13Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux >> Le Cap d’Agde
- Stage 13 (215 km)
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is a charming village in the Drôme Provençale, which nestles among vineyards, truffle oaks and fields of lavender, and manages to combine heritage, the land, authenticity and conviviality. Beneath it, the village’s former inhabitants have left behind a number of relics from the prehistoric age, from antiquity and the middle Ages. The mediaeval cathedral, a remarkable example of Roman architecture, is emblematic of the town, sitting majestically in the centre of the village. Inside the city walls, you will discover a host of attractions: mansions, charming little squares adorned with fountains and outdoor cafes. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is also a gastronomic delight, best known for its truffles, providing 60 per cent of France’s truffles to the market, as well as its wine (AOC wines from Grignan-les-Adhémar) and its many great restaurants. The influence of the village also goes beyond its walls – it’s also known for its children’s book festival, its soul jazz festival, its classical music festival – Les Musicales en Tricastin – and a film festival.
Le Cap d’Agde
Set up at the beginning of the 1970s, the Cap d'Agde resort has become, in the space of 40 years, a leading example of a seaside holiday resort with today nearly 175,000 overnight stays. Created by the Interministerial Mission for Territory Management, headed by Pierre Racine, designed by architect Jean Le Couteur, in 2010 it saw its Port Saint-Martin district named Heritage of the 20th Century. Le Cap d'Agde is the emblematic resort of the town of Agde, founded 2,600 years ago by the Greeks of Phocee. A stategic place due to its location in the Gulf of Lion, Agde is situated between the borders of three areas of water: the Mediterranean Sea, the Herault River and the Canal du Midi. Its economy, for a long time centred around the sea and viticulture, is today primarily based on tourism, since it welcomes at the height of the summer season up to 300,000 people. Agde, which means good fortune - from its Greek name Agathe Tyche - has retained many traces that make up its rich heritage including the largest French collection of bronze antiques found in situ and collected together at the Ephebe Museum.
Live Stage Reports
Greipel's third victory this year
16 Jul 12|00:56 AM
Wiggins led the sprint out and finished the stage in 12th place. The top five in stage 13 is: 1. André Greipel (GER) LTB 4h57'59" 2. Peter Sagan (SLO) LIQ 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY 4. Sebastien Hinault (FRA) ALM 5. Daryl Impey (RSA) OGE
Greipel beats Sagan!
16 Jul 12|00:54 AM
Greipel has won his third stage of the 2012 Tour with a late throw to the line. The German has beaten Sagan by about half a wheel.
One kilometre to go
16 Jul 12|00:53 AM
Wiggins is leading the peloton and Boasson Hagen is shaping up to sprint. There is less than 1km to go and Sanchez is still ahead of the bunch but he cannot do anything to hold off Wiggins.
Sanchez goes alone
16 Jul 12|00:52 AM
With 2.2km to go, Sanchez has hit out. He has a lead of about 100m but now we see him being chased down by a rider from Argos-Shimano. Wiggins is at the front of the peloton that can see the stage leaders...
3km to go
16 Jul 12|00:51 AM
The riders must be praying for the barriers as holiday makers are not staying at the edge of the road as they strive to get a glimpse of the riders. Albasini and Vinokourov have been caught with 2.5km to go and now Sanchez (RAB) is on the attack.
4km to go: 3 Lottos left...
16 Jul 12|00:49 AM
There is 4km to go in the stage and Bak (LTB) has just swung off - job done. That leaves three Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the bunch that's just 8" behind Albasini and Vinokourov.
5km to go
16 Jul 12|00:48 AM
There's only 11" between Vinokourov and Albasini with 5km to go in the 217km stage. There are now four Lotto-Belisol riders ahead of Sagan who still has a team-mate present to help set up a sprint. The wind is blowing from the right side of the road.
Long, strong turns of pace
16 Jul 12|00:46 AM
Vinokourov and Albasini are sharing the work in the front of the stage. Each is spending about 30" in the wind before allowing the other to come through. It's this sort of cooperation that has helped them stay ahead of the bunch that is now 13" behind.
8km to go
16 Jul 12|00:45 AM
Vinokourov and Albasini are still at the front of the stage. They have a lead of 16" on the bunch led by Lotto-Belisol.
Vino and Albasini hold their advantage
16 Jul 12|00:42 AM
Despite the work of five Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the yellow jersey's group, the two stage leaders are still 22" ahead. Greipel was one of the sprinters to stay in contact with the front group over the climb... and it was this obstacle that eliminated the likes of Goss, Cavendish and Farrar. Hutarovich is another sprinter who has made the front group.
Two lead by 22"
16 Jul 12|00:38 AM
Albasini and Vinokourov are inside the final 13km and have a lead of 22". There are five Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the peloton. Greipel is there and he's being closely marked by Sagan (LIQ).
Two in the lead
16 Jul 12|00:35 AM
Albasini has caught Vinokourov with 15.5km to go. This pair is about of the yellow jersey's bunch by about 100m. Cavendish's group is at 1'05".
Vinokourov on the attack
16 Jul 12|00:34 AM
Vinokourov (AST) has attacked the peloton with 16km to go. He is being chased down by Albasini (OGE).
Sagan's group leads Cavendish by 1'25"
16 Jul 12|00:33 AM
There is a group of sprint specialists - including Cavendish and Goss - in a group that is 1'25" behind the stage leaders.
25-odd riders in lead group
16 Jul 12|00:32 AM
The GC favourites are now in the lead of the 13th stage. They are 20" ahead of the next best group and there are about 25 men in the group at the front that includes Wiggins, Froome, Nibali, Evans, Van den Broeck, Zubeldia, van Garderen et al. Rogers is now at the front and Wiggins also has the support of Boasson Hagen.
Sagan follows Rogers
16 Jul 12|00:30 AM
The green jersey survived the steep slopes of the climb and Sagan is now at the front of the peloton that is led by Rogers.
20km to go
16 Jul 12|00:29 AM
The brief stint of Evans in the lead is over. There is now a Omega Pharma rider on the attack inside the final 20km of the stage.
Mont Saint-Clair result
16 Jul 12|00:28 AM
Evans is now in the lead of the stage. Van den Broeck was first over the top, followed by Evans.
Wiggins watching Evans...
16 Jul 12|00:26 AM
Evans is at the front of the peloton as it ascends the Mont Saint Clair but Wiggins is right on the wheel of the Australian. Wiggins still has Froome by his side and van Garderen is right there for Cadel... the other leaders are stranded without support.
Caruso goes ahead
16 Jul 12|00:24 AM
Katusha's Caruso has attacked the peloton but he's being caught by Evans and VDB who are closely marked by Wiggins on the climb.
Zingle chasing Morkov
16 Jul 12|00:23 AM
There are now just two men ahead of the peloton: Morkov and Zingle (COF).
Urtasun and Bouet caught
16 Jul 12|00:22 AM
Two of the seven who were in pursuit of Morkov - Bouet and Urtasun - have been caught by the peloton.
Gerrans and Chavanel dropped
16 Jul 12|00:21 AM
It would seem that those in the recent crash are okay but we don't have images of them anymore so we cannot be sure. Kessiakoff did seem the worst affected but he was standing... Gerrans and Chavanel have been dropped. Morkov begins the climb with a lead of 1'00" on the peloton. The other escapees are 45" behind the stage leader.
Crash in peloton...
16 Jul 12|00:19 AM
Kessiakoff is one of the riders caught up in a fall 26km from the finish.
39km solo for Morkov...
16 Jul 12|00:17 AM
Morkov began his solo attack with 64km to go. He is now 27km from the line and has a lead of 1'25" on the peloton. His former escape companions are about 50" behind.
Some of the dropped riders
16 Jul 12|00:16 AM
Some riders who didn't make the front selection are: Millar, Zabriskie, Minard, Taaramae, Roy, Valverde, Leipheimer... there are many more but we don't even have a time check on this group that lost contact with 36km to go.
Morkov leads by 58"
16 Jul 12|00:13 AM
The seven in pursuit of Morkov are 58" behind. The peloton is at 1'48".
Peloton splits into two
16 Jul 12|00:12 AM
As far as we can tell, all the riders in the top 10 overall are in the front peloton after the recent split that was created by the BMC team that is still at the head of the peloton.
Schar puts it in the gutter...
16 Jul 12|00:10 AM
The BMC is now trying to split the peloton. Schar is the rider at the front and he's off on the left of the road. This is limiting the space that that riders have to follow wheels and already there are large groups of riders being spat out the back...
Three teams leading peloton
16 Jul 12|00:09 AM
There are three squads at the front of the bunch that's 2'20" behind Morkov: BMC is on the right side of the road, Sky in the middle and Orica on the left...
Tom Steels the winner in Cap d'Agde in 1998
16 Jul 12|00:08 AM
Further to the recent newsflash explaining the average speed of the 12th stage of the 1998 race that ended Cap d'Agde, it's worth noting that Jalabert eventually quit his effort on the attack and the race ended with a bunch sprint... won by Tom Steels.
16 Jul 12|00:06 AM
The latest victim of a flat tyre is Karsten Kroon of Saxo Bank. His team-mate, Morkov, is inside the final 35km of the stage with a lead of 2'45" on the peloton.
Lead up to 1'07"
16 Jul 12|00:03 AM
Morkov is currently 1'07" ahead of the seven other escapees and 3'10" ahead of the peloton.
Average speed of stage 12, 1998
16 Jul 12|00:02 AM
The last time that Le Cap d'Agde hosted a finish of the Tour was in the problem plagued 1998 edition. There was a rider strike early in the stage from Tarascon-sur-Ariege to the seaside town but then Laurent Jalabert went on the attack with his brother Nicholas. It was a show of strength from the French champion that year and although his attack didn't survive until the finish, it was one of the reasons the average speed for the 12th stage of the 85th Tour de France was a superfast 48.883km/h.
47.2km/h average for fourth hour
15 Jul 12|23:58 PM
The fourth hour of the 13th stage has been raced at an average speed of 47.2km/h. The average since the start today is 43.4km/h.
BMC take charge of peloton
15 Jul 12|23:57 PM
The peloton is now in the windy zone and BMC has put five men on the front along with the Sky team. The bunch is 3'15" behind Morkov at the 170km mark.
Morkov 'Fighting Spirit' winner of stage three
15 Jul 12|23:56 PM
Morkov has pushed his advantage up to over a minute. He has already worn the polka-dot jersey for several days in his first Tour. He also won the most votes for the most aggressive rider prize in stage three.
Peloton at 3'20"
14 Jul 12|23:53 PM
The peloton is no longer stretched out in one long line. The Orica team now shares the head of the bunch with teams like BMC, Liquigas and Sky. It is 3'20" behind Morkov.
55" lead for Morkov!
14 Jul 12|23:51 PM
Morkov is almost a minute ahead of the riders who had ridden with until the 64km to go mark. The wind is still blowing from behind and he's spinning an impressive cadence and increasing his advantage. He has 47km to go...
Sharp left turn: crosswind time!
14 Jul 12|23:49 PM
The peloton has just taken a sharp left turn which means the wind is now going to be blowing from the left side of the peloton.
Morkov: 40" ahead after 14km on his own...
14 Jul 12|23:48 PM
Morkov began his move with 64km to go. He is now inside the final 50km and he has a lead of 43" on the seven other escapees. (The peloton is at 3'00".)
Peloton at 2'45"
14 Jul 12|23:46 PM
Morkov is 2'45" ahead of the peloton that still has GreenEdge riders at the front.
Seven working together in pursuit
14 Jul 12|23:45 PM
Once Morkov launched his escape, there wasn't any sign of any more attacks. The seven other breakaway riders are swapping off with relatively even turns but they are losing ground on the Saxo Bank rider who is now 35" ahead.
Morkov not easing off
14 Jul 12|23:42 PM
The Danish rider at the front of the stage is absolutely committed to his move. Morkov has a lead of 30" on the other escapees who are 2'10" ahead of the peloton.
Sagan returns to peloton
14 Jul 12|23:40 PM
Peter Sagan has rejoined the peloton without the assistance of any team-mates. His directeur sportif had a most vocal discussion with the commissaire after pacing the man in the green jersey back to the bunch following his puncture.
Morkov in a 60km sprint
14 Jul 12|23:38 PM
Morkov is speeding along on his own at the front of the stage. He is 60km from the finish and has a lead of 25" on the seven other escapees.
Sagan chasing peloton after puncture
14 Jul 12|23:37 PM
Sagan has had to stop to get a new front wheel after having a flat tyre.
Morkov leads by 15"
14 Jul 12|23:35 PM
Morkov's advantage with 63km to go is 15".
Morkov leads the stage
14 Jul 12|23:34 PM
Morkov is committed to keeping the escape alive today. He has opened up a good lead on the seven other escapees.
Pineau starts the attacks...
14 Jul 12|23:33 PM
With the advantage of the escapees down to under two minutes, Pineau has started the attacking action. He has been chased down but Morkov is now on his own at the front of the stage.
Eight in the lead again...
14 Jul 12|23:31 PM
Pineau has successfully rejoined the lead group after his puncture.
14 Jul 12|23:30 PM
Kern (EUC) had lost about 20" on the peloton but he has wrestled his way back with 68km to go.
Escape seems doomed already...
14 Jul 12|23:26 PM
With 70km to go in the stage, the eight escapees have a lead of just 2'20". It's still Orica-GreenEdge setting the pace of the bunch and the speed they are tapping out is too much for Kern (EUC) who has been dropped by the peloton.
Advantage under three minutes
14 Jul 12|23:18 PM
Every directeur sportif that LeTour.fr has spoken to today recognises that the end of this stage has the potential to be chaotic. The peloton certainly isn't allowing the escapees to gain much leeway. The bunch is now just 2'55" behind Morkov's group that was once 9'20" ahead.
Bricaud (FDJ): Thibaut will be content to stay with the best
14 Jul 12|23:15 PM
The directeur sportif of FDJ-BigMat recently spoke with LeTour.fr and explained he expects at the Mont-Saint-Clair climb with 23km to go, and how it will affect his team’s sprinters: “At the moment the Orica-GreenEdge team maintains the gap with the break and they’re looking to set up a sprint finish,” said Thierry Bricaud. “But I think the Mont-Saint-Clair will make it difficult for any sprinter. And even leaders must all be careful because it's very tricky. “This is a very real risk for everyone and I think everyone is stressed, including the yellow jersey. “With regard to Thibaut Pinot, it’s not on his agenda to make up the time on Tejay Van Garderen (who leads the young rider in the youth classification by 1’54”). He will be well content to stay up with the best if he’s good. This is a stage that is more likely to cost time rather than being able to gain any.”
Velits back in peloton
14 Jul 12|23:07 PM
We see four men from Orica at the front of the peloton at the same time that Peter Velits (OPQ) returns to the peloton after his recent crash.
Peloton at 3'50"
14 Jul 12|23:04 PM
The peloton was 3'40" behind the escapees at the site of the intermediate sprint. That has grown to 3'50".
Zabriskie also caught up in crash
14 Jul 12|23:03 PM
Dave Zabriskie is in consultation with the race doctor after being caught in the crash at the 128.5km mark.
Full result of intermediate sprint
14 Jul 12|23:02 PM
1. Urtusaun (EUS) 20pts 2. Curvers (ARG) 17pts 3. Pineau (OPQ) 15pts 4. Ladagnous (FDJ) 13pts 5. Engoulvent (SAU) 11pts 6. Dumoulin (COF) 10pts 7. Bouet (ALM) 9pts 8. Morkov (STB) 8pts 9. Sagan (LIQ) 7pts 10. Greipel (LTB) 6pts 11. Goss (OGE) 5pts 12. Impey (OGE) 4pts 13. Cooke (OGE) 3pts 14. Eisel (SKY) 2pts 15. Rogers (SKY) 1pt
Veltis riding again...
14 Jul 12|23:01 PM
Peter Velits is back on his bike after the crash at the 128.5km mark.
Crash in peloton
14 Jul 12|23:00 PM
Peter Velits has been caught up in a crash as the peloton approached the intermediate sprint line.
Average speed for third hour
14 Jul 12|22:59 PM
The average speed for the third hour of stage 13 is 42.0km/h. The average for the first three hours is 42.1km/h.
First eight places at intermediate sprint
14 Jul 12|22:58 PM
1. Urtusaun (EUS) 20pts 2. Curvers (ARG) 17pts 3. Pineau (OPQ) 15pts 4. Ladagnous (FDJ) 13pts 5. Engoulvent (SAU) 11pts 6. Dumoulin (COF) 10pts 7. Bouet (ALM) 9pts 8. Morkov (STB) 8pts
90km to go
14 Jul 12|22:57 PM
The peloton is 4'00" behind and with two GreenEdge riders ahead of a line of Sky riders at the head of the peloton.
Escapees contest the sprint
14 Jul 12|22:56 PM
The eight stage leaders have reached the site of the intermediate sprint. Engoulvent is leading Pineau to the line but they don't look like they're going to race each other for the 20 points. Urtasun (EUS) led them over the line gesturing for calm. They've been cooperating well in the move that began, really, in the first kilometre so they may as well keep on working together... that seems to be his sentiment.
Gates: We might try something...
14 Jul 12|22:52 PM
In the past we’ve seen the teams managed by Bjarne Riis relish the chance to split the peloton to pieces when there’s strong crosswinds. Is there, we asked Gates, any thought of the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank doing that today? “We have but we’ve got to wait and see what direction the race takes. It’s very open and the finish has the potential to be very dangerous for the GC riders. We don’t have one so we’re going to stay around Chris [Sorensen] as much as we can and also look after JJ at the finish and the best way to do that is to be ready for anything. “If the escape group comes back then we might try something later in the race,” concluded Gates. “We’ve had a good presence since the start of the race but we haven’t won anything yet so hopefully that can change today.”
Gates: It’s going to be interesting at the finish
14 Jul 12|22:49 PM
“Michael [Morkov] has a big personal objective today,” Nick Gates explained to LeTour.fr recently, “as it’s been five years since his father passed away and hopefully he can continue his attack ways and do something special today.” The Danish rider is part of the escape (again) and his group of eight is now 4’30” ahead of the peloton. We asked Gates if it was discussed that Morkov – who has been on the attack for 622.5km before this stage – was going to get in the early break. “We had a few options as we wanted to have someone up there. If it wasn’t Michael then we would have had him in the peloton to support JJ [Haedo] in the finish if it comes down to a sprint. “At the moment it looks pretty good but it’s going to be a hard day for the sprinters teams because it’s going to be interesting at the finish.”
Advantage down to 5'00"
14 Jul 12|22:37 PM
At the 109km mark, the peloton is 5'00" behind Urtasun, Bouet, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov, Pineau and Curvers.
Farrar overtakes Engoulvent... for last place
14 Jul 12|22:34 PM
Yesterday there was a change in the general classification that Tyler Farrar probably isn't too pleased with. The American's team-mate David Millar won the stage but the sprinter - who has been caught up in numerous falls during the early stanza of the Tour in 2012 - slipped from second last to last place in the general classification. The position of 'Lanterne Rouge' had been held by Jimmy Engoulvent but the Frenchman finished 42nd in Annonay (8'01" behind Millar) and Farrar was 132rd (at 11'59").
Peloton in feedzone
14 Jul 12|22:23 PM
Langeveld, Lancaster and Weening are the riders from Orica-GreenEdge who are at the front of the peloton as it makes its way through the feedzone in Quissac at the 99km mark.
McEwen on the penalty for Goss in stage 13: It’s just ridiculous
14 Jul 12|22:11 PM
What’s Robbie McEwen’s impression of what happened to Matt Goss at the finish of the stage when he was relegated and lost 30 points of his tally for the green jersey competition? “Obviously he’s bitterly disappointed which is normal. “Although I’m attached to the GreenEdge team I tried to be objective when I looked at the sprint and there was a little move there but not enough to warrant a disqualification,” said the team’s consultant. “That penalty far outweighs what they say he did... a relegation from sixth to seventh should have been the absolute maximum: a 30 point penalty is a joke and it’s completely killed that competition.” Does McEwen remember a time when a sprinter was penalised like that for “straying off his line”? “I’ve been disqualified before but I got pulled from third in a stage back to last place and that cost me 26 points but I didn’t get penalised more points. I don’t know where they get that ruling from. That must be a new regulation because it’s just ridiculous!”
McEwen: There’ll be plenty of carnage in the final
14 Jul 12|22:08 PM
“We want to have a sprint so the team is riding for Gossie today,” Robbie McEwen recently told LeTour.fr. “There’ll be plenty of carnage in the final,” said the former rider who is now working as a consultant for the Orica-GreenEdge team. “I’ve done a reconnaissance of the finish and I can tell you it’s already bloody windy! It’s blowing a hooley down on the coast. On the way in [to Le Cap d’Agde] it’s going to be nasty. From 47km to go, right through to seven kilometres from the finish there are severe crosswinds. It’s going to be chaotic at the end because that hill at Mont Saint-Clair is right in the middle of the windy section. There’ll be 20km of crosswinds, then the climb, then more crosswinds for the run to the line. “The boys have already seen the video of the climb and I just spoke with someone earlier who has just gone over it and it is bloody steep – the first part is not, it’s only about three per cent at the start, but it kicks up and there are ramps at 15 per cent that brings it to an average of about 10 per cent. It’s not that long but it’s steep!” How does McEwen think Matt Goss will cope with the climb? “I think he’ll go pretty good. It’s a different type of climb but he should be okay.”
Morkov racing for his father today...
14 Jul 12|22:06 PM
One of the eight men who is in the escape today has a special reason for going on the attack in the first kilometre of stage 13. "It's been exactly five years (today) since my father passed away," said Michael Morkov earlier today. "I want to win this stage to honour him."
Tony Gallopin no longer in the race...
14 Jul 12|22:00 PM
The rider who had been ranked in the top 10 earlier in this year's Tour, Tony Gallopin (RNT) has been suffering with illness the last few days. He's the latest man to quit the 99th Tour. There are now 193 riders left in the race.
Average speed for the second hour
14 Jul 12|21:58 PM
The average speed for the second hour of stage 13 is 42.5km/h. The average since the start of the race today is 42.2km/h.
Lead down to 4'40" at 79km
14 Jul 12|21:55 PM
The peloton is at the 79km mark and it is now just 4'40" behind Morkov's group of eight.
McEwen: Clearly they're riding for Gossie
14 Jul 12|21:48 PM
LeTour.fr has recently caught up with the three-time winner of the green jersey at the Tour, Robbie McEwen. The Australian retired from racing earlier this year and he's now acting as a consultant for the Orica-GreenEdge. He has some interesting observations to make about the finish of today's stage (which we'll post shortly) but for the time being he offered confirmation of the obvious: the Australian team is at the front of the peloton (that's 5'20" behind the escapees) because it wants to set up a sprint finish... for Matt Goss.
Down comes the advantage...
14 Jul 12|21:34 PM
The maximum gain of the Bouet group was 9'20" at the 35km mark. With Orica-GreenEdge at the front of the bunch since the 15km mark, it's becoming clear that the Australian team is trying to set things up for a sprint in Le Cap d'Adge. The latest time check has the peloton only 5'50" behind Bouet, Urtasun, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov, Pineau and Curvers.
Alain Gallopin: We are not the most tired
14 Jul 12|21:28 PM
When he spoke to LeTour.fr before the start today, the sporting director of RadioShack-Nissan offered some insight to the state of his nephew, Tony, and discussed the risk of echelon’s forming in the finale of the stage to Cap d'Agde: “Tony is struggling to recover from his illness,” said Alain Gallopin. “His condition is not terrible. I hope the race will be a little quiet for him today and he will manage to survive like that until the rest day. “So far we still have a coherent group, with three riders in the top 12 overall. “The squad is tired, but we are not the most tired! “As to creating splits in the bunch and using the wind off the sea at end of the stage – that is not our goal. What is certain is that we will remain very attentive. But in that kind of racing, it’s more in the Belgian culture in teams like Lotto or BMC. So for Zubeldia to get the place of Jurgen van den Broeck – or Evans – is not something I’m counting on it. I think Jurgen is very strong, and his is not the type to get caught in the wind. You cannot play this with the teams that are here. Lotto has a strong group around Greipel! What is certain is that the final will be very anxious, everyone will want to be diligent. And I've heard that the wind will pick up afternoon.”
Arashiro catches the peloton
14 Jul 12|21:26 PM
After his crash at the 55km mark, Arashiro has rejoined the peloton (around the 59km mark). The bunch is now 6'30" behind the eight-man escape group that has been together since the 15km mark when Pineau was the last to join the move that reached a maximum gain of 9'20" when the bunch was at the 35km mark.
Urtasun close to a victory in stage five
14 Jul 12|21:22 PM
One of the riders who is in today's escape, Pablo Urtasun (EUS) has regularly been on the attack in this year's Tour. He was part of a four-man break in stage five and he made a last-minute bid for the stage honours in St-Quentin but was caught by the sprinters in the final 400m. The Spaniard finished that day in 25th place after being swallowed up by a big group of sprint specialists just before the line.
Arashiro racing again
14 Jul 12|21:19 PM
After his crash, the only Japanese rider in the peloton of the 2012 Tour, Yukiya Arashiro (EUC) is back on his bike and now racing to rejoin the bunch.
Peloton limiting the gains of the escape
14 Jul 12|21:18 PM
At the 53km mark, the eight escapees have an advantage of 7'05" on the peloton.
14 Jul 12|21:17 PM
There has been a crash in the peloton that's involved Arashiro (EUC) and Kuchinski (KAT).
Morkov on the attack for longer than any other rider this year
14 Jul 12|21:15 PM
Morkov (STB) is the rider who was in escapes on three successive days at the start of this year's Tour - the first for the Dane. Before today he has spent a total of 622.5km in escape groups during the 2012 Tour.
Three of the leaders were on the attack in stage one
14 Jul 12|21:13 PM
Of the eight men in the lead at the moment - currently 7'15" ahead of the peloton - three were part of the escape in stage one. They are Michael Morkov (STB), Urtasun (EUS) and Bouet (ALM). They attacked in the first kilometre on the first Sunday of the 99th Tour and were ahead of the peloton for 190km before being caught just 8km from the line.
Concluding the Q&A with Goss...
14 Jul 12|21:05 PM
Matt Goss might have been relegated after stage 12 but he's trying to keep his spirits high. In the sprints he's done in the last few days, he's finished ahead of Sagan. “There’s only one head-to-head sprint that he beat me in and that was the stage he won with his Hulk salute," Goss said to LeTour.fr this morning. "That’s the only time he’s been ahead of me on the flat since the start of the Tour. That’s why I think he might have gone a little bit over the top with his gestures at the finish yesterday. “I’m not going to worry too much about him. I’m just going to try and win a stage here and the objective is the same as it’s always been for the sprints: beat everyone else in the race. “Yesterday we didn’t want him to be in the breakaway. We didn’t want him to pick up any points at the intermediate sprint and so it worked out perfectly with our chase reeling him well before that. It might have taken a bit out of my guys but it would have been worse if I hadn’t got the points for sixth at the intermediate and he got it instead.”
41.8km/h for the first hour
14 Jul 12|21:00 PM
The average speed for the escapees in the first hour is 41.8km/h. They are currently over nine minutes ahead of the bunch.
A bit of history on Bouet...
14 Jul 12|20:55 PM
The escape is now 9'20" ahead of the peloton. The best on GC of the breakaway is Maxime Bouet (ALM). He has finished in the top 10 of a Tour stage three times since making his debut in 2009. On the day of the big split in the bunch because of the coastal wind in stage three of the 2009 race he was ninth: that was in La Grand Motte, not far from where today's race finishes. In stage 10 of the 2010 race, he was sixth from an escape group of six... that was the day Sergio Paulinho won in Gap. And Bouet is actually listed as second in the stage to Spa in 2010 but he just happened to be the one at the front of the peloton on the day the bunch didn't contest the race for stage placings because of a huge crash involving about a third of the peloton on the cote de Stockeu.
Dumoulin the only former stage winner in escape
14 Jul 12|20:47 PM
Of the eight who are in the lead of stage 13, only one has previoulsy won a stage of the Tour de France. That's the Cofidis representative in the move that is now over eight minutes ahead of the peloton, Samuel Dumoulin. The Frenchman was fourth in stage five this year (one place ahead of Cavendish, in the bunch sprint in St-Quentin). His stage victory was in stage four of the 2008 race in Nantes at the end of a long, wet escape.
Poll on LeTour.fr today...
14 Jul 12|20:43 PM
The question on the official site of the Tour de France - LeTour.fr - today is: On a flat stage, who of these sprinters will be the best in stage 13? - Sagan - Goss - Cavendish - Greipel - Hutarovich Let us know what you think and click the button of the rider you think will be the best at Le Cap d'Agde.
Peloton 6'00" behind at 29km
14 Jul 12|20:41 PM
The latest time check has the eight escapees ahead of the peloton by six minutes. The bunch has just reached the 29km mark.
Lead up to five minutes
14 Jul 12|20:40 PM
Here's a reminder of the eight men in the escape (that is now 5'00" ahead of the peloton): Maxime Bouet (FRA) ALM - 54th overall, at 1h04'58" Michael Morkov (DEN) STB - 85th overall, at 1h23'15" Jerome Pineau (FRA) OPQ - 95th overall, 1h32'29" Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) FDJ - 107th overall, at 1h38'57" Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) COF - 124th overall, at 1h51'43" Roy Curvers (NED) ARG - 141st overall, at 1h57'50" Pablo Urtasun (ESP) EUS - 153rd overall, at 2h06'35" Jimmy Engoulvent (FRA) SAU - 163rd overall, at 2h21'12"
Peloton at 4'05"
14 Jul 12|20:31 PM
At the 23.5km mark of the 217km stage to Le Cap d'Agde. The eight stage leaders have an advantage of 4'05" on the peloton that continues to be led by Orica-GreenEdge riders.
Goss not sure what to expect...
14 Jul 12|20:30 PM
Goss told LeTour.fr this mornign that his bid for the green jersey is essentially over. So, we asked, does that mean intermediate sprints are no longer an objective? “I don’t know, to be honest," he said. "We’ll have a meeting this morning before the race and see what we think.” The likely scenario is that it’ll be pretty windy at the finish. Does Matt Goss have a plan to try and split things up a bit? “No, we haven’t really discussed today’s plan yet. We’re on our way to the start and once we get there we’ll have more of an idea. We’ll see what the wind is doing and I’ll find out what we decide to do today. “We’ll have a few guys reporting in from the finish during the stage. Robbie [McEwen] should be there early and he’ll call through with a bit of info. I’m sure the wind will pick up later this afternoon.”
Temperature: 25 degrees
14 Jul 12|20:25 PM
It's overcast at the moment and the temperature in the car that has the chief commissaire inside is 25.5 degrees Celsius.
Pineau catches lead group
14 Jul 12|20:24 PM
There are now eight men in the lead of the stage, including five Frenchmen. They are 4'00" ahead of the peloton that's being led by Orica-GreenEdge.
Comments from Goss about stage 12
14 Jul 12|20:20 PM
One of the big talking points after the stage to Annonay yesterday was the relegation of Matt Goss (from 6th to 7th). The Australian told LeTour.fr this morning that he wasn't too worried about that, but the race jury also penalised him 30 points from his tally in the green jersey competition. Here are some of the comments from the Orica-GreenEdge rider from this morning. We asked if he could give a review of how you think about it now that you’ve had a night to consider the ruling. “Ah. It was a bit over the top – a bit too much of a penalty but... whatever," said Goss, "I’ve got to deal with it and move on. I’ve seen the video because they showed it plenty of times on TV but there was plenty of road there, I think. [Sagan] was coming at me, he had his head down and I had my head down and I think there was a bit more of an overcompensation than was needed and a bit more acting than was needed but I can’t change anything, so – whatever.”
Pineau closing in on leaders
14 Jul 12|20:13 PM
Pineau still has 55" between him and the seven men at the front of the stage but the escapees are closer than the peloton which is currently over three minutes behind the group that includes: Bouet, Urtasun, Dumoulin, Engoulvent, Ladagnous, Morkov and Curvers.
Bouet best on GC
14 Jul 12|20:10 PM
Of the seven men at the front of the stage, Maxime Bouet (ALM) is the best on GC. He was 54th overall at the start of the day, 1h04'58" behind Wiggins in the overall rankings.
Seven in the lead...
14 Jul 12|20:09 PM
Engoulvent (SAU) and Bouet (ALM) have caught the five in the lead of the stage. The capture was at the 7km mark. Jerome Pineau (OPQ) continues his counter-attack and he's 1'05" behind the seven in the lead.
Five lead by 2'55"
14 Jul 12|20:08 PM
The advantage of Morkov's group over the peloton is up to 2'55". There is no threat to the yellow jersey in the escape today with Morkov (STB) the best on GC after 12 stages; 85th overall and one hour, 23 minutes and 15 seconds behind Wiggins.
Pineau also making a bid
14 Jul 12|20:06 PM
Jerome Pineau (OPQ) is the eighth rider in the stage. He is making a bid to bridge the gap to the leaders who are 1'10" ahead.
Peloton at 2'00"... at 5km
14 Jul 12|20:05 PM
At the 5km mark, the bunch is already 2'00" behind Morkov's quintet. The two counter-attackers have joined forces and they are 27" behind the five who have been in the lead since 1.5km.
Prize classification review: part 04 – white jersey
14 Jul 12|20:03 PM
Only two men have worn the white jersey in the 2012 Tour de France: Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Rein Taaramae (COF). The young American now has a significant buffer over the Estonian who lost a lot of time in the 11th stage, slipping down the general classification from 12th to 28th. But van Garderen is still being challenged for the lead of the youth classification – only now his nearest rival is the youngest man in the race: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) who is now 10th overall and just 1’54” behind the BMC rider.
Five in the lead
14 Jul 12|20:01 PM
Burghardt may have started the attack today but he's not been named in the lead group that is now being pursued by Engoulvent and Bouet. The lead group is composed of the following men: Urtasun (EUS), Dumoulin (COF), Ladagnous (FDJ), Morkov (STB) and Curvers (ARG).
15" lead for five riders
14 Jul 12|19:58 PM
The five escapees already have a time check: they are 15" ahead of the bunch.
Five in the lead
14 Jul 12|19:57 PM
There are now five men at the front of the stage. The move was instigated by Marcus Burghardt (BMC). The quintet joined forces at the 1.5km mark.
Racing in stage 13!
14 Jul 12|19:56 PM
The official start of the 13th stage was at 11.55pm. There has been an immediate attack by Burghardt (BMC). There are 164 riders still in the race with no one reitring overnight. It's an extremely fast first kilometre...
Prize classification review: part 03 – polka-dot jersey
14 Jul 12|19:53 PM
Astana now has two riders in the top four of the climbing classification. This will be the fourth day that Frederik Kessiakoff has worn the polka-dot jersey in the 2012 Tour. He has a total of 66 points, 10 more than Pierre Rolland (EUC) while Chris Sorensen (STB) is ranked third with 39 points. Robert Kiserlovski (AST) moved up from 13th to fourth place thanks to the 20 points he picked by being the first over both the col du Grand Cucheron and col du Granier in stage 12. The Croatian was fifth from the five riders who finished ahead of the peloton yesterday but he’s now got 37 points in the mountains category.
Prize classification review: part 02 – green jersey
14 Jul 12|19:50 PM
There was a significant blow for Matt Goss and his green jersey ambitions at the finish of stage 12. The Australian finished ahead of his main rival in the sprint for sixth place. Peter Sagan and Goss were a second ahead of the rest of the peloton in Annonay and so their positions were reversed by the race jury: Sagan from 7th to 6th and vice-versa for Goss... but there’s more to it. The commissaires also fined Goss 200 Swiss Francs and penalised him 30 points (and 30”). All this means that Sagan’s advantage over Goss in the points classification has blown out to 254 points, ahead of 198! “Relegation would have been fine – I’d have lost a couple of points,” Goss told LeTour.fr this morning, “but a 30 point penalty... well, I’ve seen a lot worse incidents get a lot less in other races but anyway...”
Prize classification review: part 01 – yellow jersey
14 Jul 12|19:47 PM
This is the sixth day that Bradley Wiggins will wear the Tour de France’s yellow jersey. There was no change to the top order of the general classification because of stage 12, even though five men finished over seven minutes ahead of the main peloton. The main beneficiary of the escape was, of course, the winner in Annonay (David Millar) but Egoi Martinez (EUS) did move up from 22nd overall to 18th. The 217km stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to the seaside town of Cap d’Agde is essentially a flat stage but the wind that blows in this part of the country has the potential to shake things up if riders are not paying attention in the finale. The rider who initiated the famous coup for the Highroad team on the road to La Grand Motte in 2009 – when Cavendish won, and Contador lost time to Armstrong – was Michael Rogers. The Australian is now one of the key team-mates for Wiggins and one point of interest in today’s stage will be to see how the team manages its resources at the finish.
Riders set for the start
14 Jul 12|19:45 PM
The bunch is going to start rolling through the neutral zone in two minutes. The riders have gathered on the line in St-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France
14 Jul 12|19:37 PM
A second transitional stage in succession takes riders a day closer to the Pyrenees. On the national holiday for Bastille Day, the peloton faces a journey of 217km from St-Paul-Trois-Chateaux down to the resort town of Le Cap d'Agde. The riders are currently assembling on the line for the 'départ fictif' and they face a 5.5km neutral zone before arriving at the site of the official start. This is expected to be at about 11.55am. This will be the hottest day of the 99th Tour with the temperature early this morning almost 30 degrees Celsius and there's little threat of any rain. The wind is expected to play a factor at the finish of the stage that includes only one categorised climb, the Mont Saint-Clair that comes 23km from the finish. Live coverage of the race will commence shortly.
Gabriel returns to present his delicious series, as it follows the Tour de France 2010.More info