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#201
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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141km - The leaders' advantage grows to 3'30" as they approach Hondevilliers.

#202
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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137km - We're now approaching the second climb of the day, la côte de Doucy. It's another category four affair.

#203
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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131km - Cofidis' Sylvain Chavanel passes the summit of the côte de Doucy first and takes the three points. Juan Antonio Flecha is next (two points) followed by Gorka Verdugo (one point).

#204
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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130km - A fall toward the back of the peloton!! Remy Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux) and Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne) hit the tarmac, though they both seem okay to continue.

#205
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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127km - That fall has caused the peloton to split into three groups, the first of which is being led by the Liquigas, CSC and Gerolsteiner teams, who have upped the tempo.

#206
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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123km - Juan Antonio Flecha and Sylvain Chavanel fight it out for the sprint, and it's the Spaniard who takes it. He picks up the six points and six bonus seconds ahad of Chavanel, with Sprick taking third.

#207
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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120km - The peloton is back together now and the breakaway has seen its lead whittled down to 1'45".

#208
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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119km - Xabier Zandio abandons! His race is over. That's a blow for the Caisse d'Epargne team of Alejandro Valverde.

#209
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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117km - Though the majority of the peloton are back together, a few riders are still off the back, including Matthieu Ladagnous and Rémy Di Gregorio .

#210
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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115km - The average speed over the second hour of racing is 40.7 km/h.

#211
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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109km - The leaders are extending their advantage again. It's back up to 3'15".

#212
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95km - The gap has now stabilised at around the 3'20" mark, with things having settled down in the peloton.

#213
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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94km - Things have brightened up a little since the beginning of the stage. The sun is blocked out by clouds, though there are patches of blue sky about. No rain, thank goodness.

#214
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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93km - Remy Di Gregorio, who went down in a fall earlier on, has called the Tour medical car. He's still suffering from some cuts and grazes that need treating.

#215
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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90km - Bouygues Telecom general manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau: "Since the start of the Tour we have had one strategy: to get involved in breakaways on stages which are winnable. Despite everything, the riders are super-motivated. They are pleased at having avoided all the crashes so far."

#216
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80km - The gap continues to increase very gradually. 3'45" is the latest split as the peloton enters the feeding zone.


#217
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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78km - The escapees are approaching the second intermediate sprint of the stage at Soligny-les-Etangs. Of the group, Sylvain Chavanel is best-placed in the general classification (23rd, 56 seconds behind Cancellara), followed by Sprick (53rd, at 1'08"), Verdugo (77th, at 1'14"), Flecha (98th, at 1'18") and Knees (102nd, at 1'20").

#218
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75km - Yesterday's stage, the 236km trek from Waregem to Compiegne, had the slowest average speed of any stage in the Tour since 1947, at just 36km/h.

#219
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70km - Flecha takes the 6 points and 6 bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint of the day in Soligny-les-Etangs (Km 122.5) ahead of Chavanel (4 pts, 4 secs) and Knees (2pts, 2 secs).

#220
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68km - Of the escapees, Rabobank man Juan Antonio Flecha is the only one to have won a stage of the Tour de France. His victory came in Toulouse in 2003. He celebrated his victory by doing an impression of an archer. The name Flecha means "arrow" in Spanish, as Bryan van den Bos points out.




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