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#701
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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56km - The Port de Balès is a 19.2km climb with an average gradient of 6.2%. The front group has split with Arroyo, Landaluze, Kohl, Ivanov and Tschopp going ahead.


#702
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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53km - The quintet lead the other 19 by a minute with the peloton at 8:16.

#703
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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50km - Menchov has bridged the gap to the leaders. Rabobank have a two-pronged assault on this stage, having sent the Russian up the road in a shrewd tactical move.

#704
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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47km - Menchov is driving the pace at the front while his Rabobank team-mates are setting a more sedate tempo at the head of the peloton. 8:21 is the gap. Will Contador wait until the Col de Peyresourde?


#705
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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45km - Ivanov has blown in the most dramatic circumstances, he is almost falling off the bike. Vinokourov, Cobo and Perez have joined Arroyo, Menchov, Kohl and Landaluze as Tschopp goes off alone.

#706
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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44km - Andrey KASHECHKIN, seventh on GC @ 6:58, has jumped out of the peloton.


#707
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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42km - Kirchen has caught up with the chasers and has gone off in pursuit of Tschopp. Landaluze follows the T-Mobile rider.

#708
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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41km - 4km to the summit of the Hors category climb and it's Tschopp with a 36 second lead over the remnants of the 24-man escape group.

#709
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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40km - Predictor-Lotto's Fred Rodriguez has abandoned.


#710
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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39km - Kirchen, 14th on GC at 13:16, has caught and passed Tschopp. Kashechkin has gained 70 seconds on the peloton.

#711
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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38km - Arroyo is after Tschopp-Kirchen with 1km to the summit as the mist descends.


#712
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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37km - Kirchen from Tschopp and Arroyo at the summit. There are only 12 riders left in the yellow jersey group. The top 7 on GC: Rasmussen, Contador, Evans, Leipheimer, Kloden, Sastre, Kashechkin plus pacesetter Boogerd, Evans' team-mate Horner, polka dot jersey Soler plus Mayo and Schleck.

#713
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32km - Menchov crossed the summit 45 seconds behind, along with Garate, Zubeldia, Cobo, Vinokourov and Turpin, but has now sat up for his team-mate Rasmussen on the descent. The yellow group crosses 6:45 behind the leading trio.

#714
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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25km - Kirchen-Arroyo-Tschopp have 35 seconds on the chasers with 15 riders now in the yellow group, trailing by 6:40.

#715
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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22km - The leaders have begun the 9.7km Col de Peyresourde which has an average gradient of 7.8%. A 12km descent to the finish follows.

#716
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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21km - The yellow jersey group also now includes the men in 8th-10th positions on GC: ASTARLOZA, VALVERDE and POPOVYCH.

#717
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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20km - No surprise that Tschopp has lost contact with Kirchen and Arroyo. The pair have a seven minute lead on the Rasmussen group and these two should contest the stage victory.

#718
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18km - Vinokourov has joined Kirchen and Arroyo at the front. Cobo and Zubeldia are also close to making contact.

#719
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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17km - We now have five men at the front as Popovych attacks the yellow jersey group.

#720
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16km - Mayo and Soler have lost contact as Menchov and Boogerd do the hard work for Rasmussen. Popovych has been reeled back in.





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