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2011 Tour de France Stage 10 Aurillac -> Carmaux

July 14, 2011

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This was an interesting stage of the Tour de France. There were a few climbs, but ultimately, everything stayed pretty much the same. The biggest surprise came when Greipel totally beat Cav. Cav had sort of a lead out thanks to the OLO guys. However, Greipel just beat him in pure power and won not by inches, but by a whole wheel-length.

It started as a wet start. The rain stopped shortly later.

Di Gregorio (Astana), Minard (107), Vichot (FDJ), Fares (Cofidis), Marcato (Vacansoleil), and Delaplace (Saur Sojasun) are on a breakaway. Vichot won maximum pts for the sprint.

Frank Schleck needed a tire change, and Leipheimer fell down.

The last few pts in the sprint comp were nabbed by 2 HTC riders. They kind of blocked some Movistar riders, who were complaining.

In the breakaway, Delaplace almost hit the deck, but managed to save it when his gear skipped.

Gilbert comes back to the team car for some mechanical problem. He leads the sprinting comp with 222, followed by Rojas with 179. Cav has got 162 and Hushovd has 137. However, once they hit the mountains, it sets the stage for an overall Gilbert win, since he’s a good climber and will nab a lot of points while the sprinters will be dropped by the peloton.

The team car and Gilbert have slowed down. At the beginning of the stage, the officials gave a long lecture to the cars on the radio about what to do.

There are 109.9km left. The lead is 3:55. There is a cat 3 climb coming up in about 17km, followed by a cat 4 8km later. 30km later, there is another cat 3 climb followed by some ups and downs until the last climb of the day 40 km later. The end finishes somewhat downhill.

Di Gregorio confers with the Astana team car and then rejoins the lead.

Leipheimer has a puncture. The police questioned a few people in the crash that happened during stage 4. The peloton is speeding away. They are averaging almost 52kph.

Marcato and Delaplace get pts for the KOM pts. Marcato actually sprinted away during the climb. The stage is 158km. Popovych developed a fever earlier today, so he retired. Kolobnev has been caught with a banned diuretic, so he’s been pulled off.

89km to go and the lead is 3:17. The leaders are starting the second climb, the Côte de Loupiac after the Côte de Figeac. It’s a cat 4. Mercato and Delaplace are going for the KOM pt available. Mercato gets it. His team, Vacansoleil, is also the team of Hoogerland, the leader in the KOM comp.

Gesink has a mechanical problem but it’s nothing major. He’s being paced back to the peloton.

Coppel (Saur Sojasun) crashed earlier. He has the mechanic adjust his cleat. He changes his shoes while they are ridden.

The peloton is going through the feeding zone. At 77km, the lead is 3:27.

Here are the other riders who abandoned: Garate, Poels, Txurruka, Brutt, Van den Broeck, Willems, Zabriskie, Vinokourov, and Kolobnev.

The peloton is stretched out.

With 62.8km to go, the lead is 2:58. The leaders have started the Côte de Villefranche-de-Rouergue. It’s a 4.1km climb. It’s a cat 3 climb.

Di Gregorio’s chain jammed but he manages to stay with the breakaway.

With 51.3km, the lead is 1:58. With 49.8km, the lead is 1:30.

Most of the sprinters are in the peloton. There is one more climb left.

Hushovd comes back to the team car. He’s also got a problem. The peloton is descending. The lead is down to 1′. He takes off his shoe. This is the 2nd time today that it happened. The road is winding around, so it’s not an easy process, but Hushovd isn’t bothered.

25km to go and the lead is 51″. The peloton is riding pretty fast, around 65kph.

The pace splits the breakaway. Marcato, Vichot, and Minard have gone clear. They start climbing the last mountain. The other three are caught at 18.3km.

OLO is pushing the pace so that the sprinters are left behind. This pace will favor Gilbert. Voeckler isn’t slowing down. Marcato sprints away from the other two. They are caught by the peloton in a few moments.

The lead is down to 11″. He’s caught. Hoogerland is dropped by the peloton. A Cofidis rider (Gallopin) tries to get away, but doesn’t. Gilbert and Voeckler join up. Tony Martin comes up as well.

Voeckler sprints some more. He gets the KOM pt. Gilbert isn’t backing down.

Their lead is 10″. I’m amazed that no one stopped this or reacted. The pace has slowed. At 13.3km, the lead is 8″. Devenys (Quick Step) tries to get away from the leaders.

Now, the lead is 13″. 11.1km to go. Cavendish is in the peloton. Hushovd is also there, as is Rojas.

10km to go. 15″.

Gilbert is pacing for the breakaway. None of the others seems to be able to help him out. The lead is 9″. Devenys tries to get away. The gap is 8″. Tony Martin is dropped.

Urtasun (Euskaltel Euskadi) tries to get ahead of the peloton. Renshaw, Cav’s lead out man, isn’t in the peloton.

Gilbert rides away. Urtasun and Gallopin try to join Gilbert. 5km left. Gilbert has got 12″.

A little hill is where the peloton gets Gilbert. That’s too bad. Once again, Perez (Euskaltel Euskadi) tries to get away, but the peloton is strong enough to bring him back.

Goss is dropped by the peloton. Two other riders try to get away. 4km to go and the lead is 3″.

They are quickly are caught.

David Millar tries to get away. There are 2.3km left. He’s caught a few moments later.

1km left. Cav speeds away and Greipel follows. Greipel beats Cav in the final moments. He won by a wheel. Rojas gets 3rd, and Hushovd gets 4. Feillu is 5th.

Voeckler retains the Yellow Jersey, followed by Sanchez (Rabobank) at 1:49, Evans at 2:26, F. Schleck at 2:29 and Andy Schleck at 2:37.

Contador is at 4:07.

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