14/07/15 - 11:35
Tarbes - Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin
Tour de France • Stage10

Tarbes - Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin

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Froome has extended his lead to Van Garderen to 2:52 in the overall standings and we're only at the first of seven summit finishes.


The likes of Yates and Rolland are next... Van Garderen is at 2:31 and Contador at 2:51. These gaps are huge...


Gesink fourth, Valverde takes fifth and Thomas sixth... two minutes down... what strength in depth for Sky...


Third for Quintana at 1:05 - and he'll miss out on the bonus seconds for second place too.


Porte drops Quintana in the closing straight and crosses the line for second place, 59 seconds down.


Chris Froome is sprinting to the end and then raises both arms in celebration - that's the victory for the yellow jersey...


Just as he did at Ax 3 Domaines in the 2013 Tour, Froome has pounced on the first mountain stage of the Tour. Game over - this race is his to lose...


Under the flamme rouge for the yellow jersey... what a victory for Froome this will be.


Porte has almost caught Quintana - that will be a blow to the Colombian's morale.


Quintana has to alter his line at the same point - there are way too many fans on the road!


Froome needs to gesticulate wildly at American fans running ahead of him with flags draped around their shoulders - they're way too close, especially as the crowds are really encroaching on the road...


The climb is flattening out and there will be a slight downhill ahead of the final rise. Froome is riding away with this. Quintana 47 back now.


Valverde and one of the Sky riders - Thomas - have joined Van Garderen and Rolland.


Rolland has joined Van Garderen - but they're one minute down on Froome. Quintana is 35 seconds down. Contador is 1:35 down and Nibali 3:15.


Froome now has 15 seconds on Quintana and 45 on Van Garderen.


NOW FROOME GOES! The yellow jersey spins those legs and bounds clear. Porte's work is done and drops off, while Quintana will now have to dig deep.


Richie Porte driving the pace for Froome, who only has Quintana in his wheel.


Now Van Garderen has been dropped - he's riding with Gesink, who has been caught.


Yates has been dropped, and Contador is on the ropes too... and Valverde, Rolland and Gallopin.


Quintana is on the radio and Valverde drops back in line. We have a leading group of Froome, Poels, Porte, Thomas, Valverde, Quintana, Van Garderen, Contador, Valls, Majka, Adam Yates, Gallopin and Rolland.


ATTACK: Valverde dances on the pedals and darts ahead. He catches Valls but is then reeled in by the Sky-led group of favourites. Gesink still out ahead - he has 20 seconds.


Majka is there for Contador, I should add. Barguil has been dropped.


Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep) dropped too. There are about 15 riders in this leading group. Van Garderen is there still, with Barguil and Rolland there for France.


Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is the latest to be dropped. Sky are driving the pace - and it is that man Wout Poels, who is gasping for air in front of Geraint Thomas.


Rafael Valls has joined Gesink on the front. They have 30 seconds on the yellow jersey group, with Nibali another 20 seconds back.


Bauke Mollema of Trek rides with Nibali. The Italian has two Astana team-mates with him trying to nurse him back to the leaders.


Vincenzo Nibali has been dropped. The defending champion is off the back of the peloton. Contador is in Froome's wheel. He still has two team-mates - Kreuziger and Rogers, I think.


Another attack - this time from Rafa Valls of Lampre-Merida. He's off in pursuit of Gesink. Meanwhile, Fedrigo has been caught and dropped.


Attack by Robert Gesink of LottoNL-Jumbo. The Dutchman is riding in pursuit of Fedrigo. Movistar lose another man and so are down to just three - Quintana, Valverde and Erviti. Froome still has Thomas, Konig and Porte. Can't see Poels...


Thibaut Pinot is pedalling squares. The FDJ rider is off the back.


French housewives favourite Thomas Voeckler has been dropped too. The peloton is about 30-strong now and they have Fedrigo in their sights.


Some high profile casualties already: Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and both Andrew Talansky and Dan Martin of Cannondale-Garmin have been dropped.


Fedrigo, the lone leader, has less than 30 seconds now. It was a bold effort, but he'll now have to dig deep and make it to the finish. His Bretagne shirt is unzipped and hanging in the wind.


Van Bilsen has been caught by the Movistar-led peloton, who have Quintana in fourth position. The Colombian is wearing the white jersey today because Peter Sagan is in green.


The peloton is already breaking up thanks to this fierce pace-setting by Movistar. Meanwhile, Van Bilsen is the first of the escapees to fade...


Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis) start the final climb to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. It's the first HC of the Tour (15.3km at 7.4%). They have less than two minutes.


The two leaders are approaching the start of the final climb - they have just under three minutes to play with.


Yellow jersey Chris Froome is quite far back in the peloton, alongside British national champion Peter Kennaugh. Perhaps he dropped back to swap bikes - Alberto Contador said before the stage that he will change bikes before the final climb.


All change on the front: Tinkoff-Saxo, Ag2R-La Mondiale and Lampre-Merida make their presence known in the pack alongside Movistar. It's almost show time.


The gap is down to 4:20 for the leaders. If there's a French win on Bastille Day, it won't be from Pierrick Fedrigo - but a sterling effort from the former Bouygues and FDJ rider.


Movistar now have their entire team on the front - including Valverde, the Spanish national champion, and Quintana. The Colombian must be feeling good. He needs to start eating into Froome's lead - he has two minutes to catch up on. As for the break, they now have five minutes to play with.


Tour tipple: Traditionally, such a meal would end with a traditional chabrot - a custom of mixing half a glass of red wine in the bottom of one's bowl of garbure and then slugging it down. Seeing that we're in Gascony, this should really be done with a local rich, dark, tannic monk-made Madiran red.


Plat du Jour: Garbure - a thick soupy stew of ham, cabbage, cheese and stale bread - is peasant food at its very best and originated in the mountainous region of Gascony in the south-west of France.


Once again, it's Kenneth Van Bilsen who takes the point over the summit. He now has three points, one point behind current polka dot jersey Daniel Teklehaimanot. Neither will be in the KOM jersey tonight - the winner takes 50 points at the finish...


The leaders are onto the Cat.4 Côte de Montory (1.8km at 6.3%).


Greipel now three points ahead of Sagan in the points classification so he will have that green jersey back tonight - provided he gets to the top of the Col du Soudet...


Did you know: Tarbes, where today's stage started, is the hometown of French accordionist Yvette Horner, who was an integral part of the publicity caravane for 11 years in the late 50s and early 60s. Dubbed the Edith Piaf of the accordion, the pint-sized Pyrenean princess was one a pre-cursor to the podium girls you see today and still performs today despite being well into her tenth decade on the planet.


Greipel takes it ahead of Degenkolb, Cavendish, another Lotto Soudal rider and then Sagan - so the German will be back in the green jersey. An early birthday present for the Gorilla from Sagan, there.


Giant-Alpecin have formed a train for John Degenkolb which Peter Sagan, the current green jersey, has hijacked. Sagan has Griepel in his wheel, and then Messrs Cavendish and Coquard...


You have to feel for the two escapees - their advantage is coming tumbling down. It was 13 minutes not so long ago - and now it's under eight minutes. It's because the pace is up in the pack in anticipation of the intermediate sprint.


It's Fedrigo who takes the points through the intermediate sprint ahead of Van Bilsen, who earlier took the KOM points over the first two climbs. They clearly have a deal going on.


The gap is coming down pretty quickly now for Fedrigo and Van Bilsen. It's 9:30 now that we have three teams driving the pace behind in FDJ, Movistar and Sky.


Now FDJ have sent a man on the front - preparing the road for Thibaut Pinot, perhaps? The gap is down to 10:10 now for the leaders.


It's still a Sky sandwich between two Movistar slices of bread on the front of the pack - with Kennaugh as the mayo and Froome the mustard. The gap for the two leaders is 11 minutes so it's looking good for them. But remember - the final climb is a brute, and a stonking 15km long.


Believe it or not: The ski resort of La Pierre-Saint-Martin near the Spanish border boasts one of the most impressive sinkholes in the world - La Salle de la Verna. Over 1km underground, it's 245 metres wide and almost 200m high. It's so big that in 2003 a standard four-person hot-air balloon was flown inside the main chamber.


Both Valverde and Contador are off the back of the peloton - they must have dropped back for a call of nature or a chat with the team cars. The gap for the two leaders is 12min. Thomas Leezer of LottoNL-Jumbo looks like he has crashed - he's receiving a little bit of arrention and is blleding heavily from his nose.


Mechanical for Mark Cavendish. He'll have to fight back on before the intermediate sprint, which is coming up shortly.


Dutchman Roy Curvers encourages team-mate Warren Barguil and reassures him with an arm around the shoulders as the pair rejoin the peloton following the Frenchman's crash in the feedzone. That's nice to see.


Alex Dowsett - one of 10 British riders on the race, and the only haemophiliac - leads the peloton over the summit of the Côte de Vieilleségure 12:12 behind the two leaders. Warren Barguil, who crashed in the feed zone, crosses with a Giant-Alpecin team-mate about one minute back.


Movistar still setting the tempo through Erviti and Dowsett, whose right arm is heavily bandaged after his fall in stage four. Movistar now have more men on the front that Sky as the pack moves to 12:15 behind the two leaders.


Terrible luck for Barguil - he rode very well in the opening phase and was tipped to shine in the mountains, especially the Pyrenees. The 23-year-old is currently 14th in the standings, 2:43 down on Froome. It would be higher were it not for Giant's weak showing in the TTT. Finally, Barguil has a team-mate to help pace him back.


Van Bilsen took the point over the top - but Fedrigo put up no fight. He's here for the stage win, that's for sure. And if he wins it, well, the polka dot jersey will come as a result: there are 50 points available atop the Col du Soudet at La Pierre-Saint-Martin today.


Meanwhile, the two leaders are approaching the summit of the second Cat.4 climb - the Côte de Vieilleségure (1.7km at 5.9%).


Replays show Barguil on the tarmac along with his musette and so he must have got it tangled up in his spokes or something. He hobbles off the road, then slumps on the grass verge. It took him a long time to get going, and he's now with the medical car but some three minutes in arrears. It will be tough for him to get back into the fray today.


CRASH: Warren Baguil is down. The youngster from Giant-Alpecin has come off in the feedzone and it doesn't look good.


It's lunch time in the pack: the peloton is passing through the feedzone at Artix. The gap is 13:30 for Fedrigo and Van Bilsen.


The peloton is very strung out as Movistar and Sky continue to drive the pace. The gap is down to 13:50 for the two leaders.


The Movistar team of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde have sent two riders to the front of the pack alongside Team Sky. Both teams will hope for a strong performance from their GC contenders today.


Just to confirm: it was Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis) who crossed the summit of the Côte de Bougarber and took the solitary point for the KOM competition.


The gap is now 14:40 for the two leaders. A reminder that Fedrigo was the first to attack, after 7km today, and he was only joined by Van Bilsen some 35km later after the Belgian finally managed to bridge the gap. Such is the severity of today's final climb - a first-time ascent for the Col du Soudet from the north side during the Tour - that they will need a big as buffer as possible in order to hold on and contest the win.


History: The last Frenchman to win on Bastille Day was David Moncoutié in Digne les Bains in 2005, a year after Richard Virenque triumphed at St Flour. It's the first time a stage will have finished in La Pierre-Saint-Martin via the north side of the Col du Soudet (15.3km at 7.4%) so someone in the peloton will make history today. The start town of Tarbes is a regular fixture, though, with one of our escapees, Pierrick 'The Nose of Marmande' Fedrigo, taking the most recent win in 2009. It was his fourth on the Tour - can he make it five today?


Two leaders have gone over the top of the Côte de Bourgaber (1.4km at 6.2%) - and we're about to get live images so we'll be able to fill you in with all the details very soon.


A reminder that Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo is leading the green jersey classification. Despite still being without a win, the consistent Slovakian had a haul of 213 points - that's three ahead of double stage winner Andre Greipel of Lotto Soudal. Stage 7 winner Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) is in third on 159 points.


After months on the sidelines battling Lyme disease, Fedrigo was back to winning ways on the Tour in 2012 with another victory in Pau. Cue, of course, the third installment of 'The Nose of Marmande'...


The first of those three Cat.4 climbs are coming up. It's the Côte de Bourgaber (1.4km at 6.2%). There will be one KOM point up for grabs over the summit.


The two leaders have averaged 46.5km/h over the first hour of racing - that's very fast and explains why they are now a huge 13:30 ahead of the peloton.


Back in the pack, it's Sky's Ian Stannard who is setting the tempo for the yellow jersey Chris Froome. They won't be bothered by those two men, neither of whom are a threat on GC. Fedrigo is currently 113rd more than 34 minutes down while Van Bilsen is 48 minutes in arrears in 152nd position.


Pierrick Fedrigo followed up his win in Tarbes in 2009 with another scalp in the Pyrenees one year later, this time in Pau. And I couldn't resist writing a Nose of Marmande sequel to that original blog...


We now have two leaders out ahead after Van Bilsen finally managed to bridge the gap to Fedrigo. They have a large 11:20 lead over the peloton so it's looking good - for now.


Fedrigo really means business today in his bid to become the first Frenchman in a decade to win on Bastille Day... the Bretagne-Séché rider now has a whopping nine minutes over the peloton, with Van Bilsen 55 seconds back.


After Fedrigo won in Tarbes for his second Tour stage win in 2009, I wrote this admittedly rather childish Blazin' Saddles blog as a reaction...


It's very much a case of 'chasse patate' out there for Kenneth Van Bilsen, who trails lone leader Fedrigo by 1:10 now...


Fedrigo is really forging ahead out there - the French veteran now has over five minutes on the peloton and he's increasing his lead over Van Bilsen.


Lone leader has 40 seconds on Van Bilsen and 2:25 on the peloton. He'd be advised to join forces with the young Belgian - it would certainly make things easier for the two escapees. They'll need a big advantage before those three Cat.4 climbs or they risk being mopped up by a second break.


Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis) is on the counter-attack in pursuit of Fedrigo. The young Belgian was in the break on stage six last week so he knows the drill.


There were a few counter attacks but nothing has stuck so far. Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2R-La Mondiale) picked up a puncture but is back with the pack, which trails Fédrigo by 15 seconds.


Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché) has a dig and he's managed to open up a small gap. A quadruple stage winner on the Tour, Fédrigo's most recent scalp came at Tarbes back in 2009 so he has good memories of these parts.


It's a very fast start today. Being the 14th July - the biggest national holiday of the year in France - we can expect a fair few attacks from the local lads.


The stage is under way! 183 riders remaining from an initial field of 198. Bring on the mountains...


It's safe to say this will probably be Daniel Teklehaimanot's last day in the polka dot jersey: there are 50 points up for grabs for the winner of the stage, so whoever crosses the line first at La Pierre-Saint-Martin - and it won't be the Eritrean from MTN-Qhubeke - will also take the polka dot jersey. Teklehaimanot currently has 4pts in the KOM competition, with Alexis Vuillermoz and Joaquim Rodriguez - winners respectively at Mur-de-Bretagne and Huy - on 2pts.


There were two withdrawals over the rest day: Dutchman Lars Boom (Astana) went home because of an ongoing fever, while Italian veteran Ivan Basso (Tinkoff-Saxo) provided the shock of the rest day when telling the assembled media that he was suffering from testicular cancer and needed to return to Italy for prompt treatment. Full story below... Ivan - we wish you a full and speedy recovery!


It's a sunny day in the town of Tarbes in south-west France with a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone ahead of today's stage, which will be the first of three back-to-back summit finishes in the Pyrenees.


BMC's win saw American Van Garderen close the gap to 12 seconds on Froome in the general classification, with another BMC rider, Greg van Avermaet, now third at 27 seconds. Peter Sagan - the white and green jersey - dropped to fourth at 38 seconds, one place higher than Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Alberto Contador, who trails his rival Froome by 1:03.


Just to recap, before yesterday's rest day in Pau, BMC pipped Sky and Movistar in a very tight team time trial between Vannes and Plumelec. 0.62 seconds was the difference as Tejay Van Garderen's outfit beat Chris Froome's Sky in the demanding 28km race against the clock.


Good morning and welcome to stage 10 of the Tour de France. It's Bastille Day and so expect a flurry of French attacks as the race hits the Pyrenees with the 167km stage from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin.