Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wed, Jul 11: TdF Stage 4

Better than the live feed from Serbian TV is the Versus live feed featuring Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Sorry I had to remove the link.

16:21 CEST, Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom), Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), and Christian Knees (Milram) are about 2:21 ahead of the peloton, with 55km to go.

Versus' live feed intermittently ceases to work.

The last of four climbs at Côte de Bel-Air has just been passed, and Chavenel takes three points.

45km to go, peloton at 1:40. Scheirlincxx (Cofidis) and Tosatto (Quickstep) crashed but are back on their bikes.

Lead is 1:15 with 35 km to go. CSC is pulling on the front of the peloton as ever. Flecha attacks and gets 6 points for the final sprint today.

26 km to go, gap is now just 1:02. The breakaway will be caught a lot earlier than yesterday.

Knees took off and now has 4-5 seconds on the remaining four riders in the breakaway group, but they started chasing Knees, and now they're all back together. This slowed them down a bit, but the gap is still just under 1 minute.

Versus' live feed seems stable now, let's keep the fingers crossed.

18 km to go, the gap again above 1 minute. Crash in the back of the peloton: Geslin (Bouyges Telecom) has to play catch-up now.

Now is the time to start cranking ... lead is down to 0:50.
11 km to go, 0:29 is the gap. This is going to be a sprinters' finish.
10 km to go, gap is 0:24 but melting fast ... 0:17 ... Flecha goes, followed by Knees and Sprick. The peloton catches the two other, now former breakaway riders.

Flecha and Knees go, and lose Sprick. They're just delaying the inevitable. Gap is at 6s now. Flecha and Knees shake hands, they're done and swallowed.

Boonen at the head of the peloton. 6k to go. Predictor-Lotto at the front to help McEwen. 5 km to go.

4km to go, 3km to go, Liquigas at the front now. Nobody in control, everyone waiting. Milram moving up. Wegmann at the front, 2km to go. Cavendish at the front. Lampre moving.

1 km to go, Quickstep in control. 550m to go.

Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) WINS Stage 4.

Provisional results:

1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
2 Robbie Hunter (Rsa) Barloworld
3 Oscar Freire (Esp) Rabobank
4 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
5 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre
6 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
7 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis
10 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile

McEwen came in 16th, Cancellara remains in yellow for another day. In the GC, Hushovd moved from #9 and 0:49 behind, to #2 with 0:29 behind. Klöden now ranks third with 0:33 behind.

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