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July 06, 2008

Stage 2 on the road

Today we have a 164.5 kilometer stage from Auray to Saint Brieuc. It features the first 3rd Category climb of the race, the Cote de Mur-de-Bretagne, along with 3 more 4th Category climbs and 3 intermediate sprints.

Drug tests were conducted this morning on the Lampre, CSC-Saxo Bank, Columbia, and Saunier Duval squads. All riders were cleared to race.


Mauricio Soler took the start with a fractured wrist. The 2007 King of the Mountains was injured in a crash late on yesterday's stage.

Garmin-Chipotle's Danny Pate was involved in the day's first break, along with Jens Voigt, Bernhard Eisel, Fabian Wegmann, Sylvain Chavanel, and a couple of others. It was chased down by Bouygues Telecom, with only Chavanel surviving, and joined by current poka-dot jersey leader Thomas Voeckler at the top of the day's first climb.

1st Climb, 4th Category
1) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, 3 pts
2) Voeckler, Bouyges Telecom, 2 pts
3) Bjorn Schroeder, Milram, 1 pt

It looks like Schroeder, tied with Voeckler for the climber's jersey lead, isn't going to just give it up, but Voeckler and Chavanel are riding 30 seconds ahead of the field.

1st Sprint
1) Chavanel, 6 pts
2) Voeckler, 4 pts
3) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, 2 pts (@ :35)

Chavanel and Voeckler continue to push the advantage. At the base of the day's 2nd climb, they've got 2:45.

2nd Climb, 4th Category
1) Voeckler, 3 pts
2) Chavanel, 2 pts
3) David Arroyo, 1 pt (@ 4:00)

The escapees got as big a gap as 6:25 with 100 kilometers to ride, but now the gap is falling, with Alejandro Valverde's Caisse d'Epargne team leading the chase.

2nd Sprint
1) Chavanel, 6 pts
2) Voeckler, 4 pts
3) Gilbert, FdJ, 2 pts (@ 4:25)

Gilbert is wearing the green jersey, currently owned by Alejandro Valverde.

As the leaders climb the 3rd Cat Mur-de-Bretagne, Christophe Moreau and David Lelay of Agritubel have attacked from the field.

3rd climb, 3rd Category Cote de Mur-de-Bretagne
1) Chavanel, 4 pts
2) Voeckler, 3 pts
3) Moreau, Agritubel, 2 pts (@ 3:00)
4) Lelay, Agritubel, 1 pt

It's only a few kilometers from the Mur to the day's last climb.

4th Climb, 4th Category
1) Voeckler, 3 pts
2) Chavanel, 2 pts
3) Moreau, 1 pt (@ 2:00)

The field is around 3:30 back of Voeckler and Moreau.

3rd Sprint
1) Chavanel, 6 pts
2) Voeckler, 4 pts (@ :20)
3) Lelay, 2 pts (@ :53)

Voeckler wasn't dropped, but lost some time to change bikes. He and Chavanel quickly regroup.

Moreau continues to close. Finally, at 57 kilometers to ride, the four French riders are together, with 3:00 on the peloton. Lelay is a local rider who is riding his first Tour.

Française des Jeux has taken up the chase now, and we've got a French team chasing down a break of French riders. With 33 kms to ride, the gap has fallen below 1:30.

Rubens Bertogliati took a phantom spill with less than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to ride, and is now suffering behind the main field along with Mauricio Soler, more than a minute behind the peloton.

The gap continues to drop, now under a minute with 13 kilometers/8 miles to ride.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2008 in 2008 Stage 2 | Permalink

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