Today’s breakaway includes 3 riders, right now only 16 second ahead at the foot of the Category 3 Côte de Saint-Ferréol 7.5 degree 1.9 km climb – they will be eaten shortly.
For the record here are the names of ‘the dead’
They are no more, the Peloton is of the one.
Peloton eats breakaway - now at one with the commons
Vinokourov and Veockler are attempting to leave the commons! Now they have left each other, Vinokourov is going for the line all by himself! It still very close, only 16 seconds separates the leader and the Peloton – 2.6 km to go!
Alexandre Vinokourov has pulled it off, he’s going to win – now 18 second to the pack inside the last km!!
Canadian Ryder Hesdejal, like he did in Stage 3, took a lead role in creating and sustaining breakaways though out the beginning of today’s stage 12 of the Tour de France. By using a similar strategy in stage 3, Hesjedal finished 4th, over taken for the Yellow Jersey at the line. But the great ride propelled him into 4th place in the General Classification (GC). With another strong ride in Stage 7, he rose to 3rd in the GC.
Hesjedal started today’s stage 12th in the GC, after falling 9 places as the tour wound it’s way through the Alps since last Saturday.
Today’s relatively flat stage presented an opportunity for Hesjedal to gain back time in the race.
Breakaway attempts came early and often this morning as most teams had the same idea, but it was not until an hour and a half in to this mornings contest that a group sustained a breakaway. Hesjedal was in several of the early tries and this one as well. The successful 18 man breakaway stayed out front for most of the race – at one point sporting a 3:30 lead.
At the 170 km mark, with the Peloton steadily closing the gap on the 18, Hesdejal and another rider fell off the lead group and shortly there-after, caught.
The Peloton caught the remaining 16 breakaway riders minutes later, 6 km from the finish, at the bottom of the last climb, the Category 2, Côte de la Croix-Neuve, a 11.5°, 3.1 km climb.
6:21 PM July 16
..finished high in the standings – none of the other names in the breakaway 18 are near the top of stage 12 finish.
So, my thesis is that Hesjedal is among the greats of this generation of riders, he may yet win a stage, but a couple of questions remain un-answered to this point – in as much as this race provides a very good view of his strengths, and weaknesses.
Are his failings in the mountains (losing 9 places in the GC), a result of his inexperience – or is it a function of the caos that is this years Garmin-Transitions team who have lost 3 of 9 starters to injury (the third, Tyler Farrar dropped out of the Tour this morning).
Is team captain Matt White still waiting for the new lead man to appear? – or is he playing his cards close to his vest?
The race started at 12:05 PM CUT | 6:05 AM EDT.
Samuel Dumoulin did not start today. The expulsion of Mark Renshaw for head butting at the finish yesterday, leaves 177 riders in the 2010 Tour de France.
At 7:30 Ryder Hesjedal, and 17 others make the 5th escape attempt of the stage – this one sustains. The escape ride out to a 2 minute lead but that is all the Peloton will abide. (no, no extended metaphor today.)
The breakaways split in two now 4 riders in the break and 12 chasing, who are 3:00 ahaed of the main group.
Right now the breakaway of 4 including Ryder Hesjedal, are 45 seconds in front.
Ryder Hesjedal is the only rider in the breakaway who is a threat in the General Classification. If the race ended now Hesjedal would be in 3rd place.
Tour de France Stage 12 10:33 AM EDT
Ryder Hesjedal finished in the 8th group 58 seconds behind the stage winner and lost one place in the General Classification now 13th place overall.
Stage 12 Finish Order
Finish Order Stage 12 Tour de France
General Classification after Stage 12
General Classification after Stage 12, Tour de France
This morning I was writing the Stage 11 LiveBlog with only the letour.fr internet feed. The “Versus Circus” can get a little discombobulating after twelve days – so this morning I had the TV off.
As such, I have been a little isolated from “off world” events like the head butt incident at end of stage 11. So here’s a catch up for you – and me – of the head butt story and some other news from around “Le Tour” after 12 races.
Floyd Landis’s allegations of widespread drug use among Armstrong’s teams, has apparently lead to the announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration yesterday (NYT by Juliet Macur: “Armstrong Distances Himself From Doping Inquiry”), that subpoenas are being served on old business partners of Team Postal Service, Tailwind Sports LLC. (More about that is linked at the bottom.)
The Head Butt
I saw in the commentary below the LIVE widget about head butts at the finish, I couldn’t believe the post really meant “Head Butts” at the finish, so I ignored it – WRONG! Tour technical director Jean-Francois Pescheux announced immediately after the race that Mark Renshaw has been expelled from the 2010 Tour de France for head butting Julian Dean at the finish line of Stage 11 (Guardian UK article by Jeremy Campbell).
Pretty clearly cheating in this video.
In fact, on second viewing, I think they ought to have taken the yellow away from Cavendish. After the Head Butt Mark Renshaw does something much less sporting, and MUCH more dangerous, he almost puts Tyler Farrar into the wall! Notice he opens the way for Cavendish and then closes it behind – the Garmin-Transitions rider has to put his hand on Renshaw’s hip to stop him from closing the way entirely, thus preventing a crash. It is these final cheats that guarantee Cavendish the win! IMHO.
Here’s Tyler Farrar of Team Garmin-Transitions saying what I just said:
Apart from the calculations of points gaps and classifications, a story that is thankfully closer to sporting than cheating, lying and FDA grandstanding, is the story of Lance Armstrong, the team RadioShack “Domestique”.
In the following snippet from an article in Bicycling Magazine by editor at large Bill Strickland is a nice excerpt from Strickland’s book, “Tour de Lance”.
As part of an in-race narrative Strickland describes the roles of a domestique and a “GC” or ‘team leader’ – the guy the team works together for, towards getting him on the podium in Paris.
By Bill Strickland Armstrong has taken on a different kind of leadership position.
Like a long fuse leading to a stick of dynamite, a relatively easy and calm 184.5-kilometer Stage 11 exploded at the end, with an aggressive sprint in the final meters that saw HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish win his third stage of the 2010 Tour de France and his 13th overall (the most of any active racer). It also resulted in the expulsion from the race of Cavendish’s teammate and leadout man Mark Renshaw, who during the leadout to the line headbutted Garmin rider Julian Dean and appeared to squeeze Garmin’s sprinter Tyler Farrar toward the barriers. Once again, Lance Armstrong rode in relative anonymity, losing more time to the leaders but suffering no major change to his place in the overall standings when he finished in a group of five 29 seconds behind the field.
Off the bike, of course, Armstrong has been getting all sorts of attention—for what he’s saying. Our Boulder Report blogger Joe Lindsey examines the latest turmoil related to Floyd Landis’s allegations of widespread drug use among Armstrong’s teams, and The New York Times’s Bob Mackey has a good, balanced roundup here.
All this talk about Armstrong talking reminded me how, even on a stage like today’s, the seven-time Tour champion is not just riding along as quietly as the results imply. Especially now that he’s no longer a contender for the podium, Armstrong will be acting like a captain-on-the-road, a rolling strategist and pedaling team director. I got to see this in action on Stage 16 last year, when I was in the Astana team car while working on the book that chronicled Armstrong’s comeback, Tour de Lance. Here’s an excerpt:
“The first climb of Stage 16, a two-mountain day, is the 24.4-kilometer col du Grand Saint-Bernard, rated Hors Categorie thanks to its length and steepness. It doesn’t officially start until 16 kilometers into the stage, but already the road is rising to its base. Johan Bruyneel, Astana’s team director, reaches for the radio mic, which is tethered to the roof of the car with an elastic cord. “Okay boys,” he says, “attacks immediately. We see Cervelo is in there. Stay caaaaalllllmm. We are getting numbers.”
We’re the first team car, courtesy of Alberto Contador’s yellow jersey, and through the windshield we can look over and past the pack and see two or three Cervelo jerseys going up the hill amid a break that could be as big as 20 riders.
“There goes Cancellara,” says Lance over the radio, as he sees Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara ride up the mountain.
“It’s okay,” says Bruyneel. “Let him go, let him go.”
The Schleck brothers have vowed to never stop attacking Contador. “We will try until we die,” Andy Schleck said up on top of Verbier. “In Paris-Nice he was as strong as he is now and he lost it all. That could happen again.”
Armstrong, for his part, has repeated that he will work for Contador all the way to Paris. Bruyneel never had any question it would be this way. “Lance is realistic,” Bruyneel tells me. “He respects what a team must do. And he respects the way of cycling. You’ve heard this for many years. Now you will see it.” Contador still seems to need proof of this. He rides up beside Armstrong and taps him on the butt, then signals for Armstrong to open a space in the line for his leader. Armstrong smiles, though it looks a little like the smiling grimace Chris Horner adopts during races. Armstrong makes room and Contador slips into the group.”
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sisteron to Bourg-lès-Valence – 184.5 km
Tour de France Stage 11 Profile
7:50 AM EDT
Stage 11 a rolling start began at 12:44 CET | 6:44 AM EDT.
The riders hit the start line at 12:55 | 6:55 AM EDT.
Tour de France Stage 11 7:50 AM EDT
There are 179 riders left in the tour.
Garmin-Transitions rider Robbie Hunter is out of the race, he failed to start this morning. As well, Charlie Wegelius (OLO) did not start.
The escapees started their gambit right off the start line. They are now 4:25 ahead. After one hour the race averaged 37.1 kph, a relatively slow average… Will the Peloton allow the breakaway’s lead to grow? Is there a gap that the Peloton will not abide?
Right now, the Dudes abide.
As the breakaway is 5:00 ahead as they reach the foot of the Category 3, Col de Cabre – a 7.4 degree, 5.0 km climb.
I think mixed metaphors are OK, as long as you can still taste the different flavours; as such I’m going to continue mixing drinks with the Peloton and the Dude.
As the anarchists (the breakaway) reach the summit of Col de Cabre they are only 3:05 ahead.
Tour de France Stage 11 8:38
I think that’s just the mountain – “..sometimes the (bar) mountain eats you”. Down the other side I expect the gap to go back to the 5 minutes it was before the climb.
The Dude abides.
At the summit the Barrado, Cunego, Peineau and Charteau screw with my metaphor and attack. In response the Peloton increases speed to catch them – minutes later they are caught. The Peloton is reconstituted, but the gap to the breakaway is now only 1:55.
Tour de France Stage 11 8:59
The average speed for the second hour of today’s race is down from the first hours 37.1 kph, to 34.3 kph! I guess it’s that mountain thingy there in the middle of the second hour that did that – but that is slow for these guys, even with the Category 3 mountain, imho.
Speaking of mixed metaphors…
Now you know what happens when you F*ck with the Jesus! (the Peloton). Nobody f*cks with the Jesus…
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