CYCLING Live

Tour de France - *Longjumeau - Paris

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  1. 17:50 - Thanks for following our daily live coverage of the Tour de France this year - it's been a pleasure to cover and we all hope you've enjoyed the ride. Just 342 days until we can start all over again...

  2. 0km - Alberto Contador wins the Tour for the third time in his career!

  3. 0km - Alessandro Petacchi wins the green jersey!

  4. 0km - It looked easy for Cavendish, who celebrates with his right palm showing all five digits for each of his victories this year.

  5. 0km - Petacchi takes second and the green jersey, and Julian Dean third.

  6. 0km - But Mark Cavendish comes through on the left with an amazing burst of pace to take the victory!

  7. 0.5km - Hushovd leads it out, with Petacchi on his wheel...

  8. 1km - Final corner. Cervelo in front...

  9. 1.5km - On to the Rue de Rivoli for the final time. It's all Sky. The HTC train are a bit further back, alongside Dean's Garmin and Petacchi's Lampre.

  10. 2km - Attack by Carlos Barredo! But Juan Antonio Flecha of Sky pulls back the QuickStep man immediately!

  11. 3km - It's Sky doing all the work at the moment. It's getting tense.

  12. 4km - Yellow jersey Alberto Contador keeping himself out of trouble. Will need to stay safe for one more kilometre before his time is guaranteed.

  13. 5km - The pace slows as the teams of the sprinters take stock of the situation.

  14. 6km - It's curtains surely for the three leaders, who will be caught before the Arc de Triomph. Game on for the green jersey!

  15. 7km - Kroon has joined Knees and Sorensen. The rest are being swept up by the peloton as the bell rings for the final lap!

  16. 8km - Liquigas and Lampre move to the front alongside HTC-Columbia. The lead is 15 seconds. They need to start reeling this breakaway in if there's any chance for the sprinters.

  17. 9km - Puncture for Bbox sprinter Sebastian Turgot - terrible timing. That will put him out of the equation for today's finish.

  18. 10km - The leaders need to work together if they want to stay out in front, that means rejoining Knees and Sorensen and pulling as one.

  19. 12km - Attack from the group! Knees has a dig on the right hand side! The German is riding perilously close to the pavement on the flat concrete - all it would take is one clip of the curb and he's down. Knees and Sorensen pull off the front, with the lead at 16 seconds.

  20. 15km - If the leaders stay out, then Martin and Hondo are the danger men. It's back to 20 seconds. The 11 men are working very well together - with the exception of Martin, who is sitting on the back, understandably.

  21. 17km - The lead has dropped to 16 seconds thanks to the combined efforts of HTC-Columbia and Sky.

  22. 20km - HTC-Columbia and Team Sky are leading the chase from the peloton. It's Maxime Montfort doing the dog's work. They will want to give Cav the best lead out possible, while holding Alessandro Petacchi and Thor Hushovd up on the approach. Where's Mark Renshaw when you need him...

  23. 25km - Kroon takes the second intermediate sprint ahead of Casar and Knees. So, it's all going to come down to the final sprint for the green jersey competition.

  24. 27km - The lead is getting bigger: 25 seconds with four laps to go. Interesting stuff.

  25. 30km - So, who's going to go for it today? Surely Vino will have a pop. And Lance Armstrong - for old time's sake. But it will probably come down to bunch sprint and a Cavendish victory. Although it would be nice to see Robbie McEwen cap a torrid Tour with a win on the centre stage.

  26. 32km - The lead is 17 seconds now for the 11 leaders. They are: Anthony Roux, Sandy Casar (both FDJ), Tony Martin (HTC), Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Karsten Kroon (BMC), Christian Knees (Milram), Nikki Sorensen (Saxo Bank), Remi Pauriol (Cofidis), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), Alan Perez Laudun (Euskaltel) and Ruben Perez Arrieta (Footon-Servetto).

  27. 35km - The leaders have come back together and they have 15 seconds on the peloton now. As well as Casar, there's Petacchi's Lampre team-mate Danilo Hondo as well. And Karsten Kroon. And Mark Cavendish's team-mate Tony Martin. Full break down coming up.

  28. 40km - There's a ten-man group on the front now with about five seconds on the peloton as they pass the finish line for the third time. Six more laps to go. From those leaders, Anthony Roux has jumped out to go solo on the right hand side of the road. One rider is in pursuit, the others are on the left, the peloton follows.

  29. 42km - If Mark Cavendish wins today, he'll become the first rider in history to win successive stages on the Champs Elysees. The Tour has finished on the Champs every year since 1975.

  30. 44km - Kuschynski held on to take the points at the intermediate sprint ahead of Burghard and Perez.

  31. 45km - Just one rider out in front now as the first intermediate sprint approaches. It's Liquigas's Alexsandr Kuschynski. But he's been caught now. The pace is pretty furious as they approach the Arc de Triomph for the second time.

  32. 47km - Six men out in front now, with about 6 seconds over the peloton as they come out of the tunnel and onto the Rue de Rivoli. AG2R's Christophe Riblon is there, but it doesn't look like this one will stay out for long.

  33. 48km - Hincapie is tugged back and now there's a Rabobank rider and a QuickStep rider out in front as they come back across Place de la Concorde for the first time, and past the iconic fountain. CORRECTION: Hincapie wasn't out in front, he was in fact at the back and trying to rejoin the peloton - apologies.

  34. 50km - ATTACK! And Big George Hincapie, in his garish stars and stripes national shirt, is the first to make a move. Like Lance Armstrong, Jens Voigt and Christophe Moreau, this could be the American's last Tour.

  35. 52km - Stunning aerial views of Paris from the helicopter: the Eiffel Tower, both the Grand and Petit Palais, Les Invalides. The riders just went through the infamous Pont d'Alma, site of the car crash that killed the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Now it's over the river on the the left bank, then back under the Seine and the Tuileries gardens and on to the Rue de Rivoli and past the Louvre museum. And now, the moment you've been waiting for: the cobbles of the Champs Elysees.

  36. 55km - No climbs today. In fact, the polka dot jersey was done and dusted days ago with the final ascent of the Tourmalet. The winner of the mountains jersey was unfancied Frenchman Anthony Charteau, who profited from taking loads of points in a breakaway in the second week. It's clear that Charteau isn't the best climber the race has to offer - heck, he isn't even the 30th best - but he played the game and did what he had to do to become the first French winner since Richard Virenque in 2004. Polka dot standings

  37. 60km - Paris here we come! The peloton has just past the ASO headquarters in the 16th arrondissement and have crossed the Seine onto the Rive Droit, or right bank. And now they zip past the offices of Eurosport and l'Equipe! They will hug the river all the way up to the Eiffel Tower now.

  38. 65km - Andy Schleck matches Jan Ullrich's record of three career white jerseys today. The German won the youth classification from 1996 to 1998. Schleck, who has also won the white jersey in the 2007 Giro, becomes the first rider in history to win four youth classifications across the board. White jersey standings

  39. 70km - Hard man Jens Voigt is now talking to the camera, with his left elbow still heavily bandaged after that high speed spill a few days ago. The German will be hoping for an uneventful final date with the Champs Elysees before hanging up his cycling shoes - a few years back, Jens lost his saddle and had to finish the last lap or two in the dancing position.

  40. 75km - Contador and his Astana team-mates have got all the champagne shots out of the way and so the pace is a little quicker as the peloton weaves past some nice chateaux.

  41. 80km - Cavendish will be overwhelming favourite for the stage victory today - but the Manxman will have to win, and hope that Petacchi finishes 7th or worse, if he's to become the first Briton to win the green jersey in Paris. And that's not taking into account how Hushovd finishes (although the Norwegian has been off the pace in bunch sprints this year).

  42. 85km - Although things are typically pedestrian for a final Tour stage at the moment, the battle for the green jersey will definitely hot up when the remaining 170 riders roll onto the Champs Elysees later today. If yellow, white and polka dot are all done and dusted, then the final wearer of the green jersey is far from settled, with Alessandro Petacchi in pole position but both Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish still in with a slender chance. Green jersey standings

  43. 87km - Andy Schleck drops back off the peloton. Believe it or not he seems to have a problem with his chain. Speaking at the start to Eurosport, Schleck said he wouldn't be attacking into Paris in a bid to claw back those 39 seconds. So it looks like one of the top two riders will observe tradition and protocol this year... And to think, our resident blogger Blazin' Saddles had such a different idea.

  44. 90km - ATTACK! Alberto Contador breaks clear of the peloton! Andy Schleck counters... and the two top riders pull out a 400m lead on the peloton! It is, of course, just for the cameras. Just a bit of fun and games. And they're now hugging each other and posing for pictures, while the Spaniard shoots what looks like to be a mini water pistol.

  45. 92km - It's quite cloudy and fresh at the moment out there. Click here for a full weather report

  46. 95 - With Footon-Servetto's remaining four riders setting the pace at the front of the peloton, things are understandably going rather slowly at the moment. So take some time out and read about the start and finish towns here!

  47. 100km - So, the 28 on the back of those black shirts the RadioShack riders were wearing at the start stood for the 28 million people around the world suffering from cancer. As honourable a cause as it was, the race jury decided it would just not do and threatened Lance Armstrong et al with disqualification if they didn't change - and then disqualification if they didn't have their numbers visible.

  48. 102km - Meanwhile, the flag has been waved for the actual start of the final stage of this year's Tour de France, with an Astana-led peloton setting a very slow pace at the front.

  49. 13:55 - Christian Prudhomme is not too happy with the RadioShack riders' numbers being covered and so all nine men come to a standstill while they take off both shirts, put on their red and grey official ones, and then painstakingly switch their numbers. It's funny how these Tour de France riders have all the latest state of the art equipment - but still have to rely on safety pins to attach their numbers.

  50. 13:50 - The RadioShack shirt change is clearly a flagrent flouting of race regulations and Johan Bruyneel's outfit have been asked to put their normal red and grey RadioShack shirts back on. Which they do, but over the top of their black limited edition ones, covering up their race numbers (which, incidentally, are in yellow as the best-placed team overall).

  51. 13:45 - It's all action at the fictional start today with the whole of the RadioShack squad foregoing their normal jerseys for a special black and yellow Livestrong number - presumably to pay homage to the outgoing Lance Armstrong after what will be his final Tour. The shirts all have the riders' names on the top of the back and each one is number 28 - that of Yaroslav Popovych.

  52. 13:40 - So, after three weeks in the saddle and one controversial chain incident, Spain's Alberto Contador is in yellow, on the brink of a historic third Tour de France title. General Classification

  53. 13:35 - Missed yesterday? Then read just how Alberto Contador moved a symbolic 39 seconds ahead of Andy Schleck and how Denis Menchov moved onto the podium by clicking here.

  54. 13:35 - Live at the fictional start and the four jersey wearers - Alberto Contador (yellow), Andy Schleck (white), Anthony Charteau (polka dot) and Alessandro Petacchi (green) - pose for cameras and front the peloton as the flag is waved.

  55. 13:30 - Hello and welcome to live coverage of Sunday's final stage of the Tour de France - a 102.5 km jaunt from Longjumeau to Paris.

 

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