It was an interesting stage today, which saw a somewhat complacent peloton after yesterday’s constant attacks. Still, a very impressive group of 10 riders managed to get away. They quickly splintered under Hushovd’s impetus, and he managed to time trial his way to the end, beating Moncoutie and Roy, who would have given the first French victory of a stage. Still, it isn’t all bad, as Roy takes on the Polka Dot jersey as the leader in the KOM comp. Gilbert is chipping away at the lead in the Green Jersey comp, as is Rojas. They won’t make winning it easy this year. Cav is over confident enough that it will be his downfall.
The stage is 152km in length.
Voeckler still has the Yellow Jersey. There was a little breakaway, and they were caught.
Klöden abandoned. He’s the 4th member to abandon the tour.
The first climb was won by Vanendert. It got him 2pts in the KOM comp. The peloton was all together. It was a cat 3 climb.
Roy slips away from the front of the peloton. 101.9km to go. He got 10″.
The next climb is a cat 4 in 18km. That’s followed by the sprint in about 37km. The main climb is in 67km and it’s an hors-catégorie climb.
The peloton is speeding along at 49kph. This includes the climb. Roy is caught by some riders, but they are only a few meters ahea do another chase group.
Hoogerland got a letter from the driver but he didn’t identify himself. Flecha wants to meet him.
Sanchez has the lead in the KOM comp with 40pts, followed by Vanendert with 34pts, and then Roy with 24pts and F. Schleck with the same. Hoogerland has 22pts.
Some of the riders are already 5′ behind.
Boom from Rabobank abandons.
There are 93km left, and the leaders have got 55″ over the peloton. The leaders are Hushovd (Garmin Cervelo), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Tjallingii (Rabobank), Fofanof (Astana), Boasson-Hagen (Sky), Pineau (Quick Step), Roy (FDJ), Petacchi (Lampre), Lars Bak (HTC), and Gusev (Katusha).
Voeckler is taking a piss. He takes off the front and signals the peloton.
The lead is 1:53 and there are 91.1km left.
At 87.8km, the lead is 3:43. The lead is getting bigger and bigger. It’s at 4′.
Roy goes over the Côte de Bélair first and he gets the pt in the KOM.
Katusha has also lost their sprinter, who was eliminated on time.
The Europcar is doing the pacing.
The riders are getting close to the feeding zone, which is very close to the intermediate sprint.
The lead is 4:20.
Jens Voigt got a feeding bag caught in his rear wheel and fell o the ground. He looks fine.
The breakaway are close to the intermediate sprint. There was no sprint. Boasson-Hagen gets 20pts.
The Movistar team is at the front, preparing the lead out for Rojas. Greipel is leading out Gilbert. He goes ahead and he is chased by Rojas. Cav is back. Gilbert goes ahead early to distance the others, but it was way too early. The HTC team are leading out Cav.
Rojas beat Cav fair and square. He was surprised by when Rojas beat him when he went ahead by the sprint. Rojas gets the 5pts. Just like the prima donna he is, Cav complains.
With 64.8km, the lead is 4:40. Gilbert is having a word with the Tour’s technical director.
The leaders are about to start the climb. The peloton are 5:52 behind.
The Col d’Aubisque is a 16.4km climb, with a height of 1709m, including an average gradient of 7.1%.
A soon as the climb started, Hushovd accelerated away. He dropped the other 9 riders.
A few other riders have made it away from the peloton. Roy is trying to rejoin Hushovd.
Bouet (AG2R) and Molimer (Rabobank) are the riders trying to join the breakaway. They are chasing Delage (FDJ).
Roy is about to join Hushovd.
Boasson Hagen is catching up to Moncoutie, who is trying to catch Hushovd and Roy. The gap to the peloton is 6:25.
Hushovd has been dropped by Roy. Hushovd is caught by Moncoutie.
Delage is caught by the peloton. With 47.1km, the lead is 7:20. Hushovd is 41″ behind Moncoutie.
With 43.7km, the peloton is 8′ behind Roy. 1km to go to the top of the Col d’Aubisque.
If Roy gets over the top of the climb 1st, he will take the lead of the KOM comp, 5pts over Sanchez, 11pts over Vanendert.
They are going downhill. Voeckler is at the front of the peloton. Vanendert is caught by the peloton. Roy is 8:06 ahead.
Hushovd is about to catch Moncoutie. They are 1:29 behind Roy.
25km to go. The lead is 8:37. Gilbert makes a move off the top of the Sauriol.
At 17.4km, the lead is 9′. Roy only has to worry about Hushovd and Moncoutie, who are 52″ behind.
Gilbert joined Mollema.
At 15.3km, Roy’s lead is 34″ over Hushovd and Moncoutie. With 10km to go, Roy’s lead is 18″.
Hushovd has accelerated the pace. Moncoutie is right behind him, but it’s not enough yet. Roy still has 15″. There are 7.8km left.
Roy is still in front. He’s got 17″. Hushovd asks Moncoutie for help, but Moncoutie just shakes his head. Moncoutie knows that if he helps Hushovd, he will win the stage. Moncoutie is French, just like Roy.
5km to go, and the lead is 14″.
4km to go. It is 15″. The lead over the peloton is 8:37.
With 3km to go, Hushovd accelerates away from Moncoutie but that doesn’t shake Moncoutie away. Hushovd catches Roy with 2.3km left. Hushovd tries to get away from Roy. Moncoutie passes Roy.
Hushovd wins the stage followed by Moncoutie. Roy comes up 25″ back.
Gilbert sprints for 10th place for 6pts in the sprinting KOM. Rojas does the same in the peloton for 12th place and 4pts.
Roy slips on the KOM polka dot jersey with 45pts. Sanchez has 40pts, followed by Vanendert with 34pts. Then we have F. Schleck with 24pts and Hoogerland with 22pts.
Cav retain the Green Jersey for now with 264pts, followed by Rojas with 251pts, and Gilbert with 240pts. Hushovd has got 192pts, followed by Greipel with 164pts.
While Gilbert’s little breakaway might have cost him some energy reserves, he managed to get into the top 10 of the GC, which might have been his goal, on top of getting some extra points for finishing 10th.
Voeckler is looking pretty good, but let’s wait and see what happens in the next mountain stage tomorrow.
2. F. Schleck +1:49
3. Evans +2:06
4. A. Schleck +2:17
5. Basso +3:16
6. Cunego +3:22
7. Contador +4′
8. Sanchez +4:11
9. Gilbert +4:35
10. Danielson +4:35