20/07/18 - 12:45
Le Bourg-d'Oisans - Valence
Tour de France • Stage13

Le Bourg-d'Oisans - Valence

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Confirmation of today's top 10 on the stage.


Degenkolb, Lampaert, Van Avermaet, Neilsen, Colbrelli and Pasqualon were all in the mix but it was really a three way affair with Sagan soaring from the slipstream of Kristoff to win by a wheel. Demare, despite his lead-out, was well beaten for third.


The green jersey came from behind to round Alexander Kristoff with Arnaud Demare beat out for third.


Victory for Peter Sagan!


Over for Gilbert as Demare launches...


A brave effort from the Belgian who still has a small gap...


Final kilometre now as Groupama come to the front - then Philippe Gilbert goes for a long pop!


Kristoff is freelancing today with no UAE team mates. Van Avermaet is getting in the mix, as is Sep Vanmarcke and Yves Lampaert. Sagan is quite far back...


It's all Trek for now buy Groupama and Bahrain Merida lurk with intent for Demare and Colbrelli.


Trek still have a dedicated train and Sky will disappear now that they've passed the magic 3-to-go point.


It's all strung out with a man from Bora on the front.


Groupama, Bora and Trek are trying to wrestle Sky away from the front.


Yes, all over for Schar who is already off the back of the pack after being swallowed up and spat out.


There's a tight left-hand bend with the road narrowing dramatically - but Thomas, in yellow, passes through without any problems in about fourth wheel behind three team-mates. Schar is doggedly holding on but will be caught very soon.


The French just love their roundabouts... and the peloton have Schar in their sights now. Sky and Sunweb are on the front to keep their men out of trouble.


Loads of roundabouts on this approach. And Trek-Segafredo have amassed on the front. Could a revived John Degenkolb take a routine sprint win and double up after his Roubaix heroics?


Under the 10-to-go banner goes lone leader Michael Schar. He has 23 seconds.


In the absence of Andre Greipel, Lotto Soudal have Jasper De Buyst as a potential card to play. But let's be honest, it's going to be between Sagan, Demare and Kristoff surely.


Sky have formed their train to keep their men Thomas and Froome out of trouble. A crash or a puncture here could derail things for either rider. The pace is not that high and Schar is still 25 seconds ahead.


There's a massive pinch point as the roar narrows ahead of a tight right-hand bend. The peloton manages to concertina together and fit through - but it's then all spread out across the wide main road afterwards. All very chaotic.


Just 25 seconds now for lone leader Schar...


I'll tell you what, LottoNL-Jumbo were brilliant yesterday with their two GC cards Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic. The Dutchman got in the main break with team-mate Robert Gesink before soloing clear with 73km remaining. He came close to becoming the first Dutchman to win on Alpe d'Huez since 1989 and then, once caught, battled to limit his losses. Meanwhile, Roglic finished alongside Nibali and lost just 13 seconds to the big guns. Kruijswijk is 7th on GC and Roglic now 4th. Not as stallar as Sky's one-two but nevertheless highly commendable - far more so than Movistar's experiment of having three leaders...


LottoNL-Jumbo, Ag2R-La Mondiale, Bora-Hansgrohe and Sunweb have come to the front of the pack alongside Direct Energie and Groupama-FDJ. Just 35 seconds now for Schar.


Scully is next to be caught as Schar goes in time trial mode to extend his lead to 45 seconds. The rangy Swiss is giving it his best shot.


De Gendt and Claeys are back with the pack now as the road snakes up hill on a small series of hairpins through a wood.


Now Claeys calls it a day. Schar zips clear and has Scully in pursuit - but the peloton are just 30 seconds back now.


Thomas De Gendt has sat up shortly after the 25km-to-go banner. He knows it's a hiding to nothing and leaves the other three riders to battle it out for the daily combativity award.


Another factor to consider is the possible Mistral winds which could have their say. Many teams will be on red alert in the finale. For now it's just business as usual with Groupama-FDJ leading the tempo as the four leaders are pulled to within 35 seconds of the pack.


Of course, there's another scenario for the win: Max Richeze, the Quick-Step Floors lead-out man of absent sprinter Fernando Gaviria, is no slouch and could be given a card to play. Timo Roosen at LottoNL-Jumbo may also have a similar chance for LottoNL-Jumbo given that Dylan Groenewegen is back home. Still, my pick for the win is Demare.


Nice touch from Bauke Mollema on a slight climb right there...


Who else could win today's sprint besides the obvious choices of Sagan, Degenkolb., Demare, Colbrelli and Kristoff? Andrea Pasqualon of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, perhaps, or Thomas Boudat of Direct Energie, maybe. Christophe Laporte is carrying some knocks but the Cofidis rider is in with a shout. Wanty, to be fair, also have Dion Smith and Timothy Dupont, who aren't slow either. I suppose there's always Julian Alaphilippe and Greg van Avermaet too, but that would be very unlikely.


Today's stage could save the race for so many riders. Sagan and Degenkolb already have wins but the likes of Kristoff and Demare are still looking. I'll tell you who could do with a boost - Bahrain Merida. After Nibali's withdrawal, a win for Sonny Colbrelli could put a smile back on their faces.


Nice neck of the cycling woods, is the Vercors Massif. To think how much more spectacular today's stage could have been - albeit a tad more dangerous, admittedly...


The peloton has no interest in reeling in the break just yet and so they're letting them dangle out ahead with 70 seconds to play with.


It's Tom Scully who takes the single point at the top with Thomas De Gendt not tempted to add another to his tally. Groupama lead the pack over at 1'03".


The gap is down to under a minute as the four escapees approach the Cat.4 Cote de Sainte-Eulalile-En-Royans (1.5km at 4.9%). Just the one KOM point up for grabs at the summit.


We're hitting terrain that's a bit more rolling now after that long schlep up the Isere valley. We have the second categorised climb coming up but the gap is down to 1'10" for the four leaders.


The average speed so far has been 45.5km/h and so it's not exactly trundling along - it just seems so slow and sedate after the drama of the past few days. It's still Groupama doing most of the work on the front, with a rider apiece from Bora and UAE lending a hand.


Darwin Atapuma has been on the front of the peloton for quite some time for UAE Team Emirates. The pack just went through the feed zone but it's all very piano, piano...


The gap is still just above the two-minute mark as the peloton edges through the geological marvel that is Les Grands Goulets.


Here's how that intermediate sprint played out just now...


Our man Matt Stephens met Didi the Devil yesterday... here's his report.


Thomas De Gendt zips clear to take the intermediate sprint at Saint-Quentin-Sur-Isere. Behind, it's the top five in the green jersey standings who share out the rest of the points with Kristoff beating Degenkolb, Sagan, Pasqualon and Demare.


Still another 100 clicks of this to go, I'm afraid. Why not watch this video on how Thomas won yesterday's stage while you're waiting for some action...


The gap is down to 1'30" as the intermediate sprint gets a bit nearer. Expect Peter Sagan to pick up more points for fifth place. And, you never know, there may be a tussle between Kristoff and Demare - mindful that should Sagan withdraw or crash out, they're still in for a chance of a podium appearance in Paris...


Chris Froome and the former yellow jersey Greg van Avermaet are currently making their way back to peloton after a call of nature. There's a lot of that going on at the moment. Well, something has to happen, so it might as well be a mass p***.


Geraint Thomas raised a lot of eyebrows with his victory on Alpe d'Huez yesterday but the stats tell a very different story...


The race passes through Grenoble - the epitome of mediocrity so despised by Stendhal - with the four leaders holding a 1'45" gap over the pack. You sense that this move is really going nowhere. I wouldn't be surprised to see it neutralised and another one formed before the next climb. Who knows. In any case, we should see a sprint in Valance in three and a half hours.


The battle for the white jersey is hotting up. Frenchman Pierre Latour (Ag2R-La Mondiale) currently leads the youth standings by 1'58" over compatriot Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). But Colombia's Egan Bernal is only 4'41" down and in the ascendancy after some solid days in the mountains for Team Sky.



A reminder of the chaos and carnage on Alpe d'Huez yesterday...


One piece of minor news - that's entirely unrelated to cycling, to be fair, and that got lost amid the drama of the Alps - is that Peter Sagan is getting a divorce from his wife Kate, whom he married less than three years ago. They had a son, Marlon, in late October.


It's De Gendt who leads the break over the summit to pocket the two KOM points. That puts the Belgian onto 14pts in the KOM standings which is enough for 14th place for now. The gap of the quartet is now 2'30" with UAE Team Emirates, Bora-Hansgrohe and Groupama on the front of the pack - working for their men Kristoff, Sagan and Demare, who should all feature in any sprint finish.


Bike change for Thomas Boudat of Direct Energie and the Frenchman doesn't look to happy about it. Boudat will have high hopes to get in the mix in any sprint today given so many of the top-tier sprinters are out of the frame now.


A reminder of the four escapees: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tom Scully (EF Education First-Drapac), Michael Schär (BMC) and Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis). Their gap is up to almost three minutes.


We're about to hit the Cote de Brie (2.4km at 6.9%). There are just three points up for grabs today in the KOM competition and so we won't see any change in the climbers' standings. A reminder that it's Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe - who won Stage 11 - who leads this competition on 84 points but he faces a serious polka dot challenge from compatriot Warren Barguil who is on 70pts. Barguil, of course, topped the KOM standings last year.


The two groups have come together and so we have four riders out ahead now with a gap of 2'30" as they approach the first of two lower category climbs.


All those withdrawals means that Peter Sagan is pretty much guaranteed a record-equalling sixth green jersey provided he gets to Paris. The world champion is on 339 points with his nearest challenger being Kristoff on 129 points and Demare on 106 points.


Six riders failed to finish the stage: Gaviria, Greipel, Groenewegen - who we have already mentioned - along with Marcel Seiberg, Rick Zabel and Tony Gallopin. Meanwhile two riders finished the stage but outside the time limit: Rein Taaramae and Dmitriy Gruzdev.


There were some huge losers yesterday on Alpe d'Huez. Dan Martin was dropped early on and conceded 1'45", Bob Jungels was three minutes down and Alejandro Valverde finished alongside Ilnur Zakarin four and a half minutes adrift. But those were small losses when compared to Bauke Mollema, who shipped 22 minutes and Britain's Adam Yates a whopping 29 minutes. Yates very much failing to repeat his brother's Giro stage-winning antics, but successfully emulating his ability to bonk on a huge mountain stage.


Things are relatively calm today following those back-to-back summit finishes in the Alps - both won quite incredibly by Geraint Thomas, the man in yellow who is currently eating a banana at the back of the pack. A reminder that the Welshman leads Sky team-mate Chris Froome by 1'39" on GC with Tom Dumoulin third at 1'50". With Nibali out, Primoz Roglic is up to fourth at 2'46" and Romain Bardet fifth at 3'07".


It's the Groupama-FDJ team of Arnaud Demare who have taken up the pace-setting duties on the front of the pack. With so many sprinters out of the race - Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen, Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish were al victims of the Alps - the dynamic for these potential sprint stages has been turned on its head. Suddenly the door has opened for the likes of Demare, Christope Laporte and Alexander Kristoff. Although that man Sagan is still very much in the picture...


Michael Schar (BMC) and Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) have joined forces in a bid to bridge over to the two leaders. They trail Scully and De Gendt by 20 seconds with the pack another 30 seconds back.


Stefan Keung (BMC) tries to bridge over and he's joined by a cluster of riders, including Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky. Yves Lampaert, the Belgian champion, looks up for it, too - and after numerous counter attacks that chase group is reeled in.


But it's Vanmarcke's team-mate Tom Scully who actually gets away - zipping clear with Belgium's Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal. They have opened up a gap on the pack.


There's an attack from the outset from Sep Vanmarcke of EF Education First-Drapac. The Belgian classics specialist looked primed for that one and he clearly fancies something today...


They're off! Christian Prudhomme, the Tour director, waves the flag from the back of his Skoda Octavia - and it's showtime for this 13th stage on a Friday...


The remaining 151 riders are currently in the neutral zone ahead of the official start. One big casualty from yesterday: Vincenzo Nibali, who crashed with 3km to go, went for tests in hospital after recovering to finish 13 seconds down. It turns out that he fractured a vertebra and has been forced to withdraw from the race. He was fourth on GC and looking in good nick, so that's a major blow to him and his Bahrain Merida team.


On paper, this should reopen the door to the remaining sprinters after a tough few days in the Alps. But when was the Tour last raced on paper? An early climb could prove the perfect springboard for a break while a succession of sharp hills – the Monts du Matin – in the final third could hinder the chase ahead of a speedy downhill run to the finish. Throw in the possibility of some Mistral winds and this is far from a routine transitional stage for the fast men. Here's the official profile...


Yesterday, Geraint Thomas became the first British rider to win on the mythical Alpe d’Huez after a thrilling conclusion to Stage 12 saw the Welshman out-kick Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet and Sky team-mate Chris Froome to extend his lead in the overall standings. Thomas beat Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) by two seconds with Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) pipping Froome for third place a further second back. Yo-yoing Spaniard Mikel Landa (Movistar) completed the top five at seven seconds, while Vincnezo Nibali fought back alongside Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) to finish 13 seconds down after his crash four kilometres from the finish.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 13 of the Tour de France - a transitional 169.5km ride from Bourg d'Oisana to Valence. One for the remaining sprinters or the breakaway stage hunters...