9Arc-et-Senans >> Besançon
- Stage 9 (38 km)
Located at the foot of the Jura mountains, between the Chaux forest and the river Loue, Arc-et-Senans is a small Comtoise village. In addition to agriculture, particularly focused on cattle and grain farming, and a small woodworking industry, the economic life of Arc-et-Senans is largely orientated towards tourism thanks to the Royal Saltworks which annually attracts 130,000 visitors. With its eleven buildings constructed in the shape of half-moon that housed the production lines and workers’ housing, the Royal Saltworks was borne of the fertile imagination of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, visionary architect of the Enlightenment, and is a rare testament to the history of industrial architecture. Built at the request of King Louis XV, it was a factory for the production of salt that was transported from Salins-les-Bains, its point of extraction, and that were used at the time for the storing of food, the manufacture of glass and silverware, agriculture and medicine. Since 1982, the Royal Saltworks has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Frequently cited as a place "where life is good", nestled in an oxbow of the Doubs River and overlooked by the citadel of Vauban, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, the capital of Franche-Comte, is firstly a historical centre with its rich architectural heritage. But Besancon, birthplace of Victor Hugo, is also a student town (20,000 students, more than one in five is a Bisontin), and a city of perpetual movement that offers its residents a hugely varied cultural life, a public transport network that will include the tram and a world respected teaching hospital. Besançon is considered the heart and soul of watchmaking. Even today, a whole industrial fabric of small and medium enterprises work on the design, manufacture and maintenance of watches and watch components. It is this long tradition of watchmaking that made Besançon a centre of technological excellence with expertise in micro technology and an internationally recognized expertise in the fields of nanotechnology and biomedicine.
Live Stage Reports
The new top five of general classification
11 Jul 12|01:35 AM
Bradley Wiggins has increased his lead in the general classification. The top five after over 1,600km of racing in the 99th Tour is: 1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY 2. CadeL Evans (AUS) BMC at 1'53" 3. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 2'07" 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 2'23" 5. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 3'02"
The top five in stage nine
11 Jul 12|01:33 AM
The top five of the stage from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon is: 1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY - 41.5km in 51'24" (48.4km/h) 2. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 35" 3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) RNT at 57" 4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1'06" 5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) OPQ at 1'24"
51'24" - That's what it takes to win the stage! Bravo Bradley
11 Jul 12|01:31 AM
Bradley Wiggins has increased his lead in the general classification. He has also won his first stage of the Tour de France. He covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 48.4km/h. The now leads Cadel Evans by 1'53" and his team-mate Froome by 2'07".
Evans 5th best: 1'07" behind Froome
11 Jul 12|01:30 AM
Sky is going to win the stage... but the question is: will it be Chris Froome or Bradley Wiggins? The likely answer is that Wiggins will claim his first stage win in the Tour today but he's got about 700 metres to go before that's confirmed.
Here comes Cadel... 1km to go
11 Jul 12|01:28 AM
Evans is 13th best at the first check, sixth best at the second check and he's now inside the final kilometre. He's going to lose considerable time to Wiggins today and we'll know just how much in the next couple of minutes...
Nibali: 6th best...
11 Jul 12|01:27 AM
With two men yet to reach the finish, Nibali has the sixth best time. He is 1'32" slower than Froome.
Nibali inside final kilometre
11 Jul 12|01:26 AM
Nibali has the 10th best time at the 31.5km mark and he is now inside the final kilometre of the stage. He started the day ranked third overall, 16" behind Wiggins but that deficit is going to grow signifcantly in Besançon.
Menchov: 6th at the finish
11 Jul 12|01:24 AM
When he went past the second check, Menchov (KAT) was ninth. At the finish, the Russian TT champion has posted the sixth best time of the day with three men yet to reach the end of their time trials.
56-tooth front chainring for Wiggins
11 Jul 12|01:19 AM
The rider in the yellow jersey is using a 56 tooth chainring for the time trial today. He has churned that gear to set a time that's 16" faster than anyone else. The top five at the 31.5km mark is: 1. Wiggins 2. Froome at 16" 3. van Garderen at 36" 4. Cancellara at 38" 5. Chavanel at 1'04"
Evans picks up the pace: now 5th!
11 Jul 12|01:18 AM
He was 13th at the first check but now Cadel Evans is in fifth place for the stage. He was 1'03" slower than Froome over 31.5km. Ahead of the defending Tour champion are: Froome, his team-mate van Garderen, Cancellara and Chavanel.
New best time: Froome into first
11 Jul 12|01:17 AM
Chris Froome has ridden the 41.5km course at an average speed of 47.9km/h. He covered the course in 51 minutes, 59.59 seconds and leads Cancellara by 22".
15km to go for Wiggins...
11 Jul 12|01:13 AM
Wiggins is 1'20" ahead of Evans with 15km to go in the stage.
Menchov: 9th at 31.5km
11 Jul 12|01:12 AM
The rider in fourth overall at the start of the day, Denis Menchov (KAT) has the ninth best time at the second check. He is 1'15" behind Froome at the 31.5km mark.
Zubeldia 9th best at 31.5km
11 Jul 12|01:10 AM
There are now four RadioShack-Nissan riders in the top nine at the second check: Zubeldia in 9th (at 1'16 to Froome), Klöden in 7th (at 1'10"), Monfort in 6th (at 1'07"), and Cancellara in 3rd (at 22").
Froome leads by 20"
11 Jul 12|01:07 AM
At the 31.5km mark, Froome's time is 20" better than the previous best, van Garderen (BMC).
Wiggins on track for first Tour stage win
11 Jul 12|01:06 AM
Before today, the best place that Wiggins has been in a stage of the Tour de France was second – that was the team time trial of the 2009 Tour when he was part of the Garmin team. The Brit has the best time at the first check so we can start believing that he may well win his first stage of the Tour today. He made his debut in the race in 2006 when his best result was 16th in the prologue. In 2007 he was fourth in the London prologue and fifth in the time trial around Albi in stage 13. In 2008 he skipped the Tour in favour of preparing for the pursuit events at the Olympic Games – which he won (both the individual and teams). In 2009 he was third in the opening stage time trial in Monaco and second in the TTT (with Garmin) and fifth in the stage to Verbier. In 2010, he was eighth in stage three (Arenberg) and ninth in the final time trial (in Pauillac). Last year he was third in the team time trial but then he crashed out in stage nine...
Wiggins: 16.5km - 46.9km/h.
11 Jul 12|01:01 AM
The fastest time for the first 16.5km is 21'05" set by Bradley Wiggins. He is 5" better than his team-mate Froome and the top five at the first check is: 1. Wiggins 2. Froome at 5" 3. van Garderen at 32" 4. Cancellara at 34" 5. Chavanel at 39"
Evans: 12th best at first check
11 Jul 12|00:59 AM
It seems unlikely that Evans is going to win the stage today. He was second in the penultimate stage last year (6" behind Tony Martin in the Grenoble TT) but at the 16.5km mark he is already 57" behind Froome's time.
Nibali 52" behind Froome at 16.5km
11 Jul 12|00:55 AM
The rider ranked third overall after eight stages, Nibali (LIQ) has posted the 10th best time at the 16.5km mark. He is already 52" behind the standard set by Froome.
Wiggins 20" ahead of Evans...
11 Jul 12|00:48 AM
Radio Tour has just announced that Wiggins is 20" ahead of Evans with 30km to go in the stage.
Boom, zoom... Froome!
11 Jul 12|00:46 AM
Froome has taken 23.41 seconds off the time set by van Garderen at the first check, that's 16.5km - much of it uphill - at an average speed of 46.8km/h!
Van Garderen: 9" behind Cancellara
11 Jul 12|00:44 AM
He has the best times at the two intermediate but Tejay van Garderen has finished the stage with the second best time of the day so far: he is 9" behind Cancellara after 41.5km and 19" ahead of Chavanel (OPQ).
Van Garderen inside final 2km
11 Jul 12|00:41 AM
Tejay van Garderen is chasing the best time of the day. He was first at the 16.5km and 31.5km checks - but only just. In less than two minutes we'll know if he's able to eclipse the time of Cancellara.
Wiggins sets off!
11 Jul 12|00:40 AM
The yellow jersey is now racing. Wiggins has an energy gel tucked into his knicks (on the left leg) and he too has a rear disc wheel.
Rear disc wheel for Evans
11 Jul 12|00:38 AM
Many riders are opting for a disc wheel for today's race. Evans is now racing and he too has gone with the full aerodynamic package: a BMC bike with integrated front brakes (ie. part of the fork), deep rim at the front and long sleeve skinsuit...
11 Jul 12|00:34 AM
It took just six seconds for Nibali to settle into the saddle after leaving the start house. The Liquigas leader is ranked third overall after eight stages: 16" behind Wiggins. There are just two men yet to start the ninth stage - Evans (BMC) and Wiggins (SKY).
Van Garderen continues to set the standard!
11 Jul 12|00:32 AM
Van Garderen has beaten the time of Cancellara at 31.5km. The American was 3" behind the Swiss rider at the 16.5km mark and at the second check he is 2" ahead.
Froome sets off
11 Jul 12|00:25 AM
There are now just five me yet to start the stage: Zubeldia (EUS), Menchov (KAT), Nibali (LIQ), Evans (BMC) and Wiggins (SKY). Froome (SKY) has just started the time trial and, according to David Millar, this is a course that suits a rider of his capablities. In 16.5km we'll know how he compares wtih the others...
Brajkovic into the top five
11 Jul 12|00:22 AM
At the first check, Astana's leader Janez Brajkovic has set the fifth best time: he's 25" behind van Garderen.
Schleck loses 1'23" in 16.5km
11 Jul 12|00:21 AM
Fränk Schleck is past the first time check with the 24th best time. The third-place finisher in the 2011 Tour was 1'24" behind van Garderen's time at the 16.5km mark.
Two teams in the top five
11 Jul 12|00:17 AM
There are riders from two teams in the top five at the moment: RadioShack-Nissan holds down 1st and 5th at the moment (Cancellara and Voigt) while Omega Pharma-Quickstep has 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest times today (Chavanel, Velits and Martin).
Van Garderen beats Cancellara's time
11 Jul 12|00:14 AM
At the first check, the young American from BMC - Tejay van Garderen - has set the fastest time. He is 3" ahead of Cancellara!
Long sleeves for Evans today
11 Jul 12|00:13 AM
Cadel Evans has been shown warming up in his BMC skinsuit. The Australian has opted for long sleeves for the TT. His start time is 4.36pm. He has won two stages of the Tour since making his debut in 2005 - one of them a retrospective prize (following the disqualification of Vinokourov of stage 13 in 2007). His first stage win was that time trial in Albi.
Klöden: 4th at 16.5km
11 Jul 12|00:11 AM
RadioShack is the only squad other than Sky to lead the team classification at the TOur in 2012. The American team has six riders in the top 19 overall and Andreas Klöden has just set the fourth fastest time at the 16.5km mark. He is 28" behind team-mate Cancellara.
Chavanel sets 2nd best time
11 Jul 12|00:08 AM
At the finish, Chavanel has set the second best time of the day. The French champion was 27" slower than Cancellara and 52" better than his team-mate, Tony Martin.
Rogers in 6th at 31.5km
11 Jul 12|00:07 AM
There are two Sky riders yet to start the stage but we can report that Michael Rogers - who was second overall in the Criterium du Dauphiné this June - has just reached the second time check 1'32" behind Cancellara. That's good enough for sixth at the moment.
Rolland loses 1'40" in 16.5km
11 Jul 12|00:06 AM
At the first time check, the winner of the Tour's youth classification in the 2011 race Pierre Rolland (EUC) has already surrendered 1'40" to Cancellara...
Chavanel 26" behind at 31.5km
11 Jul 12|00:00 AM
The French champion is second fastest at the second check; Chavanel is 26" behind Cancellara and 33" ahead of his team-mate Tony Martin.
Coppel beats Rogers
10 Jul 12|23:57 PM
Jérôme Coppel (SAU) has posted the fourth best time at the 16.5km mark. He is 36" behind Cancellara and 3" ahead of Rogers (SKY).
Fränk Schleck the next to start
10 Jul 12|23:55 PM
Janez Brajkovic (AST) is the latest to leave the start house which means that there are now just 15 men yet to get rolling in today's stage. Fränk Schleck is ranked 15th overall after eight stages. He's the next to get going...
Rogers matches Martin's time
09 Jul 12|23:49 PM
At the 16.5km mark, the triple world champion (from 2003, 2004 and 2005), Michael Rogers, has posted a time that's only 0.07 seconds slower than his one-time team-mate Tony Martin. The Australian is the fourth fastest at the first check.
Cancellara heading back to the podium?
09 Jul 12|23:48 PM
Fabian Cancellara has the fastest time of the day but is it enough to take the win? He is 1'19" faster than Martin and has covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 47.6km/h (versus 45.8km/h for Martin). There are 35 men yet to reach the finish... and some of them haven't yet started. The odds-on favourite for the win today is Wiggins who starts his race at 4.39pm.
Velits at the 1st check
09 Jul 12|23:44 PM
The Slovakian TT champion, Peter Velits has reached the 16.5km check with a time of 21'50" - the third fastest of the day. The new top five at Abbans-Dessus is: 1. Cancellara - 16.5km in 21'37" 2. Chavanel at 7" 3. Velits at 13" 4. Martin at 39" 5. Voigt at 46" That's three men from one team in second, third, and fourth...
20 men yet to start
09 Jul 12|23:40 PM
Leipheimer (OPQ) has just set off in the time trial. He's won one stage of the Tour and that was the final TT of the 2007 race when he was third overall. There are now 20 riders yet to start the stage.
Chavanel 2nd at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|23:37 PM
At the first check, Chavanel has the second best time of the day. He is 6.88 seconds behind the time set by Cancellara and his average speed was 45.5km/h.
Cancellara 1'09" ahead of Martin
09 Jul 12|23:35 PM
At the 31.5km mark, Cancellara's time is 39'40" - that's 1'09" faster than Tony Martin.
Casar catches Sagan...
09 Jul 12|23:31 PM
Sandy Casar may have lost time time between the first and second time checks, but the Frenchman is riding the time trial of his life: he's just caught his three minute man Peter Sagain.
Casar slows down a little
09 Jul 12|23:28 PM
Casar has the third best time at the 16.5km mark but he's lost a bit of ground before reaching the 31.5km mark. Casar was 7" behind Martin at the first check, and at the second he's in seventh place - 32" behind Martin.
Cancellara catches Mollema
09 Jul 12|23:26 PM
Bauke Mollema started three minutes ahead of Cancellara and the Swiss rider has just raced past the Dutchman.
Martin's puncture cost about 30"
09 Jul 12|23:25 PM
The rider who has the second best time at 16.5km (behind Cancellara) is Tony Martin. He punctured before the first check today and Laurent Jalabert - who is now a commentator for FranceTV - said that the flat tyre cost him about half a minute. The German has the best time of the day at the 31.5km mark and the finish... but Cancellara is yet to arrive at the 31.5km mark.
Thomas Voeckler: The non-specialist are penalised less...
09 Jul 12|23:22 PM
“It's rough, but that was expected,” said Voeckler at the finish. “It is a beautiful course. Non-specialists are penalised less because there are lots of rhythm changes. This can be considered a good sign for Pierre Rolland, because if you compare this stage to the one on the eve of the final stage last year, it’s more suitable for him and he will fare better. On the other hand, he is someone who has capacity to recover better than others, and he will be better at the end of the Tour than he is now.”
Cancellara: 39" ahead of Martin...
09 Jul 12|23:19 PM
Contrary to the previous newsflash, the advantage of Cancellara over Martin was 39" (not 37"). The time of Cancellara is 4'02" faster than the worst time at this stage... that's been posted by Tyler Farrar (GRS).
Cancellara's 16.5km time
09 Jul 12|23:17 PM
At the 16.5km mark, Cancellara has oblitorated the time of Tony Martin. The average speed of the prologue winner at the first check is 45.8km/h. The Swiss rider covered that distance in a time of 21'37" - that's 37" better than the reigning world champion did.
Cancellara out of the saddle on climb...
09 Jul 12|23:14 PM
Cancellara has stood for a few pedal rotations while making his way up the climb leading to the first time check. After rounding a hairpin turn he's settled back down into the aerobars and is now out of the sea of people and speeding towards the 16.5km check.
Chavanel the next to start
09 Jul 12|23:13 PM
The rider who was third in the prologue, Sylvain Chavanel - the French time trial champion of 2012 - is the next to start the stage. He spoke with LeTour.fr earlier today after doing a reconnaissance of the course and said he thought it is a lot harder than what it appears in the roadbook.
Casar beats Voigt's time at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|23:08 PM
At the first time check, the French rider Sandy Casar (FDJ) has posted a time that's second best for the day. He is 7" behind Martin and 1" ahead of Voigt at 16.5km.
Sagan's first time check
09 Jul 12|23:06 PM
At the 16.5km mark, Sagan has set a time of 23'36" - it's an average of 41.9km/h - and 1'20" behind Martin at the same part of the course.
Cancellara speeding towards first time check...
09 Jul 12|23:02 PM
We'll soon find out if the opening stanza of the Tour has slowed down the master of the time trial Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider is near the first intermediate time check and he's been riding in the saddle almost since the start of the 41.5km test. He has a long sleeve jersey on despite the warm conditions (with the temperature over 30 degrees now). There isn't a lot of wind today and the four-time world champion has opted for a rear disc wheel...
Cancellara ready for TT
09 Jul 12|22:50 PM
The four-time TT world champion Fabian Cancellara is only a few minutes from starting. He is due to begin his time trial at 2.54pm. He's six time trials at the Tour, including the prologues of 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012. The only long TT he's won at the Tour was in Pauillac at the end of the 2010 race. He was second (to Alberto Contador) in the long TT around Lake Annecy in 2009.
Eddy BH not in a hurry today...
09 Jul 12|22:42 PM
If Wiggins is to wear the yellow jersey all the way to Paris, he'll need all the help he can get from his team-mate. Boasson Hagen - fourth in the prologue - has just reached the first time check (16.5km) with a deficit of 1'21" to Tony Martin. Could we say that he's saving himself...? Probably.
Sagan the next to start...
09 Jul 12|22:39 PM
The rider in the lead of the points classification is the next to start the ninth stage. Peter Sagan is ranked 40th overall. There has been no change in the top 10 at the finish since the arrival of Riblon (ALM). The French rider has been on the attack in stages seven and eight and, for now, he's ranked ninth - 1'41" behind the time set by Tony Martin (OPQ).
Martin fastest despite a puncture
09 Jul 12|22:26 PM
Tony Martin (OPQ) has just given a brief interview with FranceTV and explained that, just like in the prologue, he had a flat tyre during the time trial today. Despite that setback he still has the best time at every check and, at the finish, he's 29" faster than the next-best rider, Jens Voigt.
Vinokourov beats Millar's 16.5km time by one second...
09 Jul 12|22:24 PM
The patron of the Astana team, Alexandre Vinokourov, has reached the first time check with a deficit of just one second on David Millar. The Kazahk is 31" behind the time of Martin which is still the best at the 16.5km mark.
Boasson Hagen racing...
09 Jul 12|22:19 PM
Edvald Boasson Hagen, the Sky rider who was fourth in the prologue, has just started today's stage. He is the 131st starter and they riders are now setting off at three minute intervals.
Polka-dots - fuelled by Kessiacoffee...
09 Jul 12|22:17 PM
Further to the previous post, LeTour.fr has been informed that the new leader of the climbing classification, Frederik Kessiakoff has his own brand of coffee called 'Kessiacoffee'.
A bit of background on the new leader of the climbing classification
09 Jul 12|22:15 PM
Fredrik Keissiakoff is the new leader of the climbing classification. Today is the Swede's first day in the polka-dot jersey of the Tour de France. The 32-year-old was born in Stockholm but, at the time, his family lived in Athens so he grew up there until he was seven. After that he lived both in Stockholm and Germany. He started mountain biking in 1995 and, in 1998 he won a MTB World Cup race. In 2008 he switched to road racing full time and his first race stage race was the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia; he was fourth overall. He rode for the Garmin team in 2010 and switched to Astana in 2011. His first European successes with the Kazakh team were a stage and the title of the Tour of Austria last year.
Prost to follow Voeckler in an electric car
09 Jul 12|22:08 PM
Today will be the first time in the history of the Tour that an electric car will follow a rider in a time trial. Thomas Voeckler will have the honour of leading it and he has a special guest in the passenger seat: F1 GP legend Alain Prost. Voeckler is the 127th starter of today's 41.5km time trial.
Gilbert catches two-minute man
09 Jul 12|22:04 PM
Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has the seventh best time of the day (55'12") - he caught the rider who started two minutes ahead of him (Jorge Azanza) and is 1'31" behind the time set by Tony Martin.
Grivko: sixth at 1st and 2nd check...
09 Jul 12|21:54 PM
The rider who was 10th in the prologue in Liège, Andriy Grivko (AST) has posted the sixth best time at both 16.5km and 31.5km. He is 28" behind Martin at Avanne-Aveney.
Voigt second at the finish...
09 Jul 12|21:52 PM
Voigt has been second to Martin at every time check... and he's 28" behind at the finish. There are now two men with an average speed faster than 46km/h - and both are Germans.
Voigt 13" behind Martin at 31.5km
09 Jul 12|21:38 PM
Voigt is second at the second check as well... he was 9" behind Martin at 16.5km and at the 31.5km mark, he's only 13" slower than the world champion.
Voigt: in top 10 of five Tour time trials...
09 Jul 12|21:35 PM
Jens Voigt currently has the second best time at the first check. He is the oldest rider in the race and he was on the attack for the first two hours of stage eight yesterday. He is nine second slower than the TT world champion at the 16.5km mark... and could yet muscle his way into the top 10 today. He made his Tour debut in 1998 and he finished 46th and 64th in the two long time trials (both won by his compatriot Jan Ullrich). Voigt has finished in the top 10 of five long Tour time trials. They were: Stage 8 (Metz) in 1999: 8th - 3'41" behind Armstrong Stage 19 (Futuroscope) in 1999: 9th - 2'45" behind Armstrong Stage 19 (Besançon) in 2004: 7th - 3'19" behind Armstrong Stage 1 (Noirmoutier) in 2005: 8th - 1'04" behind Zabriskie Stage 4 (Cholet) in 2008: 7th - 35" behind Schumacher.
Germans in 1st and 2nd at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|21:20 PM
Jens Voigt (RNT) has posted the second best time at the 16.5km check. The German veteran is nine seconds behind his compatriot, Tony Martin (OPQ).
Roy gets to the finish in third place
09 Jul 12|21:15 PM
Roy (FDJ) has beaten the time of Gustav Larsson. The Frenchman who won the Super Combative classification of the 2011 Tour is now ranked third at the finish, 36" behind the reigning TT world champion.
Roy takes third place...
09 Jul 12|21:05 PM
At the 31.5km mark, one of the attacking riders from yesterday's stage, Jérémy Roy (FDJ) has set the third best time of the day. He is 27" behind Martin at the second time check.
Lelangue to follow Gilbert...
09 Jul 12|21:04 PM
The directeur sportif of the BMC team, John Lelangue, is about to set off in the car behind the Belgian TT champion Philippe Gilbert. The winner of stage one of the Tour in 2011 is ranked 77th overall after 1,57.9km of racing in the 2012 Tour. Lelangue will also be the man at the microphone for Cadel Evans later today. Gilbert's start time is 1.07pm.
Martin: 29" better than Westra
09 Jul 12|20:52 PM
The world champion has covered the 41.5km course with an average speed of 46.4km/h. He is 29" ahead of Westra at the finish.
Grabsch started two places ahead of Martin...
09 Jul 12|20:51 PM
Grabsch has set the 10th best time of the day: he is 3'00" behind Westra. The German started the time trial four minutes before his compatriot Martin who has caught his two-minute man (Steve Cummings, BMC) and finished with the best time of the day...
Bert Grabsch the next to finish
09 Jul 12|20:49 PM
There are, in fact, four riders who have won the TT world championships in the Tour's peloton. It was stated earlier on LeTour.fr that there were three... but we forgot to mention the 2008 champion Bert Grabsch (OPQ) who is the next rider due at the finish...
Martin continues his TT display
09 Jul 12|20:39 PM
The world champion has set the new best time at the 31.5km mark. Tony Martin was 13" better than Westra at the first check and, at the second check, he is 23" faster than Larrson.
Zabriskie at the finish
09 Jul 12|20:37 PM
Dave Zabriskie is seventh best in the TT so far. He was the 59th starter and he is 2'05" behind Westra.
Paris-Nice stage winners beaten by last year's Paris-Nice winner
09 Jul 12|20:28 PM
With Tony Martin (OPQ) about to reach the 31.5km mark, we'll track his progress but the German currently holds the best time at 16.5km. He is the title holder from the 2011 edition of Paris-Nice and in second and third for time being are two stage winners from Paris-Nice this March: Larsson (VCD) who took the prologue of the one-week French race earlier this year, and Westra (VCD) who was the winner of the stage to Mende in March.
Martin beats Westra at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|20:21 PM
The world time trial champion has posted the best time at the first check. Tony Martin (OPQ) is 13" better than Westra at the 16.5km mark.
Millar: It's not necessarily a specialist's course...
09 Jul 12|20:18 PM
“I was hoping to go a lot better than I did,” said David Millar after his race today. “I felt terrible out there. The disappointment continues. “I felt good when [when I woke up] so I’m disappointed with what I did because I had nothing out there. That doesn’t happen very often – it’s not nice when you feel good but you go bad.” When asked what the course was like, the Garmin-Sharp rider explained that “it’s actually harder than the profile shows. That little climb in the middle... for the GC guys, it’s a really good course – if they can climb and time trial. I think for Froome it’s a good course and Wiggo, obviously, and Cadel. “I think it’s not necessarily a specialist’s course.”
Millar earns fourth best time...
09 Jul 12|20:13 PM
"It's awful when you wake up feeling okay but then have a bad ride," said David Millar after finishing with what is the fourth best time so far (41.5km in 55'38"). He is being Westra (VCD), Larsson (VCD) and Sanchez (RAB). Millar was the 44th starter today.
Westra beats Larsson's time
09 Jul 12|19:58 PM
Lieuwe 'The Beast' Westra has beaten the time of his team-mate. The Dutch champion was 10" faster than the Swedish champion. The fastest average speed so far is 46.0km/h.
Over an hour for Cavendish today
09 Jul 12|19:56 PM
Mark Cavendish is 5'48" slower than Larsson in the time trial today. His time was 1h00'07". So far 37 riders have finished the stage.
Sebastian Langeveld: There are some nasty parts
09 Jul 12|19:49 PM
LeTour.fr spoke with Orica-GreenEdge’s Sebastian Langeveld after he finished his time trial and got his thoughts on the course. “It’s not too windy out there today but it’s pretty hard – it’s up and down, with some technical parts and I think it’s a perfect time trial for Wiggins, Cancellara... and the normal names for these sort of time trials.” It’s been suggested that this is a flat day, is that how it felt? “It’s isn’t flat. There are some nasty parts... it’s actually pretty hard. “I did it quite easy; I searched for the right speed and that’s how I got to the finish... I had, sort of, a rest day – and tomorrow also – and I’ll start fresh again on Wednesday.”
Westra beats Larsson at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|19:45 PM
The third starter from Vacansoleil was Lieuwe Westra. He has reached the first intermediate check (16.5km) and set a time that's one second faster than his team-mate Gustav Larsson but at the second check (31.5km) the Dutchman is 10" behind the Swede.
Gallopin: Fabian should be able to keep his form...
09 Jul 12|19:30 PM
“A week in yellow is much more exhausting for the workers that it is for the leader,” said Alain Gallopin when he spoke with LeTour.fr earlier today. We asked the directeur sportif about the chances of success for Fabian Cancellara in the time trial today. “Fabian remained protected throughout this week,” continued Gallpin, “and yesterday, he was able to preserve energy in contrast to Bradley Wiggins, who had to work hard to keep his position [at the top of the general classification]. So Fabian should be able to keep his form for the race against the clock. “It is a course which should suit him,” concluded Gallopin about Cancellara. “The route is a bit technical, but it’s nothing that Fabian cannot manage. I think the stage will be played out between Wiggins, Cancellara and Martin.”
Holm hopes for a good result for Martin...
09 Jul 12|19:26 PM
LeTour.fr asked Holm about the rumours that Martin is considering leaving the Tour after today’s time trial and the Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider wanted to say that this is not going to be the case but he isn’t exactly sure. “Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, we don’t yet know. I know I would like him to stay – you know how it is, I would never like any bike rider to have to leave the Tour de France. But I’d also not like a rider to have to do the race with a broken hand. It is the Tour so you have to try, really. “We’re not too sure but I really hope that he’ll be at the start after the rest day.” And, what about the prediction for the top three in today’s stage? “I would be surprised if Tony is up there for the win but we’ll go there hoping... but the big battle will be between Cadel Evans, Cancellara and Wiggins – and hopefully Tony Martin up near them.”
Time cut in TT stages
09 Jul 12|19:23 PM
According to the rule book of the Tour de France (coefficient 6, of article 22 - "permitted finishing times"): "The permitted finishing time is calculated according to the best time plus 25%."
Sanchez finishes 14" behind Larsson
09 Jul 12|19:16 PM
The Spanish TT champion, Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB) has the second best time of the day so far. He was 13.92 seconds slower over the 41.5km course that the Swedish champion Gustav Larsson.
Millar has started his TT
09 Jul 12|19:13 PM
David Millar (GRS) has a start time of 11.11am. He is the 44th rider to begin the time trial. LeTour.fr spoke with Garmin-Sharp DS Allan Peiper before the stage and asked what we could expect of the two Daves - Millar and Zabriskie - in today's race. Both have won time trials at the Tour in the past but Peiper recognised that "the GC guys Wiggins and Evans are on a different level". "If the guys [Zabriskie and Millar] can get in the top 10 that could be a good result for us," concluded Peiper.
Holm comments on Tony Martin's form...
09 Jul 12|19:10 PM
LeTour.fr contacted the directeur sportif of Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Brian Holm, this morning and asked how he expected the TT world champion to go in today’s stage. Tony Martin crashed in stage one and broke a bone in his left hand but he’s still in the race and he’ll start the time trial of stage nine at 11.57am. “We’re just on the course now,” said Holm at 9.35am, “and we have 15km to go. We’re going to give it a try. He broke his hand but it hasn’t gotten any worse and so he’s optimistic about his chances and he’s going to have a good go today. “He was quite disappointed after his prologue [where he had a puncture at the halfway mark] so he wants to try something.” LeTour.fr asked if he is able to sit on the time trial bike the way he likes and Holm explained that the team has created a special arm rest for the TT bars but that they haven’t yet decided if that will be used. “We’ve tried to create something that will give his hand some support and that should help him get into the aerodynamic position.” Apart from his wrist, Holm confirmed, Martin has no other injuries.
Sanchez chasing Larsson's time...
09 Jul 12|19:09 PM
Luis Leon Sanchez might be riding with an injured wrist but the Spaniard is close to the best time at both the 16.5km and 31.5km - the Rabobank rider was 2" slower than Larsson at the first check and 3" behind at the second check...
Larsson's average: 45.8km/h
09 Jul 12|19:05 PM
Larsson has set the early standard: the Swedish TT champion covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 45.8km/h. He is 3'14" better than the next best, Brice Feillu (SAU). Jimmy Engouvent risks being eliminated by being outside the time limit today, the Frenchman has the slowest time so far and it's 8'15" behind Larsson...
Larsson the best so far at 31.5km
09 Jul 12|19:00 PM
So far 15 riders have go past the second time check. The Swedish TT specialist, Gustav Larsson (VCD) has the best time of the day so far at the 31.5km mark: 41'12" - that's 2'06" better than the second rider in the rankings at the moment, Cyril Lemoine (SAU)... and 4'56" better than Farrar.
Comments from Chavanel
09 Jul 12|18:52 PM
"This is a tough course," said Sylvain Chavanel when he spoke with LeTour.fr just after doing the reconnaissance of the 41.5km TT earlier today. "It's a lot harder than it appears on paper." The French time trial champion was third in the prologue and he's currently ranked 29th overall (6'54" behind Wiggins). "I've attacked a few times in the first week but I'm still feeling okay," he said. "I'd be glad with a place in the top 10 today. "It looks like a relatively flat profile but don't be deceived, it's actually quite undulating and hard."
Farrar: 2'45" behind Feillu
09 Jul 12|18:48 PM
The second starter today, Farrar (GRS), has taken over an hour to finish the 41.5km stage. His average was 41.3km/h... and he is 2'45" behind Feillu (SAU).
Prize classification review: part 04 – white jersey
09 Jul 12|18:46 PM
The riders who finished first and second in stage eight, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Tony Gallopin (RNT) and have moved up the overall rankings and are now placed second and third in the youth classification. This is still led by the Estonian at the Cofidis team, Rein Taaramae. He is 46” ahead of Gallopin and 1’14” better than the winner of the stage to Porrentruy, Pinot. The former wearer of the white jersey, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) is ranked fourth, 1’41 behind Taaramae.
Feillu at the finish
09 Jul 12|18:43 PM
The first to start the time trial, Brice Feillu (SAU) has posted a time of 57'33" for the 41.5km stage. His average speed was 43.3km/h.
3'09" between first and 14th at 16.5km
09 Jul 12|18:41 PM
Larsson's time is 3'09" faster than Farrar at the first intermediate check. So far 14 men have reached the 16.5km mark and the Swedish Vacansoleil rider has the best time to date: 22'30".
Prize classification review: part 03 – polka-dot jersey
09 Jul 12|18:38 PM
Frederik Kessiakoff (AST) is the third man to wear the polka-dot jersey in the 99th Tour de France. He was one of many who went on the attack in the stage to Switzerland and although he missed out on the stage which he believed might have been within reach (and finished 12th in the eighth stage) he got a good consolation prize – the lead in the climbing classification. He has 21 points, one more than the winner of stage seven, Chris Froome (SKY) and three more than the defending champion of the Tour, Cadel Evans (BMC). Evans has just finished his warm up on the time trial course, arriving at the finish in Besançon at 10.35am... his start time for today’s stage is 4.36pm. There are no points on offer for the climbing classification in the time trial.
Larsson beats Feillu's time
09 Jul 12|18:34 PM
The 13th rider to start the time trial was Gustav Larsson (VCD). He was the winner of the prologue of Paris-Nice earlier this year and his time at the 16.5km mark is 57" better than Feillu.
Prize classification review: part 02 – green jersey
09 Jul 12|18:32 PM
None of the riders in the top order of the points classification added to their tally in stage eight. Peter Sagan (LIQ) still leads Matt Goss (OGE) 217 points to 185. André Greipel (LTB) has won two stages and is ranked third with 172 points and the winner of stage two, Mark Cavendish (SKY) is fourth with 129 points. There are points for the first 15 in today’s stage and they allocation for a time trial in the Tour is as follows: 1st = 20pts; 2nd = 17; 3rd = 15; 4th = 13; 5th = 11; 6th = 10; 7th = 9; 8th = 8; 9th = 7; 10th = 6; 11th = 5; 12th = 4; 13th = 3; 14th = 2; and 15th = 1.
Prize classification review: part 01 – yellow jersey
09 Jul 12|18:24 PM
This is the second day of Bradley Wiggins’ career that he has worn the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. He has a lead of 10” over Cadel Evans while Vincenzo Nibali is ranked third overall at 16”. These three have been tipped by many time to be among the fastest for the time trial today but there are also three riders who have won the TT world championships in the peloton. Tony Martin is the first of these to start the stage today: he will wear the rainbow jersey and start his race at 11.57am. The winner of the prologue, Fabian Cancellara – a four-time world champion – is now ranked 36th overall, his start time is 2.54pm. And the triple world champion Michael Rogers is in 26th place on GC: his start time is 3.24pm.
Four past the 16.5km mark...
09 Jul 12|18:16 PM
Feillu has the best time out of the four who have reached the first intermediate check. The winner of the stage to Arcarlis in the 2009 Tour has been suffering stomach problems during the first week and he is ranked last on GC - 1h11'39" behind Wiggins - but his time at the first check of the TT is 15" better than Timmer (ARG), 36" faster than Engoulvent (SAU) and a massive 2'12" better than Tyler Farrar (GRS).
Two intermediate time checks
09 Jul 12|18:13 PM
There are two intermediate time checks for the 41.5km stage today. Feillu is the only rider to post a time at Abbans-Dessus (16.5km) and the man in last place on GC has covered the first stanza of the TT in 23'27". The second check is in Avanne-Avenay at 31.5km.
Riders about to start the time trial
09 Jul 12|17:45 PM
Feillu's start time is only a minute away. The Saur-Sojasun rider will be followed by the winner of stage three of the 2011 Tour, Tyler Farrar (at 9.47am), then team-mate Jimmy Engoulvent.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage nine of the 2012 Tour
09 Jul 12|17:35 PM
Monday, 9 July 2012: the day of the first long time trial of the 99th Tour de France. The first rider to begin the 41.5km race from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon is Brice Feillu (SAU) at 9.45am. The starting order is in reverse of the position on general classification after eight stages. The first 118 riders will start two minutes apart and, from 1.42pm onwards there will be three minutes between the starters. The weather is fine and the temperature is about 24 degrees Celsius early today and expected to reach 30 for this race in the Doubs and Jura departments of France. Bradley Wiggins (SKY) will start his time trial at 4.39pm.
Gabriel returns to present his delicious series, as it follows the Tour de France 2010.More info