12/07/13 - 12:25
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Tours - Saint-Amand-Montrond
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Tour de France • Stage13
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Tours - Saint-Amand-Montrond
Tour de France - 12 July 2013

Tour de France – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:25 on 12 July 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Highlights 
 
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Win number 25 for Mark Cavendish - but the story of the day was those crosswinds and splits... quite astonishing stuff.

0km

New top five: 1. Froome, 2. Mollema +2:28, 3. Contador 2:45, 4. Kreuziger 2:48, 5. Ten Dam +3:01

0km 

Valverde will drop out of the top ten tonight - his group are set to arrive eight minutes in arrears, maybe more...

0km

The yellow jersey group crosses the line 1:08 down! Andre Greipel leads them over, and that's a big loss for Chris Froome...

0km

Mark Cavendish takes an easy win ahead of Peter Sagan, with Bauke Mollema in third.

0km

CAVENDISH TOO STRONG! A second win for the Manxman...

0,5km 

Chavanel leading out the sprinters - who has the legs?

1km 

Back together under trhe banner... now Chavanel on the front with Sagan and Cav on his wheel.

1.5km 

With Sagan marking Cavendish at teh back, Niki Terpstra goes for a long one!

2km 

Now it's getting a bit tactical because it's not just Saxo wanting to maintain the gap, but OPQS and Cannondale sniffing out the stage win...

3km 

It's still a Saxo-Tinkoff time trial on the front as we enter the final three kilometres....

4km

Eight minutes for the Valverde group now! All because of an untimely puncture...

6km

Froome has no Sky team-mates left - they have all blown, with the exception of Geraint Thomas it seems. But the yellow jersey is on his own, 10 back, in the pack. The gap is now one minute.

7km 

The leaders have 55 seconds now on this uphill grind. Cavendish is digging deep and looks knackered, with Sagan in his wheel.

8km 

Still Saxo drives the pace - and Contador is right to urge on the others, for Belkin's Mollema and Ten Dam will rise up in the standings too.

9km 

We're approaching that climb and Sagan is coming foward while Contador is rallying the group, urging them not to give up.

10km

Under the 10-to-go banner and the leaders have 40 seconds.

11km 

Remember, there's that small climb coming just up before the finish. OPQS may launch Chavanel as a Plan B - while Sagan could go for a long one too...

13km 

Lotto Belisol are also trying to close the gap for their man Greipel. Froome has a stony expression as he rides in the wheel of Greipel. Saxo are driving hard, but the gap is still 38 seconds so it's not getting any bigger.

14km

Sky have three riders leading the chase and they have reduced the gap to 40 seconds. The Valverde/Kittel group is more than six minutes in arrears now, with the Voeckler grupetto at almost 10 minutes.

16km

The 2013 Tour de France really needed a day like this - and now the lead is 45 seconds for the escapees. Chris Froome will be getting nervous...

19km

It's up to 30 seconds now for the Contador/Cavendish/Mollema/Sagan group over the yellow jersey pack. BMC have called off the chase so it's up to Sky now to close the gap. It's now five minutes back to the Valverde group!

22km

Saxo Bank are really giving it there all - he's benefitting from all these splits, and will be in the top three tonight after Valverde's wobble. Cavendish has Terpstra, Chavanel and Martin and has to be the favourite for the win if this group stays out. They have 20 seconds on the pack, so it's not a given. Meanwhile, Valverde's group is now a huge 4:40 down.

25km

The Valverde group is now a huge 3:35 down on the leaders now. He is going to plummet down the overall standings tonight.

26km 

The gap is 10 seconds for the leading group, who have numerous Saxo and OPQS riders inside. The likes of Rogers, Roche and Kreuziger are there for Contador, while Cavendish has two or three team-mates, including Terpstra. Sagan has just one Cannondale team-mate.

30km

We have about 15 riders in this leading group, including Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Bauke Mollema, Laurens Ten Dam and that man Contador.

31km

YELLOW JERSEY DISTANCED! Saxo Bank-Tinkoff combine on the front and force another split - and this time, Chris Froome does not manage to stay with them. Richie Porte has already been dropped, so Froome has no help from him, whiel Edvald Boasson Hagen is, of course, out after his crash yesterday.

36km 

The gap has grown again to 2:20 for the Kittel/Goss/Valverde group and it looks like it won't come down before the finish. There are two smaller groups off the back of the main pack, including one around Juan Antonio Flecha and another around Richie Porte.

40km 

Sylvain Chavanel, on his orange bike, is right on the front alongside Tony Martin and a load of Belkin riders.

42km

The Valverde and Kittel groups are back together, now 1:50 down on the main pack.

45km 

Cavendish is back with his team-mates on the front...

47km 

And now it seems like Cavendish is being distanced by the first group - which has split in three! Extraordinary scenes here in central France. There are groups of riders all over the road. This is quite unexpectedly brilliant.

50km

It's all got rather confusing. A splinter group has formed off the front of the Kittel group including Valverde, Stuart O'Grady, some Euskaltel riders, a Lotto and a cluster of Europcar (including Pierre Rolland following his puncture). They are 45 seconds down on the pack, and 15 seconds ahead of the Kittel group. Thomas Voeckler's grupetto rolls along more than five minutes down...

52km 

Puncture for Pierre Rolland, who swaps rear wheels with Yohann Gene before getting back on his way.

53km 

Australian Matt Goss is in the second group too - which explains why Orica-GreenEdge are back there leading the chase with Movistar.

55km 

Despite Omega Pharma-Quick Step's best efforts, the gap is coming down... Just over a minute as the leaders pass through the town of Issoudun.

60km

The gap for the Kittel-Valverde group is now 1:41. Quite extraordinary.

62km

At the first intermediate sprint at Saint-Aoustrille, it's Mr Intermediate Andre Greipel who takes maximum points ahead of Mark Cavendish, the green jersey Peter Sagan and, I think, Kris Boeckmans.

65km

Movistar have made some ruthless decisions following that puncture to Valverde: at first both Nairo Quintana and Rui Costa (8th and 9th on GC) stayed with the main group, but then Costa, the Portuguese Tour de Suisse winner, was ordered back, much to his discontent. So they only have the Colombian Quintana in the main group now...

69km

The Valverde-Kittel chasing group is now 1:20 behind the main peloton.

70km

No one expected such a fast and frenetic aspect to today's stage. At first it was an attempt for the OPQS team to distance their rival Kittel - but now it has become a Belkin attack on Movistar and Mollema's podium rival Valverde.

75km

Europcar - and most notably Mario & Luigi (Rolland and Cousin) - are also contributing to the pace setting on the front, bizarrely. They don't really have anything to play for - except not dropping off the back of the pack themselves. But given Rolland's lowly place on GC, it's odd they're giving it so much welly.

78km

The Valverde group are actually going backwards now, with Belkin sensing blood: both Mollema and Ten Dam could profit from this in the general classification. The cluster of Movistar riders will soon be caught by the Kittel chasing group. They are 40 seconds adrift now.

82km

The Valverde sextet (all Movistar) are 12 seconds behind the pack with the Kittel chasing group at 55 seconds. Belkin and Omega Pharma still set the fierce tempo.

86km

PUNCTURE FOR ALEJANDRO VALVERDE! The Spaniard swaps a wheel with a team-mate and is now surrounded by Movistar riders trying to pace him back - but he's already 35 seconds down on the leaders and rides in between them and the Kittel group. It's app happening.

88km

The Kittel chasing group is now 1:15 in arrears. The main pack is now coming to the feed zone - this will be interesting...

90km

Omega Pharma-Quick Step are still giving it their all on the front - as are Saxo Bank. Despite earlier reports, Andre Greipel is in this main group, so it's just Marcel Kittel of the big sprinters who has missed the split.

95km

That was an extremely generous of the race organisers to give the Cote de Crotz a Cat.4 status - it was merely a small mound in the road. Anyway, Pierre Rolland is allowed to ride clear and take the point to consolidate his lead in the polka dot jersey standings by a solitary point. Rolland, who's race strategy seems now to make it to Paris dressed entirely in red spots, now has 50 points and leads Froome by 17 points in the KOM standings.

96km

It's all over for the six leaders, who must have wondered what hit them. The main pack now has one minute over the Kittel group and a further 30 seconds over the smaller Voeckler group. All the big favorites for the GC are here in the main group as we approach the first and only climb of the day...

98km

If Kittel is concerned he doesn't look it. The German is tucking into a cereal bar as he rides along in the second peloton after that split.

100km

Belkin have come to the front to join the pace setting with OPQS. They have reduced the gap of the six escapees to just 40 seconds, but more inportantly, they have put 45 seconds into the Kittel group and 1:30 over the Voeckler group.

102km 

The upshot of this increase in pace means that the break's lead has been whittled down to just one minute.

105km

One reason why Omega Pharma-Quick Step are pushing hard is because both Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel are in the second peloton. The German sprinters got caught napping there...

108km 

Some of the names from the second group include the likes of Pinot, Taaramae, Gilbert, Coppel, Le Mevel and Hoogerland...

110km

SPLITS IN THE PELOTON: A combination of the wind and Omega Pharma-Quick Step's pace setting has created mayhem in the peloton, which has split into numerous groups on this long, rolling, straight road through the Tourraine. The likes of Thomas Voeckler, Thomas de Gendt and Damiano Cunego ride in the third peloton almost one minute back. The yellow jersey is safe in the main pack.

115km

Of these escapees, three have already been involved in breaks so far in the Tour: Lemoine (stage one), Perez (stage two) and Mate (stage six and 10).

122km

The escapees have reached the town of Coulangé at the 50km mark of today's stage. It's a milestone: the 2013 Tour has now gobbled up 2013 kilometres. Just 1,391 to go (and some mountains) until Paris.

125km 

The average speed for the first hour of racing today was 44.5kmh for the leading sextet of riders. Back with the bunch, Mark Cavendish has problem with one of his cleats and is having it checked out by a mechanic as he holds onto his OPQS team car.

130km

The big battle today will not only be for the stage win but also the green jersey points. By not contesting the final yesterday, Andre Greipel was leap-frogged by Mark Cavendish, who now trails Peter Sagan in the standings by 96 points. Greipel is a further 16 points back. Marcel Kittel, although he's won three stages, is only in fourth place, a huge 130 points down on Sagan, who looks all but sure of retaining his green jersey in Paris.

135km

The lead is up to 3:20 for the six escapees now - and Alberto Contador, fourth on GC, has just punctured and needs a wheel change. He's riding back onto the peloton with his Saxo-Tinkoff team-mate Sergio Paulinho.

140km

There is a punchy climb 10km from the finish today - but it shouldn't be enough to shed the pure sprinters. Sure, there will be a bit of a shake up, but there's no reason to think it won't come back together by the end. Although, the approach to Saint-Armand-Montrond is rather technical and with numerous bends - and so should one rider get clear, he could fancy his chances...

145km

There's just the one categorised climb today coming just ahead of the half-way point. It's just a Cat.4 mound and so won't have any bearing on the KOM standings. Pierre Rolland is the current polka dot jersey with 49 points to Richie Porte's 33.

150km

Should this break stay out all the way then Europcar's Yohann Gene would be the danger man at Saint-Amand-Montrond: he finished 10th in the bunch sprint on Tuesday and then 8th yesterday. Gene, the 32-year-old sprinting domestique, is clearly finding his legs in the second week of the Tour. The gap for the leaders is now 2:30.

155km

Yesterday, the peloton allowed the break to build up a huge nine-minute lead. They're not making the same mistake twice: the six leaders have just 2:10 to play with and the gap is not increasing very fast.

160km 

The temperature is already up to 27 degrees. It's another hot day for the riders. So far, not a drop of rain has fallen on the roads of France during the Tour - in stark contrast to May's sodden Giro d'Italia.

164km

The gap is two minutes for the six escapees.

165km

It was the Polish rider Niemiec who instigated the attack - and he's the best place on GC in this group, just under 25 minutes down on Chris Froome.

170km

BREAK: Six riders are out ahead after an attack from the outset. They are Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Yohann Gene (Europcar), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), Luis Mate (Cofidis), Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun).

173km

They're off! Christian Prudhomme waves his flag from the luxury of his red Skoda and we're on the road for stage 13 of the 100th Tour...

12:35

The remaining 181 riders are currently riding through the neutral zone at the start of today's stage. Just the one rider to retire after that big pile-up yesterday - Boasson Hagen. It's another sunny day, with temperatures in the mid 20s.

12:30

Britain's Chris Froome managed to keep up and avoid the pitfalls of an incident-filled final kilometres, but the yellow jersey did lose Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who crashed out of the race with a broken right shoulder. Froome still leads Alejandro Valverde by 3:25 and Bauke Mollema by 3:37 on GC but losing his second team-mate - and someone with such a big engine as the Norwegian - will be a blow for the race leader.

12:25

Yesterday, Germany's Marcel Kittel won his third stage of the Tour with a superb late surge to deny Britain's Mark Cavendish. Both sprinters avoided a pile-up 2km from the finish that held up German national champion Andre Greipel. It was an historic third consecutive stage for Germany - and a fifth in total in the 100th edition of the race. Amazingly, we are still awaiting wins for Italy, Spain and the host nation France.

12:20

Welcome to live coverage of stage 13 of the Tour de France, a largely pan-flat 173km trek through the Tourraine and Berry regions from Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond, which is pretty much dead in the centre of France. It's another day for the big bunch sprinters to come out and play... which generally means a win for Marcel Kittel is on the cards.