15/07/18 - 11:50
Finished
Arras - Roubaix
0km
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Tour de France • Stage9
avant-match

Arras - Roubaix

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Highlights 
 
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Just to confirm, Landa and Bardet both regained contact with the GC group. Only Uran will lose big time.

 

Amazing to see Degenkolb victorious at the site of perhaps his best ever result.

 

Van Avermaet stays in yellow. Sagan keeps green.

 

The full top ten.

DegenkolbVan AvermaetLampaertGilbertSaganStuyvenGreipelBoasson HagenDupont

 

It's going to be minutes not seconds for Uran.

 

John Degenkolb wins the stage!

 

The count back is on now for Landa and Uran.

 

Sgaan wins the sprint for fourth

 

Lampaert was third

 

GVA is not quite fast enough to make it by Degenkolb!

 

Degenkolb lights it up.

 

200 to go

400m 

They're cat and mousing but they won't be caught

 

Degenkolb looks like he'll lead it out

 

The leaders are having a chat as they wind down the metres to the finish.

 

Flamme rouge for Van Avermaet, Lampaert and Degenkolb!

 

The men with Sagan are Jungels, Stuyven and Gilbert.

2km 

Two kilometres to go!

 

Uran is now 1'16" back on the other GC riders.

 

Sagan's turn to attack - he takes three with him. Surely it's too late to catch Van Avermaet and co.

 

Tom Dumoulin winds it up. The GC guys are trying to shake eachother loose.

 

The leading trio have nearly a minute. Now begins the cat and mouse. Degenkolb is clear favourite if it comes to a sprint.

 

He'll join the Movistar group.

4km 

Bardet chases alone. He looks dejected.

 

Thonas and Froome are prominently placed in the GC group as Dan Martin leads them round a bend

5.7km 

Not again! Bardet has a puncture this time. What a disastrous day for the Frenchman.

 

Stuyven sits at the front of the favourites group, controlling the pace.

6.6km 

Our leaders are off the cobbles.

7km 

The Movistar train guiding Landa back is in the cars now. It'll be extremely diffiult to move up quickly now.

 

This is the last of the cobbles for the day, and what a toll they've exerted on this race.

 

Lamapert, Degenkolb and Van Avermaet must surely contest the stage victory. They have 49" on the chasers now.

 

The chase is going badly for Uran. His gap appears to be growin to the main contenders.

 

That's 10km to go, and the Van Avermaet group has 40"

 

Froome is there now in the second group. The three leaders pose no real threat for the overall, and this could be the GC men letting them go.

 

Van Avermaet, Degenkolb and Lampaert have 9 seconds.

 

No Chris Froome in the front group.

15km 

Gilbert attacks from group two to try and get to the leading trio.

 

Its tortuously slow now as the riders in the lead group take a savage right-hander.

 

The dust is really kicking up now, and Lampaert, Van Avermaet and Degenkolb have a gap.

17km 

This next, penultimate sectpr of pavé is a 4*. At this point in the race it's brutal.

18km 

Geraint Thomas is in the front group. As is Froome. Valverde, Yates, Martin, Quintana all here. If it finished now, Uran and Landa would be the big losers.

 

Direct Energie really want this today. Chavabel has counter-attacked..

 

The favourites are taking this moment of respite to refuel.

19km 

The breakaway shake hands, a job well done.

20km 

Dumoulin invites Sagan to pull through.

 

Mikel Landa is 1'00" off the yellow jersey group.

21km 

Uran is on Craddock's bike. If the Texan had quit when he crashed a week ago, where would his leader be now?

 

Lampaert leads the yellow jersey group. Sagan is in second position. They've finished sector 4 and are down to three to go.

 

What remains of the peloton is really strung out, while Damien Gaudin decides he's had enough of Janse Van Rensburg

 

This looks good for Stuyven, nobody chasing him immediately.

23km  

Jasper Stuyven attacks!

 

The breakaway are labouring over sector 3. Two to go!

 

Landa is with Movistar helpers. Uran is being paced back once again by three EF team mates.

 

Bardet regains contact with the Van Avermaet group.

 

The Landa crash. Really nasty.

 

Looking at the state of the peloton, it's hard to argue with him...

 

Mitchelton Scott are working hard now on the front of a group behind the yellow jersey. Obviously Yates has been held up somewhere.

 

Uran now has two team-mates with him to help get him back in contact.

28km 

The break are building their lead amid the chaos.

Dumoulin is back on his bike. No word yet on Landa.

Gaudin and Janse van Rensburg are rocking and rolling but they have 40".

 

Rigoberto Uran is off the back and isolated...

 

Greg van Avermaet is still at the front with Peter Sagan a few wheels back.

 

Sounds like Landa went down because of a pothole while taking a drink.

 

Dumoulin's turn to hit the deck. He's ridden into a ditch.

 

As the leaders hit the 2* Templeuve sector, BMC gun the pace up again.

 

That could be the end of Landa's race. It's defnitely a huge blow to any GC hopes.

 

It looks really bad for Landa. He was down and in a lot of pain.

 

Landa down!

 

The situation. Gaudin and Janse van Rensburg off the front with 43". The peloton are together, with Bardet and Mollema in a group behind battling to regain contact.

 

De Gendt is caught by the peloton. He doesn't look that bothered to be honest.

33km 

Things have calmed a little bit, but not much!

 

Movistar are rolling deep in the yellow jersey group, they lookj to have six men up there.

 

33 seconds for Gaudin and Janse van Rensburg

 

The Sky rider who crashed just then was not Froome.

 

Riders are all over the road. It looks like Fraile has been told to sit up.

 

Sagan has a gap. Behind him van Avermaet chases for the peloton.

 

Sagan goes!

 

As the gap tumbles, Gaudin and Janse van Rensburg have attacked the break.

 

Another Team Sky rider hits the deck!

 

Photo of the day?

37km 

Astana, Movistar and Sky are on the front of the yellow jersey group now. Bardet and co still chasing behind.

39km 

Of the GC riders, we're told Mollema and Badet were the main two that were off the back.

 

The break are onto sector seven of pavé. Lilian Calmejane looks absolutely knackered.

They have 51" of advantage now.

 

And the peloton has swollen again as there seems to be a pause in hostilities.

40km 

Romain Bardet has his whole team working for him now to close the gap to the peloton.

 

Van Avermaet, freed from any possible team obligations, is looking well up for this today.

 

The riders have finished the day's only 5* secteur of pavé, but they still have 7 more sectors to complete before the finale. The attacks are flying thick and fast now.

42km 

There are riders all over the road, but most of the GC men have managed to keep up with the accelerations of Gilbert, Van Avermaet and the other burly classics lads.

 

Philippe Gilbert attacks the yellow jersey group and Sagan, Valverde and Stuyven follow.

 

Lampaert is at the front of the yellow jersey group and he is drilling it. The breakaway is falling apart as Cousin & Edte lose touch again.

 

Van Avermaet was almost taken out too...

 

That looks like a crash for Geraint Thomas of Team SKy as they enter the Mons En Pevele section.

 

We're about to hit the Mons-en-Pevele secteur, perhaps the most infamous of Paris-Roubaix's sectors of pavé to be included in today's stage.

 

So far Oliver Naesen has been conspicuous by his absence when it comes to looking after Bardet. Is he riding for himself today?

 

Bardet has lost a minute on Van Avermaet and co.

 

Geraint Thomas is in the lead group, as is Kwiatkowski, but I don't see Froome there.

 

Romain Bardet's bike has broken. Again!

 

Astana are well placed and Sagan is following the yellow jersey's attack.

49km 

Van Avermaet attacks and the peloton is in smithereens!

 

Tejay hit the deck and a Bahrain Merida rider appeared to be involved. It has been a torrid day so far for BMC. If you've just joined us, their GC hope Richie Porte has already crashed out.

 

It's fair to say I'm getting quite excited.

 

Ooof, Tejay is back down in the dirt..

 

Meanwhile, it's easy to forget we have a breakaway up the road. Eight men remain at the head of the race and they are just riding onto sector 9.

They have 1'41".

 

There's a constant stream of riders chasing back on. On a given edition of Paris-Roubaix most of them would simply abandon, but that's the beauty of plonking a one-day Monument course into the middle of a three-week tour...

 

Yves Lampaert has flatted. No word yet on if his team mate Terpstra has regained contact.

54km 

Movistar are doing brilliantly so far, they weren't expected to excel over the pavé, but as yet they've been equal to the task.

Our first 5* secteur of cobbles is coming at 46km to go.

57km 

Luke Rowe has come alive today - as a classics rider, these are the days he lives for. He's also Sky's road captain, helping to marshal the team's efforts and make tactical calls on the fly.

 

Jerome Cousin loses touch with the break. The pavé is taking its toll.

59km 

We're hearing that Tejay Van Garderen is also adrift.

 

Sector 10 for the break. No word on Terpstra. The peloton is slowly regrouping.

61km 

It's coming back together after some awesome work by Taylor Phinney to close the gap. He's going to be vital to Rigoberto Uran's chances today.

 

Fuglsang is on the radio to his team car. He needs bringing back to the front ASAP.

 

There look to be 15 riders in the Froome/Quintana group.

 

Terpstra looks to be down! He is clearly upset with the other rider involved.

 

Kwiatkowski is on the front and he keeps dropping the rest of the riders in this group. He's looking up for this!

 

Team Sky are trying to force the gap wider. Behind them, BMC and EF are doing the work to close things down.

64km 

This elite group has opened a gap of about 12 seconds on the next bunch of chasers, which includes Nibali, Yates and Uran.

 

Gaviria is in this group, as well as his leadout man Max Richeze.

 

All Movistar's main men are there.

 

It's an extremely select group, Van Avermaet is present, as is Degenkolb and a host of Movistar jerseys.

65km 

As the peloton hits the flat terrain, a very dangerous looking group has got away. Froome is there, as is Sagan and Luke Rowe.

 

Dumoulin, Froome, Quintana and Landa all through safely.

 

Edward Theuns is on the nose of the peloton and he isn't waiting about.

 

Oss is waiting for Majka.

67km

Another crash! Fuglsang, Arndt and Majka are down!

 

We're seeing the first suggestions of attacks now. All the GC guys are battling to keep high up the peloton.

68km 

BMC take the front as they rumble over the sector. The break meanwhile have about a kilometre of flat road before the next section.

 

Sky aren't waiting for Bernal. They're on the front and Kwiatkowski is drilling it.

 

The Colombian climber was taking a right-hand turn and the bike slid out. To be fair to the lad, this is his first time racing on cobbles and he's not exactly built for pavé munching.

 

Egan Bernal crashes for Sky!

 

It seems as we approach sector 12 of the pavé the peloton is beginning to pull. The gap has tumbled to 2'10"

 

Michael Valgren is one tough cookie...

73km 

Our first four-star pavé sector comes at 67km to go. it is 2.4km long. Which is very long.

74km

Five kilometres until the next secteur. Who will be the first to really put the hammer down? Bora to boss it, or Quick-Step to put their foot on the gas?

77km 

The break has 3'10" on the peloton. They're still working well, but we're about to hit a lot of cobbles in quick succession.

79km 

I agree with Felix.

No, not that Felix....

 

More love for the Wolfpack. Terpstra has of course won Paris-Roubaix in the past, and is current Tour of Flanders champ too.

 

Now that's a punchy prediction. You wouldn't argue against a Quick-Step win given their incredible firepower, but Thomas to struggle on the pavé? We'll see.

 

Groenewegen is back on the bike and will have a long battle back through the cars. Meantime, at the front of the peloton they're all having a bit of a feed and a chat.

 

The double stage winner took a tumble, appearing to tangle with Sunweb rider Laurens Ten Dam. He's waiting patiently for a new bike but he looks pretty sore.

 

Groenewegen is down!

 

Bora are leading the way over the pavé with Quick-Step looming over the shoulder of Lukas Postlberger.

85km 

We've just seen a handful of riders up on the pavement and coming perilously close to the spectators. Will we see disqualifications, a la Luke Rowe earlier in the season?

86km

As the peloton comes thundering into the next set of cobbles, let's have your predictions for the stage... find me on Twitter.

88km 

Toms Skujins has been very prominent today. The Latvian champ and current polka dot jersey took a tumble yesterday in the same crash that ended Tony Martin's race - so he won't be enjoying this very much.

91km 

There's an air of calm on the peloton now, y'know, like right before a hurricane blows down your house.

93km 

Bardet has swapped his bike three times and keeps going back to his team car.

As Brian Smith just put it, "It's not a happy time for AG2R right now."

 

Bardet is having what I'd venture to describe as a Pinot-esque tantrum about his bike today.

 

Sagan takes a very small number of points for being next over the intermediate sprint. He doesn't need the points really, particularly given Greipel and Gaviria's relegation yesterday.

He leads the green jersey by 63 points.

 

Fraile and Thomas De Gendt exchange a word or two at the back of the break as the riders up front work through the turns. They look motivated and are working well together.

De Gendt 'sprints' for the points at the intermediate.

 

Matt Stephens has been riding the cobbles so we don't have to.

100km 

The red-helmeted men of Trek-Segafredo are up near the front of the race now. They have a whole lot going on today, with Mollema for GC, then Degenkolb (who has won Paris-Roubaix) and Jasper Stuyven (who definitely could win Paris-Roubaix)

 

Sylvain Dilier and Rudy Molard are guiding Bardet back now. They are right behind the convoy now.

102km 

Break is midway through sector 2. Gosh it looks bumpy.

 

Bardet looks calm, if a little bit irked. He isn't panicking though, and that's key on a day like today.

 

Gianni Moscon of Sky is back there with Bardet and one AG2R domestique. He has a minute to make up.

104km 

The break, now nine of them, are about to tackle the second section of the pavé. Bardet is finally back on his bike and chasing.

 

It is Bardet! That's terrible news. He's still not back on his bike. Much was made of his team car having the worst placing in the running order today. This delay is excruciating.

 

Puncture for a AG2R rider, not Bardet we don't think. He's getting a new wheel.

 

Valverde is doing a good job of staying near the front too.

 

Bora Hansgrohe have Peter Sagan very safe up the front. The peloton is on the cobbles.

 

Van Avermaet is prominent and very visible at the head of the peloton as they prepare to take the pavé.

108km 

The break take the cobbles and they're gunning along at 48km/h. Antwan Tolhoek looks to have had a puncture.

110km 

It's a two-star sector coming up - a nice wee warm-up for the bigger, badder sections to come.

I'm so glad I'm not a professional bike rider.

 

It'll be fascinating to see who does well over the cobbles and who suffers. You wouldn't pick Antwan Tolhoek out as a natural classics rider, he's 61kg.

 

We're about to hit two sections of cobbles, then an intermediate sprint and then another sector before a brief 'break'.

115km 

As often happens in the classics, the danger today is not so much from the cobbles as the battle for position going into the sectors. Right now everybody wants to be in the top 20 positions and we'll see plenty of jostling for position.

119km 

Here then are your ten men in the break. I wouldn't count on this staying as it is for much longer, as the pavé is bound to inflict some casualties.

L. Calmejane, O. Fraile, C. Haga, R. Janse Van Rensburg, J. Cousin, A. Tolhoek, O. Le Gac, T. De Gendt, N. Edet, D. Gaudin.

They have almost 4 minutes now.

 

Here's a Brompton's eye view from our man Matt Stephens of the entry to the first secteur. It begins at 108km to go.

 

The gap is growing as we gradually approach the first secteur of pavé. Right now they have 3'02" and about 14km to the first properly bumpy bit.

 

This is great news for Astana and their GC leader Jakob Fuglsang. Both he and Michael Valgren can ride the cobbles with the best of 'em.

125km 

Looks as though Van Keirsbulck and Claeys have sat up and returned to the peloton.

 

Dan Martin is hanging off the back of the peloton and he's calling for the medical car to come and redress his bandages.

128km 

If Van Keirsbulck and Claeys make the bridge to the break, we will have 12 riders at the head of the race.

 

Tensions in the break, it seems. And it's so unlike Calmejane to kick up a fuss...

 

Claeys and Van Keirsbulck are chasing across to try and join the break.

 

There's a flat for Tom Dumoulin, but the peloton is not pushing on and he should regain contact fairly easily.

137km 

Things have calmed a little in the peloton now. They are waiting for those able to continue who were caught up in the crash. The chasing five are about 35 seconds behind the breakaway. They should make contact soon and become a single break of 10.

 

The abandons are coming thick and fast and we haven't even reached the pavé. Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar is out, as is Lotto Soudal's Thomas Marczynski.

 

Guillaume Martin is being paced back by his team mates. We're hearing that Andre Greipel is also suffering.

 

From BMC's perspective, it's all about Greg van Avermaet now for today's stage win. They still have Tejay Van Garderen for the mountains, but he's no Richie Porte.

 

Nicolas Edet for Cofidis, Lilian Calmejane of Direct Energie and Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (DiData) also pursuing.

142km 

A group of five riders are looking to bridge over to the breakaway. Within the group is Chad Haga (Sunweb) and Olivier Le Gac.

 

And it's official.

 

Gutting for Porte. This year was looking like his best shot. Guillaume Martin also involved in that crash for Wanty, as well as Jens Keukeleire of Lotto Soudal.

 

And that looks to be Richie Porte's race over. Tears from the Tasmanian as he is mobbed by photographers.

 

That's terrible news for he Aussie. He's on his feet but the doctor is taking a long look at him.

 

Richie Porte is down and clutching his collarbone

 

Crash!

 

It's Jerome Cousin and Damien Gaudin for Direct Energie, plus Omar Fraile for Astana completing the quintet up front.

 

Thomas De Gendt attacking from the gun does call into question this tweet he posted last night. Some mind games from the Belgian breakaway supremo?

 

I'm not sure this break will stick, but there are a couple of Direct Energie guys there with De Gendt, plus one Astana rider and Antwan Tolhoek, who you'll remember did a huge amount of work yesterday for Dylan Groenewegen.

 

Aaaaaaand, Lawson Craddock adopts his position about a bike length off the back of the peloton.

 

Obviously a huge opportunity for a stage win today if riders can get in the break. Thomas De Gendt is providing the horsepower to get a break established right now.

 

And they are going full-gas from the start!

 

The race rolls through kilometre 0 and we're off!

 

Last night an absolutely stonking rumour appeared attributed to L'Equipe, namely that next year Richie Porte could be riding for Aqua Blue Sport. BMC, of course, is not set to continue as a going concern after the end of this season.

Aqua Blue are currently racing at Pro Continental level, but have experienced a huge amount of frustration in trying to get wildcards into the biggest races of the year. A signing of Porte's stature would certainly elevate their profile.

 

This is a vital question facing not just Sky, but many GC teams with multiple interests in the race. Do you wait for the main man, or protect your own interests?

 

After yesterday's crash, Dan Martin is cleared fit to ride today. He escaped without any broken bones but was quite battered and bruised.

Dan's namesake, Tony, was not so fortunate. The German TTer, who has won here on the cobbles in the Tour before, sustained two fractured vertebrae and does not start.

 

I can honestly say I have no idea what is going to happen today. The general consensus seems to be that Quick-Step are going to throw the kitchen sink at it, while many of the other teams will be focusing on just getting their GC leaders safely to the end of the stage and the sweet embrace of the rest day.

 

Nice little preview of the stage featuring King Kelly himself standing in the shower. What a treat.

 

Tom Owen here, standing in for your main man Felix Lowe, who has been off enjoying himself at a wedding in France this weekend. Not jealous at all. Nuh'uh.

 

Hello my pretties, we're live with the stage we've all been waiting for gleefully since the route was announced. Yes, it's Roubaix Day!