This is the last real climbing stage in this year’s TdF, which includes 1 cat 4 climb, 2 cat 1 climb and 1 cat HC climb. It’s expected that the rider wearing the polka-dot jersey will win the KOM comp. The weather has shifted. It rained and Flecha, Boassen Hagen, Koren, Kolobnev, Pauriol, and Perez got away and have 3:05 lead.
There is a crash at 148km. It brings the peloton to a standstill. Sanchez is down. His teammates from Euskatel Euskadi are nearby. Like a trooper, Sanchez gets back on his bike. This was caused by the team cars trying to get to the
Sastre tries to make a move. Contador slows the peloton down to wait for Sanchez. Sanchez is back on his bike. He’s got 3 teammates to pace him back to the peloton, but he’s back a few minutes.
Sanchez has met up with Voeckler. The breakaway is 5 minutes in front of the peloton. Sastre and his teammate are 3 minutes back from the leaders. Sanchez is paced back to the peloton. Contador has learned from his mistake and slowed down the peloton. The leaders are 6:53 in front at 134km. The breakaway is at 7:49 at 132km. At 125km, Sanchez is getting checked out. He landed on his chest when he fell.
At 121km, the lead is up to 9:14. Sastre is at 3:55. Flecha is pulling up the pace because he doesn’t want Sastre to join up. This will make the peloton chase them a lot harder, since Sastre is a GC contender only 9 minutes behind Contador. Sastre is 1:20 behind the leaders. At 111km, the peloton goes over the top of the mountain at 7:52.
Sastre hasn’t caught the leaders. He’s slowly dropping back. At 90km, he’s at 2:45. At 70km, the lead is down to 7:45.
The second climb of the day has started and the pace is hard enough to split the peloton at 65km. The lead is 6:34. Sastre is just two minutes in front of the peloton. At 58.3km, the lead of the breakaway is 5:14. Sastre is 3:30 behind. At 57.3km, a trip of sheep goes across the front of the peloton.
At the top of the climb, the leaders are 4:23 ahead. Sastre is 2:50. Vino grabs two feed bags and passes one to his teammate. At 25km, Sastre is 40″ ahead of the peloton. He’ll be caught in a few minutes. He gets caugtht at 24.4km. The lead is at 4:53. At 20km, the peloton is 4 minutes back.
Schleck will have to make a move on the Col-de-Tourmalet or he’ll lose the Tour to Contador. 2km into the climb, Boassen Hagen pops off. Sastre is also been dropped from the peloton. Cancellara and Suart O’Grady are in the front of the peloton bringing up the pace. Flecha is cracking because of the pressure from Kolobnev. Kolobnev and Burghardt are in front of the breakaway. The breakaway has split.
At 14.3km, the lead is 2:35. Kolobnev takes off at 13.7km. His lead is 2:31. Contador is down to one teammate, Navaro. Schleck still has Chris Anka-Sorensen and another with him.
At 10.1km, Barredo makes a move off the front of the peloton. Schleck accelerates but Contador follows. Menchov is trying to come through as well. Contador and Schleck have almost caught up with Kolobnev.
At 4km, Schleck has words with Contador, but Contador isn’t moving past him. He’s content to stay on Schleck’s wheel. Contadar attacks. Schleck is back on him. Contador lets Schleck win the stage. He didn’t make a sprint to win. That was good of him. Rodriguez finishes 3rd. Hesjedal finishes 4th. Sanchez is 5th Menchov finishes 6th.
At the end of the ride, Schleck gave Contador an embrace on the bike. Later, they hug. That was good to see.
The top 5 of the GC hasn’t changed. Gesink is 6th in the GC, Rodriguez is 7th, Hesjedal is 8th, Kreuziger is 9th, and Horner is 10th. Charteau wins the polka-dot jersey comp.