July 14, 2004
Stage 10 underway
Before OLN's coverage started today, the riders had already raced for nearly 4 hours.
Quick Step's Richard Virenque has been out in front, accompanied by Axel Merckx of Lotto-Domo. They were part of an early 18-man breakaway, then attacked out of it.
Near the Col du Pas Payrol summit, Virenque rode away from Axel Merckx, but the field has brought him back a little: they're about 9 minutes behind the 6-time King of the Mountains. Virenque's deficit to yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler was 12:35 at the start of the stage.
Virenque has taken 1st place king of the mountains points at all 9 climbs today. Paolo Bettini competed for the 3rd-place points on the first 5 (maybe 6), not to hold on to the polka-dot jersey, but to keep any other competitors from earning points on his teammate Virenque.
At the top of the Col du Pas Payrol, the first 1st-category climb of the Tour, Virenque was 1st, Merckx, who has fallen off Virenque's wheel, was 2nd, then Denis Menchov of Illes Balears, Francisco Mancebo, then the yellow jersey of Thomas Voeckler.
T-Mobile's Matthias Kessler went into a ditch, and hit a fence post HARD, and is trying to continue ... slowly.
Credit Agricole has a rider leaving the race on a stretcher; it's Sebastien Hinault, who wound up in a ditch, but there was no footage showing how he got there.
Angel Vicioso of Liberty Seguros has abandoned. He was suffering at the back from injuries in a fall this week. Earlier today, Mirko Celsestino of Saeco abandoned, so we're down to 169 riders, and Roberto Heras loses his first teammate.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2004 | Permalink
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Today's stage has been covered in full on Eurosport today consequently I've been parked on the sofa with the laptop on my knee!
It's not over yet.
Have you seen the Cycling Weekly live feed? It's very good. http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/content/tour_feed.htm
Posted by: Mark Holland at Jul 14, 2004 10:20:35 AM