July 14, 2008
Stage 10: The climb to Hautacam
At the base of Hautacam, 24 riders are chasing Remy de Gregorio:
- Evans, Silence-Lotto
- Sastre, Cancellara, A. Schleck, F. Schleck, Voigt, CSC-Saxo Bank
- Kirchen, Columbia
- Duenas Nevado, Barloworld
- Nibali, Liquigas
- Fothen and Kohl, Gerolsteiner
- Menchov and Freire, Rabobank
- Ricco, Cobo and Piepoli, Saunier Duval
- Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle
- Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi
- Dupont, Efimkin and Goubert, AG2R
- Roy, Française des Jeux
- Duque, Cofidis
Cancellara and Voigt are quickly dropped, Di Gregorio is swept up, and Piepoli attacks. Schleck matches, then Sastre tries a testing attack. Kirchen is dropped from the leaders group. Sastre caught and Fränk Schleck attacks, followed by Piepoli and Efimkin. Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov, and Christian Vandevelde, ride alongside Carlos Sastre, Cobo, and Kohl.
Kohl launches, matched by Cobo, and there goes Christian Vande Velde, riding away from Sastre, Evans, Menchov.
Valverde, already well behind the leaders, has a mechanical.
Vande Velde can't make it up to Schleck's group, and comes back to the Evans/Menchov group. Kohl and Cobo successfully bridge up to Piepoli, Schleck, and Efimkin.
Kirchen begins to make up time on the Evans group, and Evans attacks! It's not enough to drop his group, but it does increase the gap to Kirchen. Evans rides with Vande Velde, Menchov, Nibali, Sastre, and Ricco.
Up front, Schleck's group begins to splinter. Cobo launches off the front, and Piepoli and Schleck are the only riders who can bridge up.
Nibali yo-yoes off the back of the Evans group. Valverde and Cunego ride together, about 4:30 back of Piepoli, and abut 3:00 behind Sastre, Evans, Menchov, and Vande Velde. Kirchen is 1:00 down on Evans.
Schleck, who started the day 1:50 behind Evans in GC, has build enough of a gap that he's riding (barely) in the virtual yellow jersey, with less than 4km to ride.
In the final 3km, Cobo and Piepoli lift the pace, and Schleck can't match the teammates. They ride together to the finish, with Schleck alone, and the remnants of the Schleck group (Kohl, Efimkin) spread out back toward Evans.
At the line, it's Leonardo Piepoli taking the stage, with Cobo on his wheel, and Schleck about 26 seconds back. It's going to be close for Evans...
As the Evans group comes into the final km, Christian Vande Velde goes to the front and raises the pace, then Riccardo Ricco comes by. Evans bumps the tempo to hold contact, and the group holds together to the line, coming in at about 2:15, giving Evans the yellow jersey by 1 narrow second.
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Christian Vande velde is riding a fantastic tour so far and is fit enough to win it but cadel is his only rival as he is great in mountains and time trial
Posted by: Travis at Jul 14, 2008 12:05:30 PM