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Tour de France - *Sisteron - Bourg-lès-Valence

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  1. - - Mark Renshaw has been booted off the Tour for those headbutts on Dean. "Renshaw is out. We watched the film once and it was blatant. He head-butted Dean like in a keirin race," said Tour technical director Jean-Francois Pescheux. "This is cycling, not fighting. Everybody could have ended up on their backs."

  2. - - STAGE RESULT: 1. Mark Cavendish (Britain/HTC - Columbia) 4hrs 42mins 29secs" 2. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy / Lampre) ST 3. Tyler Farrar (U.S. / Garmin) 4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne) 5. Robbie McEwen (Australia / Katusha) 6. Yukiya Arashiro (Japan / Bbox - Bouygues) 7. Thor Hushovd (Norway / Cervelo) 8. Lloyd Mondory (France / AG2R) 9. Juergen Roelandts (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Lotto) 10. Gerald Ciolek (Germany / Milram)

  3. 0km - Renshaw is there to tee up Cav.... he looks to headbutt Julian Dean! Cav goes early... but not too early and he takes it! CAV WINS A THIRD STAGE AHEAD OF PETACCHI AND FARRAR!

  4. 1km - A swift right is followed by a left and there's just one kilometre to go!

  5. 4km - Lampre are looking good... HTC-Columbia in behind as the finish line draws ever closer.

  6. 5km - Here comes Sky, four of them! Lampre leading the peloton with 5 kilometres to go.

  7. 8km - Chavanel attacks! Away goes the Frenchman! RadioShack's Popovych goes with him! The break doesn't last too long though... Eisel (HTC) leads the peloton.

  8. 10km - Saxo Bank now take the lead of the peloton. Five of them ahead of an HTC-Columbia train. Things are hotting up! Watch the run-in on the Eurosport Player

  9. 15km - Under the 20km mark they go... two Francaise des Jeux riders briefly attack while Team RadioShack hit the front of the peloton for a couple of minutes. The peloton is getting strung out now as the pace picks up.

  10. 22km - The break is over! Auge and Benitez give up their breakaway as the peloton, led at the moment by Grabsch, gobble them up.

  11. 25km - Auge takes a look behind and sees the menacing sight of the peloton just behind. He and Benitez have given it their best shot, but they're about to the swallowed up soon enough.

  12. 26km - The leaders are agitating up ahead as Auge gets up out of this seat in a bid to hang on to their lead longer than they would otherwise. Now Geslin goes... and then Benitez! On the final attack, Auge goes with Benitez, but Geslin drops back and will be caught by the peloton.

  13. 30km - Thirty kilometres to go, and the gap between the leading trio and the peloton is down to under 30 seconds. Surely the action is just around the corner...

  14. 35km - That attack by Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) and Pierre Rolland (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has shortened the gap to 40", and the peloton is now once again intact.

  15. 40km - Something's happening! BBox, Francaise des Jeux and Caisse d'Epargne (non-sprinting teams) are looking to up the pace and close in on the leaders. HTC-Columbia, Garmin and Lampre stay in the main pack.

  16. 45km - Andre Griepel isn't paying too much attention to the Tour apparently - he's on holiday with his wife and kids. He is, however, thinking of his future, with Omega Pharma-Lotto his likely destination. "Greipel is our plan A. We have drivers for classics and for sightseeing tours, now we need Greipel for the sprints," said Marc Coucke, head of main sponsor Omega Pharma. "Negotiations with Greipel are progressing."

  17. 50km - Bert Grabsch (HTC-Columbia) is currently at the front of the peloton, with the leading three 1'17" ahead. Française des Jeux, Cofidis and Footon are represented in this breakaway group. Française des Jeux are looking for their second stage win the 2010 TdF following Sandy Casar’s triumph in Stage 8. Cofidis have not won a Tour stage since Sylvain Chavanel won for them on 25 July 2008. Footon have yet to claim their maiden stage win in the race.

  18. 53km - Auge, Geslin and Benitez, in that order, head through the second intermediate sprint at Mirabel-et-Blacons... and we're on the final downhill road to Bourg-les-Valence.

  19. 55km - I'll be honest, there's absolutely nothing happening. So time for another Tour fact, courtesy of Infostrada: "If Mark Cavendish wins today, he will become only the seventh rider in TdF history to win at least three stages in at least three consecutive TdF editions. After World War II, only Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault have accomplished the feat."

  20. 60km - Infostrada Live: "If Andy Schleck holds on to his GC lead, he will be picking up his third yellow jersey, surpassing the two by brother Frank and Luxembourg legend Charly Gaul and equalling countrymen Jean Goldschmidt and Bim Diederich, who took their leader jerseys in the 1950s. The Luxembourg record is 37 by Nicolas Frantz (1927-1929)." The peloton is 1'55" off the leaders...

  21. 65km - Three hours of 'racing' gone today and the average speed for the thrid hour was 39.5kph. That's above the overall average for today of 37kph.

  22. 70km - Really nothing much happening out on the road at the moment. Those three riders who broke right from the off are still out in front, with the peloton within spitting distance behind them. Tour de France roll of honour

  23. 75km - Chapeau to Syg, who has correctly answered our earlier poser. The other towns who are hosting the Tour for the first time this year are Wanze, Arenberg, Guegnon, Tournus, Station des Rousses, Bourg de Peage, Pamiers, Pauillac and Longjumeau.

  24. 80km - The leaders arrive in Die, the rather unfortunately named town, at least when it's written. But it's full of life today, with people lining the streets, some in swimwear, such are the baking temperatures on the route today. 1'"42 the gap now.

  25. 85km - Yesterday we saw the slowest day of racing since 2008, and today is shaping up in a pretty similar way - the stage is about 15 minutes behind the worst-case scenario schedule again. Still that leading trio of Stephane Auge (COF), Anthony Geslin (FDJ) and Jose Bentiez are out front, with the gap between them and the peloton now at 1'32".

  26. 90km - James Richardson has just told me he fancies Tyler Farrar (in a purely cycling way, of course) on today's stage. It was a difficult call for James though, who also thinks Sky will be in the mix, alongside Cav. And it wouldn't be a proper chat with James without some kind of razor sharp quip, which this time came in the form of his assertion that Farrar will win even though it's "not strictly a transistion stage". Boo hiss.

  27. 95km - You can ask the TV guys a question on our message board. Post one and they'll do their best to answer on air. Message boards

  28. 100km - Infostrada Live: "Escapees, not leaders in the Points Classification rank high in the Intermediate Sprints category. The Red Jersey for most points in Intermediate Sprints, was last awarded to Sean Kelly in 1989. If it existed today it would be worn by José Iván Gutiérrez."

  29. 101km - A Lampre rider is sitting on the front of the peloton as they play a bit of cat and mouse with the leading trio... surely it's a case of when and not if they are caught. Nevertheless, Geslin takes six points on the intermediate sprint at Montlaur-en-Diois, with Auge taking four and Benitez two.

  30. 105km - "Maybe Contador gave Auge and Geslin watches that were running one day late?" Blazin' Saddles on Twitter

  31. 109km - The first intermediate sprint is close and HTC-Columbia and Lampre have men at the head of the peloton with that in mind.

  32. 110km - The peloton are now 1'46" behind the leaders as the riders wend their way through some of the most spectacular scenery seen on this year's Tour.

  33. 115km - Last chance to shine... today's quiz question again: Today's start town Sisteron welcomed the Tour for the first time, as will finish town Bourg-les-Valence. They are two of 11 'newbies' on this year's Tour - but can you name the other nine?

  34. 120km - Geslin leads the stage at the moment, with Auge and Benitez tucked in behind. That four-man breakaway has been reeld back in following the ride over the summit of today's only real climb.

  35. 123km - Lance Armstrong's Tour is over according to a whopping 85 per cent of those voting in our poll. Question is, how do the other 15 per cent think he can win it? Latest poll results

  36. 125km - And down the other side they go... as David Harmon says, it really is a fabulous descent, winding down the tree-covered mountainside. Spectacular.

  37. 128km - The leaders head over the top of the Col de Cabre with Benitez taking four points, Auge (3) and Geslin (2). And Pineau pips Charteau to claim the final point, 1'40" behind the leaders. Those two were part of a four-man break which included Barredo and Cunego. The main peloton hit the summit 2'00" minutes behind the leaders.

  38. 129km - French pin-up Thomas Voeckler (Bbox) is currently leading the peloton, who are 4'05" behind the leaders. Their biggest lead so far today was 5'05", around the 47km mark.

  39. - - Sharon wants the link so that she can listen to David Harmon and Sean Kelly... well here it is. Listen live here

  40. 130km - All eyes are on HTC-Columbia today, but Team Sky are intending on getting in amongst it in Bourg-les-Valence. Team boss Dave Brailsford said: Obviously, if it comes to a spring, we'll take it on. We're going to have Columbia and Cervelo battling it out but we are going to commit to it and get (Juan-Antonio) Flecha and Geraint (Thomas) and potentially Michael Barry and Steve Cumming to take on the other teams in the final if it comes to a sprint. That's the game plan."

  41. 135km - The Category three Col de Cabre is looming, and there are points to be won at the summit. The breakaway riders have a 3'40" lead at the moment.

  42. - - You can watch the race now LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410/Virgin 521) and on the Eurosport Player. Subscribe here

  43. 140km - Reyros says: "Suits Eurosport that Team Sky aren't winning anything... means less airtime with podium appearances etc." Ah, come on, we're not like that! We'd be delighted to see any Brits doing well on the Tour.

  44. 145km - Anthony Geslin (FDJ), Stephane Auge (COF) and Jose Benitez (FOT) have drifted further ahead... their lead is currently 4'15" over the peloton. Meanwhile, Eurosport commentator David Harmon has tweeted: "Over the last 80km only the last eight have anything like a tailwind, the rest is a stiff headwind." More twittering from David

  45. 145km - Yesterday, Nicolas Roche's clever little break with 5km to go saw him pick up 1:21 on the peloton and move him up four places to 13th in GC ahead of the likes of Carlos Sastre, Bradley Wiggins and Alexandre Vinokourov. TdF: Hot or not?

  46. 150km - While not wishing to dwell too long on Cav, he's given an insight into his hopes of claiming green. He said earlier: The green jersey is still in the back of my mind. I didn't go for the intermediate sprints yesterday and it didn't take too much energy to go for the final sprint so I did that. It's not like I'm really focused on the points but I'm limiting my losses." So there you have it straight from the horse's mouth.

  47. 155km - None of the three breakout riders have won a stage on one of the three Grand Tours... Mark Cavendish said earlier at the start in Sisteron: "It looks like it's going to be a spring again today. We'll try our best and hopefully come away with some cookies." A cookie apparently equating to a stage win in Cav-talk...

  48. 160km - There seems to be a theme among those commenting today... all surreptitiously following these ramblings while supposedly immersed in work. Tut, tut. Just make sure your boss doesn't catch you. Eurosport will not be held liable for any disciplinary proceedings taken against readers... Meanwhile, the escapees' lead is down to 2'05".

  49. 160km - And, of course, you can follow Saddles all day long on his twitter account. There's already been a healthy discussion on a particular photo... Saddleblaze on Twitter

  50. 160km - "A historic win for France was guillotined at the death on Bastille Day by a Portuguese mercenary for the corporate American team of one of French cycling's biggest enemies." Read the latest offering from resident blogger Blazin' Saddles here

  51. 163km - Robbie Hunter retained some hope of continuing this year's Tour yesterday, but his problematic elbow has forced him to call it a day. He said on Twitter: "So got a small fracture on the head of the radial bone up in the elbow area. X-Rays can't show any muscle damage so I'm gonna start tomorrow. If I can take the pain and handle the bike without putting any body in danger in the group I’ll try to get through. If I'm a risk and can't handle the bike, it might be over…"

  52. 165km - Trivia corner: Euskaltel’s Alan Perez is 28th today, the only man on the Tour to celebrate his birthday today. And don't fortget, you can play King of the Road, our TdF cycling game, for the chance to win a BMC Street Fire bike worth £1,200. Test your mettle over four stages of the Tour then challenge your friends to see if they can beat your time. Play here

  53. 167km - Reader EPO_78 says: "Cav is not focused on the green jersey, but to make the stage wins he can. Reckon he'll be in the top three today." Green jersey standings

  54. 168km - HTC-Columbia and Lampre are at the head of the peloton which, despite their acceleration, is still 3'30" adrift of the breakaway trio.

  55. 170km - The temperature is rising on route to Bourg-les-Valences... the mercury is already over the 30 degree mark as the leading trio of Stephane Auge (Cofidis) Anthony Geslin (FDJ) and Alberto Benitez (Footon-Servetto) have a lead of 3'45". None of the three are any threat to the yellow jersey. Not much changed in terms of the GC after yesterday's stage, with Andy Schleck still in yellow, 41 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador. General Classification

  56. 170km - We have a first comment of the day! It took a while, but loyal reader Alan from Lowestoft has just checked in. Thoughts for today's stage? Can Cav seal a third stage victory? Is it too late for him to claim the green jersey?

  57. 175km - That attacking trio's lead is now 3mins 40, but the peloton are speeding up, mindful that they do not want to lose contact with the escapees. Today's weather in Sisteron is nice - slightly cloudy but 25 degrees, and it's likely to get hotter as the day progresses. Weather forecast for Bourg-les-Valence

  58. 175km - Sisteron is considered to be somewhat of a haven for gourmets thanks to the produce of its land, of which its tender lamb and sweet apples are top notch. More here

  59. 180km - Today's start town Sisteron welcomes the Tour for the first time, as does finish town Bourg-les-Valence. They are two of 11 'newbies' on this year's Tour - but can you name the other nine? Answers on a postcard please (or failing that, pop it in the box below). First to get it wins a bucketload of kudos, and nothing else.

  60. 182km - Those escapees are Anthony Geslin (FDJ), Stephane Auge (COF) and Jose Benitez (FOT). Their lead is 1min 40 secs after the first two kilometres.

  61. 182km - Meanwhile on Stage 10, Cav pipped his sprint rivals for ninth place at the front of the peloton. Watch highlights here

  62. 182km - Yesterday, Team Radioshack's Sergio Paulinho became the first Portuguese rider to win an individual stage of the Tour de France for 21 years as he took stage 10 in Gap on Bastille Day. Report here

  63. 184km - We're underway from Sisteron, with an early breakaway forming consisting of three riders.

  64. - - The riders are beginning to filter through the neutral zone ahead of the start of the race. There are two non-starters today - Robbie Hunter and Charlie Wegelius have both abandonned the Tour. Team lists

  65. - - That said, the writing is far from on the wall today. Tyler Farar, green jersey holder Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi are likely to push him all the way to the line in Bourg-les-Valence.

  66. - - Cav in particular will fancy his chances today - following two sprint wins before the Alpine stages, the HTC-Columbia man is in fine form, and perhaps more importantly for him, good spirits. A 13th career stage win today would make him the most successful sprinter in the Tour de France in the last two decades - a feat achieved in only three years.

  67. - - Having been quiet for the best part of a week, sprinters like Mark Cavendish will be champing at the bit today, although considering the gentle downhill part of the stage - and the prevailing wind likely to blow the riders on their way the finish line - the bunch should be wary of allowing escapees too much of a lead.

  68. - - It's not the most the testing stage of this year's race, with a single category-three climb breaking up what is otherwise a gentle run. After the climb up the Col de Cabre, the remaining 130km of the stage is a gradual downhill, giving sprinters a chance to grab the limelight once again.

  69. - - Hello cycling fans and welcome to our coverage of stage 11 of the Tour de France. Today's ride sees the peloton head from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence on the 184.5km route in south-east France.

 

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