Monday, July 11 is a rest day in the Tour de France 2011 – see you tomorrow for Stage 10
Tour de France 2011 Stage 10 Profile - Aurillac to Carmaux - 158 km
Tour de France 2011 Stage 10 Map - Aurillac to Carmaux - 158 km
Top Three – Stage 9
1. Luis-Leon Sanchez
2. Thomas Voeckler
3. Sandy Casar
Yellow: VOECKLER Thomas TEAM EUROPCAR 38h 35' 11"
Green: GILBERT Philippe OMEGA PHARMA - LOTTO 217 pts
Poka-dot: HOOGERLAND Johnny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 22 pts
White: GESINK Robert RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM 38h 39' 12"
Leading Team: TEAM EUROPCAR 115h 03' 31"
8:02 AM EST
After a rolling start the racers crossed the Start line at 7:38 AM EST (1:38 CET).
Tour de France 2011 Stage 10 7:57 AM EST LIVE (gaps.letour.fr/us.php)
After Sunday’s Stage 9 ‘crash’ (see Versus Summary at FreeWheel Stage 9 post), where a Convoy car, trying to avoid a tree growing unusually close to the edge of the road, swerved into a group of racers, launching one of them into a barbed wire fence and crashing another – the race director reminded the Convoy drivers not to run over the cyclists.
I say get the Team Convoys off the course altogether – they should follow behind the slowest riders. Motorcycles with cameramen are bad enough – but necessary I guess – TV is very important to the funding of the race.
Tour de France 2011 LIVE 8 07 (gaps.letour.fr)
Six escapees have been out front all race long – I guess it’s time to go through the process of opening two windows and typing all their names into the blog post (Note to webmaster at lerour.fr – because the LIVE widget is a ‘Flash Object’ and doesn’t allow copy and paste).
R. Di Gregorio
J. El Fares
Tour de France 2011 LIVE 10:00 AM EST (gaps.letour.fr/us.php)
For those of you who have commented here that cycling is not a realistic urban transportation alternative – the Peloton heading up a Category 3 mountain is doing 56km/h!!! Enabled cycle-ways stretching across the city like the spokes of a wheel could replace half the cars easily – as well as improve our quality of life and the economic efficiency (imho).
“At 102km a crash that will have ramifications on the battle for overall honors in 2011 occurred. Alexandre Vinokourov went off the right side the road on a sweeping left bend and into the forest. He was helped back to the road by two Astana team-mates but his Tour was over. He was one of four men to abandon the race because of the incident and his injuries included a fractured femur and possible broken hip. Omega Pharma-Lotto also lost its leader Jurgen van den Broeck (with spinal injuries), as well as Frederik Willems (fractured collarbone) and Dave Zabriskie quit with a fractured wrist. It prompted a brief respite from racing for the peloton which allowed the escapees to build their lead to over seven minutes.”
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.
Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Profile
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 letour.fr
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
5. Van Garderen
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
3. Van Garderen
There is a chase group of three, 33 seconds behind them:
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.
Sorry about the content in my Stage 5 post, or lack there-of. And for not posting yesterday for Stage 6 – internet connectivity problems, bla, bla, bla. Today I’m Live Blogging the race from the Jones Avenue branch of the Toronto Public Library.
Today I’m starting at 11:42 AM EST (5:42 PM CET). The race is almost over – but that’s where all the fun happens anyway, isn’t it?
Tour de France 2011 Stage 7 Profile - Le Mans to Châteauroux (218 km)
Tour de France 2011 Stage 7 - Le Mans to Châteauroux (218 km)
Today’s stage race officially started at 12:22 CET (6:22AM EST).
11:44 AM EST
16 km to go. Four riders are 26 seconds in the lead, now 17, their going to be caught obviously. For the record they are: Urtansun, DeLage, Meersman and Talabardon. 10 seconds now. These four have been out in front from the first minute of the race; sad to see this happen every stage, the break-always never seem to work, why do they bother? One wonders.
The four persistent ones have been caught by a Peloton consisting of 90 or so riders – 80 more are about 2 minutes behind. There was a bad crash earlier today and that is why the Peloton is split in half as it is. Rider Wiggins is out of the Tour de France, as are 5 other riders, because they finished over the time limit yesterday. I’ll list those out of the race for you later in this post. I believe we are down to 172 riders – but don’t quote me on that.
On these flat stages it’s all about sprinter’s abilities and team work drafting, and rotating out of the wind-breaker position at your proper time. Team HTC is in control of the tip of the Peloton as we close in on the finish. Under 1 km to go!
Mark Cavendish team HTC wins! All 9 riders of HTC lead the Peloton to catch the escapees, and then paced the group all the way to the finish – their motivation was to control the race and launch their star sprinter at the line. Mark Cavendish’s team-mates Goss and Renshaw were the last two to take the front. Goss powered the tip of the Peloton in the final rotation and then ‘slung’ him across the line in the final metres – as planned.
The mass of riders in a Peloton are more than just a wind break in my opinion, they create an energy field of some kind that actually holds those riders in the group, in it. They become carried along by the mass, like gravity holds a moon in orbit, but not the way we currently understand gravity. This is another force, an electro-magnetic one perhaps – perhaps dark matter, that not-understood missing half of all the matter in the universe.
When a team ‘leads out’ from the tip of the Peloton as team HTC did so beautifully today they create a tip of a spear that uses the inertia of the mass of the rest of the riders to extend the leading edge of that mass. A good example of this is the way a shaped charge that is rigged for cutting through steal behaves, the colliding vectors of explosive force create a needle-point of extremely high energy – a vector point that resembles the tip of the Peloton in a cycling race. With synchronized team work they push out ahead of the group borrowing energy one from another, but as well as from the entire mass of riders, they speed still faster to the line.
A thing of beauty – and a physics thought experiment at the same time!
see letour.fr 2011 for pages and pages of content.
This will be a Live Blog. The race starts at 6:05 7:50 AM EST (12:05 PM CET).
Tour de France 2011 - Stage 5 Profile
Tour de France 2011 Stage 5 Map (click on image to go to letour.fr page)
Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome, I’ll try to respond, or answer any questions you may have with-in one day.
I’ve been having trouble with my internet connection the past few days; for now that is resolved – thanks to the Toronto Public Library free Wi-Fi connection! (Google Map of all the hot-spots – every branch now has a server.) Barring any unforeseen problems, I will be Live Blogging all the Stages of the Tour de France 2011.
6:29 AM EST
Good morning racing fans!
I miss-read the start time on the letour.fr site last night – Stage 5 starts at 7:50 AM EST (13:50 CET).
Tour de France 2011 Live Widget - Stage 5 Start: 7:50 EST | 13:50 CET
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