goes Grivko! He attacks on cue, eh? Grivko is a strong time trialist, and he would be good solo. But Voigt and Pereiro are also good time trialists. Voigt drags it all back together. Voigt's pace making has dropped Grivko.
They are over the top of the climb now, and the four men still left in the break are back to working together. Grivko has 25km to go, he's chasing now. Voigt takes the sprint points.

Grivko is about 15 behind the four leaders. Maybe that attack of his on the climb wasn't such a good idea. Meanwhile, the peloton has brought the gap down to 27:30. Grivko's gamble has not paid off for him -- he's still chasing hard, and looks strained.

Oh Petacchi, where art thou? The sprinters:teams seem to have lost their will to race. They sit in the pack and bicker like Soviet-era housewives in a bread line. If Petacchi were here, the Milram boys would help chase and get this all sorted. Because Boonen has lost his confidence and won diddly squat as far as stages, his team won't work any more.

McEwen's team already has three stage wins and the Green Jersey, and Davitamon-Lotto has a legitimate podium threat in Evans, so they have every incentive not to waste energy on stages like this. The same is true of Rabobank, who can't waste time chasing for Freire because they have to save their bullets to help Menchov. The teams leave the chase in the hands of Phonak... perhaps to soften up the Floyd's support for the Alps stages to come.

1647 CEST - 17 km left. Well, poor Grivko is over 30 back now, so he's pretty much toast at this point. The peloton, still led only by Phonak (because everyone else is too busy exchanging recipes), has closed the gap to under 27'. 

Chavanel attacks, Quinziato goes with him...Now Voigt is accelerating trying to close it down. Pereiro is sitting on Voigt. Pereiro finally pulls through to help Voigt chase, and the break is back together. You know, Pereiro isn't much of a sprinter, but he got his stage win last year by jumping out from a small group near the finish. Voigt squirts water into the holes in his helmet, and looks over his shoulder... They're working together now, but not for long.

10 km to go: Now these four men are RACING (take note, men left in the peloton), They are giving each other the evil eye and settling into another uneasy paceline. Voigt looks antsy. He's waiting for his moment as the break begins to increase the gap over the apathetic peloton.
Quinziato is in the deep end of the pool with these three men. They are all winners, though Voigt is the biggest winner (and most dangerous in this kind of break). Quinziato must wonder how he got in here with these hammers.

1700 CEST - 6 km left. So Pereiro won't get Yellow, but he'll be well up on GC with this break. The four leaders, Pereiro, Voigt, Chavanel, and Quinziato, are working together warily. Quinziato raises the pace a bit and then backs off under the 5 km banner. Now Voigt attacks across a bridge! Chavanel marks him, and it's all sitting up and glaring again in the break.

3 km left. Chavanel and Quinziato are in trouble, dying to try to catch back on. Pereiro won't pull through -- Voigt drives the pace. Pereiro pulls through finally. Chavanel and Quinziato are not working well together to chase. They are going to miss out unless they get it in gear. Voigt and Pereiro pull further away... Chavanel attacks Quinziato to try to bridge alone to Pereiro and Voigt.

Final Km Voigt attacks!! He's dropped a WHOLE BAG OF HAMMERS AT LAST! He goes at 800 meters. Pereiro is struggling! No, Pereiro has caught him! Cat & mouse! Who's going to lead out?
They sit up and chat, with only a few hundred meters left.

Voigt goes again. Voigt wins it!!!!!

Jens Manly Man Voigt drops that WHOLE bag of hammers, and beats the extremely tough and cagey Pereiro. A great ride by those two men today. Chavanel 3rd, Quinziato 4th. Now we wait for about an hour while the lazy peloton meanders slowly to the line. Apparently the Phonak tactic has worked as the sprinter teams have fallen a sleep. A local third grader on a big wheel attacks the peloton and gets a gap.

Voigt is winded, but he looks satisfied. Voigt was just too strong at the end. Pereiro will have to be happy with climbing back up into the top ten on GC.

1710 CEST - Rabobank has came to the front finally to help bring down the gap in the peloton. Phonak and Lampre also have a few men up there. Strange to say that is only Voigt's 2nd stage victory in the Tour. He's been a force in so many breaks over the years. Sad to say that the peloton has rolled over and snored itself in submission, and only now is stirring itself to action.

20 big km to go for the slow pokes in the peloton. Voigt pumped his fist in the air with the Skoda sign in the background, his sunglasses hiding only some of his angry and happy shout of victory. Meanwhile, in the peloton, guys are putting thier arms around each other and chatting.

A snooze alarm goes off one more time in the pack; but a sprinter raises a slow moving arm to put it back on snooze again, I need another 5 minutes rest please. Landis chats with Commesso of Lampre. Floyd is probably asking, Where the heck have you guys been all day? All the guys in that break went down swinging, even Grivko. He attacked, and then got dropped by the counter. At least he gave it a go.

Floyd Landis is in third position behind a Rabobank duo with Lampre's Ballan on his wheel. We may see an attack at for what's left of the sprint points and glory if the sprint teams don't kick up the pace. Then again the sprinters are already thinking about Alp de Huez at this point... that might put me to sleep too.

They're interviewing Voigt now, and he's speaking German, but he talks really fast, and with 100% self-assurance. He is just LAYIN:IT OUT.

The sprinters will fight out the final few kilometers for the leavings, to sort out the points competition a bit. 17 minutes have elapsed, and nobody is leading the peloton any more. Rabobank isn't pulling, Phonak isn't pulling. Pereiro may get Yellow yet! Wow, the peloton has devolved into the bickering Soviet-era bread line housewives again.

10 km of fierce bike racing to go today... the action is INTENSE! Phonak is at the front of the peloton, but they aren't putting out any watts. They have this, well, screw you guys look on their faces.

So 20 minutes have passed. The peloton is still a long way from the line. Okay, I think Pereiro is going to be in Yellow after this stage. And you know what? He deserves it! He rode like an attacking professional bike racer today. Back in the peloton the boys are discussing their favorite bar-b-que recipes for warm summer days like this.

Jens Voigt says that his team was desperate for good news, and says that this win saves his season and his Tour. He says that he is very happy with how this stage worked out. Voigt says that he told Pereiro, if you want the Yellow Jersey, you have to work with me in the finishing kilometers. He said that he thought Pereiro was really tired and did what he could.

17:30 CEST. The fans along the road are cheering, but it could be sarcastic. Hard to tell. Jeez, the peloton might come in outside of the official elimination time. Wouldn't that be interesting? They won't eliminate the whole peloton, but it must be tempting on a day like this. They're tooling along on pace for a typical Sunday Pub run. So the question now is, how big of a lead on GC will Pereiro have by the end of the day? 26 minutes have passed, and they still have a few kilometers to go in the peloton.

At 3 km left for the peloton, 26:45 have passed since Pereiro and Voigt hit the finishing line. Lampre move to the front of affairs and the Peloton strings out. Boonen puts down his beer and decides to follow his leadout to the finish line.

Quick Step leads it out, and he comes through... Bennati looks in good position. Here comes McEwen... McEwen wins it, beating Boonen, who put his head down in frustration.

So Pereiro is in Yellow, and McEwen takes 6th place and increases his Green Jersey lead. Voigt laughs and congratulates Pereiro.

Stage 13 results:
1. Jens Voigt (CSC)
2. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
3. Sylvain Chavanel @ 40
4. Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) @ 40
=========== 6:00 ===========
5. Andy Grivko (Team Milram) @ 6:24
=========== 29:57 ===========
6. Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) @ 29:57
7. Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux) @ 29:57
8. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) @ 29:57
9. Carlos da Cruz (FDJeux) @ 29:57
10. Arnaud Wile E. Coyot (Cofidis) @ 29:57.

1. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
2. Floyd Landis (Phonak) @ 1:29
3. Cyril Dessel (AG2r-Prevoyance) @ 1:37

4. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) @ 2:30
5. Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) @ 2:46
6. Carlos Sastre (CSC) @ 3:21
7. Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) @ 3:58.

This concludes our live coverage, thanks for joining us today. Discuss the race and cycling with Tifosi from around the world in the  Daily Peloton Chat Room.
Comment and debate cycling topics, race tactics and your favorite riders on the Daily Peloton Forums.
Full official results and  photos to follow.

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