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Tour de France - Vaison-la-Romaine - Gap

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  1. 0km - No change in the top four of the general classification, but Laurens Ten Dam drops a place to sixth after his time loss today. The white jersey, Nairo Quintana, takes the Dutchman's place.

  2. 0km - Confirmation of the result today: 1. Rui Costa (Movistar), 2. Christophe Riblon (Ag2R-La Mondiale), 3. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ).

  3. 0km - The Ten Dam group cross the line 12:07 down, which means the Dutchman will concede his fifth place to Quintana today.

  4. 0km - Joaquim Rodriguez lead the yellow jersey group over the line, 11:10 down on the winner Rui Costa.

  5. 0km - Froome, Porte and Contador have caught the other group of favourites. Contador puts his thumb up as be passes Quintana - probably sarcastically, after the Movistar rider did not wait up. Who knows?

  6. 0km - The upshot is that Froome now has Porte with him to help pace him to the finish. They have 4km to go - and Froome looks a bit nervous after that fall. Him and Contador may lose a few seconds to Mollema today.

  7. 0km - CRASH: It looks like Contador went down on a corner - and Froome, to avoid him, went down on the side of the road too. It was just after a corner, and so the speed wasn't fast, but both riders will now need to fight back to catch the others.

  8. 0km - Back with the main favourites, Froome is being put under pressure by Saxo Bank on the descent, but he has all the answers. They just past the Beloki corner.

  9. 0km - It's a French flag of a finish for the four chasers, with the three French riders, in red, white and blue, crossing the line together and ahead of Kloden.

  10. 0km - Victory for Rui Costa! It's a second career Tour stage victory for the double Tour de Suisse overall winner.

  11. 1km - Under the one-to-go banner for Rui Costa - and now he's smiling to the cameras and clenching his firsts, and signalling his team car.

  12. 2km - Kloden, Coppel, Riblon and Jeannesson will fight it out for second place.

  13. 3km - Rui Costa looks to have this one sewn up - he attacked at just the right moment and will win this stage, barring a crash or a mechanical.

  14. 4km - Porte is well and truly cooked, so Froome is now on his own with his rivals.

  15. 5km - Ten Dam spits out a load of phlegm... nice. Back with the favourites, Contador attacks, Froome is dropped and Froome covers. Kreuziger has the next dig, and Quintana looks quite poised for a dig himself.

  16. 6km - Remember, the favourites are still going uphill because they're some 11 minutes behind Costa, the leader. Contador has a small gap, but is reeled back in.

  17. 7km - Porte, with his necklace hanging out, still leads the main group of favourites - as Contador attacks once again!

  18. 8km - Cadel Evans and Dan Martin are trying to rejoin the Ten Dam group, which in turn is trying to rejoin the yellow jersey group.

  19. 9km - Now it's the descent of the Col de Manse, where Joseba Beloki dramatically crashed in melted tarmac in 2003, causing Lance Armstrong to off-road through a field...

  20. 10.5km - Porte, Froome, Kreuziger, Contador, Quintana, Valverde, Rodriguez and Mollema are all here in the group of favourites. They ar 11:25 down on the lone leader, Rui Costa.

  21. 11.5km - ATTACK: Alberto Contador out of the saddle and off the front of the group of favourites - but Porte pulls it back together. Ten Dam, Peraud and Fuglsang have been dropped.

  22. 12km - Costa has 48 seconds on the Kloden chasing group as he crosses the summit.

  23. 13km - Rodriguez has blown the pack apart with his accelerations on the front - and has just a handful of riders on his wheel: Porte, Froome, Valverde, Quintana, Mollema, Kreuziger, Contador... Ten Dam is drifting back a little.

  24. 13.5km - Andy Schleck and Pierre Rolland have - apparently - all been dropped by the peloton. Riblon, Kloden, Jeannesson and Coppel still ride in pursuit of Costa, with Trofimov and Dumoulin chasing them down, then the rest of the escapees together.

  25. 14km - Now Voeckler goes! The Frenchman is out of the saddle in pursuit of the other chasers, bring it back together. But Costa still leads - and his gap is 50 seconds now.

  26. 15km - Back with the peloton, Igor Anton of Euskaltel picks up a puncture. Numerous riders have been blown off the back, including Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh. Katusha are piling on the pressure on the front, for their man Joaquim Rodriguez.

  27. 16km - It's coming back together for the chasing riders, with Trofimov, Gautier and Kloeden all there. Then there's another splinter, with Coppel, Kloden, Jeassesson and Riblon combining well.

  28. 16.5km - Riblon, Jeannesson, Roche and Coppel ride in a quartet in pursuit of Costa. Cyril Gautier has almost joined them, while the next group includes the likes of Voeckler and the world champion Gilbert.

  29. 17km - Costa has dropped Coppel, while Roche has been joined by Jeannesson. The Portuguese rider has already won a stage on the Tour de France, in 2011 at Super Besse.

  30. 18km - Rui Costa is now leading, with Jerome Coppel and Nico Roche in pursuit. Coppel makes the connection, but Roche is struggling to join, with six riders in pursuit.

  31. 19km - Just Hansen out in front now, but the gap is minimal. Roche is in pursuit, as are about a dozen riders. And Hansen has been passed by one of the Cofidis duo.

  32. 19.5km - The break is returning on the two leaders - in particular, Adam Hansen, who has pinged off the front and caught both Marino and Kadri. The Australian won a stage in the Giro so will have the confidence. Already Quinziato, Mori and De Gendt have been dropped by the break.

  33. 20km - Back with the pack, Belkin have come forward alongside Sky. They still have another 10 minutes to go until they reach the climb, but there's no harm in getting prepared early.

  34. 21km - French duo Kadri and Marino are onto the final climb of the day, the Cat.2 Col de Manse - 1,268m - 9.5km at 5.2%. They have 20 seconds over the other escapees and 12:10 over the peloton.

  35. 22km - Marino slows up after realising he's distanced his fellow escapee, Kadri. At the moment they are allies - in 20km they may well be enemies. Although it remains to be seen if they can stay out on the big climb of the Col de Manse. Their advantage over the peloton is now 11:50!

  36. 25km - The gap is up to 11 minutes for the two leaders over the peloton, with the rest of the break riding 25 seconds in arrears.

  37. 30km - That attack from the French duo Kadri and Marino came 15km from the foot of the Col de Manse. They already have 25 seconds on the other escapees. Both riders are good friends and have already attacked before in this year's Tour: Marino was part of the break in stage 8 while Kadri has been off the front numerous times, including stage 2 where he picked up the polka dot jersey.

  38. 35km - ATTACK: Blel Kadri (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Jean Marc Marino (Sojasun) accelerate out of the break. It's Kadri who makes the first move, and Marino who follows. No reaction from the rest of the group.

  39. 36km - For the first time in this year's Tour, the advantage of the break rises above the 10-minute mark. It's 10:15 now.

  40. 38km - The breakaway group of 26 only includes former stage winners on the Tour: Philippe Gilbert, Thomas Voeckler and Christophe Riblon. // Correction: Four winners - Rui Costa too.

  41. 40km - The advantage of the leaders is almost up to ten minutes now.

  42. 45km - Thomas De Gendt pops off the front to pick up the points at the sprint. Not too surprising - the Belgian is the best placed of all the escapees in the green jersey standings, but those 20 points only put him into 11th place, almost 300 points behind Sagan.

  43. 46km - We're approaching the intermediate sprint and this will have no bearing on the green jersey, which is safe on the shoulders of Peter Sagan.

  44. 50km - The host nation and Spain are still without a win in this year's Tour de France. Could today be the day? We have seven Frenchmen in the break and two Spaniards...

  45. 53km - This group is combining well to keep the peloton at 9:20. The pack, led by Sky's Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas, is strung out and taking things easy. Tomorrow we have the time trial, then three decisive days in the Alps.

  46. 58km - Sylvain Chavanel, riding his special limited-edition orange bike and wearing the red dossard as the most combative rider from the previous stage, drops back to fill his jersey with water bottles - and loads of them. The Frenchman must have around 20 bottles - at least - down his jersey.

  47. 62km - Most of the leaders are taking on some food as Ramunas Navardauskas stops to change his rear wheel. The Lithuanian won a stage in the Giro after a solid final ascent and so he'll fancy his chances today. The gap of the leading 26 riders is up to 8:50 now.

  48. 65km - A reminder of the leaders: Hansen (LTB), Gilbert and Quinziato (BMC), Gallopin (RTL), Gautier and Voeckler (EUC), Kadri and Riblon (ALM), Roche (TST), Trofimov (KAT), Astarloza (EUS), Costa (MOV), Coppel and Navarro (COF), Mori (LAM), Velits (OPQ), Navardauskas (GRS), Albasini and Meyer (OGE), Dumoulin (ARG), De Gendt and Hoogerland (VCD) and Marino (SOJ).

  49. 68km - With that train crossing, the gap is now up to 8:10 for the 26 leaders. In this group, the danger men are: Gilbert, Voeckler, Roche, Costa, Navarro, Navardauskas, Albasini, De Gendt and Hoogerland... although who can tell what will happen, really?

  50. 70km - The peloton is held up briefly at a train crossing. The train passes by quite quickly so they will only lose a bit of time there.

  51. 75km - The gap has stabilised at around seven and a half minutes. There is bound to be a lull in the leading group until the Col de Manse. Back in the pack, yellow jersey Chris Froome looks fairly relaxed. Sky are using their special oval chainrings - and the TV cameras are enjoying getting numerous close-up images.

  52. 80km - We have 17 teams represented in this break, many of whom are without a win so far: BMC, Europcar, Ag2R-La Mondiale, Saxo-Tinkoff, Katusha, Euskaltel, Movistar, Cofidis, Lampre, Vacansoleil and Sojasun. Those who do have wins are: Orica-GreenEdge, Garmin-Sharp, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Lotto-Belisol, Argos-Shimano and Radioshack-Leopard.

  53. 85km - The average speed for the first hour of the course was 42.5km/h - but it has got much faster now we're on to this long, slightly downhill stretch of road that cuts through the valley. The route is quite breathtaking as it cuts through gorges and past jagged peaks, hugging to the side of the mountain.

  54. 88km - This morning Europcar's Cyril Gautier spoke to Eurosport and has this to say: "The stage will be very hard because of the wind, the heat and the route, which is difficult from the start. We're entering the final week of the Tour and many teams want a win. For us, the objective is simple today: we want to win." Well, they have gone about it in the right way by getting both Gautier and Thomas Voeckler in the break.

  55. 92km - Sky still control the peloton with Geraint Thomas, the man who fractures a small bone in his pelvis on day one, setting the tempo. The pack trails the leaders by 7:20. It's highly unlikely the escapees will be caught before the finish.

  56. 95km - Because of the long descent to the finish, whoever wants to win this one today will probably have to attack on the Col de Manse, which will put a climber who can descent as one of teh main favourites. Adam Hansen won a similar stage on the Giro, Gilbert will be confident, while Vacansoleil have the two cards to play. It should be a thrilling finale.

  57. 100km - The gap is up to 7:15 as the peloton rides past a lavander field. It is extremely hot out there, with Ag2R-La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu having announced at the start that his team will get through 180 bidons of water today - that's 20 for each of the riders.

  58. 102km - None of the leading 26 riders are a realistic threat on GC. Spain's Daniel Navarro, of Cofidis, is the best placed on GC, 23:36 down on Chris Froome.

  59. 105km - With four stage wins, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team of Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin and Matteo Trentin are topping the prize-money standings with a total of 82,740 euros won so far. The Cannondale team of Peter Sagan are second, with 41,440 euros, with Chrs Froome's Sky in third on 40,950. Movistar have 38,000, Orica-GreenEdge 36,410 and Vacansoleil-DCM 35,080 euros. Last in the standings are Cofidis, who have a miserly haul of just 4,530 euros. Can they improve things today?

  60. 110km - The strung-out peloton zooms though the tiny town of Sederon, trailing the 26 escapees by 6:35 on a sweltering day in the Alpine foothills.

  61. 115km - Aften a quick descent from the Macuegne, we have a long faux-downhill now before another long faux-flat ahead of the intermediate sprint. Then there's a proper downhill to the foot of the Col de Manse, the climb itself, and then the fast downhill to the finish in Gap - the same downhill where Joseba Beloki crashed so horrifically 10 years ago, leaving Lance Armstrong with no option but to cyclo-cross through a field.

  62. 118km - Confirmation of the summit points just then: 1. Hoogerland 5pts, 2. Didier 3pts, 2, Coppel 2pts, 4. Kloden 1pt.

  63. 120km - Johnny Hoogerland, the Dutch national champion, edges clear to take the maximum 5 points over the summit. Remember - he was in a break with Voeckler two years ago the day of his high-speed rendez-vous with the barbed wire fence...

  64. 121km - Absolutely stunning scenary here in the foothills of the Alps as Julien Simon drops back for attention from the medical car. The leaders have 6:30 now with Hoogerland on the front.

  65. 122km - Green jersey Peter Sagan, who was in the initial break today, appears to be struggling a bit now off the back of the peloton. It looks like he won't get a chance to add to his solitary stage win until the Champs Elysees.

  66. 123km - De Gendt and Astarloza control the pace for the escapees, who have six minutes on the peloton. Back on the peloton, Sky set the tempo.

  67. 125km - Codifis have had a terrible Tour so far and will be hoping for something special from Jerome Coppel and Daniel Davarro. The latter was just on the front of the break, whereas the former has been on the back since the start of the climb.

  68. 126km - Chapeau Arnold Jeannesson! The Frenchman from FDJ has managed to join the leading group after 15km of riding 'chasse-patate' between the break and the peloton.

  69. 127km - With four minutes to play with, the leaders are onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.2 Col de Macuègne - 1.068m high, 7.6km at 5.2%.

  70. 128km - Twenty five riders in this break: Hansen (LTB), Gilbert and Quinziato (BMC), Gallopin (RTL), Gautier and Voeckler (EUC), Kadri and Riblon (ALM), Roche (TST), Trofimov (KAT), Astarloza (EUS), Costa (MOV), Coppel and Navarro (COF), Mori (LAM), Velits (OPQ), Navardauskas (GRS), Albasini and Meyer (OGE), Dumoulin (ARG), De Gendt and Hoogerland (VCD) and Marino (SOJ).

  71. 130km - Dutch national champion Johnny Hoogerland is in this leading group - full names coming up. But it's definitely here to stay: the gap is now three minutes.

  72. 132km - Thomas Voeckler and Cyril Gautier of Europcar are here in the leading group. The Frenchmen will be extra motivated today after it was announced on the rest day that their team's main sponsor was renewing for another two years.

  73. 133km - Hansen and Kloden have 1:10 over the peloton, which is being controlled by the Sky team of yellow jersey Chris Froome. But the leading duo are just being caught by the chasing group of 12-odd riders.

  74. 135km - It looks like the the break and the peloton merged slightly before a new faction edged ahead. One of the new riders in this chasing group is the world champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC.

  75. 137km - COUNTER-ATTACK: Adam Hansen and Andreas Kloden have edged ahead of the break, which is about to get caught by the pack.

  76. 140km - RadioShack are clearly motivated today: they have five riders in the break, while Garmin and Movistar both have three. It's very tight, though, with the peloton rolling at just 20 seconds.

  77. 142km - The 31 leaders are: Sagan (CAN), Hansen (LTB), Morabito (BMC), Bakelants, Didier, Gallopin, Kloden and Voigt (RTL), Voeckler (EUC), Jeannesson (FDJ), Kadri and Riblon (ALM), Bennati, Hernandez and Roche (TST), Brutt and Trofimov (KAT), Valverde, Costa and Rojas (MOV), Navarro (COF), Mori (LAM), Chavanel and Velits (OPQ), Boom (BEL), Hesjedal, Martin and Navardauskas (GRS), Dumoulin (ARG), De Gendt (VCD) and Vuillermoz (SOJ).

  78. 145km - Alejandro Valverde and Dan Martin have now joined the leaders - this is an interesting development. Garmin-Sharp's Martin is only 8'28 down on the yellow jersey and so Sky will have to monitor the situation closely...

  79. 150km - The 12 riders who managed to join the leading group on the last climb are: Steve Morabito, Jan Bakelants, Andreas Kloden, Thomas Voeckler, Arnold Jeanneson, Jesus Hernandez, Eduard Vorganov, Jon Izaguirre, Daniel Navarro, Sylvain Chavanel, Ryder Hesjedal and Juan Antonio Flecha. 32 riders currently 30 seconds ahead of the peloton.

  80. 152km - Another dozen riders have managed to join the break out ahead - and one of them, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has just crossed the summit of the first climb in pole position to take the two points.

  81. 155km - Rui Costa of Movistar is the best-placed rider in the break - but the Portuguese is more than half an hour down on Chris Froome, hence Sky not being concerned with this break as yet. Costa has his Movistar team-mate Jose Rojas in the break too.

  82. 158km - The leaders are approaching the first climb of the day, the Cat.3 Côte de la Montagne de Bluye (5.7km at 5.6%). The pace is pretty fast - it's no sure thing that this break will be the day's main break.

  83. 160km - The gap is currently 35 seconds for the leading group of 20. Six teams are not represented - FDJ, Astana, BMC, Sky, Euskaltel, Cofidis and Orica-GreenEdge. FDJ are on the front of the pack trying to reel in the escapees.

  84. 162km - The leaders are: Peter Sagan, Adam Hansen, Laurent Didier, Jens Voigt, David Veilleux, Blel Kadri, Christophe Riblon, Daniele Bennati, Nicholas Roche, Pavel Brutt, Rui Costa, Rojas, Manuele Mori, Peter Velits, Lars Boom, Ramunas Navardauskas, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, De Gendt and Alexis Vuillermoz.

  85. 165km - BREAK: Around 20 riders have managed to jump clear of the peloton - including the oldest rider in the race, Jens Voigt (RadioShack) and the green jersey, Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

  86. 168km - They're off! The final week of the Tour is under way...

  87. 12:30 - A couple of rest day withdrawals to report: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and the race's youngest rider Danny van Poppel (Vacansoleil-DCM) have both pulled out of the race, leaving us with 179 riders in the peloton heading into the Alps and the final phase of this 100th edition of the race.

  88. 12:25 - The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone ahead of today's 168km stage. The sun is out and the temperature is currently a high 32 degrees Celsius. It's going to be another scorcher!

  89. 12:20 - As already mentioned, Nairo Quintana is the white jersey after the Colombian climber put in another supreme display of uphill riding on the Ventoux. He leads the impressive Polish youngster Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) by 2:10 in the standings - and although his rival is more likely to take time back on tomorrow's time trial, Quintana should build up a decent buffer in the Alps to secure the white jersey in his debut Tour.

  90. 12:15 - Peter Sagan is all but assured the retention of his green jersey come Paris after the young Slovakian all-rounder got into the break on Sunday to pick up 20 more points at the intermediate sprint and move 99 points clear of Britain's Mark Cavendish (OPQS). Cannondale's Sagan has only won a single stage so far - but his consistency has seen him pick up daily points, including four second-place finishes. Today's terrain could suit the 23-year-old - so don't discount Sagan getting in the break.

  91. 12:10 - Froome also took the lead in the king of the mountains competition, although it looks like Mikel Nieve will wear the polka dot jersey today - even though the Euskaltel rider (who finished 3rd atop Ventoux) is only 3rd in the standings. Second-place Quintana would be in the polka dots, but is also the best young rider and so wears the white jersey. The previous long-standing leader, Pierre Rolland, relinquished his lead after failing to get into the main break on Bastille Day, before cracking.

  92. 12:05 - On Sunday, before yesterday's rest day, Chris Froome (Team Sky) cemented his lead at the top of the standings with a rampaging ride up Mont Ventoux to beat the Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and all his GC rivals quite convincingly. Britain's Froome leads Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Belkin) by 4:14 in the standings, with Spain's Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) in third place at 4:25.

  93. 12:00 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 16 of the Tour de France, an unpredictable and undulating 168km ride from Vaison-La-Romaine to Gap. Followed by the second individual time trial and three high mountain stages in the Alps, this could well be the last chance for the plucky 'baroudeurs' to get their win - so expect an active race from the start.

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