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Tour de France - Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Gap

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  1. 15:55 - Voeckler retains his lead but Evans is now up to second place, 1:45 down on the Frenchman.

  2. 0km - Evans crosses the line 4:26 down on Hushovd. Contador and Sanchez cross the line a few seconds later. Voeckler comes home with Frank Schleck and Gilbert 4:45 down. Basso and a few others at 5:21. But Andy Schleck is at 5:31.

  3. 0km - Evans passes under the flamme rouge - he's the big winner amongst the GC men today. A superb ride from the Australian, although the others are returning.

  4. 0km - Both Schlecks have been dropped by the Voeckler group, but they're fighting back now on the flat.

  5. 0km - What a ride from Evans, who has opened up a gap over Contador and Sanchez as he time trials his way to the finish on the flat.

  6. 0km - Hesjedal takes third, his arms aloft for his teammate. Martin takes fourth and then Ignatiev a bit later. Evans has opened up a small lead over the two Spaniards.

  7. 0km - Now Hushovd goes! And he's too strong for Boasson Hagen! That's two for the Norwegian...

  8. 0.5km - Two sprinters against Hesjedal... but Hushovd will be torn between letting his teammate win, or doubling up himself.

  9. 1km - The three leaders pass the one-to-go banner. It's Hesjedal in the lead.

  10. 1.5km - Sanchez is taking this descent very conservatively. It's Evans leading the way, with Contador just behind.

  11. 2km - CRASH: Arnold Jeannesson comes down in the bunch. But he's up and on his way.

  12. 2.5km - Down in the valley, it's Hushovd and Boasson Hagen driving the pace towards the finish line.

  13. 3km - Voeckler leads the chase from the main group.

  14. 4km - The Contador group have 30 seconds over the chasers - it's not huge, but it's a start. Evans is the clear winner today if it finishes like this.

  15. 4.5km - Evans leads Contador and Sanchez, but further back, Frank Schleck is very uncomfortable.

  16. 5km - There is a lot of water on the road - this descent is going to be very hard.

  17. 6km - Hesjedal is back on the front, with Hushovd and Boasson Hagen in pursuit. Garmin got to be happy.

  18. 7km - Contador won't give up and continues to set the pace. Over the summit for the three GC men.

  19. 8km - Yet another attack by Contador! A massive dig, and the others have to fight to stay on his wheel. Frank Schleck is leading the chase, with Voeckler and Uran in his wheel. Until Taaramae attacks!

  20. 9km - Hesjedal is almost caught by the Norwegian pair up front. Hushovd and Boasson Hagen now pass the previous leader - surely they will contest the win today?

  21. 10km - Evans looks the most serene of the three riders. Contador is constantly in the dancing position while Sanchez is grimacing.

  22. 10km - These three - Evans, Contador and Sanchez - are good descenders. This will be fascinating.

  23. 11km - Another huge attack by Contador! Only Evans and Sanchez can follow. Voeckler and both Schlecks have been distanced!

  24. 11km - Hesjedal crosses the summit as Evans rejoins the Contador chasing group. But Voeckler looks to be in trouble...

  25. 12km - Evans, F Schleck and the others have been distanced a bit, but are fighting back. This is vintage Contador...

  26. 12km - Another attack by Contador! Voeckler and Andy Schleck respond!

  27. 12km - Canada's Hesjedal continues up ahead, with the twin Norse hammers of Boasson Hagen and Hushovd in pursuit.

  28. 13km - Now Contador's teammate Daniel Navarro takes up the pace on the front of the peloton. It was the Spaniard's 29th birthday yesterday.

  29. 13km - It's back together again - but that was a reminder from Contador that he isn't done with this race yet.

  30. 14km - Contador is joined by both Schlecks, Evans, Voeckler and Sanchez. They are a handful of seconds ahead of the peloton, which includes Basso and Cunego.

  31. 14km - Hesjedal rides clear of Ignatiev on the front of the race.

  32. 14km - That was unexpected! The Spaniard caught them napping and BMC have had to respond, but Contador is pulling clear. The Schlecks finally react - as does Voeckler in yellow.

  33. 15km - CONTADOR ATTACKS!

  34. 16km - Hesjedal has caught the wheel of Ignatiev. They have a small gap over the chasing group, which has been reduced to six riders. Hushovd and Roy lead the way - a tender reunion?

  35. 16km - French champion Sylvain Chavanel has been dropped off the back of the peloton, along with a whole host of riders.

  36. 17km - Hesjedal and Hushovd lead the chase from the chasing group, which has caught Devenyns. Ignatiev has about 10 seconds.

  37. 18km - With the leaders, Perez has returned to the group, whilst Devenyns continues his chase of Ignatiev. Off the back of the bunch, David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has been dropped.

  38. 18km - BMC have all come to the front of the peloton to support Cadel Evans.

  39. 19km - Ignatiev is being pursued by Devenyns and Perez. The leaders are onto the Cat 2 Col de Manse (9.5km at 5.2%).

  40. 20km - ATTACK: Katusha's Mikhail Ignatiev jumps clear of the leading group. A trademark solo attack from the Russian rider, for whom the expression "so near and yet so far" could well have been coined.

  41. 21km - The leaders are onto the finishing circuit in Gap. They will then head up to the Col de Manse before returning to the town for today's finale. The lead is down to six minutes.

  42. 26km - There's the answer: Dumoulin, the smallest man in the peloton, is caught by the peloton. He must have thrown in the sodden towel. Mollema and Jeandesboz are not much further ahead and will be caught soon too. The leaders continue on their way through these Dantesque conditions. They have 6:20. No news on whether or not the Col de Manse will be cancelled - it looks like it will go ahead though, or we would have heard something already.

  43. 28km - Dumoulin has either given up or ridden clear of that chasing group, because our latest shot shows just Mollema and Jeandesboz together.

  44. 29km - Laurens Ten Dam, who crashed heavily in the Pyrenees, receives attention from the medical car. The doctor applies some cream to his scarred face. The Dutchman faceplanted into a ditch and required eight stitches around his nose.

  45. 30km - The rain continues to lash down as the breakaway rides at 6:13 from the peloton. Some of the 10 leaders are not pulling their weight, which is annoying Hushovd. That climb on the horizon, the Cat.2 Col de Manse, should blow things apart. It will be interesting to see if any of the main GC rivals has a gamble and goes for it today: serious time could be gained on the climb and descent to Gap.

  46. 32km - Message to "mmortimer55": Every day there is one intermediate sprint, with points up for grabs for the first 15 riders to cross the line. The peloton passed six minutes back and 13 riders had already crossed the line, meaning just 2 and 1 points were left. They were taken by AG2R's Biel Kadri and Seb Minard. The likes of Cav, Rojas and Gilbert were clearly not motivated to go for them.

  47. 35km - It all seems a bit futile for the three chasers, who are riding with three minutes either side. The weather looks foul, with the skies greyer than ash.

  48. 41km - AG2R are on the front of the peloton, obviously aggrieved at having no riders in the breakaway. The peloton passes through the intermediate sprint, but there are no points up for grabs and so its uncontested. The lead is 5:58.

  49. 44km - Voeckler is off the back of the bunch after a chat with his team car. The gap is now 6:11 and that trio of chasers have yet to catch the leaders. In fact, they are 2:10 down.

  50. 45km - Devenyns crosses the line ahead of Roy to take the intermediate sprint at Veynes.

  51. 48km - There are three riders in pursuit of the leading 10-man group: they are Bauke Mollema (Rabobank), Sammy Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Fabrice Jeandesboz (Saur-Sojasun). They are 1:45 off the pace.

  52. 50km - Now the break has formed and the peloton has calmed down, the lead has ballooned to a huge 4:10.

  53. 52km - TODAY'S TRIVIA QUESTION #1: Yes, the answer is Sergio Paulino - the last rider to win in Gap.

  54. 55km - The peloton has disintegrated while everyone - and I mean everyone - stops for a call of nature. The break stetches its lead out to 1:55. This one is going to stick. So, who will win it today? Will Hushovd or Boasson Hagen make it two? Will Roy and FDJ finally get their win? Or Tony Martin prove that HTC can do things even when Cavendish takes a day off? Have your say below...

  55. 58km - The group has 55 seconds now, with a few riders trying to jump off the front of the peloton in pursuit, including Nicolas Roche (AG2R).

  56. 61km - Right, finally we go have a break that has stuck and it contains 10 riders. They are Alan Perez (Euskaltel), Thor Hushovd, Ryder Hesjedal (both Garmin), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Tony Martin (HTC), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil).

  57. 65km - The group was almost reeled in, and now we have an Euskaltel rider off the front alongside Roy of FDJ. We haven't seen a start to a stage like this on the Tour so far - fascinating stuff. What's more, it's extremely wet as well.

  58. 70km - A new group has formed - a fusion of both those breaks, riding 10 seconds off the front. It includes Hushovd, Hesjedal, Di Gregorio, Roche, Devenyns, Rojas, Roy, Dumoulin, Galland...

  59. 71km - A group of around 12 riders is bridging the gap. It includes world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin), green jersey pretender Jose Rojas (Movistar) and stage six winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky).

  60. 73km - The road is very wet now as the riders hit the bad weather. It's raining and on the horizon, the Alps are covered in low thunderclouds.

  61. 76km - Hoogerland is not happy about the progress being made by the group, which is being caught by the peloton. Just as the Dutchman makes a gesture with his hands, an attack comes in from Tony Gallopin. Despite having two riders in the group - Knees and Zandio - Sky are chasing down this group. Probably because Jeannesson is a threat to Rigo Uran's white jersey... Whit jersey standings

  62. 77km - The break has 13 riders and includes the likes of Di Gregorio, Kreuziger, Mollema, Knrre, Roche, Roy, Jeannesson, Coppel, Hesjedal and Hoogerland. But the gap is very very small, with one rider in between the group and the bunch.

  63. 79km - Duque, who crashed earlier in the day, is still struggling to get back onto the peloton. It's now the feeding zone, but food will be the last thing on the riders' minds at the moment. Finally it looks like a break is sticking...

  64. 80km - There are two Astana riders in this group of 12, and Nicolas Roche of AG2R. Vacansoleil's Johnny Hoogerland is there too! They have about 15 seconds on the bunch. Meanwhile, Thor Huishovd is back on the peloton after dropping back for a mechanical.

  65. 82km - TODAY'S TRIVIA QUESTION #1: Complete the sequence: Lietti, Zabel, Vinokourov, Fedrigo...

  66. 85km - Around 20 riders have formed a group behind four leaders, who include Hesjedal and Westra.

  67. 86km - Westra, heavily bandaged on his knees, is caught by Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) and then a bunch of 12 or so men - although the peloton is right there so it's hardly a brak as yet. Moncoutie is still trying to get back onto the peloton following that bike change.

  68. 87km - Westra has about 10 seconds on the peloton. This is good stuff from the Dutchman.

  69. 88km - Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) has opened up a promising gap. He has three in pursuit. Meanwhile, Cofidis' David Moncoutie needs a bike change.

  70. 89km - An FDJ rider now, Gianni Meersman, has opened up a small gap on this uphill drag. Six join him, but it's pulled back almost instantly.

  71. 90km - Jerome Pineau (QuickStep) leads the peloton, with Di Gregorio just behind. Everyone knows that if a break sticks, it will go to the end, which explins just why it's so hectic at the moment. Greipel, laden with water bottles, is back in the bunch.

  72. 93km - Wheel change for Andre Greipel, who has just punctured. Katusha's Mikael Ignatiev tries to get away, as does Christian Knees of Sky. All in vain. Now Remi Di Gregorio (Astana) has another pop.

  73. 95km - That group didn't stick, but there is another stream of riders off the front at the moment. The weather is holding up well - for all those earlier reports of hell in Gap, it's postively balmy. Maybe the riders will be lucky today after all...

  74. 96km - BREAK & CRASH: 10 or so riders break clear of the bunch and then the man on the back of the break, Leonardo Duque, touches wheels with an Astana rider and hits the deck hard. The Colombian landed heavily on his hip and that was rotten luck. Rumour has it Cofidis are not renewing his contract at the end of the season, so his attempt at putting himself in the shop window today has backfired.

  75. 100km - That group has been reeled in, but it's still extremely active off the front of the bunch.

  76. 100km - 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

  77. 102km - Millar has been caught by a few riders, including Tony Martin (HTC), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), Gregor Bole (Lampre) and - surprise, surprise - FDJ's Jeremy Roy. But the gap is very small.

  78. 105km - Garmin's David Millar breaks clear of the peloton. He has a small gap but he is alone. Meanwhile, off the back Laurens ten Dam has punctured and Jerome Pineau is struggling. It's going to be hard for them to get back on the peloton given the fast pace at the moment.

  79. 110km - The average speed for the first hour of racing today was a very high 51.4 km/h. The thing is, if the weather doesn't improve at the finish in Gap, then the organisers may decide to pull the final climb up and descent down the Col de Manse, cutting the stage short. Instead, it would finish the first time the race passes through Gap. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

  80. 115km - ATTACK: Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Remi Di Gregorio (Astana) break out of the peloton. But they too are swept up before too long.

  81. 120km - A dozen riders are off the front, but the fast pace may prove the stumbling block again. With opportunities running out, every team wants to get a man in the break, which is making it a very nervous start today. Returning to the standings, Belgian Jelle Vanendert wears the polka dot jersey but he has just two points over Samuel Sanchez, who said on the rest day he intends to target the KOM standings as well as a podium finish in Paris. King of the mountains standings

  82. 125km - Quick Step's Dries Devenyns manages to break clear and build up a lead of 12 seconds, but the Belgian's break only lasts one kilometre and he's now back in the peloton. Take this opportunity to watch out video highlights of the first two weeks of the race, narrated by the inimitable James Richardson. Le Tour: Story of the first two weeks

  83. 130km - The pace is high in the peloton, with an average speed of 52 km/h so far today, making it hard for any break to stick.

  84. 135km - A Sky rider broke clear of the bunch but was swept up pronto. Geraint Thomas said on the rest day he'd be looking to attack today... Also in the news, Sky's Geraint Thomas, who told the press he'd be prepared to leave Sky to concentrate on the Olympics next summer, before going on the record to tell the world on Twitter that he was "very happy here at Team Sky". Report: Thomas warns Team Sky he could leave

  85. 140km - The Tour entered the second rest day pretty much the same way as it did the first, with Thomas Voeckler holding a 1:49 lead in the GC and Alberto Contador still yet to find his legs. Our blogger Blazin' Saddles takes a look back at the last six days of action... Blazin' Saddles: Rest day recap #2

  86. 145km - Four riders try their lunch, but once again the peloton thwarts the breakaway attempt. On paper this doesn't look to be too tricky stage, but the vast majority of the stage is a gradual uphill as the riders head into the Alpine foothills, while the punchy second category Col de Manse (9.5km at 5.2%) should make a selection before a technical 11km downhill ride into Gap. It's the same climb where Joseba Beloki came a cropper in 2003... Stage 16 guide: Leaders remain cool

  87. 150km - The green jersey is, of course, Britain's Mark Cavendish (HTC), the winner of Sunday's stage 14 into Montpellier. Cav will have a tough day in the saddle though: there's an intermediate sprint 45km from the finish, while the finish itself comes after the Cat.2 Col de Manse - the kind of climb his green jersey rival Philippe Gilbert relishes... Green jersey standings

  88. 155km - France's Thomas Voeckler still leads the Tour de France, as he coming out of the first rest day as well. The Europcar team leader admits he has "zero chance" of winning the race, but he's still the man to beat, holding a 1:49 advantage over Frank Schleck and a 2:06 lead over race favourite Cadel Evans. General Classification

  89. 160km - A few early breakaway attempts have been dealt with and the peloton rides as one under the sun. The riders should make the most of the favourable weather conditions while they can - for soon the rain will be upon them. There's even talk of snow falling in the Alps at the moment, which doesn't bode well for the Galibier...

  90. 162km - The remaining 170 riders take to the start of today's stage. No withdrawals to report from over the rest day...

  91. 12:00 - The sun is out in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux but the weather at the finish in Gap is terrible, with heavy showers and very low temperatures. Today is going to be pretty brutal, and there's already talk of an alteration being made to the route... Gap weather report

  92. 11:45 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 16 of the Tour de France, a 162.5km ride from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateau to Gap in the foothills of the Alps.

 

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