Saturday, July 18, 2009

TDF Stage 14 - Hincapie leads Breakaway, Hopes For Yellow

eColumbia-HTC rider, American George Hincapie, who has worn the Yellow Jersey before in the Tour de France, aims to wear the leader's again before the TDF visits the Alps on Stage 15. Image Credit: AP via Universal Sports

TDF Stage 14 - Hincapie leads Breakaway, Hopes For Yellow

This post begins with 100 km to go in the 14th stage of the 21 stage Tour de France epic team cycling race. Team Astana now leads the Peloton to try and rein in a breakaway of 12 riders which is currently pacing at over 5 min. and 25 seconds ... the time George Hincapie, former famed longtime teammate to Lance Armstrong and one of the most experienced TDF Americans now riding for Columbia-HTC. If this pace for the breakaway holds, the 1994 TDF rookie for Team Motorola will end the day wearing the Yellow Jersey as the leader of the 2009 Tour de France 2/3 of the way through.

Profile Details (ht:

Stage 14 Profile - Image Credit:

Departing from Colmar, the stage begins with 87 kilometers of flat racing. The profile gains elevation slowly, but it’s unlikely that anyone will notice. The first intermediate sprint comes at kilometer 34 in the town of Pulversheim. After just over 33 kilometers of false-flat climbing, the riders will contest the second intermediate sprint in Dannemarie at kilometer 67.

The first categorized climb of the day, the Côte de Lebetain, summits at kilometer 90.5. The côte is rated category 3, and climbs 2.4 kilometers at an average gradient of 4.4%. Short and sweet, the Côte de Lebetain should not cause anyone too much difficulty. A brief descent follows the climb.

Less than ten kilometers later comes the second categorized climb of the day, the Côte de Blamont. Another category 3 climb, the Côte de Blamont climbs 2.9 kilometers at 4.9%. Another easy one, this climb should not slow the momentum of the main field, though it may cause a bit of pain in the breakaway.

Stage 14 Map - Image Credit:

From the summit of the Côte de Blamont, it’s a bumpy 88 kilometers to the finish in Besançon. There are two un-categorized climbs to keep things interesting, but they should not prove difficult enough to trouble the sprinters. The stage passes through Dambelin at kilometer 128.5 and Branne at kilometer 148.5. With just under 40 kilometers to race to the finish, the final intermediate sprint comes in Baume-les-Dames.

Passing through Novillars with 20 kilometers to go, the course climbs slightly, then it’s a false-flat descent to the finish in Besançon. Just inside 3 kilometers to go, the road makes a sweeping left turn. The final kilometer is a straight shot to the line on the wide boulevard Ouest. It should be a fast sprint finish in Besançon.

Stage 13 start in the town of Vittel, France. Image Credit: Getty Images via Universal Sports

This excerpted and edited from VeloNews (VN), CyclingNews (CN), and various resources -

Charles Pelkey: Good day and welcome to’s Live Coverage of the 14th stage of the 96th edition of the Tour de France, a 199-kilometer run from Colmar to Besançon.

Charles Pelkey: Today’s stage is scheduled to begin at about 12:40, after riders leave the village departé at around 12:30.
CPelkey: Today's route qualifies as a flat stage for purposes of points distribution, but there are two climbs along the way.

The Category 3 Côte de Lebetain is a 2.4 km climb that averages 4.4 percent and summits at 90.5km.

That is soon followed by the Category 3 Côte de Blamont, a 2.9 km climb that averages 4.9 percent and summits at 111.5km.

Points on both climbs are awarded to the first four riders across the summit: 4, 3, 2 and 1.

As you might imagine, after yesterday's hand-off of the Polka-Dot jersey, that contest is still relatively tight:

1. Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, 98 points
2. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 95 points
3. Brice Feillu, Agritubel, 64 points
4. Christophe Kern, Cofidis, 59 points
5. Sylvain Chavanel, Quick Step, 53 points
6. Pierrick Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 49 points
7. Christophe Riblon, Ag2r La Mondiale, 46 points
8. Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 46 points
9. Heinrich Haussler, Cervelo TestTeam, 45 points
10. Sandy Casar, Francaise Des Jeux, 43 points
CPelkey: We have 164 riders approaching the official starting line at kilometer zero.

Yesterday's weather continues today. Right now it's raining lightly. Officially, there is a 50% chance of precipitation. It's cloudy, with relatively mild temperatures around 16°C. (61°F) Winds are from the west at 20km.
CPelkey: As mentioned, the day's stage is classified as flat for purposes of points distribution, meaning that the first 25 riders across the line at the finish will earn points according to the following formula:
35, 30, 26, 24, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.

There are three intermediate sprints today, located in Pulversheim (34km), Dannemarie (67km) and Baume Les Dames (161.5km). The first three riders across the line at these points earn 6, 4 and 2 points.

As you can see from the points standings, every point counts in this contest right now:
1. Thor Hushovd, Cervelo TestTeam, 205 points
2. Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia-HTC, 200 points
3. Joaquin Rojas Jose, Caisse D’epargne, 116 points
4. Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Slipstream, 110 points
5. Gerald Ciolek, Milram, 100 points
6. Oscar Freire, Rabobank, 97 points
7. Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, 81 points
8. Lloyd Mondory, Ag2r La Mondiale, 74 points
9. Leonardo Duque, Cofidis, 64 points
10. Sylvain Chavanel, Quick Step, 57 points
The Points race has really heated up, with Thor Hushovd taking the jersey yesterday by finishing sixth, making it across the day's big climbs with the GC crowd and taking second in the field sprint.

Saxo Bank's Rinaldo Nocentini hopes to keep wearing the leader's Yellow Jersey going into the Alps at the end of Stage 14. Image Credit: Image Credit: AP via Universal Sports

CPelkey: Just to show that Tour commisaires have a heart.

Poor Simon Spilak finished a full 45 minutes behind the winner yesterday, well outside the time cut. However, officials found that the Lampre rider's progress was impeded by crowds on the road, so they are letting him ride today.
CPelkey: The peloton is at 5.5km mark, riding together in the rain... sounds almost romantic.
[Comment From Kelly ]
How do they determine the time cut?
CPelkey: Tour organizers use a variable formula, based on a system similar to classifying stages for purposes of points distribution.

Yesterday was a medium mountain stage (the only one in this Tour, by the way). The time cut can range from 6 to 18 percent of the winner's time. The limit is bumped up if the winner was really fast that day.

Today's a flat stage and the time limit starts at four percent, but can go up to 12 percent, if the winner's time represents a speed of 48kph or more. If it's slower, the percentage drops, too.

The time cut on mountain stages ranges from five percent to 18 percent, again depending on the average speed of the winner.

Both individual and team time trials use a 25-percent time cut.

CPelkey: The peloton, riding in the rain, appears not to be interested in seeing a break go. The speed is high - average of 54kph so far - but no one is getting off the front.

They are now at the 15.5km mark.
CPelkey: We have a break of about 10 riders slipping off the front.
CPelkey: At 26km the gap is up to 40 seconds.

Hincapie is in there, too.
Our leading 13 riders are:

1. Hayden Roulston (Cervelo)
2. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
3. Martijn Maaskant (Garmin)
4. George Hincapie (Columbia)
5. Nicolas Roche (Ag2r)
6. Baniele Bennati (Liquigas)
7. Daniele Righi (Lampre)
8. Christophe Le Mevel (FdJ)
9. Sebastien Minard (Cofidis)
10. Frederik Willems (Liquigas)
11. Sergei Ivanov (Katusha)
12. Gerald Ciolek (Milram)
13. Albert Timer (Skil-Shimano)
At 100 km left:
CPelkey: The Astana team is setting tempo at the front of the peloton.

We're past the the halfway mark, so we'll switch to measuring the race in terms of the number of kilometers remaining in today's stage.

With 99km remaining, the gap is now 5:19.
[Comment From Toshiko ]
What kind of lunch do the rider eat while riding?
CPelkey: It varies. The Mussette bags are filled with things like energy bars, gel packs, sometimes dried fruit and energy drinks. It often depends on a rider's personal preferences. Grabbing mussettes, however, is a tricky proposition and sometimes riders - or their teammates - are forced to drop back to team cars for food and drink. They can do that until the 20km-to-go mark. After that, teams can be subject to fines.
CPelkey: With 95km remaining, the gap has bumped back up to 5:50.
[Comment From Todd ]
If a rider is busted for doping does he have to give the prize money back? I am thinking of Landis in 06.
CPelkey: Yes. In Landis's case, the positive test probably came at a time before prize distributions were finalized, but most WADA cases result in riders having to forego results and prize money.

Sometimes, that's easier said than done. The Tour de 'Toona in the U.S. is still trying to recover prize money from Genevieve Jeanson, who tested positive and had her results negated.
CPelkey: With 89km remaining, the gap is up to 6:11.

The Astana team is still driving the chase.
[Comment From Steve ]
The Department of Redundancy Department is complaining about your use of the term "Mussette Bag"
CPelkey: Yeah .... wait until I start mentioning that the guys in the break are riding velo bikes.
CPelkey: Our 12 leaders are over the day's second climb. With all of the KOM points scooped up by the break, Franco Pellizotti will stay in the polka-dot jersey for another day.
[Comment From Unc1eBuck ]
Re: Tyler Hamilton. Is it really important that they go for more than an 8 year ban?
CPelkey: Yeah, we have to admit that the WADA appeal is rather odd.

The eight-year suspension was in keeping with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code and USADA achieved that without having to adjudicate the case.

As USADA CEO Travis Tygart said, at Hamilton's age, an eight-year ban is effectively a lifetime ban in his case. "We wouldn't have gone for it if he was 24," Tygart said in an interview the other day.
15:19 CEST - They are nearing the top of the climb. There's a good crowd here, cheering, clapping, waving flags.
15:22 CEST - Columbia's Brian Holm has said that he expects Astana to keep the break within shouting distance, and that the sprinters' teams to chase later on. He said that he expects the twelve riders to dispute the stage win between him, though, and Nocentini to keep the race lead.

Minard, Ciolek and Willems go over the top in that order, with the rest of the break all together...nobody sprinted.
15:29 CEST - The question is, who will chase behind? Hushovd leads the green jersey classification but knows he is very unlikely to beat Cavendish if it comes down to a gallop. That would hurt his points total, so with Roulston up the road Cervelo are unlikely to chase. Milram and Liquigas have good sprinters there, while Garmin, Ag2r, Cofidis, Skil Shimano, Francaise des Jeux, Katusha and Lampre have riders present and are in with a shout.

The most likely winner of a bunch sprint would be Cavendish, and he could do with the points. But with Hincapie up there, will the Columbia HTC team chase?
15:31 CEST (79km remaining from 199km)

With just under 80 kilometres to go, they are 6'54 clear. We'll shortly see what's going to happen, as the bunch will need to start chasing quite soon if the move is to be brought back. Using the 'one minute per ten kilometres' rule of thumb vis a vis the peleton's ability to bring back a move, things have to start happening in the next ten kilometres or so.



Hayden Roulston (Cervélo Test Team), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin Slipstream), George Hincapie (Columbia HTC), Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale), Daniele Bennati, Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Daniele Righi (Lampre), Serguei Ivanov (Katusha), Gerard Ciolek (Milram) and Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano)
(VN) 3:29
CPelkey: Sad news from the start today. According to the French wire service AFP, a spectator has been killed and two others injured on the Tour de France Saturday after being hit by a police motorbike.

The accident happened in the village of Wittelsheim, about 40km from the start of Saturday's stage in Colmar.

Organizers have confirmed earlier reports that three spectators were being treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hopsital in Mulhouse. One of the injured was later declared dead at the hospital.
CPelkey: The leading 12 have increased their advantage to 6:52. They are now 78km from the finish.

The pace has been a reasonable 43kph so far today.
CPelkey: Ahead now is the intermediate sprint at Baume Les Dames (161.5km). There's a little unrated climb after that and then a gradual descent to the finish.

The gap is now up to 7:14 with 77km remaining.
[Comment From Max ]
Any chance Astana is keeping the pace down a bit to give Big George a gift?
CPelkey: Well, the old saying is that there are no gifts at the Tour, but Hincapie may be viewed a deserving recipient, though.

Seven-time Tour winner, Team Astana's Lance Armstrong with race reporters just before the start of Stage 13. Image Credit: AP via Universal Sports

CPelkey: Armstrong is giving a thumbs up to the cameras. He sure isn't driving the chase.

The sun is coming out.

Our escapees are now 8:28 ahead of the peloton. If anyone wants to cut the gap, it's gonna have to fall to Ag2r to protect the overall lead of Nocentini.
[Comment From Bert ]
Do all horns/claxons in France have that ridiculous chime? Or just the ones used around the race?
CPelkey: Ridiculous?!?!?!? That's my ringtone on my phone.

It's not something commonly heard outside of the Tour. It's cool, though ... at least in my book.
CPelkey: Well, well, well ... With 70km to go, the gap is now up over 10 minutes.
CPelkey: Of course there is one rider in the break not doing any work. Nicolas Roche is a member of Nocentini's Ag2r team and now one expects him to do it.

His help isn't needed, though. With 68km remaining in today's stage, the gap is now 12:12.
CPelkey: Mmmmm.... race radio has issued a corrected time check.

We have to imagine that the 12-minute gap was just wrong.

It's now 8:12 with 67km remaining.
CPelkey: Either way, 12 minutes or 8 minutes, the gap is enough to keep Hincapie in the virtual yellow jersey.
(CN) #
15:55 CEST - The leaders are on a slight drag. The course tends to flatten out from here to the finish, although there are some small ramps.

All, bar Roche, have been riding through. There's good co-operation in this move.

The countryside is much flatter than they will experience in the days ahead.

Hmm...Contador is sitting near the back of the peloton. We wonder if something's not quite right with him today?
16:03 CEST - The peloton is 8'20 back, tackling a steep ramp out of the saddle. It's once again a relatively uncomplicated day. although the Astana team has done a lot of riding. They were tapping through for a long time but now there is a sense of urgency.
16:07 CEST - Gerard Ciolek is one of the fastest riders in the peloton, but he's long been keen to underline he's more than just a sprinter. Beating former team-mate Mark Cavendish was proving impossible so he's taken his chances in a break today. If they are still together at the end he's certainly one to watch.

You can read more about him here:

16:18 CEST - Christian Vande Velde is one of the riders who will be nervously awaiting the mountain stages. He's currently seventh overall, 1'24" back, and will soon find out if he has got the same sort of legs as last year. He had a difficult run up to the race due to a bad crash in the Giro, but we hope he can perform to his considerable abilities. Here's the latest on CVV:
16:19 CEST (45km remaining from 199km) - With the lead still 8'18", Hincapie knows that yellow is within reach. If the bunch speeds up and takes three minutes back, it'll be gone; otherwise, he'll be in the running.
16:22 CEST - As expected, the Ag2r La Mondiale team are now chasing. They want to keep Nocentini in yellow for one more day.

The race has been getting progressively faster in the second half of the stage. Up front, Maaskant rolls through. His team boss Jonathan Vaughters would love to see him get the stage, Twittering "This break is gone, for sure. Let's hope Martijn has one of the great days he is totally capable of having."
16:27 CEST (40km remaining from 199km) - Sure enough, the gap is coming down under Ag2r La Mondiale's impetus. It's now 7'40". The break is pedalling along a wide river. It's warmer and drier here than earlier in the stage. Methinks the break will continue to work well together for another twenty kilometres or so, then the fun and games will start.
(VN) 4:35
CPelkey: Hincapie is picking up the pace up front.

With the peloton now at 7:05, he's motivated to keep the gap above 5:25.
CPelkey: The gap is now down below 7:00.

With 32km to go, the gap is 6:58.
CPelkey: With 29.5km to go, the gap is now 6:55.
CPelkey: With 25.5km remaining the gap is 6:42.

Recall that if the escapees hold a gap of 5:25 or more, Hincapie will be in yellow tonight. Ag2r is massed at the front of the peloton, though. Those guys are doing their best to ensure that doesn't happen.
(CN) 5.
16:42 CEST

The break is riding well together again. Hincapie is urging them onwards. His chances of a stage win will be affected if the gap remains above six minutes, because he'll put all his energy into trying to take yellow.

If it becomes clear he won't get it, he'll shift his focus.

Meanwhile, back in the bunch, Contador is back up near the front and smiles for the cameras.
16:45 CEST (28km remaining from 199km)

The break is looking a bit more disjointed now, with the riders trying to get Roche to start working. His team are chasing behind to ensure Nocentini keeps yellow, so he won't contribute. It doesn't make any sense for him to do so, as it would counteract the Ag2r efforts.



Hayden Roulston (Cervélo Test Team), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin Slipstream), George Hincapie (Columbia HTC), Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale), Daniele Bennati, Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Daniele Righi (Lampre), Serguei Ivanov (Katusha), Gerard Ciolek (Milram) and Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano)

Peloton: at 6'27
(VN) 4:56

With the 17km to go, the gap is 6:46.
CPelkey: Hincapie is doing a good share of the work.

His big hope is to grab the jersey.
He is the lone Columbia in there. Liquigas has two riders. Of the riders in the break, Roche may be favored. He's been able to hover at the back of the break, since he's a member of Nocentini's Ag2r team.
CPelkey: Tom Boonen - who has not had the best of Tours - is chasing after having a flat. He's making his way through the cravan.
CPelkey: With 15km to go, the gap is holding at 6:43.
Who will win today's stage?
Baniele Bennati (Liquigas)
( 6% )
Martijn Maaskant (Garmin)
( 9% )
Nicolas Roche (Ag2r)
( 24% )
Gerald Ciolek (Milram)
( 9% )
George Hincapie (Columbia)
( 43% )
One of the other guys?
( 8% )
(CN) 1.
17:00 CEST (15km remaining from 199km) - Hincapie continues to push the pace, with less than 15km to go. The gap is 6'40 so he has a good chance of taking yellow.
17:02 CEST - Bennati is now marking Roche, realising he will be the freshest.

Boonen gets back to the bunch without too much delay. Meanwhile Nocentini knows it will be touch and go for his jersey.
17:04 CEST - The break is less organised, with some riders missing turns. Roche is now up to the middle of the group. He'll have to mark any attacks that go.
17:04 CEST - It starts! Maaskant goes! He jumps hard on a hill, 11.8 km from the finish. Ivanov goes after him.
17:05 CEST - They get back up to him, but it's going to be fireworks from now on.
17:06 CEST - Le Mevel goes! Hincapie jumps up to him. The others are looking around. Bennati gets across too.
17:06 CEST (187.3km remaining from 199km) - Roche goes!
17:07 CEST - Bennati gets up to him... Roche looked quite sluggish, surprisingly...he has done a lot of riding for Nocentini in recent days. We'll see what happens now.
17:07 CEST - The others got up him, and now Ivanov goes....he's got a good gap.
17:08 CEST (10km remaining from 199km) - With ten clicks to go, the Amstel Gold winner has a good gap and is riding well.

Peloton: at 6:18

17:11 CEST - Ivanov is now 21" ahead of the chasers. Roche was caught again.
17:11 CEST (7km remaining from 199km) - Ivanov is looking good. The group behind is breaking up.

He is 27" ahead of the 12 rider group - a breakaway from the breakaway. Hincapie is a full 6 minutes ahead of the Peloton.

17:12 CEST - Ivanov is totally committed, knowing he can take Katusha's first ever Tour stage win today. He's being chased by a couple of others, while the rest of the break are together and marking each other out of it.
17:13 CEST - Roulston and Timmer are the chasers, but they are a long way back. They'll do what they can but Ivanov is not waiting around..
17:15 CEST - The chasing duo are 23" back, with the rest of the break a further seven seconds down. The peloton is 6'36", so Hincapie still has a chance of taking yellow.

17:16 CEST

Roulston and Timmer are 24" back...they are working hard but the Russian national champion is not waiting around. He's pedalling well, not looking back at all.


Serguei Ivanov (Katusha)

Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano) and Hayden Roulston (Cervélo Test Team) at 0:23

Martijn Maaskant (Garmin Slipstream), George Hincapie (Columbia HTC), Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale), Daniele Bennati, Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Daniele Righi (Lampre), Gerard Ciolek (Milram) at 030

Peloton: at 6:35
CPelkey: With 3km to go, Ivanov his holding his own against the chasers. Timer and Roulston are at 25 seconds.
CPelkey: With 2km to go, the gaps are still 27 and 38.... the peloton is at 6:32.
CPelkey: Ivanov looks like he has this one in the bag. He's still tickin' along at a good rate.
CPelkey: One kilometer to go.
CPelkey: Ivanov is heading to the line.
CPelkey: Roche has led the second group up to Timmer and Roulston.
CPelkey: Katusha! Ivanov wins
CPelkey: Roche takes second.
CPelkey: Now, we will all break out the stop watches.
CPelkey: It's an odd combination of Garmin and Ag2r at tthe front.
CPelkey: The peloton is now 3km from the finish. It's been 2:00 since the finish.
CPelkey: It's been 3:00 since the finish.
CPelkey: Two kilometers to go.
CPelkey: One kilometer to go.
CPelkey: Ivanov is heading to the line.
CPelkey: Roche has led the second group up to Timmer and Roulston.
CPelkey: Katusha! Ivanov wins
CPelkey: Roche takes second.
CPelkey: Now, we will all break out the stop watches.
CPelkey: It's an odd combination of Garmin and Ag2r at tthe front.
CPelkey: The peloton is now 3km from the finish. It's been 2:00 since the finish.
CPelkey: It's been 3:00 since the finish.
CPelkey: Two kilometers to go.
CPelkey: Ho ho... Columbia is moving up.
CPelkey: Silence Lotto is now setting tempo.
CPelkey: The peloton is in the final kilometer. 4:34 have ticked by.
CPelkey: Columbia is leading out Cav for points...
CPelkey: It's going to be close
CPelkey: Oh man....
CPelkey: It looks like Nocentini will keep the jersey... by about three or four seconds.
It's Official - The peloton crosses the line with five seconds to spare to reel in George Hinacapie of Columbia-HTC
CPelkey: Here are preliminary stage results:
# 1. Serguei Ivanov Team Katusha, 4:37:46
# 2. Nicolas Roche Ag2r La Mondiale, at 0:16
# 3. Hayden Roulston Cervelo Test Team at 00:16
# 4. Martijn Maaskant Garmin - Slipstream at 00:16
# 5. Sébastien Minard Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne at 00:16
# 6. Daniele Righi Lampre - N.g.c at 00:16
# 7. Christophe Le Mevel Francaise Des Jeux at 00:16
# 8. George Hincapie Team Columbia - Htc at 00:16
# 9. Daniele Bennati Liquigas at 00:16
# 10. Gerald Ciolek Team Milram at 00:22
# 11. Albert Timmer Skil-Shimano at 00:26
# 12. Frederik Willems Liquigas at 03:41
# 13. Mark Cavendish Team Columbia - Htc at 05:36
# 14. Thor Hushovd Cervelo Test Team at 05:36
# 15. Mark Renshaw Team Columbia - Htc at 05:36
# 16. Yauheni Hutarovich Francaise Des Jeux at 05:36
# 17. Joaquin Rojas Jose Caisse D’epargne at 05:36
# 18. Koen De Kort Skil-Shimano at 05:36
# 19. Marco Bandiera Lampre - N.g.c at 05:36
# 20. Daniel Lancaster Brett Cervelo Test Team at 05:36
# 21. Jérémy Roy Francaise Des Jeux at 05:36
# 22. Arnaud Coyot Caisse D’epargne at 05:36
# 23. Styn Vandenbergh Team Katusha at 05:36
# 24. Bernhard Eisel Team Columbia - Htc at 05:36
# 25. Heinrich Haussler Cervelo Test Team at 05:36
# 26. Nicolaï Trussov Team Katusha at 05:36
# 27. Steven De Jongh Quick Step at 05:36
# 28. Leonardo Duque Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne at 05:36
# 29. Maxime Monfort Team Columbia - Htc at 05:36
# 30. Stuart O’grady Team Saxo Bank at 05:36

CPelkey: And if we do the math, he finished 5:20 ahead of the peloton, so he'd be in second, one second ahead of Contador.

The reset General Classification is:

# 1. Rinaldo Nocentini Ag2r La Mondiale, 58:13:52
# 2. George Hincapie Team Columbia - Htc, at 0:05
# 3. Alberto Contador Astana at 00:06
# 4. Lance Armstrong Astana at 00:08
# 5. Christophe Le Mevel Francaise Des Jeux at 00:43
# 6. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream at 00:46
# 7. Andréas KlÖden Astana at 00:54
# 8. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc at 01:00
# 9. Christian Vande Velde Garmin - Slipstream at 01:24
# 10. Andy Schleck Team Saxo Bank at 01:49

CPelkey: Hincapie is not a happy man.

He says it was an insult that Astana was chasing earlier and that Garmin jumped into the mix later on.

Two-thirds away through the Tour de France and the top four places are covered by only eight (8) seconds.

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