15/07/19 - 11:25
Saint-Flour - Albi
Tour de France • Stage10

Saint-Flour - Albi

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Thanks for joining me today on the live blog. Felix Lowe is back in the chair on Wednesday.



The final result was Van Aert ahead of Viviani with Ewan in third.

Matthews took fourth after absolutely butchering another great leadout from his team, with Sagan grabbing fifth.


It's a time loss of 1'48" for the Pinot group. Lutsenko brings it home. A terrible day for Fuglsang, Porte and Uran.


Wout Van Aert wins it!


Trentin coming strong!


500m! Sunweb on the front to lead out Matthews.


Groenewegen is here too!


So, Viviani, possibly Ewan, definitely Sagan and Matthews with three Sunweb riders to help him.


Seismic changes on GC today. Latest check on Bennett says he has lost five minutes in the last 20km.

They have hit the 3km to go marker now so any potential crashers will get same time as the bunch they were in.


Over a minute separates the Pinot group and the Thomas / Alaphilippe group.

Viviani is in the front group, along with Sagan. It must surely be one of those two who takes the stage now.


Movistar have mustered four riders to try and bring Landa back from group three to group two. Bardet and Barguil have both made this front group, so all the French hopes are not lost.


Steven Kruijswijk joins in the pulling at the front. The Dutchman is Jumbo Visma's best shot for GC and cannot afford to be sentimental about his team mate, Bennett, who is out of the race now.


The gap just keeps growing from the Thomas group to the one behind. 43 seconds now for Pinot, Fuglsang and Porte.

It's Gianni Moscon's turn to take up the cudgel on behalf of Thomas and Bernal.


Absolutely no let-up from Ineos and Deceuninck. Michal Kwiatkowski is earning his rest day beer right now.


Quintana and Valverde are also up there for Movistar, while the other members of that team are further back looking to help bring Mikel Landa back into contention.

It's looking pretty hopeless for Pinot and co. This second group looks ragged.


The Pinot/Fuglsang/Porte group are holding the gap to 20 seconds, but the numbers are not on their side.

In between them and the leaders group containing Thomas, Bernal, Alaphilippe and Sagan are the pairing of Fabio Aru and Guillaume Martin.


Pinot's groups is now showing as just 13 seconds down. That's incredible work from Alexey Lutsenko to close that gap, who did so in service of his leader, Jakob Fuglsang.


Bennett stands to lose a minute and a half as it stands. The group with Pinot is just 30 seconds down. Porte is in the second group too.

Sagan, Van Avermaet and Trentin have made the move. Groenewegen, on the other hand, is languishing in the group behind.


The break has been caught. As soon as the GC teams lit it up, their chances went out the window. With 25km left in the stage, we can expect full gas, hammer and tongs until the finish line now.

The second group (with Pinot, Uran and Nibali in) is 27 seconds down.


Uran, Fuglsang, Pinot, Nibali. A lot of the big names have been caught out and are in the third group on the road.

George Bennett is in fact in the fourth group. Thomas, Bernal and Alaphilippe are in the second group, while the breakaway still has a small gap.


Lots of domestiques have been caught in the third group here. So too has George Bennett. The Kiwi was Jumbo Visma's best placed rider on GC at the start of the day in fourth.

We're just hearing that Rigoberto Uran may also be caught behind, which would be dreadful given it was his team that started the echelon party.


Matteo Trentin is babysitting Adam Yates as the two Mitchelton Scott join the rotation.


Wellens is dropped. Calmejane is dropped. This savage pace from Deceuninck and Ineos is putting a lot of riders in the hurt locker. More and more are losing contact and they've closed the gap to the break to a minute.

Yellow jersey Alaphilippe takes up the work on the front now.


George Bennett is next to get caught with a vest full of bidons. The peloton is still just about together, but it's been very strung out by the forcing of EF, and now Deceuninck!


EF Education First have come to the front now and they are giving it the big'un! Seb Langeveld looks to be turning himself inside out in this crosswind section but so far, no dice.


Jumbo Visma are back at the head of proceedings and they have stuck Tony Martin on the front to try and keep the escapees on a leash.

The men in yellow and black are riding for Dylan Groenewegen, but will also be happy to have stage 1 winner, Mike Teunissen, as a more than capable backup. If that weren't enough, they also have Wout Van Aert, who is not in the same league as Viviani or Ewan in terms of out-and-out speed, but can definitely shift it when he needs to.


The break look like they have picked it up again. Sensing the precariousness of their position, perhaps. The gap is back up to a much healthier 2'00" and they are kicking on.


Another gobbet from the Sean Yates interview in today's episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show.

Be sure to subscribe to the pod, wherever you get your audio-tainment.


It's the other side of this climb where we should see the longest period of crosswinds. If somebody wants to break the race up, that's where they have to put their foot down.

The break has passed under the day's final KOM kite and it's that man Berhane taking maximum points once again. The Eritrean rider has grabbed 20 points thus far in the climber's classification.


It has quieted down again in the peloton. They've not been able to shake loose any serious threats for either the stage or the GC, so the impetus has been lost - for now.


The break is on the final climb of the day. It's another Category 3, so shouldn't prove too taxing, but with the acceleration behind their advantage is really being eaten into and they could fail to make the summit before the catch is made.


There's been a split. About 20 riders were caught out there and they are 20 seconds down. Tim Wellens is among them. As is Rik Zabel.


And Team Ineos are picking it up. They are working alongside Bora Hansgrohe to make this part of the race as hard as possible.

You really feel for Sebastien Reichenbach who had been sent back for bottles just as the big men started to bring the hammer down. He's got a jersey full of heavy bidons and is battling hard to stay in touch.

The gap to the break is dwindling rapidly. They have 50 seconds now.


Wellens is back in now as Ineos lead the bunch down a short descent. Lots of nerviness already. The road is narrowing and everybody wants to be in the front 30 places.


Tim Wellens goes out the back after a surge at the front of the peloton. Bora Hansgrohe are the ones winding it up. The point when they turn into cross-headwind is at around 40km to go.


Team Ineos are prominently placed in the peloton now. They're not helping in the chase, they are up there to try and avoid any chaos that might be forthcoming.

The peloton is wending its way through the verdant green hills of Occitanie. The gap is just 1'39".


The Oracle has spoken.

No echelons, but maybe some good old fashioned panic.


On the subject of teams that might like to break this race up should the opportunity arise in the crosswinds later, Charlie here likes the look of Deceuninck. As a Belgian squad that makes its living winning classics, they will certainly know how to force an echelon.


Odd Christian Eiking takes 20 points in the green jersey competition as he wins the intermediate sprint in La Primaude. That changes absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but his Wanty DS will be delighted with the €1,500 boost to the team coffers.

Back in the peloton, Colbrelli bests Sagan in the battle for the remaining points.


The peloton is snaking from side to side on the road as they move through the outskirts of a non-descript French town. There's just the merest hint of an echelon, a gradual arc described by the line of wheel after wheel. A properly concerted effort to break up this race could completely change the complexion of the general classification going into the race's first rest day.

The questions are, will the winds blow strongly enough to force some gaps? And does any team have enough left in the tank after 10 consecutive days of aggressive racing to really Give It The Big Hoon™️.


Perhaps it was the promise of food that spurred the peloton on. They have just gone through the corridor of cuisine, the gauntlet of grub, the fastlane of feedbags.

What I'm saying is they've gone through the feed zone.


A slight increase in the pace from the peloton has nudged the gap back down to nearer two-and-a-half minutes. Might we see an early catch and a second breakaway?


If the Eritrean rider gets those last two points as well he'll finish the day on 20. Just 23 short of Tim Wellens.

The wind is beginning to blow now. Dare we dream of crosswinds and echelons?


Berhane chucks a few more mountains points into his bucket at the summit of the Côte d'Espailon. One more climb and two more points on offer in this stage, plus an intermediate sprint at 90km to got.


We are really hitting our stride now as we approach the second half of this truly gorgeous stage.


The Lotto sports directors must be reading the blog, they've chucked a man on the front of the peloton to help out the workers from Jumbo Visma and Deceuninck.




The gap remains just shy of three minutes with 70-odd kilometres under the wheels. It's playing nicely into the hands of the sprinters at the moment.

Up for this today will be Caleb Ewan, yet to open his account at this year's Tour. The Aussie rider has notched two thirds and a second place in the sprint finales thus far, but has been bested by both Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen. Not to mention stage one surprise victor, Mike Teunissen.


Shall we do one of those 'names in the break' updates?

Go on then...

Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Michael Schaer (CCC Team), Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Mads Wurtz (Katusha Alpecin).


Sean Yates going in pretty hard on Chris Froome over the events of the 2012 Tour de France when, many believe, Froome went against team orders and attacked his leader, Bradley Wiggins.

The whole explosive interview with Yates is on the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show out today. Do be sure to download it on your podcast medium of choice and make sure to subscribe to all future updates.


Absolutely gorgeous day out there on the roads. Hay bales, tricolore flags. It's so terribly, terribly French.


The gap is nearly at three minutes. They just need another 10 to be in with a serious chance at winning the stage.

Tony Martin is policing the gap for his team mate, Dylan Groenewegen.


Berhane is a decent climber and would dearly love to recreate the achievement of his countryman, Daniel Teklehaimanot, who wore the polka dot jersey in the 2015 Tour.

The Eritrean from Cofidis has 16 points in the king of the mountains classification now by my count, moving above Dylan Teuns into fifth.


Berhane moves to the front of the break to grab maximum points on the Category 3 climb. Nobody else looks particularly bothered.


Barely worthy of the hashtag.


We've got some very cool on board footage from yesterday for you, including the densely packed Bastille Day crowds.


Not long to go now before the break hits the next categorised climb, the Côte de Chaudes-Aigue.

It's a fairly paltry lead they've been allowed by the peloton, though, and I rate their chances at about 0.5 out of 100.


Do not look beneath the canopy.


Pick that one out of the net, Felix.


Felix Lowe pointing out here that I have been a little remiss in my duties over the weekend.

He'll be back to right the ship on Wednesday.


Strong winds are blowing in Albi at the moment. It's a cross-tailwind for most of the day but there's a point with about 40km to go where it becomes a cross-headwind. Any classics squad worth its salt should take that as an opportunity to smash things apart.


The quintet becomes a sextet. Michael Schaer has joined up with the leaders. He's a good solid engine to have in a breakaway and the escape's chances of success just creeped up a little bit.


A perfect moment to relive yesterday's magical first Tour de France stage win for Daryl Impey.

Video - Impey - 'To finally nail a Tour de France stage is a dream come true'


Right that's it I reckon. The gap stretches out to 1'44" and peloton are collectively stopping for a comfort break.

A scant 205km to go!


The peloton was having absolutely none of that Sagan/Matthews move. Now it's Michael Schaer's turn to try and get across.


Michael Matthews and Peter Sagan are counter attacking to try and get across to the break. This is an interesting move.


Apparently, over the last few nights the Cofidis team have put each of their riders into isolation to try and prevent the spread of the gastric troubles that led Christophe Laporte and Nicolas Edet to leave the race.

Their Eritrean rider, Natnael Berhane, is in the break today so it must've done some good.


The peloton is doing that blocky, flat-fronted thing that signifies they are happy with the formation of the break.


Gallopin, Berhane, Eiking, Wurtz and Turgis have formed a quintet up front and this looks like it should stick.


We're off and racing here in France. Lilian Calmejane is among the first riders to give it a dig, followed immediately by Nils Politt. For my money, this is going to be a thankless task today and I'm amazed a rider like Calmejane fancies it.


Over in Italy, Annemiek van Vleuten sealed an awesome Giro Rosa victory yesterday. Our man Graham Wilgoss spoke to her earlier in the race for The Bradley Wiggins Show.


We had two wins for the break in a row over the weekend. Will it be one more? Or are the opportunists' opportunities over for now?


217km to contend with today, with a loss of 646m of altitude from the start in Saint-Flour to the finish in Albi.

The last man to win in Albi at the Tour? Peter Sagan, of course. He beat John Degenkolb, Daniele Bennati and Michal Kwiatkowski in a sprint. In one of those beautiful quirks of history, the man wearing yellow that day in 2013 was Daryl Impey, who bagged his first Tour de France stage win yesterday.


Vicenzo Nibali lost a surprising amount of time over the weekend, but replied to critics yesterday in his own diplomatic style, describing them as people who...

" just watch the Tour de France on TV, drink Coca-Cola, eat popcorn, and criticise people on social media"


It's me, Tom Owen, manning the live blog today, standing in for Felix Lowe.

Ever the dedicated professional though, Felix couldn't help himself from giving some analysis of what we might expect.


Dylan Groenwegen is one of the favourites today, which is all the excuse I need to throw this remarkable piece of eurotechno nonsense into the blog.

Behold, the Dylan Groenewegen Hay Bale Song.


Morning all! Welcome to the Eurosport live blog for stage 10 of the Tour de France from Saint-Flour to Albi.

It's a downhill day today and looks very much like coming down to the sprinters.