No comments yet - Leave a comment
- - CONTADOR IN YELLOW BY EIGHT SECONDS!! OVERALL TIME STANDINGS
16:10 - VICTORY FOR VOECKLER!! He kisses his shirt as he crosses the line 70 seconds ahead of Alessandro Ballan who outsprints Aitor Perez for second place. Menchov, Sanchez and Contador are in an eight-man group that comes over the line at 2:50 with Schleck at 3:29. Full stage result
2km - The last Frenchman to win a Tour de France stage while wearing the National Champion jersey was Jacky Durand in 1994.
4km - Bbox–Bouygues is set to become the 11th team to win a stage in the 2010 Tour de France.
6km - The gap from Contador to Schleck is 27 seconds. The yellow jersey now has Vino for company.
8km - Voeckler almost comes a cropper on the descent but he still leads by 1:30.
10km - 23 seconds is the difference with Van Den Broeck following Schleck down the mountain.
15km - Voeckler goes under the 15km kite with a 1:30 lead over Ballan-Perez. Sanchez is a demon downhill and is leading Contador on the descent, they have opened up their advantage to 34 seconds. The defending champion in virtual yellow.
20km - A long, rapid descent before 3km of flat roads on the run-in to the finish in Bagneres de Luchon.
21km - At the summit, Contador-Sanchez-Menchov have a 26 second advantage over Schleck. Can he make up time on the descent?
22km - Schleck is working his way through the field and has reduced the deficit to 24 seconds.
22km - Contador steps on the pedals with Sanchez and Menchov in tow. Schleck has lost 29 seconds.
22km - Schleck attacks but then loses his chain!!
22km - No-one is wanting to take up the pace making and that has allowed a re-group with 10 riders coming up from behind including Leipheimer, Gesink, Rodriguez and Gadret.
23km - Schleck, Contador, Sanchez, Menchov and Van Den Broeck - the top five on GC have broken clear.
24km - Paolo Tiralongo has gone but Daniel Navarro and Vino are still flanking the defending champion…..and now Schleck hits the front!!
25km - Voeckler's advantage is now out to 48 seconds. Cadel Evans and Carlos Sastre at the back of the peloton which has a heavy Astana presence lurking just behind Schleck, Contador has three team-mates around him.
26km - 39 seconds is the advantage now for Voeckler. Chris Anker Sorensen is the only Saxo Bank rider left with Schleck in a 30-man peloton six minutes behind the French champion.
27km - The last year in which France won five or more stages was in 1997. They have four already and Voeckler has extended his lead over Ballan. Bradley Wiggins and Michael Rogers are the latest riders to feel the effect of the Saxo Bank pace seting.
28km - Voeckler has an advantage of 18 seconds over Ballan. Nicolas Roche, 14th on GC, has a mechanical problem and needs a new front wheel.
29km - Thomas Voeckler has attacked some 8km from the summit of the climb with Ballan and van Summeren in pursuit. Jakob Fuglsang takes over the pace setting on the front of the peloton with the gap now under six minutes.
30km - Brian Vandborg has regained contact with the leaders as Danish champion Matti Breschel sets the tempo on the front of the peloton with the lead now 6:30.
31km - Jens Voigt takes over the pace setting as the lead group is cut in half. Johan van Summeren from (Belgium/Garmin), Serguei Ivanov (Russia/Katusha), Alessandro Ballan (Italy/BMC), Thomas Voeckler (France/Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spain/Footon-Servetto-Fuji) at the front with a 7:15 lead.
33km - Five team-mates ahead of Andy Schleck on the front of the peloton. Stuart O'Grady setting a fierce pace which has seen the advantage cut to eight minutes and suggests that the Luxembourg rider might be tempted to attack.
35km - Saxo Bank on the front of the peloton and they have trimmed the lead to 9:30 as riders begin to go off the back of the main bunch and get in the 'Bus'. Video: Eisel explains 'gruppeto' tactics
37km - A crash in the peloton and Iban Mayoz (Footon-Servetto), Brett Lancaster (Cervelo) and Anthony Geslin (FDJ) go down hard at the side of road.
40km - Here we go for the Port de Balès, a mere 19.3km climb. Johan Vansummeren, who is the tallest rider left in the race at 1.97m is the favourite for the stage. The Belgian is 31st on GC - the highest placed of the escape group - and will be looking to give Garmin their first ever stage victory in the Tour de France. The gap is 11 minutes.
45km - Of the other escapees, Aitor Perez has won only one UCI race in his career, he won a stage in the GP do Oeste in 2005. While Francesco Reda has finished every stage outside the top 100 in this year's Tour de France.
50km - Of the breakaway riders, only Voeckler, Luke Roberts and Sebastien Turgot have won a UCI race this year. Voeckler was victorious in the French Championship on June 27. Roberts won stage three in the Vuelta a Murcia on March 5 and Turgot won the second stage in the Driedaagse De Panne on March 31. The gap is 10 minutes as Turgot crosses ahead of Mondory and Ivanov at the second intermediate sprint in Fronsac.
55km - Brian Vandborg of Denmark represents Liquigas in the breakaway group. Before today's stage, only team BMC had less prize money than the men in lime.
60km - At the summit of the Col de Portet-d'Aspet, Voeckler leads from Turgot and Vandborg. Saxo Bank are leading the peloton which is now 9:30 back.
65km - The escape group begin the 6.1km climb to the Col des Ares with a healthy advantage of nine minutes and there is enough quality in this group for at least one of these riders to protect that lead on the Port de Balès and take a stage victory.
70km - Alessandro Ballan has the greatest pedigree, he won a Vuelta stage in Andorra in 2008 and of course took the world title shortly after.
75km - Of the 10 leaders only Sergei Ivanov and Thomas Voeckler have won a stage in the Tour de France before. Ivanov won stage 9 in Aix-les-Bains in 2001 and stage 14 in Besançon last year. Voeckler won stage five last year in Le Cap d'Agde.
80km - At the summit of the Col de Portet-d'Aspet, Voeckler leads from Turgot and Mondory. The 10-man escape group have established a 7:30 lead over the peloton that is travelling at such a slow pace that Robbie McEwen is at the front.
85km - And listen to LIVE commentary from David Harmon and Sean Kelly Audio Player
90km - You can watch the stage LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and in HD (Sky 412) which you can also enjoy on your PC via the Eurosport Player: click here to subscribe
95km - Finally an escape group has formed after 93km of racing. Vandborg (DEN/Liquigas), Van Summeren (BEL/Garmin), Ivanov (RUS/Katusha), Mondory (FRA/AG2R), Ballan (ITA/BMC), Reda (ITA/Quick Step), Roberts (AUS/Milram), Voeckler and Turgot (FRA/Bbox Bouygues) and Perez Arrieta (SPN/Footon) have opened up a two minute lead as we approach the bottom of the Col de Portet-d'Aspet.
100km - Mauro Santambrogio has abandoned. He is the second BMC rider to leave the Tour de France prematurely after Mathias Frank did not start in stage one.
105km - A 23-man escape group gained 19 seconds over the peloton but you've guessed it, they have been caught.
110km - Saint-Girons has been the starting town on four occasions. Last year it featured as the finish for the first time when Spaniard Luis León Sánchez won the eighth stage.
115km - No cigar, Elmiger back in the peloton as we go through Saint-Girons. Frederique Moncassin, who won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for one day in 1996 has a restaurant called 'La Flamme Rouge' in the town.
120km - Swiss champion Martin Elmiger is the first rider to gain more than 10 seconds on the peloton today. Can he stay away?
125km - The final climb to Port de Bales has featured in only one previous stage in 2007 when it was climbed from the other side. Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen was first at the top on that occasion and the stage was won by Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov in Loudenvielle. Now Contador's right-hand man, Vinokourov was disqualified the following day for testing positive for blood doping.
130km - At the sprint in Clermont, it was Thor Hushovd's team-mate Jeremy Hunt who took the points so the Norwegian champion remains two points behind Ale-Jet. Result: 1. Hunt (Cervelo) 6 pts, 2. Knees (Milram) 4 pts, 3. Pineau (Quick Step) 2 pts OVERALL POINTS STANDINGS
135km - And you can get the take of Blazin' Saddles on yesterday's stage. Andy's poker face
140km - 47.5kmh/h raced in the opening hour with any repeat of a long attack, like the one yesterday that saw Christophe Riblon prevail, thwarted. Video: Stage 14 Highlights
145km - Will we see any changes on GC today? Schleck's 31 second edge over Contador appears a little slim ahead of the final 52km individual time trial to Pauillac on the penultimate day of the race. Russia's Denis Menchov and Spain's Samuel Sanchez, the two riders most likely to pose a threat to Schleck and Contador for final victory, did gain 14 seconds yesterday but still need to find two minutes. OVERALL TIME STANDINGS
150km - Over the Côte de Carla-Bayle and it was: 1. Fédrigo (3 pts) / 2. Hushovd (2 pts) / 3. Petacchi (1 pt). No impact on the polka dot jersey. KOM Standings
155km - The battle for Tour de France victory took a twisted turn in Ax 3-Domaines yesterday when yellow jersey holder Schleck and defending champion Contador played mind games in the final climb. Video: Schleck v Contador
160km - A temporary split in the peloton sees Andy Schleck in the second group, 10 seconds behind the Astana led front group. However Saxo Bank reign in the cheeky attempt from Alberto Contador's squad to create early havoc.
165km - After 106km of today’s stage, riders will pass the white marble memorial to Fabio Casartelli, who died on the Porte d’Aspet descent today 15 years ago, in 1995. The Italian was an old team-mate of Lance Armstrong who was quiet in the Pyrenean opener, possibly saving his energy for this one. With the Tour lost and the chance of a high finish in Paris but a dream, the American has promised "something interesting". Video: Planet Armstrong
170km - With a long, relatively flat run before the climbs, we are going to have lots of attacks as some of the riders who are no threat to yellow look to gain an advantage they can defend over the ascents. Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) and Johan Van Summeren (Garmin Transitions) have seen early escape bids foiled.
175km - The climbs in focus: Côte de Carla-Bayle - 3.1 km climb at 4.1 % - Category 4 after 30km; Col de Portet-d'Aspet - 5.8 km climb at 6.8 % - Category 2 after 106km; Col des Ares - 6.1 km climb at 4.7 % - Category 2 after 126.5km; Port de Balès - 19.3 km climb at 6.1 % - Category HC after 166km.
180km - This is the first time Pamiers has hosted a Tour de France stage start. We then head south and re-enter the Pyrénées at St-Girons after 71km before two cat-2 climbs followed by the Hors category Port de Balès whose summit is 21km from the finish. Then a long, rapid descent before 3km of flat roads on the run-in to the finish in Bagneres de Luchon. Video: Cyrille Guimard on today's finish
185km - WEATHER FORECAST STAGE 15: Pamiers at the start (12:20 CET): 27 degrees Celsius. At the finish in Bagnères-de-Luchon (scheduled 17:16 CET): between 21 and 23 degrees Celsius.
187km - We are underway! All 175 riders who finished yesterday's stage return for 34.3km of climbing. Start List
- - Andy Schleck has promised to stop playing cat and mouse with rival Alberto Contador in today's 187.5km 15th stage of the Tour de France. However the terrain does not favour attacks from the GC contenders as a long descent to the finish after the final climb, the 1,755-metre Port de Bales, should help dropped riders to make up time. The stage starts at 11:20 BST.