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July 18, 2008

Stage 13 on the road

It's a flat stage from Narbonne to Nimes a few miles in from the Mediterranean. Three small 4th-Category climbs, then 2 intermediate sprints, and a sprint-friendly finish.

Jersey leaders:
Yellow jersey Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Green jersey Oscar Freire, Rabobank
White jersey Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas
Polka-dot jersey Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner

Vs. broadcaster picks:
• Sherwen: Mark Cavendish
• Liggett: Oscar Freire
• Roll: Robert Forster
• Hummer: Thor Hushovd

Milram's Niki Terpstra and former French champion Florent Brard of Cofidis are the day's first break. Terpstra sits 1:40:19 behind Cadel Evans in 125th overall, Brard is another 9 minutes behind that.

The pair had a 9:55 lead with just 21 kilometers ridden, but they've been reeled in a bit since then.

1st Climb, 4th Category:
1. Florent Brard, Cofidis, 3 pts
2. Niki Terpstra, Milram, 2 pts
3. Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, 1 pt, @ 6:45

Lang grabs the last available point to add to his advantage in the King of the Mountains competition, which he regained with the exit of Riccardo Ricco and David de la Fuente yesterday.

At the 2nd climb, Brard again led Terpstra over the top, and Bernhard Kohl took the single point left for the field, crossing 4:10 behind Brard.

2nd Climb, 4th Category:
1. Florent Brard, Cofidis, 3 pts
2. Niki Terpstra, Milram, 2 pts
3. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 1 pt

3rd Climb, 4th Category:
1. Florent Brard, Cofidis, 3 pts
2. Niki Terpstra, Milram, 2 pts
3. Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, 1 pt

Lang will hold the mountains jersey for at least another day. The gap has fallen below 3 minutes. It appears Terpstra and Brard will stay away through our first intermediate sprint line, just ahead, with the field 1:45 back. As the field approaches the line, Juan Antonio Flecha jumps from the field, and protects teammate Freire by taking the final points at the line.

1st Sprint, Villevieille:
1. Niki Terpstra, Milram, 6 pts
2. Florent Brard, Cofidis, 4 pts
3. Juan Antonio Flecha, Rabobank, 2 pts @ 1:40

Before the 2nd sprint, Flecha again attacked, joined by Brard's teammate Stephan Auge. Terpstra has dropped Brard and opened a healthy gap by the time he reaches the line.

2nd Sprint:
1. Niki Terpstra, Milram, 6 pts
2. Florent Brard, Cofidis, 4 pts, @ :15
3. Stephan Auge, Cofidis, 2 pts, @ :30

The pack was 1:10 behind, but the gap went up to 1:40 with 30km to ride. Flecha returned to the field, and Auge and Brard were caught, but Terpstra continues to lead the race by around a minute.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 18, 2008 in 2008 Stage 13 | Permalink

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