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0km - The second peloton of 80-odd riders crosses the finish line a huge 3:06 off the pace. Terrible news for Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal...
0km - Cav takes the win, with Petacchi taking second and Greipel third. That was tight. Feillu takes fourth.
0.2km - Greipel goes on the left, Feillu takes his wheel... but Cav looks good, Petacchi on his wheel.
0.5km - Goss hands over to Renshaw, with Cav perfectly poised.
1km - Gilbert is working for Greipel. Feillu is there too... and Petacchi.
1.5km - Eisel pulls off, leaving Goss, Martin and Renshaw with Cav...
2km - HTC in one long line as the train leaves the station about to deliver Cav to his destination...
2.5km - It will be interesting to see Greipel take on Cavendish in a flat sprint - finally settle an old war of words...
3km - Greipel, Hushovd, Cavendish, Petacchi, Rojas and Galimzaynov are all in this leading group. Not sure about Bozic and Feillu.
4km - A big right bend looks very dangerous as the peloton has to split and pass through myriad pieces of road furniture.
5km - It will be interesting to see if Leopard Trek try anything today, or if their pace setting is just tactical. Maybe Cancellara will go for a long one?
6km - Another stop for Levi Leipheimer, who punctures and needs to get a wheel change from the neutral Mavic car. Already in the second group, he'll lose a lot of time today...
8.5km - So, both Boasson Hagen and Farrar won't be able to double up today - they're stuck in that second group. On the front, the peloton is really stretching out, with HTC doing all the pace setting.
10km - The yellow jersey group goes under the 10km-to-go banner. The chasing group follows at 1:40. Garmin actually have both Farrar and Hesjedal in that second group.
12km - Game over for the breakaway. Now there will be a slight lull until the finish. It remains to be seen if the second group of 80 riders can make it back to the peloton. It's filled with Sky and Europcar riders. Meanwhile, HTC , Garmin and Leopard Trek, as well as Evans and his BMC boys, seem to be ok and are in the front peloton.
13km - Now Delage has a pop, but again it's all too little too late. Just 10 seconds now back to the peloton. A further 1:54 back is the second pack, which includes the polka dot jersey Hoogerland, all those Sky riders, Popovych, Horner and Leipheimer of RadioShack, and a cluster of other big names. But the likes of Contador, Cavendish and the Schlecks are all ok.
15km - The four leaders are arguing up front. Delage is on the front pedalling like there's no tomorrow, then gesticulates for Urtasan to pull through. The Spaniard does so, but with a shake of the head: he knows that the bunch is about to sweep them up. Meersman goes on the attack, but it's rather halfhearted and won't last.
18km - Once again, a reminded that Bradley Wiggins has crashed out of the Tour with a suspected broken collarbone. Report: Sky falls in for Wiggins
20km - The main peloton is 30 seconds behind the leaders and around 1:50 ahead of the chasing peloton. It looks like it will all come back together, but that crash has changed the whole outlook of the race.
22km - The second peloton is pretty big - almost 100 riders in fact.
23km - Leopard Trek are back on the front, keen to keep the pace up while knowing the likes of Vinokourov, Kreuizger and Horner are off the back.
26km - Intermediate sprint at Buzancais: Delage and Meersman go over in first and second, with Talabardon in third and Urtasun in fourth. Just over a minute later comes the peloton. HTC ar leading out their man. Cav is taking on Gilbert and Rojas... and it's Cav then Rojas, Renshaw and Gilbert. That puts Rojas back in green for the time being.
27km - Almost the entire Sky team are undergoing an impromptu team time trial in a bid to get back onto the peloton. They all waited for their leader Wiggins, before being told to get back on their bikes when the extent of his injuries were understood.
30km - The four leaders have 1:50 so it looks like they will hold on beyond the intermediate sprint, which is coming up in 5km. That crash has played into their hands.
31km - Bradley Wiggins has abandoned with a suspected broken collarbone. The Team Sky leader is in an ambulance en route to hospital.
32km - Levi Leipheimer and Alexandre Vinokourov were caught up in that crash and will have to fight back onto the back.
32km - Also involved in that crash was FDJ's Remi Pauriol. Still no news on Wiggins, but it looked like curtains.
34km - There's a big group off the back of the peloton - about 60 riders trying to fight back. Up front, it's not slowing down at all as the bunch continues its pursuit of the four leaders, 2:07 ahead.
35km - It's all over for Wiggins. He's sitting down in pain, clutching his left arm. His team-mates have been sent on their way, a sign that the Briton will surely throw in the towel.
36km - Chris Horner is still in the ditch... This was a massive crash.
37km - Looks like a broken collarbone for Wiggins...
38km - BIG CRASH: The wind is causing havoc out there. Loads of riders are down on the road and in the ditch. And Bradley Wiggins is down! Tyler Farrar too. And Coppel. About 20 riders... Boasson Hagen too... and four other Sky riders crowding around Wiggins.
42km - Gallopin needs another bike change. He's pretty angry. Both Kreuziger and Popovych are yet to rejoin the peloton, but the pace has slowed a little so the should be ok. The Czech rider looks to have hurt his left wrist a little - not ideal ahead of that ride to Super-Besse tomorrow.
45km - Quick Step's Gerald Ciolek stops to change his jersey.
46km - The three riders form a threesome behind the RadioShack team car, which is pulling them back to the bunch in its slipstream. That will be a fine to Johan Bruyneel's outfit tonight...
48km - CRASH: A handful of riders hits the deck in the peloton, including Astana's Roman Kreuziger, RadioShack's Yaroslav Popovych, Cofidis' Tony Gallopin, and a couple of others.
50km - The calm before the storm. The gap is down to 2:25. There's sun at the finish in Chateauroux. Weather report
55km - TRIVIA QUESTION: Just keeping you on your toes - Voeckler did, of course, win stage five and not stage four of the 2009 Tour. Not that it would have made a big difference in your answers - be honest! So, here's the sequence in full: 2010, Chavanel, stage 3 – 2009, Voeckler, stage 5 – 2008, Samuel Dumoulin, stage 3 – 2007, Cedric Vasseur, stage 10 – 2006, Jimmy Casper, stage 2.
58km - The pace of this ever-so-long stage is certainly picking up. It's the familiar site of Dave Zabriskie, munching on some kind of snack, on the front of the peloton as Garmin-Cervelo mix it up with HTC on the front. Liquigas and Leopard Trek are there on the left hand side of the road too.
62km - The lead is 3:50 now as HTC come to the front and start upping the pace. Remember, there's both the intermediate sprint and the likely final bunch sprint to be contested on the road today...
70km - TRIVIA QUESTION WINNER: Well done Joe91 who spotted that the sequence 3-4-3-10-2 correlates to which stage France recorded their first win in the previous five Tours. Chavanel, Voeckler, Dumoulin, Vasseur, Casper were the riders in question. When will France get their first win this year? They have had men in breaks every day, but still nothing to show for it... Perhaps Romain Feillu will break his - and France's - duck in Chateauroux?
75km - Problem for Thomas Voeckler. The peloton came to a near standstill when the road narrowed, and the Europcar man was forced to take a foot out of the pedal. He then stuttered a little before getting back on his way. Nothing serious.
80km - Andy Schleck slips back with Leopard Trek team-mates Jakob Fuglsang and Joost Posthuma to have a word with the team car. The gap is still 5:00. Schleck will have no designs on today's stage - he will just fancy staying out of trouble - especially is there's a split in the peloton. Tomorrow is when it all starts for the 2010 runner-up as the hills of the Massif Central arrive...
83km - Three BMC men - led by the yellow-booted Marcus Burghardt - have jumped off the front of the bunch, but it's more to keep out of trouble on this narrow town road than any ostensible attempt at breaking clear. And that's why: Sky's Rigoberto Uran and Katusha's Yury Trofimov collide on a tight bend and hit the deck. Nothing serious, and they're back on their bikes, but they'll be cursing that.
85km - Meersman is on the front as the four breakaway men continue their surely futile attempt at keeping away on this, the flattest stage on the Tour this year.
90km - Wow, the Tour helicopter has just shown images of the stunning Chateau de Chenonceaux... It's no surprise why there are so many tourists in France - and it's no surprise either that the Tour coverage is one of the main driving factors behind the French tourist industry. Picture: Chenonceaux
92km - If you have only just joined us, the big news today is the abandonment of Tom Boonen two days on from that nasty spill he took in stage five. Report & Video: Injured Boonen pulls out of Tour
94km - The breakaway - Pablo Urtasun Perez (Euskaltel), Yannick Talabardon (Saur-Sojasun), Gianni Meersman and Mickael Delage (both FDJ) - have 4:44 on the peloton.
95km - TRIVIA QUESTION UPDATE: Gary is very close with his answer: "If yesterday was the first stage victory in the Tour for a British team, is this sequence the best stage results for a British team in the previous five tours that one has been involved in?"
95km - TRIVIA QUESTION UPDATE: Despite the claims below that 'Catherine' has got the question right, I have to say that no one still has the answer. A clue: it is something to do with the host nation, France...
100km - Johnny Hoogerland comes onto the front of the peloton, presumably because there's a slight rise in the road and he wants to have some photos taken of him on a hill in the polka dot jersey. Nice one, Johnny. Yesterday, Hoogerland promised to keep attacking. "I'm not someone who can stay in the group," he said. "It's the Tour de France and every day that you're in this race, there's the chance for a lot of good publicity for the team. If you can also take a jersey, then it's wonderful."
102km - Lunch time - and poor Talabardon doesn't seem to pick up a musette. Word of warning for the the escapees: keep your eye on Euskatel's Urtasun and his musette... don't want it to end up in the spokes of your bike.
105km - Gianni Meersman is wearing a rather garish pair of red sunglasses today - which is very considerate because it's helps us to pick him out from his FDJ team-mate Mickael Delage.
110km - The feeding zone is not far away as the gap dips to 5:25.
115km - That was just a quick shower because the sun's out again now. But the wind is getting rather blustery. Garmin sprint combo Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar have a chat on the front of the peloton. The yellow jersey will probably lead out Farrar alongside Julien Dean at the finish today. It's a flat one, so Farrar is the team's best bet to beat the Manx Missile Mark Cavendish.
120km - It's started to rain as the lead drops to 5:50.
125km - Tom Boonen is back with his team car having a chat with Patrick Lefevere. And the car stops and Boonen gets off his bike... and into the front of the car. Game over for the former Tour green jersey winner - that crash on Wednesday just took too much out of him.
128km - The lead is down to 6:17 for the four men out in front. Place your bets - when will they be swept up by the peloton?
130km - Interesting fact: Tour debutant Yannick Talabardon's brother Sebastien rode in the 2001 Tour de France for the Bigmat-Auber team.
132km - One of the favourites for victory today will be stage three winner Tyler Farrar. We caught up with the American at the start in Le Mans, despite his apparently reluctance to chat... Video: Farrar expecting sprint finish
134km - QuickStep's Kevin de Weert needs a back wheel change. The Belgian team's Tour was thrown into disarray the day before yesterday with a series of nasty crashes which left their main riders torn to shreds. Tom Boonen, Gert Steegmans and Sylvain Chavanel are all on the brink of leaving the race owing to injuries sustained in stage five.
135km - TRIVIA QUESTION UPDATE: Loving your answers - they show some real out-of-the-box thinking. 'deepee11111' thinks the sequence is to do with the number of people in successful breakaways - WRONG. Stuart Smith is more specific and suggests it's the number of successful breakaways on the last 5 Tours - WRONG. Many people think it's Thor Hushovd's placings in the last five stages - WRONG (what about his victory?!). Keep them coming...
138km - The race is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player: click here to subscribe
140km - Garmin, HTC and Leopard Trek are on the front of the peloton, which is currently riding 7:50 down on the four-man breakaway. The clouds are gret, the countryside a little dull and there's quite a wind. I don't envy their lot at all...
145km - Saur-Sojasun's Yannick Talabardon celebrated his 30th birthday a couple of days ago and a win today would be his first since victory in the 2009 Paris-Troyes. Finally, Spaniard Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel) is riding his first Tour at the mature age of 31. His last win came in 2010 in the opening stage of the Vuelta a Asturias.
148km - Delage's FDJ team-mate Gianni Meersman is making his Tour debut. The 25-year-old Belgian won a stage and the overall in the Circuit des Ardennes earlier in the season. Meersman is no stranger to a long breakaway: in the 2007 Tour of Georgia he won the third stage as part of a 13-men break that had more than 29 minutes lead on the peloton. (Thanks for that, Infostrada)
150km - Let's meet the escapees. As mentioned, Delage has already been on the offensive this year, and he is the only rider of the four to have ridden the Tour before. Delage, 25, is a track specialist who has made the step up (or sideways) to road racing, although he remains active on the track. The Frenchman made his debut in the Tour back in 2007 and rode again in 2009 and 2010. This is Delage's first year back at FDJ after two years at Lotto.
155km - The gap has dipped a little to 6:45. Intrestingly, Francaise des Jeux have had riders in every break so far in this year's race. Jeremy Roy was on the offensive in stages 1, 4 and 5; Delage in stages 3 and 7 today, Anthony Roux yesterday in stage 6 and Meersman today.
160km - TRIVIA QUESTION #1: What does this sequence denote: 3, 4, 3, 10, 2? It's a hard one today and I'll be mightily impressed if anyone gets the answer...
165km - Gianni Meersman is the virtual leader of the Tour on the road. The Belgian is the best placed rider of the four escapees, currently lying in 56th position 3:22 down on Thor Hushovd. All of the leading group - with the exception of Mickael Delage - are Tour debutants.
170km - The lead has broken the seven-minute mark for the first time. Eurosport caught up with BMC's George Hincapie at the start in Le Mans today. The American says his team-mate Cadel Evans is in the best shape he's ever seen him in, and tips him for having a very strong Tour. Hincapie on Evans
175km - Take a break and watch video highlights of yesterday's emphatic win by Edvald Boasson Hagen. Stage six highlights
180km - The four leaders have a gap of 6:55. The stage will be largely uneventful until that intermediate sprint, although strong crosswinds in the last quarter of the race could well play havoc with the peloton, splitting it into echelons. Information on Le Mans and Chateauroux
185km - The intermediate sprint comes later than usual today - just 25km from the finish at Buzancais. That adds a very interesting dynamic to today's otherwise largely prosaic affair. The break will surely be reeled in by the 30km-to-go point, after which we will effectively see two bunch sprints. Some riders may prefer to sit out the intermediate sprint in a bid to keep fresh for the finish - but with those green points up for grabs, the temptation may be just too much.
188km - And finally, the team standings are not pretty viewing for Alberto Contador: his Saxo Bank team are rock-bottom in what is a rather apt reflection of the Spaniard's performances so far on this year's race. Garmin-Cervelo lead the table, although it's early days: the mountains will be Saxo's strength, where as Garmin are a team built for the flat. Team standings
188km - Team Sky's Geraint Thomas still wears the white jersey as best rider under the age of 25. The Brit leads his Norwegian team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen - just as he did at towards the finish yesterday in Lisieux. Thomas proved the perfect lead-out man for Boasson Hagen, who won the stage - Sky's first on the Tour - ahead of Matthew Goss and Thor Hushovd. White jersey standings
190km - The gap is now 6:25. The only jersey change yesterday was in the king of the mountains competition where escapee Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) picked up enough points to snatch the polka dots from the shoulders of Cadel Evans. With no climbs on the agenda today, the Dutchman will wear the maillot a pois for at least two days in this year's race. King of the mountains standings
195km - The battle for the green jersey is really hotting up - and it has to be said, although a nightmare for the riders, these new intermediate sprints midway through each stage are making it a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) leads Jose Rojas (Movistar) by just one point, with Mark Cavendish down in fifth place for the moment, behind Hushovd and Evans. Green jersey standings
198km - The gap is now 5:40 as the four leaders continue to work well together. A reminded that it's Norway's Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) who leads the overall standings by one second ahead of Australia's Cadel Evans (BMC). With tomorrow's stage finishing atop the demanding climb at Super Besse, it's fair to say that Hushovd will not be in yellow come Sunday. General Classification
200km - Vasil Kiryienka finished a massive 27:55 behind yesterday's winner Edvald Boasson Hagen yesterday after being dropped by the bunch after the feeding zone. We're not sure what the problem was, but the Belarusian had been off the boil throughout the race - possibly to illness, or to his exertions in the Giro. The eliminated Kiryienka is the fifth rider to leave the race after Jurgen Van de Walle, Christophe Kern, Janez Brajkovic and Ivan Velasco.
205km - Talabardon, who engineered the breakaway from the 4th kilometre, punctures and needs a wheel change. Despite the deluge this morning at the start, the rain has stopped for the time being - although the sky still looks rather threatening. The gap keeps on growing: 4:45 now.
210km - Interesting to see two riders from Mark Madiot's FDJ in the break. Also, yet again there's a French presence in the leading group - as there has been in every break so far in the Tour. The gap's almost hit the three minute mark already.
212km - ATTACK: Four rider ping off the front. They are Pablo Urtasun Perez (Euskaltel), Yannick Talabardon (Saur-Sojasun), Gianni Meersman and Mickael Delage (both FDJ).
215km - Today's flat stage is tailor-made for Mark Cavendish of HTC - who will have the extra motivation of notching a win in the same town where his first ever Tour de France victory came, back in 2008. Incredibly, this is the first proper flat stage in the whole race - and we're already onto day seven. Stage Seven guide: Cavendish gears up
218km - They're off! Just one confirmed withdrawal to report today: Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) finished outside the time limit yesterday and is no longer in the race. QuickStep Sylvain Chavanel, according to reports, is on the brink of throwing in the towel after his crash two days ago...
11:15 - There has been yet more heavy rain at the start in Le Mans, although the forecast is to improve: scattered showers and sun. This suits some riders to a tee: already Matt Goss (HTC) has tweeted "Woohoo, rain! No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!" while Geraint Thomas of Sky penned this brillaint nugget: "More wind and more rain today... So much better than 40degrees!! Let's get it on!!"
11:05 - After a 180km transfer from yesterday's finish, the remaining 193 riders are gathered in the neutral zone about to get this stage underway. The race will get going at 11:20.
11:00 - Welcome to live coverage of stage seven from Le Mans to Chateauroux, a pancake-flat 218km slog into the centre of France which, unlike its start town (thankfully), won't go on for 24 hours.