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July 15, 2009

Stage 11 on the road

The course profile for today's stage looks a lot like yesterday's. It's 2.5 kms shorter, with 2 instead of 3 4th Category climbs, but it definitely looks like a stage for the sprinters. A slight uphill finish might take some of the snap out of Mark Cavendish's finishing kick, favoring Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler, or Oscar Freire, but it may take more than simple physics to stop the Cav-alanche.

Only Kurt-Asle Arvesen didn't make the start this morning, so 170 riders rolled out of Vatan. Race officials voided a 15-second gap that was charged in the finish yesterday, when a small break appeared in the field. The gap had dropped Levi Leipheimer and Brad Wiggins down the standings a bit, but they've been awarded the same time as Cavendish for yesterday now.

Only two riders in today's break -- Johan Van Summeren of Silence-Lotto and Marcin Sapa of Lampre. They've taken the day's first two intermediate sprints and the first categorized climb of the day.

Quincy Intermediate Sprint:
1) Johan Van Summeren, Silence-Lotto, +6 pts
2) Marcin Sapa, Lampre, +4 pts
3) Lloyd Mondory, AG2R-La Mondiale, +2 pts

4th Category Côte d'Allogny
1) Johan Van Summeren, Silence-Lotto, +3 pts
2) Marcin Sapa, Lampre, +2 pts
3) Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +1 pt

Martinez led the field through to pad his King of the Mountains lead by a point.

Saint-Ceols Intermediate Sprint:
1) Johan Van Summeren, Silence-Lotto, +6 pts
2) Marcin Sapa, Lampre, +4 pts
3) Cyril Dessel, AG2R-La Mondiale, +2 pts

Christian Vande Velde was involved in a crash early this morning, but there have been no signs of lasting effects.

Suilly-La-Tour Intermediate Sprint:
1) Johan Van Summeren, Silence-Lotto, +6 pts
2) Marcin Sapa, Lampre, +4 pts
3) Cyril Dessel, AG2R-La Mondiale, +2 pts

Ryder Hesjedal was the 2nd Garmin-Slipstream rider to find the pavement today. He appeared to rejoin the field with no problems. AG2R's Vladimir Efimkin has been with the race doctor with scrapes to his cheek and chin from another crash today.

On the day's last climb, Egoi Martinez again came to the front, but Franco Pellizotti sprinted to the KoM point to deny him the cheap point.

4th Category Côte de Perreuse
1) Marcin Sapa, Lampre, +3 pts
2) Johan Van Summeren, Silence-Lotto, +2 pts
3) Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, +1 pt

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2009 | Permalink

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