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Opus was just napping
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Discussion Starter #1
The posties seem to be blowing the race into bits.
 

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I don't exist
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Go go go!...

Go Lance Go!

Blow 'em away!
 

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calling Heras

Where the heck is Heras? they always give updates on Hamilton and Ullrich, where is Heras? what about Levi as well, although he's not as much of a climber.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Unbelievable

thatsmybush said:
The posties seem to be blowing the race into bits.
He put over a minut into Mayo
2:30 into Ulrich
3:30 into Hamilton

Guess the Podium now.

Len
 

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aaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggggg Noooooooo

I've been following everyday on line. had to step away from my desk at the base of the finishing climb figuring I would catch up on all the narrative shortly since it has always been there. Get back to my desk at the finishing moments and they have removed all the prior logs showing what happened. All I can see is the finish....I need to know what happend prior to that. Any other links that are showing all the happening for the stage.
I was following @ cyclingnew.com

KMan


Len J said:
He put over a minut into Mayo
2:30 into Ulrich
3:30 into Hamilton

Guess the Podium now.

Len
 

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KMan said:
I've been following everyday on line. had to step away from my desk at the base of the finishing climb figuring I would catch up on all the narrative shortly since it has always been there. Get back to my desk at the finishing moments and they have removed all the prior logs showing what happened. All I can see is the finish....I need to know what happend prior to that. Any other links that are showing all the happening for the stage.
I was following @ cyclingnew.com

KMan
http://www.letour.fr/2004/us/depech...F&RaceYear=2004&StageNumber=1200&Language=ANG

17 H 17 - Lance Into 2nd Overall...
Lance's second place is enough to push him up to 2nd place overall, 5'24" behind Thomas. The complete top 10 will be posted as soon as it's been caulculated.

17 H 16 - Voeckler Keeps The Yellow Jersey!
Thomas Voeckler finished the stage in 41st place, 3'59" behind Ivan Basso. The French champion will wear the yellow jersey in stage 13.


17 H 15 - The Top 10 In Stage 12..
The top 10 in the 12th stage are:
1. Ivan Basso (CSC) 197.5km in 5h03'58" (38.984km/h)
2. Lance Armstrong (USP) at st
3. Andreas Kloden (TMO) at 20"
4. Francisco Mancebo (IBB) at 24"
5. Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 33"
6. Oscar Periero Sio (PHO) at 50"
7. Denis Menchov (IBB) at 59"
8. Michele Scarponi (DVE) at 1'02"
9. Iban Mayo (EUS) at 1'03"
10. Santos Gonzalez (PHO) at 1'03"


17 H 12 - Voeckler Should Keep His Yellow Jersey!
Voeckler has finished the stage 3'59" behind Basso. It should be enough for the French champion to keep the yellow jersey!


17 H 11 - Voeckler 400m From Finish
Voeckler looks like he will spend another day in the yellow jersey he is in the final 300m of the stage and, so far, has lost just 3'10" to Armstrong.


17 H 10 - Ullrich Over 1'20" Behind
We don't yet have the confirmation of the minor places but can report that Simoni has finished the stage 1'33" behind Basso. Ullrich is not yet on the final straight and we know that he's lost over 2 minutes to Lance today.


17 H 08 - Ivan Basso Wins Stage 12!
Ivan Basso has beaten Lance Armstrong to win the 12th stage of the 2004 Tour de France.


17 H 08 - Basso Comes Forward
Ivan Basso is now attacking and chasing the stage win. It seems that Armstrong is content with 2nd...


17 H 07 - Lance & Ivan Side By Side...
With 500m to go, Armstrong and Basso are side by side. Lance is driving the pace and Ivan is matching him while still sitting in the saddle...


17 H 06 - Lance & Basso Lead By 14"
Sastre, Mancebo and Kloden are 14" behind the two stage leader, Basso and Armstrong. There are just 800m to go in the stage and Lance and Ivan are riding side by side...


17 H 05 - Basso & Armstrong In Final Kilometer
Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong are now less than 1km from the end of the stage. Kloden has caught Sastre and in 5th place is Mancebo.


17 H 03 - Two In Lead Group
One of the CSC riders has dropped out of the lead group. It seems like Basso is leading the stage with Armstrong. Sastre has been dropped.


17 H 02 - Armstrong Leading Near 1km To Go Banner
Armstrong is now leading Sastre and Basso with about 1,500m to go in the stage.


17 H 01 - Kloden & Mancebo 4th and 5th...
The second group on the road is the pairing of Kloden and Mancebo. We have no times for any of the groups on the road but can report that Armstrong, Basso and Sastre are at the front of the stage.


17 H 01 - Three Stage Leaders
There are two CSC riders - Sastre and Basso - riding along with Armstrong at the front of the stage.


17 H 00 - Basso Matches Armstrong
Lance is out of the saddle and pedaling his rapid cadence in pursuit of Sastre. The team-mate of the stage leader, Basso is still seated and is matching the effort of the US Postal rider easily.


16 H 59 - Armmstrong Attacks
With 3km to climb, Armstrong has decided that it's time to attack. He is being followed by Basso. Up ahead is Sastre, but we don't have a time check at this stage.


16 H 58 - Mancebo & Basso Attack Armstrong
Mancebo and Basso have attacked Armstrong's group. Armstrong is now responding and, along with Kloden, has caught the attack.


16 H 57 - Nine Riders In Armstrong's Group
There are nine riders in Lance's group. They are: Armstrong, Kloden, Gonzalez, Pierero Sio, Mayo, Menchov, Mancebo, Basso and Scarponi. They are in pursuit of Sastre who leads by 13".


16 H 56 - 4km To Go...
Armstrong is now setting the pace of his group. Azevedo has dropped out of this group which is still in pursuit of Sastre.


16 H 54 - Guerini With Ullrich
Guerini is the only T-Mobile rider with Ullrich. The 1997 Tour champion is now 40" behind Lance's group.


16 H 54 - Ullrich 15" Behind
Ullrich's group is 15" behind Armstrong's group.


16 H 53 - 5km To Go
Sastre has attacked the lead group with 5km to go.


16 H 53 - The Lead Group
Armstrong, Azevedo, Kloden, Gonzalez, Pierero Sio, Sastre, Mayo, Menchov, Mancebo, Basso and Scarponi are the riders in the lead group.


16 H 52 - Heras With Ullrich
Roberto Heras is with Ullrich's group which is now 20" behind Lance et al.


16 H 51 - The Leading Peloton
Azevedo is leading Lance at the front of the stage. In his group are Kloden, Basso, Gutierrez and about five others. We await the names of the riders in the lead group.


16 H 50 - Lance Lead Jan By 20"
Lance's group is now 20" ahead of Ullrich who is riding with Virenque...


16 H 49 - Lance Goes Forward...
Lance Armstrong is now on the attack. He knows that Ullrich is in trouble and there are two US Postal riders now at the head of the lead group. It's Azevedo and Armstrong. Behind these two is Basso (CSC).


16 H 48 - Rasmussen Caught...
Rasmussen is about to be caught by Lance's group.


16 H 48 - Ullrich In Trouble
Ullrich has been dropped by Lance's group which has just caught Sastre.


16 H 47 - Sastre 7" Behind Rasmussen...
Sastre is now 7" from the stage leader.


16 H 47 - Virenque Dropped
Virenque and Voeckler have now been dropped by the peloton.


16 H 46 - Sastre 20" Behind Rasmussen
Sastre is now 20" behind Rasmussen. The attack by Carlos has put about 100m into Armstrong's peloton.


16 H 46 - Hamilton Drops From Lead Group
Hamilton has been dropped by Armmstrong's group which has just been attacked by a CSC rider, Carlos Sastre.


16 H 45 - Hincapie Leading Peloton
Hincapie is in charge of the peloton at the moment. Hamilton is at the back of the pack and has lost touch by about 20 meters.


16 H 45 - Yellow Jersey With Armstrong's Group
Voeckler is still hanging on to Armstrong's group which is still 35" behind the stage leader, Rasmussen.


16 H 44 - Rasmussen Still Leading By 35"
The peloton is still 35" behind Rasmussen with about 8km to climb. The bunch is being led by the US Postal team but Kloden, Simoni, Ullrich are omnipresent at the head of the pack.


16 H 42 - Rasmussen Increases His Advantage
Rasmussen is now 35" ahead of the peloton which includes all the main favorites. US Postal are leading this group but Mayo, Ullrich, Hamilton, Sastre Totschnig are some of the other riders in this group of about 35.


16 H 40 - 10km To Go
The peloton is being led by Landis of the US Postal team. This group is less than 10km from the finish 30" behind Rasmussen.


16 H 40 - Rasmussen Leads By 30"
Rasmussen is now 30" ahead of the yellow jersey's group which includes about 35 riders.


16 H 39 - Brochard & Mercado Caught
Brochard and Mercado have been caught by the peloton. There is now just one rider at the front of the yellow jersey's group.
Rasmussen leads by 24".


16 H 38 - Rasmussen On Final Climb
Mickael Rasmussen has gotten rid of his helmet and is now on the final climb of the 12 stage. The sun is shining but the roads are still wet from the downpour only half an hour ago.


16 H 37 - The Siutation Now...
Rasmussen is still in the lead of the stage. He is 13" ahead of a counter-attack from Mercado and Brochard
Then comes Armstrong's group which is 24" behind Rasmussen.


16 H 36 - Rasmussen Leads By 20"
The attack by Virenque and Etxebarria has been caught by Armstrong's group.


16 H 34 - Etxebarria With Virenque
The riders in 2nd and 3rd place in the stage are David Etxebarria and Richard Virenque. They are about 14" behind Rasmussen. They have just been caught by the yellow jersey's peloton.


16 H 34 - 15km To Go
Rasmussen is now less than 15km from the finish. He is 30" ahead of Armstrong's group which has just caught the Voeckler/Ullrich group.


16 H 33 - Rasmussen & Virenque At The Front...
Rasmussen and Virenque are still ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton. The situation now has Rasmussen in the lead, at 5" is Virenque at 17" is Voeckler's peloton. The US Postal-led peloton is about to catch the yellow jersey's group.


16 H 31 - The 2nd Group...
Ullrich, Kloden, Moreau, Mayo, Mercado, Voeckler and Brochard have formed a little peloton that is 11" ahead of Armstrong's group.


16 H 30 - The Situation Now...
Rasmussen leads Virenque by 5", then David Etxebarria. The peloton is just 10" behind the stage leader.


16 H 29 - 20km To Go
Rasmussen is 20km from the finish of the stage. The yellow jersey's peloton has split on the descent. It is still very wet but the conditions are clearly slightly.


16 H 26 - Two Lead Stage...
Rasmussen and Virenque have attacked the descent. They are at the front of the stage with Moreau in 3rd place.


16 H 25 - Results Of The Col d'Aspin
The points for the category-one climb of the Col d'Aspin were won by:
1. Rasmussen 15pts
2. Moreau - 13pts at 5"
3. Virenque 11pts
4. Totschnig 9pts
5. Landis 8pts
6. Hincapie 7pts
7. Rubiera 6pts
8. Armstrong 5pts


16 H 23 - Sprint For 2nd Place Begins
As Rasmussen reached the top of the Col d'Aspin, Virenque and Moreau attacked the peloton in the quest for 2nd place points. Moreau was 2nd, Virenque 3rd... they were 5" behind Rasmussen.


16 H 22 - Voeckler Near Head Of Peloton
The yellow jersey is now riding behind the paceline of the US Postal team. Right behind the rider in the yellow jersey is Virenque who is waiting to attack the peloton to collect more climbing points.


16 H 20 - 1km To Climb
The advantage of Rasmussen on the peloton is 12" with 1km to climb.


16 H 20 - Rasmussen Leads By 10"
Rasmussen is still in the lead of the stage. He is now 10" ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton. Voeckler lost contact briefly but he has now raced back to the middle of this large pack that is now being led by Rubiera of the US Postal team.


16 H 18 - Voeckler Now In Trouble...
Thomas Voeckler has slipped off the back of the US Postal-led peloton. He lost about 20 meters but has just rejoined this group.


16 H 18 - 2km To Climb...
The peloton is now 2km from the summit of the Col d'Aspin. The rain has eased but the road is still very wet.


16 H 17 - 170km Raced
The peloton is 27.5km from the finish. It is 13" behind Rasmussen who attacked 4km from the top of the Col d'Aspin.


16 H 16 - Landis Leads Peloton
Floyd Landis is now at the front of the yellow jersey's peloton. The leader of the stage is still Rasmussen. The Danish Rabobank rider has a lead of 13".


16 H 15 - Voeckler Still In Peloton
The yellow jersey is still in touch with the peloton even though numerous riders have been spat out the back during the ascent of the Col d'Aspin.


16 H 14 - Martinez Caught By Peloton
The peloton has just caught Egoi Martinez. US Postal still lead the bunch. At the moment it's George Hincapie at the head of the pack which is 13" behind Rasmussen.


16 H 13 - Martinez Drops From Lead...
Rasmussen is now on his own at the front of the stage. He has dropped Egoi Martinez and has a lead on the peloton (still led by US Postal) of 12".


16 H 13 - 12" Lead Now
Rasmussen and Martinez are looking strong at the front of the stage. They have a lead of 12".


16 H 12 - Leaders 4km From Summit
Martinez and Rasmussen are now 4km from the summit of the Col d'Aspin. They have a lead of 10" on the peloton which has just gotten rid of Boogerd.


16 H 11 - Simeoni Caught By Peloton
Simeoni has been caught by the peloton. The two stage leaders are now Rasmussen (RAB) and Martinez (EUS).


16 H 11 - Rasmussen & Martinez Attack Peloton
Simeoni is now ahead of two counter-attacking riders. Rasmussen and Martinez are about 50 meters ahead of the peloton.


16 H 10 - Simeoni Attacks Moreau And Virenque
Simeoni has dropped Moreau and Virenque at the front of the stage. Virenque is now in the peloton that is being led by the US Postal team.


16 H 09 - Zubeldia Dropped
The rider who finished last year's Tour in fifth place, Zubeldia, is the latest rider to get dropped by the peloton.


16 H 08 - Three Stage Leaders
Richard Virenque (QSD) has caught Christophe Moreau (C.A) and Filippo Simeoni (DVE). These three are 15" ahead of the peloton.


16 H 07 - Moreau Catches Simeoni
Moreau has just caught Simeoni. As he does this, Virenque has attacked the peloton.


16 H 06 - Moreau Attacks Peloton
Christophe Moreau is the next rider to go off the front of the peloton.


16 H 06 - Simeoni Leads By 15"
Simeoni is now 15" ahead of the peloton which continues to be led by US Postal team.


16 H 04 - Attack From A Domina Vacanze Rider
The first attack at the front of the peloton has come from a rider from the Domina Vacanze team. It's Filippo Simeoni. He has a lead of about 50 meter on the peloton which is still being led by the US Postal team.


16 H 02 - Voeckler Still In Leading Peloton
As a number of riders start getting spat out the back of the peloton, including yesterday's winner Moncoutie, we can report that Thomas Voeckler is still in the main peloton. He is riding around the head of the bunch which is controlled by riders from the US Postal team.


15 H 59 - Ullrich Following Armstrong
Behind three US Postal team-mates is the leader of the American-registered squad, Lance Armstrong. The 1997 Tour champion, Jan Ullrich, is right behind the five-time winner.
There are still too many riders in the lead group to start listing the names of those up front. We can tell you that all the major favorites are present in the lead group.


15 H 58 - US Postal Lead The Peloton
The US Postal team is in charge of the peloton. At the moment the pace is being set by Manuel Beltran. Behind him is Benjamin Noval... right on his wheel is Kloden from the T-Mobile team.


15 H 57 - McEwen Dropped
Riders are now being dropped by the pace that's being set by Noval of the US Postal team. Some of the victims on the early slopes of the Col d'Aspin are McEwen, Arvesen, Hushovd, Casper, Baldato... the grupetto is forming fast.


15 H 55 - Let The Fun Begin!
The four escapees were caught at the 157km mark. The peloton is now all together on the early slopes of the Col d'Aspin. The pace is being set by riders from the Quickstep team and, after a rather dull early phase to the stage, the fun is about to begin. US Postal riders are marking the three Quickstep riders at the front of the bunch.


15 H 53 - Bettini Drives The Peloton
Paolo Bettini is now leading the peloton. The bunch has caught the four escapees and now Beltran is coming past the Quickstep riders at the front of the peloton.


15 H 51 - Rain Pouring Down On Peloton
The fine conditions of this morning are just a distant memory. The peloton is closing in on the four escapees but the conditions are deteriorating fast. It's pouring rain on the approach to the first climb of the 12th stage. Three Quickstep riders are now at the front of the bunch. They are Zanini, Dufaux and Mercado. Just behind this trio is Nardello and Ullrich from T-Mobile.


15 H 49 - Two Gerolsteiner Riders Lead Peloton
The peloton is now being led by two riders from the Gerolsteiner team. Behind these two is Erik Zabel and Daniel Nardello (from T-Mobile). Also near the front are riders from Liberty Seguros, US Postal and Quickstep.


15 H 45 - Peloton 58" Behind
The peloton is now being led by riders from the T-Mobile, Rabobank and Quickstep team. It is 58" behind the four escapees.


15 H 44 - Results Of 2nd Intermediate Sprint
The points for the intermediate sprint in Sarracolin were won by:
1. Kim Kirchen (FAS) 6pts/6"
2. Marcus Ljungqvist (ALB) 4pts/4"
3. Wim Vansevenant (LOT) 2pts/2"


15 H 43 - Leaders 8km From Start Of Col d'Aspin
The four escapees are now just 8km from the start of the Col d'Aspin. The first climb of the stage is 12.3km long. Its summit is at the 172km mark (at an altitude of 1,489m). The average gradient of this pass is 6.5%.
Points are awarded to the first eight riders at the summit. The allocation of points is 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6 & 5.


15 H 39 - 150km Raced
The leaders are at the 150km mark of today's 197.5km stage. Their advantage on the peloton is down to 1'15".


15 H 38 - Two Team-Mates With Voeckler
Two team-mates are helping Voeckler rejoin the peloton after swapping a bike.


15 H 37 - New Bike For Voeckler
Thomas Voeckler has just stopped at the back of the peloton. He has taken a new bike from the team car and is now racing again.


15 H 35 - Dekker Punctures
Erik Dekker has punctured his rear tire.


15 H 34 - Peloton's Deficit Now 1'20"
The four escapees have lost a large slab of their lead in the last couple of minutes. The peloton is now just 1'20" behind.


15 H 32 - Lead Down To 1'40"
The peloton is closing quickly on the escapees. The latest time check has the bunch 1'40" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


15 H 27 - Remember Sestrieres & Hautacam?
Wet mountain top finishes have been good for Lance Armstrong in the past. His first climbing victory was at Sestrieres in stage nine of the 1999 Tour. The Texan reached the summit just before a big downpour. And when Lance first took the yellow jersey the next year (finishing second behind Javier Otxoa at Hautacam) it was also a very wet finish.


15 H 24 - Rain Now Falling On The Peloton
It is pouring rain at the finish in La Mongie and has been for the past half-hour. The race, however, has been contested on dry roads for most of the stage but it's now starting to rain on the peloton.


15 H 22 - Advantage Drops To 2'25"
The peloton is closing in on the four-man escape group. The latest deficit for the bunch is 2'25".


15 H 17 - Peloton In Lannemezan
As the bunch arrives in Lannemezan it is still 2'45" behind the four-man escape group.


15 H 12 - Leaders In Lannemezan
Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot are now riding through Lannemezan. This town in the Hautes-Pyrenees will host the start of stage 13. The advantage of the four escapees over the peloton is 2'45".


15 H 10 - Pouring Rain At La Mongie
While the peloton is still riding along in fine conditions, rain is getting heavier by the minute at the site of today's finish at La Mongie. Storms were forecast and that has become a reality in the past hour.


15 H 05 - Average Speed For 3rd Hour
The average speed for the 3rd hour is 39.8km/h. The average for the first three hours is 42.6km/h.


15 H 03 - Nature Calls...
With the peloton 2'40" behind the four escapees, many riders (including Voeckler in the yellow jersey) have decided it's as good a time as any to answer the call of nature. The US Postal team is now setting the pace of the pack but the speed has eased in the last couple of minutes.


15 H 00 - McEwen Comes Forward
The rider in the green jersey, Robbie McEwen, has ridden to the front of the peloton and is currently having a discussion with some of the Brioches la Boulangere riders who have been setting the pace of the pack for most of the stage.


14 H 59 - Lead Down To 2'45"
The peloton is still being led by a Brioches/Postal combination. Its deficit to the four escapees has dropped to 2'45".


14 H 59 - Conditions Getting Nasty At Finish...
The weather at La Mongie is turning feral. The temperature has dropped signicantly in the past hour, rainfall is getting more consistent and the wind is picking up. There have been some cracks of thunder relatively close to the village which is 1,715m above sea level.


14 H 56 - Lead Drops Below Three Minutes
It seems that the peloton has decided that it's time to reel in the escapees. The latest advantage announced for Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot is 2'58".


14 H 55 - Hamilton Has Mechanical Problems...
Tyler Hamilton has just changed bikes at the back of the peloton. Six team-mates are helping him rejoin the peloton.


14 H 52 - Advantage Finally Starts To Drop
The pace of the peloton has picked up slightly. The latest time check has the bunch 3'35" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


14 H 49 - Peloton At 116km Mark
The lead of Kirchen and company is still 3'50". The peloton is at the 116km mark and it continues to be led by the US Postal and Brioches la Boulangere teams.


14 H 41 - Peloton At 111km Mark
The peloton has just reached Nizan-sur-Gesse at the 111km mark. It is led by two riders from the US Postal team and is 3'50" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


14 H 35 - Lead Drops To 3'45"
The peloton is now 3'45" behind the four escapees (Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot).


14 H 34 - Raining At La Mongie
Rain has started to fall at the site of today's finish, La Mongie. It's not heavy at this stage, but it's certainly a contrast to the sunny conditions of early this morning.


14 H 31 - Five Full Teams Still In The Race...
The retirement of Mikel Pradera has reduced the number of complete teams to five. The squads with nine riders still in the race are: US Postal Service-Berry Floor, Phonak Hearing Systems, Team CSC, Quickstep-Davitamon and Rabobank.


14 H 29 - Mayo Back In The Peloton
After changing his bike, Iban Mayo is back with the bunch which now appears to have picked up the pace a little although the deficit to the four escapees is 3'50"... barely different from the last time check.


14 H 26 - New Bike For Mayo
Iban Mayo has just gone to the back of the bunch and swapped his bike. He is being helped back to the peloton by one Euskaltel team-mate.


14 H 26 - Pradera Abandons
Mikel Pradera of the Illes Balears team has abandoned in the feedzone. This was his fourth Tour de France. He was in 152nd place overall.
There are now 166 riders in the race.


14 H 20 - Peloton Behind By 3'55" At Feedzone
The peloton is now in the feedzone in Peguilhan (at the 97km mark). It is 3'55" behind Kim Kirchen, Marcus Ljungqvist, Wim Vansevenant and Frederic Finot.


14 H 15 - 100km To Go
The four stage leaders are now 100km from the finish. Their lead on the peloton is still 4'10".


14 H 10 - 66th Visit To The Col d'Aspin
The first climb of the 12th stage is the category-one Col d'Aspin. Today will be the 66th time this col has been contested in the Tour de France. The first time was in 1910, when Octave Lapize (the eventual winner of that year's race) was first over the summit.
The recent winners of the Col d'Aspin climb were:
2003 - Sylvain Chavanel (Fr)
2001 - Bobby Julich (US)
1999 - Mariano Piccoli (It)
1998 - Rodolfo Massi (It)
1997 - Pascal Herve (Fr)
1995 & 1994 - Richard Virenque (Fr)
1991 & 1990 - Claudio Chiappucci (It)


14 H 06 - Average Speed For 2nd Hour
The average speed for the 2nd hour of racing in stage 12 is 42.5km/h. The average for the first two hours is 44.6km/h.


14 H 02 - Peloton 12km From Feedzone
With 12km to go to the feedzone, the peloton is 4'05" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


14 H 01 - 85km Raced
Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot are still 4'10" ahead of the peloton. They are around the 85km mark and there's little else to report.
Well, there have been a few cracks of thunder at the site of today's finish. Clouds are moving in and there is the odd drop of rain. But that's about the only news in the last 15 minutes.


13 H 50 - Third Stage Finish In La Mongie...
La Mongie has hosted a finish of a Tour de France stage twice before today. The winners at this village which is nestled part way up the Col du Tourmalet in the past were Bernard Thevenet (in 1970) and Lance Armstrong (in 2002).


13 H 42 - 125km To Go
There is very little action to report on in stage 12. Four riders escaped the peloton early. Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot have 125km to race. They have a lead of 4'20" on the peloton which isn't doing very much at all. Some riders are returning to their team cars to get drinks and the US Postal Service and Brioches la Boulangere teams are leading the bunch.


13 H 34 - Lead Still 4'20"
The four escapees continue to maintain their advantage on the peloton which is still 4'20" behind.


13 H 33 - Puncture For Cooke
The winner of the green jersey in 2003, Baden Cooke has just punctured his rear tire. This is one of the few bits of action in the peloton early in the 12th stage.


13 H 29 - 26 Nations Still Represented In 91st Tour
There are 167 riders still in the 2004 Tour de France. They represent 26 nations. Here is a summary of how many riders are present from each country.
35 – France (Originally 40 but Bessy did not start stage three because of a knee injury sustained in a crash during stage two; Seigneur finished outside the time limit in stage four; Hary finished outside the time limit in stage five; Dumoulin did not start stage nine because of an elbow injury sustained in a fall near the end of stage eight; Hinault abandoned during stage 10 after a bad crash on the descent of the Col du Pas de Peyrol)
30 – Spain (Originally 31 but Vicioso abandoned during stage 10 because of injuries sustained in several falls in the first week)
24 - Italy (Originally 30 but Fagnini abandoned with a broken collarbone in stage two; Velo abandoned with a broken collarbone in stage three; Petacchi & Cipollini did not start stage six; Casagranda did not start stage nine; Celestino abandoned on the 2nd climb of stage 10)
14 – Germany (Originally 15 but Kessler didn’t start stage 11 because of injuries sustained in a crash during stage 10)
7 – USA & Australia (Originally nine but Gates finished outside the time limit in stage one; McGee abandoned because of back pain during stage five) & The Netherlands
5 – Belgium (Originally six but Brandt was suspended by his Lotto team after stage six because traces of methadone were found in a urine sample submitted to doping control after stage two)
6 – Russia
5 - Switzerland (Originally six but Montgomery abandoned in stage seven because of a fractured right collarbone)
4 - Austria (Originally five but Haselbacher did not start stage seven because of injuries sustained in a crash in the final kilometer of stage six) & Denmark
2 - Norway & Czech Republic
1 - Colombia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuaniua, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Venezuela & Estonia (Orginally two but Kirsipuu abandoned on the first climb of stage nine), Sweden (originally two but Backstedt abandoned during stage 11)
Slovenia had one rider at the start, but Hvastija did not start the ninth stage.


13 H 26 - Lead Up To 4'20"
The four escapees have increased their advantage on the peloton. Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot are 4'20" ahead of the bunch.


13 H 24 - The Stage Winners So Far
Australia and France are the only nations which have claimed more than one stage win in the 2004 Tour after 11 stages. Here is a reminder of the stage winners from the first half of the 91st Tour:
Prologue – in Liege: Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) Fassa Bortolo
Stage One – in Charleroi: Jaan Kirsipuu (Estonia) AG2R
Stage Two – in Namur: Robbie McEwen (Australia) Lotto-Domo
Stage Three – in Wasquehal: Jean-Patrick Nazon (France) AG2R
Stage Four – TTT in Arras: US Postal Service (US)
Stage Five – in Chartres: Stuart O’Grady (Australia) Cofidis
Stage Six – in Angers: Tom Boonen (Belgium) Quickstep-Davitamon
Stage Seven – Saint-Brieuc: Filippo Pozzato (Italy) Fassa Bortolo
Stage Eight – in Quimper: Thor Hushovd (Norway) Credit Agricole
Stage Nine – in Gueret: Robbie McEwen (Australia) Lotto-Domo
Stage 10 – in Saint-Flour: Richard Virenque (France) Quickstep-Davitamon
Stage 11 – in Figeac: David Moncoutie (France)


13 H 22 - Lead Over Four Minutes
Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot have increased their advantage on the peloton in the last few kilometers. The four escapees are now 4'10" ahead of the bunch.


13 H 19 - 140km To Go
The leading four are 140km from the finish of stage 12. Their lead on the peloton is stable at 3'55".


13 H 18 - Kirchen Turned 26 On The Day Of The Prologue
The champion of Luxembourg Kim Kirchen (one of the riders in today's escape group) turned 26 on the first day of the 2004 Tour. On the day his team-mate Fabian Cancellara won the prologue, Kirchen was 142nd. Kirchen is the best-placed of the four in the escape today.


13 H 16 - No Riders In Lead Group Have Previously Won A Stage
None of the four riders in today's escape group have previously won a stage of the Tour de France. The best place achieved in a stage by one of the quartet was 2nd in stage eight for Kim Kirchen (FAS).


13 H 11 - Peloton At 51km Mark
The peloton is now at the 51km mark. The four escapees are maintaining their advantage of 3'55" on the bunch which has been led by riders from the US Postal and Brioches la Boulangere teams.


13 H 06 - 150km To Go
The four leaders have 150km to go in the stage. They are 3'55" ahead of the peloton.


13 H 06 - Portal Stops To Meet His Family
Portal wasn't trying to catch the four escapees, rather he just rode ahead of the peloton so that he could stop and say hello to his family. He's done that now and is waiting for the bunch.


13 H 04 - Fast Start To Stage 12
The average speed for the first hour of racing in stage 12 is 46.8km/h.


13 H 03 - Portal 30" Ahead Of Peloton
Portal is in between the four early escapees and the peloton. The AG2R rider is 3'25" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot and 30" ahead of the bunch.


13 H 02 - Lead Up To 3'55"
The advantage of the four escapees on the peloton is now up to 3'55". We await the exact details of where Portal is.


13 H 01 - Portal Chasing Four Escapees...
Nicolas Portal has attacked the peloton and is attempting to bridge the gap to Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


13 H 00 - Details Of The Four Escapees...
The four riders who are now 2'40" ahead of the peloton are no real threat to the yellow jersey. The positions of the riders who began their attack in the first kilometer in the general classification are:
Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg) Fassa Bortolo 38th - at 12'59"
Marcus Ljungqvist (Sweden) Alessio-Bianchi 137th - at 42'15"
Wim Vansevenant (Belgium) Lotto-Domo 161st - at 59'19"
Frederic Finot (France) RAGT-Semences 165th - at 1h08'20"


12 H 53 - Voeckler Consults Race Doctor
Thomas Voeckler has dropped to the back of the peloton to consult the race doctor.


12 H 52 - Lead Grows To 2'40"
The four escapees continue to increase their lead on the peloton. After 50 minutes of racing Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot are 2'40" ahead of the bunch.


12 H 50 - Temperature At The Start
The weather bureau has reported that the temperature at the start of stage 12 was 28 degrees Celsius in the air and 43 degrees at road level.


12 H 48 - Peloton 1'50" Behind At 34.5km
The bunch has just arrived in Solomiac (at the 34.5km mark). It is 1'50" behind Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot.


12 H 46 - Pradera Back In Peloton
After being dropped for a brief period, Mikel Pradera (IBB) has rejoined the peloton.


12 H 46 - Lead Grows Again
The peloton is now 1'25" behind the four escapees who are now in Solomiac at the 34.5km mark.


12 H 43 - Pradera Dropped
Mikel Pradera of the Illes Balears team has been dropped by the peloton which is now 1'10" behind the four escapees.


12 H 42 - Four Lead By 1'35"
The counter attack has been caught by the peloton. There are now just four riders - Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot - ahead of the peloton. The bunch's deficit is 1'35".


12 H 41 - Peron & Brochard Attack Peloton
The CSC team has sent another rider to chase the four escapees. Andrea Peron has been joined by Laurent Brochard on the attack. They have been joined by Hruska, Garcia-Acosta and Robin. The peloton has reacted quickly to the counter-attack.


12 H 39 - Bertolini Won't Cooperate With Voigt
Bertolini is simply following the wheel of his counter-attacking companion. The pair have now been caught by the peloton.


12 H 38 - Voigt Still Slightly Ahead Of Peloton
The Voigt was caught by another attacking rider and has insisted with his pursuit of the four escapees who are now at the 28km mark.
Voigt is now riding with Alessandro Bertolini (ALB) in between the four leaders and the peloton.


12 H 36 - Voigt Returns To Peloton
Voigt has stopped his chase of the four escapees and is now back with the peloton.


12 H 34 - Voigt 1'00" Behind
The four early attackers are working well together at the front of the stage. They lead Voigt by 1'00" and the peloton by 1'15".


12 H 33 - Peloton 1'10" Behind Four Escapees
At the site of the intermediate sprint, Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot led Voigt by 50" and the peloton by 1'10".


12 H 32 - Results Of 1st Intermediate Sprint
The points for the first intermediate sprint, in Beaumont-de-Lomagne (21.5km) were won by:
1. Wim Vansevenant (LOT) 6pts/6"
2. Kim Kirchen (FAS) 4pts/4"
3. Frederic Finot (RAG) 2pts/6"


12 H 29 - Voigt Chases Four
Jens Voigt (CSC) has attacked the peloton. He is 55" behind the four escapees and 5" ahead of the bunch. There is 1km to go before the first intermediate sprint is contested.


12 H 28 - Four Increase Their Advantage
Kirchen, Ljungqvist, Vansevenant and Finot are now 55" ahead of the peloton.


12 H 28 - Kirchen Best-Placed In Escape
Of the four riders in the lead of stage 12, the best placed on general classification is the champion of Luxembourg, Kim Kirchen. He began the stage in 38th place 12'59" behind Thomas Voeckler.


12 H 26 - Lead Grows To 35" At 17km Mark
Ljungqvist, Kirchen, Vansevenant and Finot are 35" ahead of the peloton at the 17km mark. The bunch is being led by riders from both the US Postal Service and Brioches la Boulangere teams.


12 H 24 - Peloton Led By US Postal Service Team
The US Postal Service team is leading the peloton which is 5km from the site of the first intermediate sprint.


12 H 23 - Four Maintain Their Advantage
Ljungqvist, Kirchen, Vansevenant and Finot are still 30" ahead of the peloton. The escape began when Ljungqvist attacked in the first kilometer. He was joined by Finot. Kirchen and Vansevenant joined them in the lead at the 2km mark.


12 H 22 - Chase Group Caught By Peloton
The counter-attacking group has been caught by the peloton at the 13km mark. One of the riders involved in the chase of the four leaders was Thomas Voeckler.


12 H 20 - The Counter-Attacks Have Begun
There are several riders attempting to bridge the gap to the four escapees. The chasing group is 30" behind Ljungqvist, Kirchen, Vansevenant and Finot. The peloton is at 40".


12 H 18 - 10.5km Raced...
The peloton is in Labourgade at the 10.5km mark. It is still 30" behind the four escapees.


12 H 16 - Four Lead By 30"
The peloton is slowly reeling in the escape by Ljungqvist (ALB), Kirchen (FAS), Vansevenant (LOT) and Finot (RAG). The deficit of the bunch to the four escapees is 30".


12 H 15 - Peloton In Lafitte
The peloton is still 40" behind the four escapees. So far 7.5km have been raced. The CSC team is at the head of the bunch.


12 H 10 - Lead Up To 40"
The CSC team is at the head of the peloton which is now 40" behind Ljungqvist (ALB), Kirchen (FAS), Vansevenant (LOT) and Finot (RAG).


12 H 07 - Peloton 35" Behind Escapees
The peloton doesn't appear to be interested in chasing down the early escape. The bunch is now 35" behind Ljungqvist (ALB), Kirchen (FAS), Vansevenant (LOT) and Finot (RAG).


12 H 06 - Two Riders Attack In First Kilometer
Frederic Finot and Marcus Ljungqvist attacked in the first kilometer. They are being pursued by Kim Kirchen and Wim Vansevenant.


12 H 05 - Racing!
The flag has fallen to signal the official start of the 12th stage. Racing began at 12.04pm. There are 167 riders still in the race with no riders withdrawing overnight.


12 H 02 - Riders In Neutral Zone
The peloton is currently riding through the 2.1km neutral zone in Castelsarrasin. The official start is expected to be at around 12.05pm.


12 H 01 - Double Points For Final Climb
As the final climb is a category-one col, there are double points on offer for the first eight riders across the line. The points allocation for most category-one climbs is normally: 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 - but because La Mongie is the final summit the new rule means that the first eight riders will receive 30, 26, 22, 18, 16, 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the climbing classification.
Richard Virenque is in the polka-dot jersey as the leader of this category. He has 84 points. The rider in second, Axel Merckx, has 57.


11 H 58 - Two Intermediate Sprints In Stage 12
There are two intermediate sprints before the climbs of today's stage. The sprints which offer 6, 4 and 2 points for the first three riders across the line are in Beaumont-de-Lomagne (at the 21.5km mark) and in Sarrancolin (at 153.5km).
Robbie McEwen is in the green jersey as leader of the points classifcation again today. He has 210 points, nine more than Erik Zabel and 15 more than Thor Hushovd.


11 H 56 - Two Category-One Climbs In Stage 12
The 12th stage has two category-one climbs. The first is the Col d'Aspin, a 12.3km long ascent with an average gradient of 6.5% that rises to 1,489m. The summit is at the 172km mark.
The second climb is at the end of the stage. Riders will be allowed to discard their helmets for the final ascent because it is longer than 5km. The last climb is 12.8km long with an average gradient of 6.8%. The finish is at an altitude of 1,715m.


11 H 52 - Welcome To The Coverage Of Stage 12
The 197.5km 12th stage, from Castelsarrasin to La Mongie, is scheduled to begin at mid-day. The sun is out and there barely a cloud in the sky for the stage that finishes at the top of the category-one climb, part of the way up the famous Col du Tourmalet.
There is a 2.1km neutral zone before the riders reach the site of the official start.
 

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Len J said:
He put over a minut into Mayo
2:30 into Ulrich
3:30 into Hamilton

Guess the Podium now.

Len

I think that Heras came in somewhere between Ulrich and Hamilton so he also lost at least 2 1/2 minutes.

Larry
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Go to the TDF site and go to live updates......

KMan said:
I've been following everyday on line. had to step away from my desk at the base of the finishing climb figuring I would catch up on all the narrative shortly since it has always been there. Get back to my desk at the finishing moments and they have removed all the prior logs showing what happened. All I can see is the finish....I need to know what happend prior to that. Any other links that are showing all the happening for the stage.
I was following @ cyclingnew.com

KMan
And you can reread the entire stage.

Len
 

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I don't exist
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Eurosport!

Go to eurosport fro audio and very frequent text updates.
 

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Clear Lake, TX
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Stage 12 Results

Stage 12 - July 16: Castelsarrasin - La Mongie, 197.5 km
Results
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 5.03.58 (38.98 km/h)
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.20
4 Francisco Mancebo Pérez (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto 0.24
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 0.33
6 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.50
7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears - Banesto 0.59
8 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze 1.02
9 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.03
10 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
11 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner
12 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 1.32
13 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 1.39
14 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crédit Agricole 1.59
15 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears - Banesto
16 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
17 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi
18 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 2.28
19 Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) T-Mobile Team
20 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 2.30
21 Jose Azevedo (Por) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
22 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step-Davitamon
23 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
24 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Liberty Seguros
25 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
26 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance 2.37
27 José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.41
28 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 2.43
29 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.57
30 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step-Davitamon
31 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 3.02
32 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC 3.09
33 Santiago Perez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.27
34 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
35 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance
36 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
37 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick Step-Davitamon
38 Marcos Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Liberty Seguros
39 Evgueni Petrov (Rus) Saeco 3.36
40 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole 3.56
41 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 3.59
42 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 4.22
43 Iker Camaño (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 4.27
44 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Team CSC 5.20
45 Sandy Casar (Fra) Fdjeux.com 5.36
46 José I.Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto
47 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) AG2R Prévoyance 5.38
48 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) Saeco 6.17
49 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 6.30
50 Axel Merckx (Bel) Lotto-Domo 8.47
51 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
52 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Fdjeux.com 9.28
53 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 10.08
54 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
55 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole 10.54
56 Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 11.20
57 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Liberty Seguros 11.55
58 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros 11.59
59 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Domina Vacanze 12.01
60 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Quick Step-Davitamon 12.04
61 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon
62 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone
63 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) R.A.G.T. Semences - MG Rover
64 Jörg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco
65 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team
66 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor
67 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Liberty Seguros 12.30
68 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Domina Vacanze 12.40
69 Ronny Scholz (Ger) Gerolsteiner 13.07
70 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 15.08
71 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone

General classification after stage 12

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 51.51.07
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 5.24
3 Sandy Casar (Fra) Fdjeux.com 5.50
4 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick Step-Davitamon 6.20
5 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile Team 6.33
6 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC
7 Francisco Mancebo Pérez (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto 6.43
8 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC 6.53
9 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 7.23
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 8.11
11 Jose Azevedo (Por) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 8.35
12 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 8.50
13 José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 8.51
14 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 8.57
15 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 8.58
16 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 9.01
17 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 9.11
18 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze 9.25
19 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Liberty Seguros 9.42
20 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 9.46
21 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 9.50
22 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 9.53
23 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 10.20
24 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 10.21
25 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.26
26 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros 10.42
27 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 10.49
28 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance 10.50
29 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 11.46
30 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears - Banesto 11.49
31 Evgueni Petrov (Rus) Saeco 11.54
32 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 12.06
33 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Team CSC 12.20
34 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears - Banesto 12.41
35 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance 12.57
36 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 13.23
37 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crédit Agricole 13.40
38 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 14.09
39 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step-Davitamon 14.29
40 Iker Camaño (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 16.24
41 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 16.35
42 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 17.23
43 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole 17.31
44 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) Saeco 17.59
45 Axel Merckx (Bel) Lotto-Domo 18.59
46 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit Par Téléphone 19.55
47 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Quick Step-Davitamon 20.20
 

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big names waaaay back

You have to look waaay down the list to find some of the GC big names. If this is any sign of things to come, looks like another Tour de Lance. Heras 3 minutes back on one hill? Ullrich 2:30 back?
 

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It's mindboggling the amount of time Lance put into his rivals today. I would have expected Ulrich and Hamilton to be on his wheel until close to the end. He just dusted them.

Still a lot of climbing left, and one bad day on a big mountain can be disasterous. But Lance has to feel good about today.
 

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It really looked like all of the "climbers" (Mayo, Heras, Simoni, etc...) were in a world of hurt. Seems like 10 days of motoring the flats killed their climbing legs. Wonder if they'll recover for tomorrow, or maybe for the Alps.

Ullrich was absolutely hating it! Doesn't bode well for a podium spot for him this year.
 

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mgp said:
It really looked like all of the "climbers" (Mayo, Heras, Simoni, etc...) were in a world of hurt. Seems like 10 days of motoring the flats killed their climbing legs. Wonder if they'll recover for tomorrow, or maybe for the Alps.

Ullrich was absolutely hating it! Doesn't bode well for a podium spot for him this year.
Tyler and Mayo were reported to have changed bikes. I've never done it in a race, but I can't imagine feeling better on a completely different bike after 4 hours of riding, especially with a slick descent coming up. I didn't think that made much sense today, and maybe that concept will be re-thought after today. I think I'll go home at lunch and watch the end, then watch it again tonight.

Who's going to the movie theaters tomorrow?
 

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It's clear now

I guess it's a whole lot clearer now as to what Ulrich meant when he said he didn't plan on finishing second to Lance again.
 

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bike changes

JPRider14 said:
Tyler and Mayo were reported to have changed bikes. I've never done it in a race, but I can't imagine feeling better on a completely different bike after 4 hours of riding, especially with a slick descent coming up.
I've done some ultra races with crew cars and multiple bikes. I'd usually have 3 bikes, a special climber stripped down to about 12 pounds, a "cruising" bike, my C40 with a triple and aerobars, and a fat-tired rough pavement bike. I usually changed bikes and the bottom and tops of big hills, but we're talking about 3,000-5,000 foot climbs, riding solo (no drafting), and where seconds here and there don't count for much.

To me, it always felt great switching to the ultra light climbing bike for the big climbs. Nothing like going from 17 pounds (fully outfitted) to 12 pounds, and that's with 1100 gram carbon wheels and 180 gram tubulars pumped to 150. It felt like the bike literally jumped forward when I pedalled.

Problem I see for the pros is that their "normal" bike and their "climbing" bikes can't be all that much different. With a 15 pound weight minimum, a normal bike can be right there. I can't see how they could save time switching to a bike that is maybe 1 pound lighter, given the 30 seconds or so it may take to swap. You're right, in that situation, it just doesn't make sense. I think I'd just start the stage on the climbing bike or some compromise of the two.
 

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DougSloan said:
You're right, in that situation, it just doesn't make sense. I think I'd just start the stage on the climbing bike or some compromise of the two.
I was thinking more along the lines of extremely dialed-in position, knowing the bike exceptionally well and just feeling like it's an extension of your body. Even if the new bike has the 'same' geometry and just lighter components, it's got to feel and ride differently. I know when I put my 303s on my bike instead of my training wheels, it's like a completely different bike and takes a while to get used to. I can't imagine switching in the middle of the ride. It especially boggles me with a tough, wet descent ahead. Yeesh.

Good call about the weight limit rules. Yeah, shaving 5 pounds off a bike would totally be worth it, but I'd like to see the math in the savings. I'd be surprised if it were over a pound, which to me, along with you, is certainly not advantageous enough to warrant a switch.
 
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