The newsflashes

stage 11 - Lannemezan Foix 167.5 km
Wednesday 16 July

The newsflashes

16:58 - Hushovd Leads The Peloton Home

The sprint for 13th place was won by another Norwegian; Thor Hushovd led the peloton across the line, 14’50" behind Kurt Asle Arvesen.

16:48 - TheTop 10 In Stage 11

The peloton is still about 15 minutes from finishing the 11th stage so here is a summary of who from the escape group finished where in Foix.
1. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (NOR) CSC - 167.5km in 3h58’13"
2. Martin Elmiger (SUI) ALM - at same time
3. Alesssandro Ballan (ITA) LAM - at same time
4. Koos Moerenhout (NED) RAB - at 2"
5. Alexandre Botcharov (RUS) C.A - at 11"
6. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA) BTL - at 14"
7. Filippo Pozzato (ITA) LIQ - at 14"
8. Benoit Vaugrenard (FRA) FDJ - at 14"
9. Fabian Wegmann (GER) GST - at 14"
10. Marco Velo (ITA) MRM - at 14"
11. Dmitriy Fofonov (KAZ) C.A - at 14"
12. Amael Moinard (FRA) COF - at 29"

16:43 - Arvesen Claims His First Stage Win

Arvesen has given CSC its first stage win. He has held off a late challenge by Elmiger and Ballan. It’s the second Norwegian stage win for the 2008 Tour.

16:42 - ’Flamme Rouge’ - Three Lead

There was a Norwegian, an Italian and a Swiss riding together in the final kilometer of the 11th stage. They were joined by a Dutchman, Moerenhout... how will this story end. Stay tuned the sprint has begun.

16:41 - Arvesen Accelerates

Arvesen has just done a strong turn of pace. It didn’t drop Elmiger or Ballan, rather just limited the chance of others from the escape group bridging before the final kilometer.

16:40 - 2km To Go

Elmiger and Arvesen have just been joined by Ballan at the front of the stage. Moerenhout is now also trying to get across. There are less than 2,000m to go.

16:40 - Moinard Voted Most Aggressive

No surprise but the announcement has just come that Amael Moinard has just been voted the most aggressive rider of the 11th stage.

16:39 - Elmiger & Arvesen Lead By 100m

Elmiger and Arvesen are hovering about 100m ahead of the peloton with 3km to go.

16:38 - Elmiger Catches Moinard

Elminger surged and caught Moinard 4km from the finish. The Swiss rider is now with Arvesen (CSC).

16:37 - 5km To Go

Moinard refuses to just sit up and wait for the 11 others. He’s been 8-10 seconds ahead of Arvesen, Ballan, Botcharov, Fofonov, Elmiger, Wegmann, Moerenhout, Velo, Vaugrenard, Pozzato and Fedrigo for about the last 10km. The others are just teasing him as they prowl behind doing short turns of pace and wait to attack.

16:34 - Who Is Next To Attack...?

Wegmann is shaping up for an attack at the back of the 11-man chase group that is now 10" behind Moinard and about 7km from the finish. Before the last bout of action begins, here is a reminder of who is in the escape:
Moinard
Arvesen
Ballan
Botcharov
Fofonov
Elmiger
Wegmann
Moerenhout
Velo
Vaugrenard
Pozzato
Fedrigo

16:33 - Pereiro Waiting For Peloton

Pereiro has sat up after taking no points for 13th place at the third summit. It’s difficult to understand what he was trying to do with his escape but, anyway, it’s all over now.

16:31 - 10km To Go

Moinard has ridden under the 10km to go sign. His led was just 11" on the 11 others.

16:27 - Ballan On The Attack

Ballan is the first since Moinard to attack the escape group. It’s really lifted the tempo but the Italian has been reeled in by the other 10 in his group.

16:26 - Moinard’s Escape Almost Over

Moinard reached a maximum gain on his former escapees of 2’15", that has dropped to 25" at the last check. He is now 15km from the finish in Foix.

16:22 - Peloton 5km From 3rd Summit

The peloton is 55" behind Pererio with 5km to climb on the Col del Biouch.

16:21 - Pereiro 14’30" Behind

The 11-man chase group is now 50" behind Moinard (with 20km to go). And the advantage over Pereiro at the last check was 14’30".

16:20 - 20km To Go

Moinard has just ridden under the 20km to go banner. He was 1’00" ahead at the last check.

16:19 - Points Winners On Col del Brouich

At the top of the third climb of stage 11, the points were won by:
1. Moinard (COF) 4pts
2. Ballan (LAM) 3pts - at 1’05"
3. Arvesen (CSC) 2pts
4. Velo (MRM) 1pt

16:17 - 11 Reach Third Summit

As it reached the 145km mark, the 11-man escape group was 1’05" behind Moinard.

16:16 - Moinard Over Top

Moinard has reached the top of the Col del Bouich and now has 22km to go in the stage that’s been raced at a rapid pace. He is 1’21" ahead of the 11 other escapees.

16:15 - Old-Style Pereiro...

Pereiro launched his attack around the 100km mark. He gain a maximum jump on the peloton of 1’50". The ’Super Combative’ rider of the Tour in 2005 doesn’t mind taking a chance with an escape; he learned it can pay off in the biggest possible way in 2006 when he won the title thanks to an escape in stage 13 that gained almost half an hour.
He is now 1’30" ahead of the yellow jersey’s peloton and doesn’t look like he’ll come even close to reducing his 6’10" deficit to Evans.

16:08 - Details Of Col del Bouich

Moinard is 1’35" ahead of the 11 other escapees at the base of the final ascent. The Col del Bouich is a 5.2km climb with an average gradient of 3.8 percent. Its summit is 22.5km from the finish of the 11th stage.

16:07 - Moinard’s Lead: 1’45"

Arvesen, Ballan, Botcharov, Fofonov, Elmiger, Wegmann, Moerenhout, Velo, Vaugrenard, Pozzato and Fedrigo are now 1’45" behind Moinard who is about to climb the Col del Bouich.
Pereiro is still in no-man’s land 15’00" behind the stage leader and one minute, 20 seconds ahead of the CSC-led peloton.

16:01 - Moinard’s Advantage Shrinking

Moinard’s lead was 2’10" only a few minutes ago. That has recently dropped to 2’00" with the 11 chasers swapping off with even turns in the quest to real in the rider who attacked them at the 102.5km mark.
Moinard has about 31km to go in the stage.

16:00 - Six CSC-Saxo Bank Riders Leading Peloton

The Silence-Lotto team had controlled the peloton until about 5km to go on the 2nd climb. Then CSC-Saxo Bank sent riders into the lead and now there are six from Frank Schleck’s squad setting the pace of the main pack. Tucked in behind is Cadel Evans and his team-mates.

15:58 - Moinard Leads By 2’10"

With about 35km to go in the stage, Moinard’s advantage over his 11 former escape companions is 2’10".

15:56 - Cardenas Abandons

The Barloworld team has lost three riders in the space of a few hours. The latest to abandon the Tour is Colombian recruit Felix Cardenas. There are now 166 still in the Tour.

15:51 - Situation At Summit

Just to recap the situation at the 110km mark:
Amael Moinard led Arvesen, Ballan, Botcharov, Fofonov, Elmiger, Wegmann, Moerenhout, Velo, Vaugrenard, Pozzato and Fedrigo by 1’50".
At 14’40" was Pereio.
At 16’30" was the peloton led by riders from the CSC and Silence-Lotto team.

15:49 - Peloton At Summit

At the top of the Col de Portel, the peloton is 16’30" behind Moinard. This is the maximum gain so far today.

15:48 - Pereiro 6’10" Behind Evans On GC

Pereiro has crested the summit 14’40" behind Moinard. The 2006 Tour winner started the 11th stage in 17th place with a deficit of 6’10" to the leader of general classification, Cadel Evans.

15:46 - Moinard Leads By 1’55"

Moinard is speeding down the mountain with a lead of 1’55" over his former escape companions. He began his attack at the 102.5km mark and there was no reaction from the others who he escaped the peloton with at the 39km mark.

15:45 - Pereiro 1km From Summit

Pereiro is insisting with his escape ahead of the peloton. He has 1km to climb. (We haven’t been given a confirmation of his deficit to the stage leaders as yet.)

15:42 - Moinard A Winner At St-Lary Soulon

Amael has posted two pro victories since turning pro with the Cofidis team for the 2004 season. The most recent was a stage of the Rud du Sud in 2007. It was a stage that concluded in St-Lary Soulon, not too far from Foix where today’s stage ends. The Frenchman is currently 1’55" ahead of the 11 other escapees.

15:37 - Results of Col de Portel

At the top of the 2nd climb, the points were won by:
1. Amael Moinard (COF) 15pts
2. Fofonov (C.A) 13pts - 1’50"
3. Fedrigo (BTL) 11pts
4. Ballan (LAM) 9pts
5. Wegmann (GST) 8pts
6. Vaugrenard (FDJ) 7pts
7. Arvesen (CSC) 6pts
8. Pozzato (LIQ) 5pts

15:35 - Fofonov Takes Second

Fofonov, Wegmann, Fedrigo and Ballan have raced ahead of the others from the escape group and opened a small gap near the summit.

15:33 - Moinard Over The Top

Give the man 15 points! Mr Moinard has reached the summit of the Col de Portel in first place.

15:32 - Moinard Leads By 1’50"

As the remnants of the escape group passes the 1km to climb sign they are 1’50" behind Amael Moinard.
Pereiro’s advantage over the peloton is 1’45".

15:31 - Five From CSC Leading Peloton

There are now five riders from the CSC team at the head of the peloton which is 16’00" behind the stage leader, Amael Moinard.

15:30 - Moinard 1km From Summit

Moinard is 1km away from claiming 15 points for first place at the top of the Col de Portel.

15:29 - CSC Crank Things Up

The Silence-Lotto team is no longer at the head of the peloton. They have been replaced by three or four from the CSC team including the dual time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara.

15:28 - Cancellara Sneaks Past

Cancellara became savvy to the tactics of the Silence squad. He has just come around the left of the road. Another CSC rider tried to do so too but he was forced to ride on the grass on the verge for a brief while.

15:26 - Silence Spreads Out

The riders from the Silence-Lotto team that are leading the peloton have spread across the road to make it difficult for a rider to attack from behind as they ascent the very narrow road of the Col de Portel. There are five men from the yellow jersey’s team riding side-by-side at the head of the peloton that is now 1’20" behind Pereiro.

15:23 - Barredo Crashes

There has been a crash in the peloton involving just one rider. Carlos Barredo (QST) quickly stood up and doesn’t appear to be too badly hurt in the fall.

15:23 - Moinard Leads By 1’00"

Moinard has been able to build a lead of 1’00" on the 11 other escapees.

15:22 - Pereiro Leads Peloton By 35"

Pereiro has been able to open a gap of 35" after his attack with about 10km to climb.

15:21 - Pereiro Most Aggressive Rider In 2005

The year before he joined the Caisse d’Epargne team, Oscar Pereiro was voted the most aggressive rider in the Tour de France. That was in 2005 when he won the stage to Pau after being part of a four-man escape group that also contained the current Tour leader, Cadel Evans.

15:19 - Pereiro Attacks

The first attack from the peloton has come from the 2006 Tour champion, Oscar Pereiro.

15:19 - Agritubel Riders First Dropped

Jimmy Casper and Freddy Bichot are the first riders to be dropped by the peloton on the Col de Portel. The head of the bunch is still colored red with riders from the Silence-Lotto team.

15:17 - Moinard: 35" Ahead

Moinard is the only real aggressor so far on the Col de Portel. He currently leads the 11 others - Arvesen (CSC), Ballan (LAM), Botcharov and Fofonov (C.A), Elmiger (ALM), Wegmann (GST), Moerenhout and Velo (MRM), Vaugrenard (FDJ), Pozzato (LIQ) and Fedrigo (BTL) - by 35".

15:12 - Moinard Leads By 15"

Moinard’s advantage over the 11 others with 7km to climb is 15".

15:12 - Peloton 15’15" Behind At Start Of Climb

As Moinard pushes on with his attack, we can report that the peloton has just arrived at the foot of the Col de Portel with a deficit of 15’15".

15:11 - Moinard Attacks

With 7.5km to climb, Amael Moinard has attacked the lead group. He has quickly opened up a good gap and there appears to be now reaction from the 11 others.

15:07 - Pozzato Leading On Climb

The leading 12 riders are making their way along the perilously narrow road of the Col de Portel. It’s barely wide enough to fit a car and winds its way up to an altitude of 1,432m. The escape group has been led by Filippo Pozzato of the Liquigas team for most of the 12.6km long ascent.

15:05 - Peloton Near 2nd Climb

The Garmin-Chipotle and CSC teams are sending riders up to the head of the peloton as it approaches the category-one Col de Portel.

15:00 - 14’20" Lead

The 12 escapees continue to share the workload up front. They are still all together on the ascent of the Col de Portel. Their advantage on the peloton is 14’20".

14:58 - Columbia Moving Forward

After the feedzone several riders from the Columbia team moved to the fore at the head of the peloton. They have just been shunted back by riders from Silence-Lotto.

14:57 - Details Of 2nd Climb

The second climb of the 11th stage is ranked category-one. The leaders have begun the ascent of the Col de Portel which makes its debut in the Tour today. This is a 12.6km long climb that has an average gradient of 6.8 percent. The summit is 1,432m high and is at the 110km mark of the stage.

14:55 - Through The Zone Safely...

The bunch has exited the feedzone, riders have emptied their musettes and packed their pockets with food and drink. There were no incidents during this process that, at times, can be a prompter for crashes.

14:52 - Average Speed For 2nd Hour

The average speed for the second hour of racing in stage 11 is 42.0km/h. The average for the first two hours is 44.6km/h.

14:50 - Peloton 14’00" Behind At 84.5km

As the bunch arrives in St-Girons, the deficit to the 12 escapees is 14 minutes.

14:47 - Silence-Lotto Leading Peloton

Now that we’ve covered a bit of the history of St-Girons in the Tour, we can report on the adventures in stage 11. There are still 12 men in the lead (with an advantage of almost 13 minutes) and the peloton continues to be led by riders from the Silence-Lotto team.

14:45 - St-Girons’ Third Stage Start: 1995

The third time that St-Girons hosted a stage start of the Tour de France it would be a sad day for the race. It was stage 15 of the 1995 Tour and, after the first climb of the stage, there was a crash that involved Fabio Casartelli. The Olympic road race champion from 1992 would lose his battle for life on the way to the hospital.
The peloton is about to arrive in St-Girons, which is where the feedzone today is. The current deficit of the main pack to the 12 escapees is 12’45".

14:41 - St-Girons: Start Town For Stage 15 Of 1988 Tour

The second time that St-Girons (which is the next town the peloton will pass through) hosted a start of the Tour de France was in 1988. The 15th stage began in the town in the Ariege department and concluded at Luz Ardiden. The top 10 that day was: 1. Laudelino Cubino; 2. Duclos-Lassalle at 5’59"; 3. Delgado at 6’02"; 4. Theunisse at 6’31"; 5. Rooks at 6’40"; 6. Boyer at st; 7. 7. Pensec at st; 8. Pino at st; 9. Parra at st; 10. Roux at 7’03".
Duclos-Lassalle is at the Tour this year as a host of VIPs that are visiting the race.
Boyer is at the Tour as the manager of the Cofidis team.
Pensec is at the Tour as a consultant for France Television.

14:37 - St-Girons Has Hosted Four Start

The town where the feedzone is today has previously hosted four stage starts in the history of the Tour de France. The first was in 1984 when a five-man break contested the sprint in Blagnac at the end of a short (111km) stage. The winner then was Pascal Poison, followed by Eric Vanderaerden and Teun van Vliet. The current directeur sportif of the CSC-Saxo Bank team Kim Andersen was 10th, 57” behind the stage winner.

14:34 - Leaders At Feedzone

The 12 escapees have a lead of 12 minutes as they arrive at the feedzone in St-Girons (84.5km).

14:31 - Peloton 11’40" Behind

With 12km to go before the feedzone (in St-Girons at the 84.5km mark), the peloton is 11’40" behind the 12 escapees.

14:24 - Peloton 8’50" Behind At 69km

As it passed the site of the second intermediate sprint, the peloton was 8’50" behind the 12 escapees.

14:24 - Results Of 2nd Sprint

The points for the second intermediate sprint of stage 11 were won by:
1. Filippo Pozzato (LIQ) 6pts
2. Marco Velo (MRM) 4pts
3. Koos Moerenhout (RAB) 2pts

14:23 - Correction: Velo, Not Weening In Escape Group

Radio Tour has just corrected the call on the members of the escape group. Weening (number 139) of Rabobank was initially identified but it is, in fact, Marco Velo (number 159) of the Milram team.

14:13 - Peloton 8’10" Behind At 60km

At the 60km mark, the peloton is 8’10" behind the 12 escapes that broke free at the 39km mark. Gert Steegmans was part of the move but was dropped on the first climb. He has just been caught by the peloton.
The riders at the front of the 11th stage now are: Arvesen (CSC), Ballan (LAM), Botcharov and Fofonov (C.A), Elmiger (ALM), Wegmann (GST), Moerenhout and Weening (RAB), Vaugrenard (FDJ) and Moinard (COF), Pozzato (LIQ) and Fedrigo (BTL).

14:10 - Longo Borghini Abandons

There are now 167 riders in the Tour de France. Longo Borghini of the Barloworld team has just abandoned after fracturing his right collarbone in a crash earlier today.

14:03 - Peloton Now 5’50" Behind

The latest time check had the 12 stage leaders 5’50" ahead of the peloton that is being led by riders from Silence-Lotto.

14:00 - Prize Money Claimed After 10 Stages

The squad that’s leading the team classification, Saunier Duval has already won three stages this year. That has helped make them the top prize money earners after 10 stages of the 95th edition of the Tour de France.
The allotment of the prize purse so far is as follows:
Saunier Duval-Scott – 50,970 Euros
Team Columbia – 50,680 Euros
Ciasse d’Epargne – 33,970 Euros
Cofidis – 24,550 Euros
Gerolsteiner – 22,360 Euros
Agritubel – 18,200 Euros
Garmin-Chipotle – 17,340 Euros
Francaise des Jeux – 15,710 Euros
Rabobank – 13,890 Euros
Credit Agricole – 13,440 Euros
Bouygues Telecom – 12,760 Euros
Barloworld – 11,700 Euros
AG2R La Mondia – 10,890 Euros
Team CSC-Saxo Bank – 10,630 Euros
Liquigas – 10,440 Euros
Silence-Lotto – 8,270 Euros
Euskaltel-Euskadi – 5,860 Euros
Team Milram – 5,420 Euros
Quickstep – 3,220 Euros
Lampre – 1,050 Euros

13:56 - Peloton At 5’30"

At the top of the climb, the peloton was 5’30" behind the Botcharov group which now contains 12 riders. Steegmans was dropped on the col de Larrieu and is now 1’30" behind the stage leaders.

13:54 - Warm Conditions For Stage 11

LeTour.fr was recently in contact with a representative of the bureau of meteorology who is in St-Girons, the site of the feedzone today (at the 84.5km mark). The temperature in the air there is 26 degrees Celsius and 33 degrees at road level. The cloud cover of early this morning has lifted and bright sunshine is the theme of the day.

13:51 - Steegmans Dropped On Climb

Of the 13 in the lead all but Gert Steegmans are still together after contesting the first categorized climb of stage 11.

13:50 - Results Of First Climb

1. Alexandre Botcharov (C.A) 4pts
2. Pierrick Fedrigo (BTL) 3pts
3. Alessandro Ballan (LAM) 2pts
4. Amael Moinard (COF) 1pt

13:48 - Average Speed For First Hour

The average speed for the first hour of racing in stage 11 is 47.5km/h.

13:47 - 13 Lead By Four Minutes

Of the 13 riders in the lead group, Botcharov (C.A) is the highest ranked in the general classification. He began the stage in 35th place, 20’47" behind Cadel Evans.

13:45 - The Stage Leaders & Their Teams

The stage leaders, their nations and teams are:
Arvesen (NOR) - CSC
Pozzato (ITA) - LIQ
Ballan (ITA) - LAM
Botcharov (RUS) and Fofonov (KAZ) - C.A
Steegmans (BEL) - QST
Elmiger (SUI) - ALM
Wegmann (GER) - GST
Moerenhout (NED) and Weening (NED) - RAB
Fedrigo (FRA) - BTL
Vaugrenard (FRA) - FDJ
Moinard (BEL) - COF
Their advantage on the peloton is over three minutes. The Silence-Lotto team has assumed position at the front of the main pack.

13:40 - Peloton 5km From Climb

As it past the 5km to go sign for the first climb, the peloton was 2’50" behind the 13 stage leaders.

13:40 - The 13 Stage Leaders...

Arvesen (CSC), Ballan (LAM), Botcharov and Fofonov (C.A), Steegmans (QST), Elmiger (ALM), Wegmann (GST), Moerenhout and Weening (RAB), Vaugrenard (FDJ) and Moinard (COF), Pozzato (LIQ) and Fedrigo (BTL) are less than 3km from the top of the first climb. Their advantage on the peloton has grown to over two minutes.

13:39 - 13 In Lead Group

Pozzato and Fedrigo have caught the Wegmann group of 11 riders 4km from the top of the Cote de Larrieu.

13:37 - Garcia-Acosta 45" Behind

Pozzato and Fedrigo are about to catch the 11 stage leaders who are now 45" ahead of Garcia-Acosta and 1’15" ahead of Isasi.

13:36 - Pace Of Chase Eases

The rider in the yellow jersey has declared an unofficial truce in the war against the escapees. Cadel Evans and a host of others in the peloton have pulled to the side of the road to answer the call of nature.

13:35 - Composition Of Lead Group

Arvesen (CSC), Ballan (LAM), Botcharov and Fofonov (C.A), Steegmans (QST), Elmiger (ALM), Wegmann (GST), Moerenhout and Weening (RAB), Vaugrenard (FDJ) and Moinard (COF) are 15" ahead of two riders - Pozzato (LIQ) and Fedrigo (BTL).
Then comes two more escapees - Isasi (EUS) and Garcia-Acosta (GCE) at 28"
The peloton is at 55".
These time checks were taken at the 40km mark.

13:31 - Peloton At 39km Mark

The hope of the 11 escapees gaining much of an advantage is slim as the peloton appears intent on chasing down every move. We haven’t been told just what teams are responsible for the rapid pace.
The Wegmann group is 15" ahead of four counter-attackers and 38" ahead of the peloton.

13:26 - 11 Riders Gain Small Advantage

A group of about 11 riders have established an escape group at the 35km mark. Wegmann and Arvesen were the instigators of the move. We await confirmation of the others involved.

13:24 - Happy Birthday Miguel Indurain

Today is the 44th birthday of the five-time champion of the Tour de France, Miguel Indurain.

13:22 - Tiralongo In For A Long Chase

Paolo Tiralongo of the Lampre team has just punctured his rear tire. He’s about to be serviced by his mechanic but given the pace of the peloton early today, it’s going to be a long chase for the rider who turned 31 one week ago.

13:17 - Voeckler Caught At 27km

Voeckler has not been allowed any room to breathe. His escape lasted five kilometers before being swallowed up by a hungry peloton.

13:16 - Peloton Catches Four

The peloton is chasing down every escape. The four hopefuls who were in pursuit of Voeckler have been reeled in at the 26km mark.

13:15 - Four Riders Counter-Attack

Voeckler continues to lead the stage. He is being chased by four counter-attacking riders who have not yet been named by Radio Tour.

13:14 - One Rider In The Lead

Voeckler (BTL) is currently on his own at the front of the 11th stage. He is the first rider named by Radio Tour as being able to establish any sort of an advantage. The peloton is at the Barbazan at the 24.5km mark.

13:13 - 15 Riders Lead Briefly

There was a brief escape from 15 riders but once again the peloton has responded.

13:11 - 24km Covered

The peloton is still all together as it approaches the 24km mark of the 11th stage.

13:06 - Result Of First Intermediate Sprint

The points for the intermediate sprint in Saint-Bertrand de Comminges (19.5km) were won by:
1. Leonardo Duque (COF) 6pts
2. Thor Hushovd (C.A) 4pts
3. Oscar Freire (RAB) 2pts

13:04 - 13 Escapees Reeled In

Simon Gerrans of the Credit Agricole team has been setting the pace of the peloton and, surely, is intent on reeling in the 13 escapees before the first intermediate sprint. The capture was at the 18km mark.

13:03 - Casper Consults Race Doctor

Jimmy Casper (AGR) has dropped behind the peloton to consult the race doctor.

13:02 - 13 Riders Break Free

In the kilometers leading to the firsst intermediate sprint, a group of 13 riders have been able to escape the bunch. We await confirmation of the names of those involved.

12:59 - 12km Raced

The bunch is intent on keeping the pace fast early today. From the start, the speed has been high and the peloton is in Aventignan at the 12km mark and no escape has been able to break free. Ricco is currently holding last position in the bunch.

12:54 - 8.5km Covered... Still No Escape

The first of two intermediate sprints in stage 11 is at the 19.5km mark. At the moment the peloton is in Nestiers at the 8.5km mark and no escapees have succeeded in gaining any advantage because of the rapid pace. Every time someone tries to jump ahead, the peloton swiftly closes it down.

12:51 - Peloton Still Together

The peloton is at the 5km mark in stage 11. The pace is extremely fast early and until now, no rider has been able to establish an escape.

12:50 - Ricco In Lead Of Two Classifications: What Are His Chances

The winner of stages six and nine in the 95th edition of the Tour finished sixth on the day to Hautacam. Riccardo Ricco also inherited the lead in both the climbing and youth classifications. LeTour.fr is conducting a survey during stage 11 that relates to the confident Saunier Duval team leader.
The new leader of the mountains classification is Riccardo Ricco. Will he finish the Tour with:
- The polka-dot jersey
- the yellow jersey
- The white jersey
- No prize jersey
- He won’t finish the Tour
Be sure to click on the link and let us know your thoughts.

12:45 - Racing In Stage 11

The official start time for the 167.5km 11th stage - from Lannemezan to Foix - was at 12.44pm. There were 168 riders at the sign on, the one absentee after the rest day was Moises Deunas Nevado (BAR) who failed a doping control after the fourth stage and was informed of the result early today.

12:36 - Peloton In Neutral Zone

The peloton is currently rolling along in the 3.8km neutral zone at the start of stage 11. Racing will commence once Christian Prudhomme waves the white flag from the race directors car.

12:33 - Classification Leaders: Part 04 (White Jersey)

The former leader of the youth classification, Andy Schleck (CSC) suffered a collapse on the final ascent of stage 10, finishing 28th, 8’59” behind Leonardo Piepoli and a little over six minute behind Riccardo Ricco. The Luxembourger slipped down the rankings in the race for the white jersey from first to fifth after the stage to Hautacam.
Ricco was ranked fourth but now he leads the category that’s open to riders born after 1 January 1983 by 1’49”. Second is Vincenzo Nibali of the Liquigas team and third is currently held by the young Belgian Maxime Montfort (COF).
Ricco is the only rider eligible for the youth classification to be ranked in the top 10 of the general classification (ninth, 2’29” behind Evans).

12:26 - Classification Leaders: Part 03 (Polka-Dot Jersey)

The winner of stages six and nine, Riccardo Ricco claimed the lead in the climbers’ category after finishing stage 10 in sixth place. Until then, he’d only collected points for first place at the Tour climbs that featured double points as they were the final ascents of the stage and ranked category-two or higher. The Saunier Duval-Scott rider now has 77 points, 12 more than the former leader, team-mate David De La Fuente.
Gerolsteiner’s time trial specialist Sebastian Lang is ranked third thanks to the points he acquired during a long escape in the ninth stage. He has 57 points, all of which were earned on the stage to Bagnerre-de-Bigorre.
Bernhard Kohl (GST) is closing in quickly on the polka-dot jersey, rising up the rankings from eighth to fourth with 56 points, 10 more than Frank Schleck and 15 more than the winner at Hautacam, Leonardo Piepoli.
Ricco also leads the youth classification but he will wear the polka-dot jersey in stage 11.

12:24 - Classification Leaders: Part 02 (Green Jersey)

Oscar Freire started the 10th stage four points points shy of Kim Kirchen’s lead in the category that is dubbed the sprint classification. The Spaniard is a renowned sprinter but the Luxembourger has earned his points with good results in sprints, time trials and stages more suited to climbers. An escape in the early part of the stage to Hautacam enabled Freire to add 12 points to his collection.
The Rabobanker was in the green jersey for stage 10, but it was only because Kirchen was still clad in yellow. Freire will wear green again today while the former overall leader will be back in his Columbia team colors for the first time since stage five. So far this year, Kirchen has led the points classification for six days and the general classification for four days.
Freire has 131 points, Kirchen 124 and the winners of stages two and one, Hushovd (C.A) and Valverde (GCE), respectively, are ranked third and fourth with 105 and 96 points.

12:17 - Classification Leaders: Part 01 (Yellow Jersey)

Only one second separates the riders ranked first and second overall after 10 stages of the 2008 Tour de France. Cadel Evans (SIL) is the fifth Australian to wear the yellow jersey – after Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Brad McGee and Robbie McEwen – and he’s achieved this despite suffering a fall in the ninth stage.
“So far, so good.” That should be part of the sound-track for the Evans’ fourth Tour. It’s all about consistency for the Silence-Lotto rider who has finished in the top 10 in four stages so far. Frank Schleck has been equally impressive with three top 10 stage placings in the first 10 days. His 46th place in the time trial of stage four, finishing 2’14” behind Schumacher (while Evans lost 27 seconds) was the one sign of weakness from the winner of the stage to L’Alpe d’Huez in 2006.
Garmin-Chipotle’s team leader Chrisitian Vande Velde is ranked third, 38 seconds behind Evans. Austrian climbing specialist Bernhard Kohl was impressive on the stage to Hautacam, finishing fourth, a result that lifted him up the GC rankings from 13th to fourth!

11:13 - Three Climbs: Two Sprints

There are three categorized climbs in the 11th stage – the cat-3 Col de Larrieu (at 49.5km), the cat-1 Col de Portel (at 110km) and the Co del Bouich (at 145km). The two intermediate sprints are in Saint-Bertrand de Comminges (at 19.5km) and in Prat-Bonrepaux (69km).

11:02 - Official Statement From ASO

Team Barloworld will start the 11th stage, this morning in Lannemezan, wtihout Moises Duenas Nevado, who has been withdrawn from the team after being tested positive (EPO) at the end of the time trial fourth stage.
The rider was informed by Agence Francaise Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD) this morning.

10:56 - Welcome To The Live Coverage Of Stage 11

After a day of rest, racing in the Tour de France is due to get underway again soon. The beginning of the 11th stage from Lannemezan to Foix is at 12.35pm with riders to roll through a 3.8km neutral zone before reach the site of the start proper. The conditions are a little cooler than for the rest day which most teams spent in, or around, Pau. Unlike Tuesday, when there was barely a cloud in the sky, it is a little overcast but the temperature is mild and the maximum forecast is for about 27 degrees Celsius at the finish.
There are three climbs in the 11th stage, two ranked category-three, and one category-one ’col’.
Live coverage of the racing will commence shortly.