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July 16, 2008

Stage 11 on the road

Today's another mountain stage, but nothing like yesterday's. The biggest climb of the day is the 1400-meter Col de Portel, whose summit comes almost 60 kilometers before the stage finish. There's a 3rd Category climb early, and another on the run-in to Foix, as well as two sprints before the feed zone.

Jersey leaders:
Yellow jersey Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Green jersey Oscar Freire, Rabobank
White jersey Riccardo Ricco, Saunier Duval (worn by Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas)
Polka-dot jersey Riccardo Ricco, Saunier Duval

Versus broadcaster picks:

  • Roll: Oscar Freire
  • Hummer: Filippo Pozzato
  • Sherwen: Erik Zabel
  • Liggett: Damiano Cunego

At the day's first sprint, the field was still together.

Sprint 1:
1. Duque, Cofidis, 6 pts
2. Hushovd, Credit Agricole, 4 pts
3. Freire, Rabobank, 2 pts

An early break of 12 has collected all the points since:

  • Arvesen, CSC
  • Pozzato, Liquigas
  • Ballan, Lampre
  • Botcharov and Fofonov, C.A
  • Elmiger, AG2R
  • Wegmann, Gerolsteiner
  • Moerenhout, Rabobank
  • Fedrigo, Bouygues Telecom
  • Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux
  • Moinard, Cofidis
  • Velo, Milram

1st Climb, a 3rd Category:
1. Botcharov, CA, 4 pts
2. Fedrigo, Bouygues Telecom, 3 pts
3. Ballan, Lampre, 2 pts
4. Moinard, Cofidis, 1 pt

Gert Steegmans, who initially was in the breakaway, fell out on that climb, and rejoined the peloton, which was 5:30 behind.

Paolo Longo Borghini abandoned with a broken collarbone suffered today, leaving 167 riders in the race.

Sprint 2:
1. Pozzato, Liquigas, 6 pts
2. Velo, Milram, 4 pts
3. Moerenhout, Rabobank, 2 pts

The gap continues to climb, to 12:00 at the feedzone, and to 14:25 as the Col de Portel approaches.

On the Col de Portel, Amaël Moinard out of the breakaway, and soon after, Oscar Pereiro attacked from the field. Pereiro's attack triggered a response from CSC, who moved to the front and raised the pace.

Moinard would be first to the top with 1:46 in hand.

Col de Portel, 1st Category:
1. Amaël Moinard, Cofidis, 15 pts
2. Dimitriy Fofonov, Credit Agricole, 13 pts, @ 1:55
3. Pierrick Fedrigo, Bouygues Telecom, 11 pts
4. Allessandro Ballan, Lampre, 9 pts
5. Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, 8 pts
6. Benôit Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux, 7 pts
7. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC-Saxo Bank, 6 pts
8. Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, 5 pts

The peloton is 16:30 back of Moinard, and almost 2:00 down on Pereiro, despite CSC's efforts.

The break slowly began to reel in Moinard, and Pereiro has never gotten out over 2:00 ahead of the field.

Atop the day's last climb, Moinard had about a minute's advantage.

Col del Brouich, 3rd Category:
1. Amaël Moinard, Cofidis, 4 pts
2. Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, 3 pts
3. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC-Saxo Bank, 2 pts
4. Marco Velo, Milram, 1 pt

With 15k to ride, the chase has closed within 22 seconds of Moinard, and the field is within about 45 seconds of Pereiro.

As Moinard is caught, Elmiger launches an attack. He's matched by Arvesen. Now Ballan is trying to bridge up, and we've got 3 leaders.

Arvesen launches a testing attack, but Elmiger reels him in. Now Moerenhout is bridging up. They're in the final kilometer.

The come around a right-hander with 300 meters to go, and Arvesen is in the lead, and has to lead out the sprint. He's coming up the left side of the road, and Ballan's to his right. Now Elmiger comes fast up on his left, and as they hit the line, Arvesen signals that he's taken the win.

I'm waiting for confirmation on this one, Elmiger was closing fast, coming up the gap on Arvesen's left. There it is, Arvesen has taken the stage over Elmiger and Ballan.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2008 in Kurt-Asle Arvesen | Permalink

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