Good morning and welcome to VeloNews.com's live coverage of stage 17 at the 99th Tour de France.
The peloton is into the final day in the mountains, with a 143.5km run from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes. The route across the Pyrénées covers five categorized climbs, including the Port de Balès and the new Peyragudes finish, which makes use of the Peyresourdes.
Fredrik Kessiakoff is second in the KOM standings after Voeckler's raid on Wednesday. He's on the move early and told Eurosport before the start that he's "all-in. I have to attack. Suffering, that's what it's all about today... I won't give it to him. I will fight for it."
On that note, we have the following riders striking out on a wet, foggy day in the far south of France:
ROLLAND Pierre 29EUC+00:10:10
MENCHOV Denis 131KAT+00:21:06
MONFORT Maxime 16RNT+00:21:26
MARTINEZ Egoi 35EUS+00:21:41
VORGANOV Eduard 139KAT+00:24:20
VALVERDE Alejandro 161MOV+00:33:57
CASAR Sandy 141FDJ+00:35:11
VOECKLER Thomas 21EUC+00:37:19
VANENDERT Jelle 119LTB+00:48:22
LEIPHEIMER Levi 191OPQ+00:51:02
COBO ACEBO Juan... 162MOV+00:55:38
TAARAMAE Rein 81COF+01:09:51
MARTIN Daniel 65GRS+01:19:38
PERAUD Jean-Chri... 71ALM+01:20:14
KESSIAKOFF Fredrik 187AST+01:21:57
JEANDESBOZ Fabrice 95SAU+01:23:13
TROFIMOV Yury 138KAT+01:36:46
FEILLU Brice 94SAU+02:07:35
SORENSEN Nicki 179STB+02:14:56
KADRI Blel 76ALM+02:15:36
PLAZA MOLINA Ruben 168MOV+02:34:1
Sky doesn't appear happy with the move, however, and Boasson Hagen is hammering on the front of the peloton.
Riders are on the day's first categorized climb, the Col de Menthe, with 119km to go.
Trofimov, Menchov and Kessiakoff are pushing the pace in the break and Boasson Hagan is shredding the peloton.
The bunch is maybe 50 riders already and riders are falling away from the break.
Fifth overall Haimar Zubeldia is hanging onto the back of the peloton. He doesn't look to be feeling great in the early going today.
Boasson Hagen is drawing the break back, with the gap down to nine seconds.
Here's a look at our GC top 10 after Wednesday's stage to Luchon:
1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 74:15:32
2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 2:05
3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 2:23
4. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:46
5. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, RadioShack-Nissan, at 7:13
6. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 7:55
7. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 8:06
8. Janez BRAJKOVIC, Astana, at 9:09
9. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 10:10
10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ-BigMat, at 11:43
There's no respite today. The road pitched almost from the start at Luchon and barely flattens until the final kilometer on the Peyragudes Plateau.
Whoa! Rolland and Voeckler nearly taken off the back by fans.
Kessiakoff and Voeckler are attacking each other near the top of the climb.
Voeckler is punching ahead and takes top points over the Astana man.
The daily newspaper is tucked into the jersey and they're onto the descent.
The riders are descending in a fog that has visibility down to maybe 30 feet.
Peter Sagan, dropped on the climb, is passing riders like there's no fog.
Indeed. Riders will tuck newspaper into their jerseys atop a climb to block the cold wind from their chests. That's why you'll see soigneurs handing out the news atop big climbs.
The front of the race is down out of the clouds. Voeckler is trying to catch onto a few riders, including Kessiakoff and Valverde.
This descent is hairy. We have a Liquigas man that's shot up into the leaders.
Yes, that's Vincenzo Nibali. He's attacked on the descent and is with 2 riders bridgers to the leaders!
We'll see how the breakaway feels about the 3rd overall Sicilian coming aboard.
Nibali is at the back of the break, talking with Valverde.
Nibali and Valverde have had a handshake and the Italian is headed back to the bunch, perhaps a few euro heavier.
Nibali is back in the peloton with Sky on the front. That's racin'.
Meanwhile, with 102.9km to go, the break is at :20.
With 99km to go, here's the situation on the road:
We have a break with a 1:15 advantage. Those riders are MARTINEZ Egoi (Euskaltel), COSTA Rui Alberto (Movistar), VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar), CASAR Sandy (FDJ-BigMat), VOECKLER Thomas (Europcar), PERAUD Jean-Christophe (Ag2r) and KESSIAKOFF Fredrik (Astana).
Sky is leading the peloton as a number of riders attack.
Many riders popped off on the Mente and a grupetto is forming behind the bunch.
Weening, Leipheimer, Chris Anker Sørensen are trying to push ahead of the yellow jersey group. Wiggins is back at the team car talking to Yates and Knaven.
Ten Dam, Vino and Hoogerland are also bridging. This thing is going to get unwieldy soon.
There were a few riders around 10 minutes on GC in the first big group. That's a little too close for comfort, particularly with the weather the way it is. The hard chase from Boasson Hagen destroyed the peloton on the Mente.
@Seany, yes a little early, but it's late in the Tour, the climbing started from the gun in moist conditions and Zubeldia is a, mmm, mature rider. It may just be taking him a while to get the motor up to speed today. He's back in the bunch and we'll see if he comes good later.
It doesn't appear as though Voeckler has pulled his polka dot bike out of the truck this morning. His only sign of dots is the jersey, perhaps a sign of how close the KOM competition is.
@Josh There's no doubt in my mind that the Green Bullet was asking Nibali to go back to the peloton. There's no way the break would have gotten out to a minute, allowing support vehicles, and it would have failed if Nibali remained.
With 92.6km to go, the break is climbing the Cat. 2 Col des Ares with a lead of 1:44.