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2010 Tour de France Stage 8 Station des Rousses to Morzine-Avoriaz

July 12, 2010

This will be the first mountain finish for this year’s tour. This stage includes 2 category 1 climbs. There is one to finish off the stage, so this will be a great stage. No bunch sprint finish this time around and the sprinters will be eating dust.

In the beginning of the stage, a rider from Footon Cervetto crashed, which took down Jerome Pineau, the leader in the KOM competition. He came back up. Lance Armstrong crashed twice before hitting the mountains.

There is another breakaway. Team Sky puts on a terrible pace to catch up with them. Chavanel was doing well, but with 5km to go on the 1st category 1 climb, he drops off the back of the peloton. When Team Sky started falling apart, with the blistering pace, Saxo Bank takes over. The peloton is 2:30 behind the leaders, while the yellow jersey group is 3:47 behind.

Team Radioshack burned themselves out to pace Armstrong back to the peloton. At 4km to the top, Armstrong dropped back. Astana comes to the front to pace the peloton away from Armstrong. On the top of the mountain, Wiggo, Cadel Evans, Levi Leipheimer are leading the pack. They are 2:20 behind the leaders. The Chavanel group is almost 5 minutes back.

I love seeing a sort of camaraderie between the racers from different teams. I just saw an Astana member pour half a bottle of water over his head and give the rest to someone from Saxo Bank. A few minutes earlier, an Astana member poured the rest of his bottle over the head of his teammate, who sighed with relief. Really nice.

Aerts in the leading group gets the 15pts in the KOM comp and they start the technical descent. The peloton is 2:10 behind. The Armstrong group is 3:10. For some reason, Vinokourov whisked away from the peloton to start the category 3 climb of Lesgets.

At the top of Les Gets, Armstrong gets mixed up in another small crash. His bike just went down. He wasn’t hurt. He drops back to 4 minutes. The peloton with Contador and Evans is at 1:30 from the leaders.

As the last climb progresses, Armstrong keeps dropping back. He’s 5 minutes behind now. The yellow jersey group is even further back. The peloton is making up a lot of group. At 9 km to go, they are only 29 seconds behind. Erts got caught by the peloton. There is a sole man in front now. The peloton has gotten smaller and smaller. Menchov is among them. The lead man is caught by the peloton.

With 2 km to go, Scheck makes hismove. Contador tries to go after him, but doesn’t have it in his legs. Schleck wins the stage! Cadel Evans gets the yellow jersey. Wiggo is 1:43 behind.

Armstrong is 12 minutes behind. Chavanel is in the same group as Armstrong. Schleck is only 20 seconds behind Cadel Evans. Condator is 40 seconds behind.

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