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July 14, 2005

Stage 12 underway

There's a large breakaway that looks to have the pedigree to stay away today.

In it are Stuart O'Grady and David Moncoutié of Cofidis, Thor Hushovd and Patrice Halgand of Credit Agricole, Stephan Schreck of T-Mobile, Giovanni Lombardi of Team CSC, José Luis Arrieta of Illes Balears, Axel Merckx of Davitamon-Lotto, Massimo Giunti of Fassa Bortolo, Juan Manuel Garate of Saunier Duval-Prodir, Angel Vicioso of Liberty Seguros, Franco Pellizotti of Liquigas, and Sandy Casar of Française des Jeux.

They're out around 6 minutes in front of the peloton. Davitamon-Lotto actually spent some time pulling the field today, thinking about getting Robbie McEwen back into the green jersey competition against O'Grady and Hushovd, who made the break, but they've decided their chances are better with Merckx, so Discovery is back leading the peloton.

On the Col du Corobin, the second 2nd Category climb of the day, the 13-man break is splintering. David Moncoutié has gone off the front.

O'Grady, Lombardi, Schreck and Hushovd are first to fall off.

Merckx is doing a lot of the work to chase Moncoutié, who has 30 seconds on the remnants of the breakaway.

Pellizotti, Giunti, and Vicioso are dropped, leaving Arrieta, Merckx, Garate, Halgand, and Casar chasing Moncoutie.

Moncoutié leads over the top 30 seconds ahead of Merckx's group; Pellizotti and Vicioso have gotten back to Merckx's group on the descent.

Hushovd and O'Grady are back together, after Hushovd chased back on. They're with Lombardi and Schreck.

The gap of the leading 13 to the field is climbing, now over 7:40. Moncoutié has 50 seconds on Merckx and company. Merckx's group is reeling him in: It's down to 25 seconds.

They're closing in on the last climb of the day, a 4th Cat climb. Moncoutie to the peloton is now 8:40.

Over the Col de l'Orme, it's Moncoutie leading by 32 seconds. Moncoutie looks good -- he may get the French a stage win today.

At 5 km, it's a 28 second gap.

The chasers have given it up -- with 1 kilometer to go, the gap is back out to 32 seconds. They're racing for 2nd now.

Moncoutie takes the stage!

And the French take 2nd as well, as Sandy Casar leads the Merckx group over the line after the group came to a near-stop as everyone looked for position.

The sprint for pride was for 9th, with Hushovd beating O'Grady, 1st and 2nd in the green jersey competition.

The field is coming to the line more than 9 minutes back, and Cofidis is leading the peloton. They're probably looking to give O'Grady some breathing room on McEwen, who's looking to get 14th-place points.

Nobody is going to deny McEwen -- he takes the field sprint at 10:32.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2005 in David Moncoutié, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd | Permalink


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Great blog! But can you keep us aprised of Lance's position? I'm sure there are plenty of folks who just want an update on Lance.

P.S. Fortunately your site is one of the few Tour sites not blocked by Websense at work. :)

Posted by: Jay at Jul 14, 2005 10:07:24 AM

My guess is there isn't much to report on Lance -- no news is good news. The official tour web site reports that Discovery has been leading the peloton all day. They've had an unremarkable stage apart from the withdrawal of Beltran after hurting his knee earlier on in a crash which Frank already reported.

Posted by: noelle at Jul 14, 2005 10:23:48 AM

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