Le Tour- Stage 18

Pinerolo to Galibier Serre-Chevalier 125 miles

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

The story of yesterday is the group that finished 4:26 back- Frank Schleck, Cunego, Sanchez, Evans, Contador, and Andy Schleck, and the group that finished 4:53 back- Voeckler and Basso.

Contador looked to put on a move in the final descent into Pinerolo and was apparently succeeding when away from the camera and commentary the rest of the major contenders snuck up to be right there at the finish.

Voeckler would have been right there also except that pressing a little too hard he had to take an escape road off into a car park (his second slide off) and lost another 27 Seconds.

A thrilling finish, but not one that shakes up the standings-

Rank Name Team ET delta
1 Thomas Voeckler Europcar 73h 23′ 49″
2 Cadel Evans BMC 73h 25′ 07″ + 01′ 18″
3 Frank Schleck Leopard Trek 73h 25′ 11″ + 01′ 22″
4 Andy Schleck Leopard Trek 73h 26′ 25″ + 02′ 36″
5 Samuel Sanchez Euskaltel 73h 26′ 48″ + 02′ 59″
6 Alberto Contador Saxo Bank 73h 27′ 04″ + 03′ 15″
7 Damiano Cunego Lampre 73h 27′ 23″ + 03′ 34″
8 Ivan Basso Cannondale 73h 27′ 38″ + 03′ 49″
9 Tom Danielson Garmin 73h 29′ 53″ + 06′ 04″
10 Rigoberto Uran Sky 73h 31′ 25″ + 07′ 36″

My analysis is that it’s another missed opportunity for Contador and there aren’t too many of them left- today and tomorrow in the High Mountains and the Individual Time Trial on Saturday.  BruceMcF thinks there could be an attempt by the sprinters to put the Mad Manx out on time elimination.

Today’s Stage has only 3 climbs but they’re all unclassified with the sprint checkpoint before any of the tough hills.  The finish is uphill after the longest climb (but not steepest) of the day so a repeat of yesterday’s bunch finish is unlikely.  This is the centenary of the Galabier on the Tour and the highest finish ever.

Vs. starts it’s coverage at an early (unless you were already up at 5 am to watch the final landing of the Space Shuttle) 7 am so it’s possible we might see the points checkpoint finish.


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  1. Bad for cycling, too hot.

  2. Phil (26)- Evans

    Bob (21)- Andy Schleck

  3. Still no video yet.

  4. … Voeckler holds onto the Yellow Jersey by 15 Schleconds … mostly thanks to Cadel Evans riding hard tempo all the way up the final segment of the Galibier to claw back two minutes on a one-time 4:15 gap … Andy Schleck knocks Alberto Contador out of contention by minutes ~ never mind Schleconds, and in risking his podium spot to chase a tour win, has put himself in position to win and has cemented his podium spot.

    And Ivan Basso and Damiano Cunego both leap over Contador and Sammy Sanchez to spark hopes of shouldering their way onto the podium.

    And in the most likely way for a three “above category” climbs to impact the Green Jersey points competition, both the first and third place riders in the Green Jersey competition, Mark Cavendish and Phillipe Gilbert, finished outside the elimination time, finishing +35:40, while JJ Rojas finished +31:17, and indeed finished first at that time, so was driving the +31:17 group home inside the elimination time. There were too many riders outside of the elimination time to eliminate the grupetto that Cavendish and Gilbert finished in … but all the riders finishing outside of time lose 20 pts.

    JJ Rojas is now only 15 points behind Mark Cavendish, and another day like today, and Mark Cavendish will surrender the Green Jersey tomorrow.

  5. … time gaps being far from definitive with such high mountains ahead, yesterday’s 11th, 13th and 14th are today’s 10th, 11th, and 12th, and the 13th place +0:59 gap by Rein Taaramae to 10th is now 11th place and a +0:09 gap to 10th place.

    Its not so much that riders in those positions make up tremendous time on the leaders, so much as some of them lose a little time, and some of them lose a lot of time.

  6. I had a really busy morning and didn’t have the chance to post this but it should be included for the record.



    This is the profile of the last kilometer to the finish


  7. The Alps are such a spectacular region. There have been so many words written trying to describe the region that all fall short of actually being there.

    Yesterday’s stage ended in the lovely town of Pinerolo in the Tuscan region of northern Italy. Today’s stage starts there and winds its way over the Col du Galibier, the highest point of Le Tour. The finish line is at the summit, the highest stage finish ever.

    Col du Galibier

    Col du Galibier (el. 2645 m) is a mountain pass in the southern region of the French Dauphiné Alps near Grenoble. It is the ninth highest paved road in the Alps and the sixth highest mountain pass. It is often the highest point of the Tour de France.

    It connects Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne and Briançon via the col du Télégraphe and the Col du Lautaret. The pass is closed during the winter. It is located between the massif d’Arvan-Villards and the massif des Cerces, taking its name from the secondary chain of mountains known as the Galibier.

    Before 1976, the tunnel was the only point of passage at the top, at an altitude of 2556 m. The tunnel was closed for restoration until 2002, and a new road was constructed over the summit. The re-opened tunnel is a single lane controlled by traffic lights, which are among the highest such installations in Europe.

    This is the centennial of this route for Le Tour

    The Col du Galibier was first used in the Tour de France in 1911; the first rider over the summit was Emile Georget, who, with Paul Duboc and Gustave Garrigou were the only riders not to walk.

    The original summit was at 2556 m.; while the tunnel was closed from 1976 until 2002, the tour route went only over the pass closer to the mountain peak at 2645 m. In 2011, the Tour de France went through the tunnel for the first time during the 19th stage from Modane Valfréjus to L’Alpe d’Huez.

    At the south portal of the tunnel, at the edge of the road, there is a monument to Henri Desgrange, instigator and first director of the Tour de France. The memorial was inaugurated when the tour passed on 19 July 1949. Whenever the tour crosses the Col du Galibier, a wreath is laid on the memorial. The “Souvenir Henri Desgrange” is awarded to the first rider across the summit of the highest mountain in each year’s tour. In 2006, the prize of 5000 euros was claimed on the Col du Galibier by Michael Rasmussen.

    Since 1947, the Col de Galibier has been crossed 31 times by the Tour de France. It was scheduled to be used in 1996, but was left out at the last minute due to bad weather. As a result of snow on both the Col de l’Iseran and the Col du Galibier, the scheduled 190 km stage from Val-d’Isère to Sestriere in Italy was reduced to a 46 km sprint from Le-Monetier-les-Bains which was claimed by Bjarne Riis, resulting in him taking the yellow jersey which he retained to the finish in Paris.

    In the 2008 Tour, the Col du Galibier had been crossed on 23 July in the 210 km stage 17 from Embrun to Alpe d’Huez.

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