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Tour de France 2011 – Stage 8

Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy – 189 km

We’re not in the Plains anymore, Dorthy.

Today is the first mountain stage of the Tour de France 2011 – although not the first categorized grade, (there have been 3 category 4′s so far), but this is the real thing. Today’s race includes two category 4, a category 2, and one one category 3 to finish the day.

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Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Profile

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Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Map - Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy

9:50 AM EST

Today’s stage started with a neutral zone ride, the riders crossed the Start line at 12:26 CET (6:22 AM EST).

The Tour de France LIVE widget commentator says Chris Horner (RadioShack) is yet another victim of yesterdays gully crash, after the race (12 minutes behind the winner), he was diagnosed with a concussion, a broken nose and a hematoma in his right leg – he’s out of the race.


At the 10 km mark of the stage 9 riders lead out in front, there are still out there now with 35 km to go in the race. The escapees are approaching the the big climb of the day the category 2 Col de la Croix Saint-Robert.

Here’s a handy table from

Mountain passes & Hills of Stage 8 – Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy

Km Mark        Mountain                Length      Gradient  Difficulty

Km 65.5   Côte d'Évaux-les-Bains            1.7 km climb   6.2 %      Category 4
Km 119.5  Côte du Rocher des Trois Tourtes  1.3 km climb   4.6 %      Category 4
Km 164.0  Col de la Croix Saint-Robert      6.2 km climb   6.2 %      Category 2
Km 189.0  Super-Besse Sancy                 1.5 km climb   7.6 %      Category 3

The Nine Escapee’s

1. Faria da Costa
2. Riblon
3. Zandio
4. Engels
5. Van Garderen
6. Kolbnev
7. El Fares


I’m working from the Jones Branch of the Toronto Public Library – they only allow me one, 1 hour booking of a computer per day, I’m saving that for the finish. Right now I’m using 15 minute sessions to Live Blog the race – it is hell on earth – I have to re-sign in to all sites re-open pages, windows and then if I’m not quick and aware at all times – the thing will just shut down and throw all the content I haven’t published yet, into the garbage.

As such the race as it embarked up the Col de la Croix Saint-Robert has completely changed; the nine in the lead are no more and who they were is lost on the internet (Tour de France’s LIVE widget).


There were three leaders up the mountain – now there are four in the lead down the other side:

1. Faria da Costa
2. Riblon
3. Van Garderen
4. Gautire

There is a chase group of three, 33 seconds behind them:

1. Vinokourov
2. Tiralongo
3. Flecha Giannoni

The Peloton is 1:15 behind the chase group.

10:45 – 10 km to go

10:55 – 5km to go

Faria da Costa has struck out on his own, up the Category 3, Super-Besse Sancy. He has built a 20 second lead up the mountain.

Tiralongo, Riblon, Flechia Giannni, Van Garderen and Gautire are chasing. The Peloton is 1 minute behind.

Team BMC, including Cadel Evans, is pacing the Peloton. Thor Hushovd, wearing the Yellow jersey for Garmin-Cervelo, is marking Evans

11:03 – 100m to go!

Faria da Costa and Vinokourov race for the stage win! Contador and Andy Schleck are right behind them!

Alberto Rui Costa takes it!

1. Alberto Rui Costa
2. Plilippe Gibert
3. Cadel Evans
4. Samuel Sanchez
5. Peter Velits
6. Dries Dvenyns
7. Damiano Cunego
8. Alberto Contador
9. Andy Schelck
10. Frank Schleck

Well that is interesting – after the first mountain stage the the Anti-hero (Contador)) and the Heroes (the Schleck brothers) finish 8, 9, and 10.

A foreshadowing of days to come to be sure.


Posted: July 9th, 2011
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