Le Tour- Stage 16

Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Gap 101 miles

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Today’s Stage is pretty much steadily up hill with a dip after the feeding station and a full fledged descent at the finish following the Col de Manse, so theoretically at least there could be huge deltas as back markers struggle up hill and front runners zoom down.

There’s also the crash factor that could come into play especially if the winds are tricky or the weather is bad.

After consideration I have no reason to change yesterday’s assessment that if you’re not in the top ten now it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get there barring a catastrophic breakdown by a lot of teams and riders.  The gap between 10th and 11th is a full 1:37 and it’s 8:20 to Voeckler.

Whether he can hang on is, I think, the question of the day.  He’s not known as a climber though he did pretty good in the Pyrenees so this is probably the last chance for him to put some seconds in the bank on a Stage suited to his style.

Vs. will join the race in progress at 8 am.


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  1. If it’s like this on the descent there could be trouble.

  2. Bob (21)- Van Garderen

    Paul (14)- Cunego

  3. Farrar calls him out.

  4. 5 minutes in front.

  5. So it’s not raining right now.

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    Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is a charming village in the Drôme Provençale, which nestles among vineyards, truffle oaks and fields of lavender, and manages to combine heritage, the land, authenticity and conviviality. Beneath it, the village’s former inhabitants have left behind a number of relics from the prehistoric age, from antiquity and the middle Ages. The mediaeval cathedral, a remarkable example of Roman architecture, is emblematic of the town, sitting majestically in the centre of the village. Inside the city walls, you will discover a host of attractions: mansions, charming little squares adorned with fountains and outdoor cafes. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is also a gastronomic delight, best known for its truffles, providing 60 per cent of France’s truffles to the market, as well as its wine (AOC wines from Grignan-les-Adhémar) and its many great restaurants. The influence of the village also goes beyond its walls – it’s also known for its children’s book festival, its soul jazz festival, its classical music festival – Les Musicales en Tricastin – and a film festival.

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    Principal city of the Hautes-Alpes – a département close to the hearts of cyclists who dream of testing themselves on the slopes of the mountain passes there – Gap is on the famous ‘Route Napoléon’, and capital of the Southern Alps, mixing the pleasures of Provence with the pure Alpine air. It is best known today for its beautiful scenery, with the town surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails and perfect mountain bike routes. Nearby, the Gap-Tallard aerodrome is the ideal base for fans of aerial sports, with the surrounding area recognised internationally for its perfect air and wind conditions. The Céüse cliffs are also famous among climbers seeking the ultimate thrill. The golf course at Gap-Bayard offers stunning views of the 3,000-metre-high Vieux Chaillol, where fanatics of the little white ball game can enjoy the pure mountain air. When the Tour visited just last year, 1,000 locals climbed the 2,000-metre-high Charance to arrange themselves to create a giant version of the city’s logo for the French TV cameras.

  8. 10 person break 6 minutes ahead.

    Raining in earnest now.

  9. Voeckler, Evans, Schlecks, defending.

  10. Contador, Evans, and Sanchez put time on the Schlecks.

  11. Thor Hushovd wins the stage. Thomas Voeckler will retain the yellow jersey for Stage 17.

    Tomorrow will start in Gap and wind through the French Alps into Italy ending in the town of Pinerolo.

    Stage 16 Standings:

    1. Thor Hushovd

    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen

    3. Ryder Hesjedal

    4. Tony Martin

    5. Mikhail Ignatyev

    6. Alan Perez Lezaun

    7. Jérémy Roy

    8. Marco Marcato

    9. Dries Devenyns

    10. Andriy Grivko

    Overall Standing on Time (yellow jersey):

    1. Thomas Voeckler

    2. Cadel Evans

    3. Frank Schleck

    4. Andy Schleck

    5. Samuel Sanches

    6. Alberto Contador

    7. Ivan Basso

    8. Damiano Cunego

    9. Tom Danielson

    10. Rigoberto Uran

    Overall Points Standing (green jersey):

    1. Mark Cavendish – 319 pts

    2. Jose Joachim Rojas – 285 pts.

    3. Philippe Gilbert – 250 pts

    4. Thor Hushovd – 235 pts

    5. André Greipel – 170 pts

    6. Cadel Evans – 165 pts

    7. Tyler Farrar – 141 pts

    8. Edvald Boasson Hagen – 136 pts

    9. Mickaël Delage – 132 pts

    10. Jérémy Roy – 107 pts

    Overall Climber (red & white polka dot jersey):

    1. VANENDERT Jelle – 74 pts.

    2. SANCHEZ Samuel – 72 pts

    3. ROY Jérémy – 45 pts

    4. SCHLECK Andy – 28 pts

    5. EVANS Cadel – 26 pts

    6. SCHLECK Frank – 24 pts

    7. HOOGERLAND Johnny – 22 pts

    8. CHAVANEL Sylvain – 20 pts

    9. CASAR Sandy – 19 pts

    10. THOMAS Geraint – 18 pts

    Overall Youth (white jersey):

    1. Rigoberto Uran

    2. Rein Taaramae

    3. Pierre Rolland

    4. Arnold Jeanesson

    5. Rog Ruijgh

    Overall Team











  12. … riders expecting the break to succeed meant people trying to sneak into the break that other teams had to chase down, so it took over half the stage for the break of the day to form, and all of the chasing meant that the race was going at a blistering pace.

    And whether because of the very cold weather, or because he forgot to eat in the last hour in the excitement, when Contador attacked on the Cat2 climb of the day, to create a chase group in front of the peleton of the main contenders, Andy Schleck seemed to bonk and was dropped part way up the climb. Cadel Evans Ozzy! Ozzy Ozzy! Oy! Oy! Oy! however, was able to stay with Contador. Then Cadel Evans attacked either at the summit or on the descent, putting substantial space on all his main rivals. Riding together as a “national team” of riders from different teams, Sammy Sanchez and Alberto Contador riding a team time trial behind Evans solo time trial were to claw back all but three seconds … but Andy Schleck’s weakness in descending saw him lose even more time on the descent.

    Time gaps off of Cadel Evans at the end of the day, compared to where they started (second number was start of the day) … (- means ahead of (subtract from Evans time), + means behind (add to Evans time)):

    Tommy Voeckler: (-1:45) from (-2:06)

    Frank Schleck: +0:04 from (-0:17)

    Andy Schleck: +1:18  from +0:09

    Sammy Sanchez: +1:41 from +1:38

    Berti Contador: +1:57 from +1:54

    Ivan Basso: +2:04 from +1:27

    Damiano Cunego: +2:16 from +1:55

    Cadel does not necessarily need to ride in Yellow in the second last stage, the Individual Time Trial, but if he races the ITT in yellow, he gets the advantage of leaving last and knowing the time he has to beat to ride into Paris in Yellow. So if he has an opportunity to ride into Yellow sometime in the next three days, expect him to grab it with both hand.

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