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Tour de France - Belfort - Porrentruy

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  1. 0km - Rein Taraame (Cofidis) fights to hold the white jersey and may just have done it.

  2. 0km - Group of Basso, Roche, Rolland and Monfort and more come in 1' down. Roche takes the 'sprint'.

  3. 0km - Leaders come together over the line with Evans taking the sprint with Tony Gallopin (RNT) taking the White Jersey.

  4. 0km - Thibaut Pinot seals a French win for FDJ. Jubilation in his team car as he gets huge encouragement over the line.

  5. 1km - Pinot is still hanging out there as Evans is followed by Van Den Broeck.

  6. 1km - Pinot looks over his shoulder as he approaches the red kit. Cadel Evans (BMC) takes a flyer from the favourites. Can he take yellow?

  7. 2km - Gap coming down every so slowly. The youngest rider in the Tour is looking at getting a huge victory. With 2km left he is still looking at a gap of 35".

  8. 2km - Slight miscalculation on a roundabout nearly sees Pinot lose valuable seconds. He's still upright and still driving hard.

  9. 3km - Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has a 40" lead as we hit the final 3km. The leaders are about to mop up Kessiakoff who made a brave effort, but was unlucky this time.

  10. 4km - Pinot gets some gentle encouragement from his team car as he looks to secure a stage win in his home region. Gap is down to 53" to the chasing bunch as Kessiakoff's day looks to be done.

  11. 5km - Pinot leads into last 5km. Kessiakoff 23" back and leaders 1'01" behind.

  12. 7km - Kessiakoff not giving in, but Pinot may well be safe. Gap down to 1'05" and he should stay away.

  13. 8km - Lotto Belisol sitting on the front of the group of favourites who are really moving. Wiggins looks very relaxed and happy to sit in the wheels.

  14. 9km - Pinot looking laboured as Kessiakoff continues to try and reel him in. The road now flattens out and it's all about who has more left in the legs.

  15. 10km - Nibali looking over his shoulder. Playing with the favourites.

  16. 11km - Group of favourites now playing with each other 1'26" back.

  17. 12km - Nibali is getting a gap at the front of the peloton as Kessiakoff almost loses it in his chase after Pinot.

  18. 13km - Pinot (FDJ) has to go for it, but the gap is being eaten up in chunks as Nibali flies down the descent.

  19. 15km - Head of the peloton has Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol), Evans (BCM), Wiggins (Sky), Nibali (Liquigas), Menchov (Katusha), Schleck (RNT). Evans pushes on over the top. Still 1'35" back on the two leaaders.

  20. 16km - Pinot (FDJ) has the wheel of the Astana rider as the two close in on the summit. Pinot isn't waiting and has driven right past Kessiakoff. He'll have to descend like a stone. 2'07" back to the main peloton.

  21. 17km - Just 1km from the top of the Col de la Croix and there are less than 30" of a gap between Kessiakoff and Pinot. The bunch are still 2'24" back so it should be between our two breakaways. It will be down to who is the better descender.

  22. 17km - Peter Sagan (Liquigas) off the back of the peloton. Two wheels firmly on the ground, but what a great domestique to have.

  23. 17km - Lotto Belisol take to the front of the peloton as the gap comes down under 3 minutes for the first time in quite a while. Van den Broeck is sitting in second spot. What has he got in his legs?

  24. 18km - If Thibaut Pinot was to overtake Kessiakoff, we would have had the oldest and the youngest riders in the Tour at the head of the stage today.

  25. 18km - If Pinot can get away from Gallopin, which he is beginning to do now, he will catch Kessiakoff, however, Kessiakoff is the better descender. It's going to be close, but it looks like the bunch may have left it too late.

  26. 19km - And so it begins. The road starts to rise for Kessiakoff as he hits the bottom of the Col de la Croix. His reserves will be tested here, but again, he still looks good. Gallopin and Pinot also look very comfortable as what's left of the peloton drives on with little inroads into the lead of the Astana rider.

  27. 20km - As they descend of this climb they are not faced with the Category 1 climb of the Col de la Croix. A real leg burner, they face a 3.7km ascent with an average of 9.2% which includes sections of 15 and 17%. Kessiakoff holds a 3'22" lead over the peloton.

  28. 24km - Kessiakoff is a fearless descender and the two Frenchmen will have to get their heads down if they are to catch him.

  29. 26km - Our leader and the two chasers go over the top of the climb with less than a minute between them. The bunch as still 3'29" back.

  30. 27km - Pinot and Gallopin will both fancy bringing back Kessiakoff, but the bunch will not want to let Gallopin get too far ahead.

  31. 28km - 1'13" between Kessiakoff and the two chasers now. Bunch still 3'27" back.

  32. 28km - Pinot (FDJ) and Gallopin (RNT) on their own having shaken the chase bunch, most of whom are being swept up by the peloton.

  33. 28km - Chase group begins to crack. Pinot (FDJ) driving hard and making life difficult for those following him. Gallopin (RNT), De Weert (OPQ) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vaconsoleil) sit behind him.

  34. 30km - Kessiakoff (Astana) has reached the Cote de la Caquerelle. We will see now if he has done to much. His gap is 1'40" on the chasers behind and 3'31" on the peloton. He looks comfortable at this stage.

  35. 31km - Liquigas take over at the front. Maybe a bit early to show their hand, but they have the advantage in this stage, unless Wiggo has learned to descend in a similar fashion to Nibali.

  36. 33km - We'll wait until after the ascent of the Cote de la Caquerelle to make our pick for the stage win, needless to say there are plenty of riders in that big bunch behind Kessiakoff capable of a a stage win in this difficult terrain.

  37. 37km - News is coming through that Samuel Sanchez broke his right hand and his left collarbone and also dislocated his shoulder during his earlier crash.

  38. 39km - Liquigas begin to show around the front of the peloton. Nibali will fancy his chances on the descents of the Cote de la Caquerelle but also from the top of the Col de la Croix to the finish, that is if he hasn't been burned off by Sky by that stage.

  39. 44km - Kessiakoff leads the descent into the Cote de la Caquerelle. This 4.3km climb is a category 2 and rises to 7.6%. Things will not begin to get serious and we'll see if Sky are interested in pulling back the leaders or will they be happy to let them hang out there until the end.

  40. 47km - Peloton cross the sprint point at 2'41", marshalled by the yellow helmets of Sky.

  41. 50km - Kessiakoff sweeps up the intermediate sprint points, but I'm sure he has little interest in that. He is followed over by the chase bunch who look like they are getting organised.

  42. 54km - Reaching the sprint point for today's stage, I wonder where Peter Sagan, Andre Griepel and Mark Cavendish are hiding out? I doubt there'll be any wheelies pulled today.

  43. 55km - And there's more - group chasing Kessiakoff is Kern (EUC), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Pinot (FDJ), Roy (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Ten Dam (RAB), and Kiserlovski (AST). They are at 27" with the main bunch over 2 and a half minutes behind them.

  44. 57km - Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has also joined this small group.

  45. 59km - The group forming just behind Kessifkoff is De Weert (Omega Pharma - Quick Step), Steven Kruiswijk (Rabobank), Jeremy Roy (FDJ) and Christophe Kern (Europcar).

  46. 60km - A valiant effort from Jeremy Roy, although on this undulating route they could have done with a few more bodies a bit earlier. Kessiakoff shoots over the top first, but will he continue on his own? A bunch of 7 or 8 is forming behind him.

  47. 60km - The 22 man chase group has closed down on the leaders and it looks like we may end up with a big lead group again before too long. Racing seems to have settled as we reach the summit of the Category 2 Cote de la Saulcy.

  48. 62km - Alberto Contador expresses his sympathy on Twitter at the unfortunate crash of Samuel Sanchez.

  49. 64km - The two lead men are working together as they begin the climb of the Cote de Saulcy, as Sky continue to pace the main bunch up the road. There seems to be less urgency at present. Kruiswijk and De Weert are about to be joined by Vasili Kiriyienka (Movistar) and those three will then aim to work up to the front two.

  50. 65km - Jermey Roy (FDJ) and Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) continue to lead with a gap of 2'36". Kruiswijk (Rabobank) and De Weert (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) attempt to bridge the gap to the two leaders from the chasing bunch who sit 1 minute off the two men out front.

  51. 68km - Apart from the unfortunate injury to Samuel Sanchez, today seems to be a relatively crash free day. There's a long way to go and no doubt the descent from the Col de la Croix to the finish will be flat out, I'm sure the bunch will be hoping to make it to Porrentruy without leaving any skin on the tarmac.

  52. 74km - As the riders pick up their musettes, things level off for a few kilometres leaving an opportunity for another flurry of attacks among the chase group. The next climb facing the riders will be the category two Cote de Saulcy. Only 4.6 km in length, this one is a mix of sections of 11% and 13%, reaching 14% at the top end.

  53. 79km - The chasing group included Moinard, Gallopin, Voigt, Kern, Hoogerland, Izaguirre, Marzano, Nerz, Peraud, Kadri, Moncoutie, Jeandesboz, Valls Ferri, Pinot, Kruiswijk, Kiriyienka, Sorensen, Kiserlovski and Weenig. A serious group and there are quite a few names here who could do some damage. Moncoutie or Gallopin to launch an attack later on?

  54. 82km - Roy (FDJ) goes over the climb in the lead but is now joined by Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana). They are being followed by a group of 20 at 40", with the peloton a further 2 minutes back.

  55. 85km - Roy (FDJ) now 2'26" out in front

  56. 85km - Roy (FDJ) has built up a gap of 1'54" and despite having a very strong breakaway bunch behind him, they are not working together and he is free to open up a gap. In the peloton Voeckler able to pull back in as Froome (Sky) hangs out at the rear of the main bunch. He may well be saving his legs for later in the day after his huge stage winning effort yesterday.

  57. 87km - Phillipe Gilbert (BMC) struggling already. His legs really haven't come right so far this season. It doesn't look like he'll be much help to Cadel Evans today. Also Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) is off the back of the main bunch. Another man who hasn't shown the form of last season.

  58. 88km - Valverde makes his way into the back of the peloton as Sky drive on the peloton at the front.

  59. 89km - Roy has a 37" lead and is looking quite comfortable on this climb. For his part, Kiriyienka is tapping away but no really making inroads into the gap.

  60. 90km - Roy (FDJ) hits the foot of the category 2 Cote de Saignelegier which climbs along 7.8km to 6.1%. He is being followed by Kiryienka (Movistar) 18" back. Johnny Hoogerland (Vaconsoleil) also feels it's time to make a move. Poor Jens Voigt (Radioshack Nissan) has since fallen off the back of the bunch having been unsuccessful in numerous attempts to get away in the early stages.

  61. 94km - Olympic champion Sanchez will most likely be forced to sit out the Games in London next month as the Spanish team is dealt another blow following Oscar Friere's crash. Valverde is moving along but is being treated by the doctor.

  62. 95km - And so another rider forced to abandon as at the front of affairs Jermey Roy (FDJ) plummets down the descent of the Cote de Maison-Rouge.

  63. 97km - Two riders wait for Sanchez, but it doesn't look like he'll be getting back on his bike. Looks like Tour over for him. Valverde was also caught up (Movistar) but is up and moving.

  64. 100km - Big crash. Samuel Sanchez (EUS) is down and holding his shoulder.

  65. 100km - As Roy (FDJ) arrives in the breakaway he decides to drive on, however, Sky can see the bunch in front of them and their metronomic approach is reeling them back in.

  66. 100km - Jeremy Roy (FDJ) flings off the front of the peloton to bridge the gap to the leaders as Nicolas Roche is paced back into the bunch after his mechanical.

  67. 105km - Boasson Hagen (Sky) continued to lead at the head of the peloton as the 20 man lead group again attacks each other on the descent of the Cote de Maison-Rouge. They have a 23" lead, but are not working together. Nicolas Roche (AG2R) has dropped a chain, but as we're descending he should be okay to get back in the bunch.

  68. 109km - Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) leads his team at the head of what's left of the peloton, 25" behind the leaders.

  69. 110km - Steven Krujswijk (Rabobank) is making inroads at the front although he's having a tough time trying to move away from Jens Voigt (Radioshack Nissan). They are 10" clear of a big chasing group.

  70. 113km - The riders are now hitting the bottom of the Cote de Maison-Rouge which should string things out a bit more. Following his impressive climb yesterday, Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) is keeping quiet so far today. However, keep an eye out for him in the latter stages. He's shown flashes of his potential and there's definitely more to come.

  71. 114km - Nicolas Roche (AG2R) moved himself up to 8th place on GC yesterday with an 11th place finish on the stage. He was predicting an 8 to 10 man break away yesterday, but it remains to be seen if this will materialise. Assuming he has recovered from his efforts yesterday, a good bet for today may be Roche's cousin Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp).

  72. 115km - Voigt (RNT) has been joined by a group of riders including Izaguirre (EUS), Peraud (ALM), Vichot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB) and Kessiakoff (AST). The main bunch are just 10" behind and the break looks doomed.

  73. 120km - Today's remaining climbs are: the Cote de Maison Rouge - 7.9km to 6.1%, the category two climb of the Cote de Saignelegier - 7.8km to 6.1%, the Cote de Saulcy - 4.6 climb to 8.6%, the category 2 Cote de la Caquerelle - 4.3km to 7.6% and the final Col de la Croix - 3.7km to 9.2% which is the final climb and category 1 climb before a 16km run in to the finish.

  74. 125km - Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) and Peter Weenig (Orica Green Edge) look to be closing in on Voigt and if this trio can come together we may finally have our break of the day as we approach 35km raced.

  75. 125km - This will be a difficult day for the world champion, Mark Cavendish (SKY), but he won't be too concerned. The chasers are on the tail of leader Voigt (RNT), but even this group of 12 are breaking up as we ascend the climb of the Passage de la Douleor or the Hill of Pain.

  76. 127km - The bunch chasing Voigt has begun to split itself as Michael Albasini (OGE) puts the pressure on. Another group including Coppel (SAU), Mollema (RAB), Peter Velits (OPQ) and Kroon (STB) are chasing the group who are chasing Voigt (RNT).

  77. 128km - Voigt is on the second climb, as a bus of sprinters already begins to form off the back of the peloton.

  78. 130km - Jens Voigt (RNT) continues to plough away at the front. He not has a gap of 20 seconds from an eight man counter attack of Albasini (OGE), Urtasun (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Riblon (ALM), Valls Ferri (VCD), Casar (FDJ), Fofonov (AST), Paulinho (RNT), and Huguet (ARG).

  79. 130km - The stage today will see the riders pass into Switzerland in what Matt Lloyd has called a "climber's sprint stage". Fast and painful seems to be the general consensus.

  80. 132km - The second climb of today will be the category 3 ascent of the Cote du Passage de la Douleur. A 3.8km climb with a 6.4% gradient. Sure to begin to sting the legs of those who don't fancy that steep stuff. Although today is classed as a medium mountain stage, the sheer volume of tough climbs will see a lot of pain in the bunch.

  81. 135km - Huge amount of counter attacks as Voigt, the oldest man in the race, claims a mountain point over the top.

  82. 136km - Jens Voigt (Radioshack Nissan) not willing to give up on his breakaway attempt and drives up the Cote de Bondeval on his own. Team orders within the Radioshack Nissan may well be out the window after yesterday when Andreas Kloden and Frank Schleck seemed to be all at sea while Haimar Zubeldia drove on to move to 6th place in the GC.

  83. 137km - As we approach the foot of the first climb Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) takes a flier.

  84. 138km - As we say that, the break is being eaten up and their advantage is down to 12 seconds as Sky begin to drive on the front.

  85. 140km - Our leaders have opened up a 41 second advantage and look to be working well and slowly adding to their advantage. Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins (SKY) said this morning that he thinks a break may well stay away and that he wouldn't be too worried about losing the jersey after just one stage. Sensible words, as no Tour winner since Bernard Hinault in 1981 has taken and held on to the yellow jersey this early in a Tour de France.

  86. 140km - Today's first climb comes at 20km in. The Cote de Bondeval is a category 4 climb of 4.4km with an average gradient of 3.9%. This is the beginning of a difficult day and the climbing will be relentless with the second climb coming at 32km.

  87. 145km - So, the full list of riders in the break is Gilbert (BMC), Voigt (RNT), Perez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Riblon (ALM), Westra (VCD), Sanchez (RAB), Costa (MOV), N Sorensen (STB), Chavanel (OPQ), and Curvers (ARG). Astana leading the chase so at this early stage it remains to be seen if they can stay away.

  88. 147km - Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) is in the break away who now have 18 seconds. Others include Rui Costa (Movistar), Phillipe Gilbert (BMC), Jens Voigt (Radioshack Nissan), Cristophe Riblon (AG2R), Louis Westra (Vaconsoleil).

  89. 150km - One non starter today is Johannes Frohlinger of Argos-Shimano. His withdrawal brings to 18 the number of riders having been forced out of the race at the end of the first week.

  90. 151km - 11 man break including Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) is working well to establish itself. Full list shortly.

  91. 12.20 - Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) takes an early tumble, as a group of about ten riders tries hard to get away. Sky lead the chasing bunch, but once see the make up of the break away, they may well ease off.

  92. 12.15 - As the riders roll through km zero we are hoping for an exciting day ahead. Seven categorised climbs will test the legs of a tired peloton after yesterday's mountain top finish. The weather is dry and warm after a deluge in Belfort last night.

  93. 12.15 - Welcome to live coverage of Stage 8 of the 2012 Tour de France. Today will see the riders cover the 157.5km between Belfort and Porrentruy.

Comment 1 - 17 of 17

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  1. why, oh why, is Wiggins working???

    From ALAN, on Sun 8 Jul 16:07
  2. Why does Wiggins have to wear black socks - are they­ perhaps for luck? However, I wish he wouldn't. ­ What about someone buying him a yellow pair?

    From Mhic, on Sun 8 Jul 15:39
  3. When commentary affectionately remembers the great tour­ heros there seems to be no mention of Armstrong. Its as­ though there is a veto on recalling his exploits in the­ same way as people talk of Pantani, Hinaut, Lemond etc­ etc...Why?

    From ANDREW, on Sun 8 Jul 14:36
  4. Poor Samu San..No Olympic defense for him­ now...He's gonnna have to suck it up..Like Wiggo­ did last year

    From Elisabeth, on Sun 8 Jul 14:03
  5. Not strange..just very naughty..He was slapped,­ appropriately

    From Elisabeth, on Sun 8 Jul 14:01
  6. Froome was holding onto cars and disqualified on a­ mountain climb in the Giro 2 years ago. Strange

    From Sabcarrera, on Sun 8 Jul 13:48
  7. Racing has changed over the last couple of years, we­ don't see as many big times getting put into the­ break, things are kept a lot tighter and Sky have the­ set up to deal with that

    From RiChArD, on Sun 8 Jul 13:28
  8. Yes,Froome did beat Wiggo in TT @ Vuelta last year..­ Sky have a team full of great trialists...Will they all­ empty themselves tomorrow?? Doubt it..Sky spreading­ themselves too thin already in my opinion with that­ World Champion water carrier & his helper who will­ be of absolute no use on thursday...All eggs in the­ Wiggo basket...Love how all those 'contenders'­ were ejected off the Sky Train yesterday..Only a few­ riders had valid tickets to stay onboard & they­ were grateful..

    From Elisabeth, on Sun 8 Jul 13:09
  9. most people hnave just 'discoverd' froome!,he­ has been around a few years now and has not just­ 'appeared!',few years ago he was up for a stage­ win but on a descent he overshot a bend and dissapeared­ over the edge and weent flying down below. since then­ illness has curtailed his racing buit he did stirling­ work last year in worlds for cavendish,am sure on his­ day sky team be right there for chris.

    From Freddybee, on Sun 8 Jul 12:51
  10. Teams will be chancing their luck at a breakaway. Team­ Sky really need to be on the ball today.

    From Outhousesportsbooks, on Sun 8 Jul 12:48
  11. Graphics person asleep again !!

    From Kate F, on Sun 8 Jul 12:48
  12. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    stupid sky team :( .. they got here 2 persons who can­ win the tour. Froome showed on vuelta what he can do.­ They killed Fromme to get they "goldeb boy" ,­ somebody who thinks hes the star, the tour even if the­ team member is better :( dont forget Froome was the­ leading man in the last 3 KM and still got the strength­ to attack evans. GO FROOME !! GO FROOME

    From Burger, on Sun 8 Jul 12:45
  13. What is up with your live graphics?

    From Tim, on Sun 8 Jul 12:34
  14. They'll not want Chavanel and Sanchez to get too­ far up the road. Reckon this one is doomed.

    From Jenny F, on Sun 8 Jul 12:33
  15. jenny, wiggins can climb, very well now. You'll­ see that in the rest of the tour. Froome has no doubt­ got the ability but he won't attack wiggo, he's­ loyal and knows full well he's there to do a job...

    From Matthew, on Sun 8 Jul 12:21
  16. The race director flapping his arms on top of the lead­ car was fun to watch on the french video feed on­ eurosport.

    From DrLeftover, on Sun 8 Jul 12:18
  17. The type of day for a small group or a long lone­ breakaway today.

    From Toni, on Sun 8 Jul 10:07
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