From LeTour.fr: The site of the finish was bright and sunny early this morning, and particularly hot yesterday, but at the moment some clouds are starting to appear at Mont Ventoux. It's keeping the temperature relatively cool, around 24 degrees at the top. (77F)
Here are the nine men in the breakaway, and their GC placings:
20. S. Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) @14:57
27. W. Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) @21:54
50. D. Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) @44:38
57. P. Sagan (Cannondale) @52:58
58. C. Riblon (Ag2r La Mondiale) @53:52
76. A. Losada (Katusha) @1:03:56
81. P. Fedrigo (FDJ) @1:07:44
116. M Irizar (RadioShack-Leopard) @1:30:05
131. J Roy (FDJ) @1:42:30
From LeTour.fr: The nine in the lead are at the 45.5km to go mark, which means they have another 25km to go before beginning the ascent of Mont Ventoux. They are 3'40" ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by the Movistar team.
From Mikkel Condé's stage 15 preview: "Froome is the big favorite for the stage win. He lost a minute to third overall Contador and second overall Bauke Mollema (Belkin) in the crosswinds on Friday, and I’m sure he will be eager to take back the lost time time and show who’s the strongest rider in the race. Sky is missing Vasil Kiryienka and Edvald Boasson Hagen, but still has mountain goats David Lopez, Peter Kennaugh, and Richie Porte to set the pace and keep Froome in front. It’s not ideal, but it has to do."
I was on Ventoux in 2000 when Armstrong gifted the stage win to Pantani. I was new to pro cycling then, and the finish left me very confused
Great questions Neal. I think Froome would love to make a statement on Ventoux. His main rivals are going to need to try to bring back some time, but I don't see Sky allowing that to happen here. I think GC remains largely unchanged and Froome for the win.
Not sure I see Movistar's pace setting advantaging their riders once the climb heats up.
Tough to say. I'm trying to imagine scenario where someone other than Froome wins. I'm sure Valverde would like to take some revenge, and he's far enough down on GC that Froome might not chase in the final kilometers... then again, it's a stage win on Ventoux. I'm sure Froome wants it, and to take more time on GC. So yeah, Froome for stage win and added GC time. Not revolutionary, I realize.
The stage leaders are inside 400m from the intermediate sprint in Malaucene (at 208km).
Sagan can more or less soft pedal now. No more sprints, and he's locked up the green jersey. Now he can just take a free ride to the base of the climb with a 3min head start over the grupetto
Got such a kick out of that blast from the past. The VeloNews 'web page - as it is technically called'... From 1994.
Sagan wins the intermediate sprint and now has 377 points, out of a maximum of 725. This gives him 52% of the maximum points available so far, if he can keep this up to Paris he will be the first rider ever to break the 50% barrier. So far, Rik van Linden has gotten closest with 49% of the maximum available points. Back in 1975 he had 362 of the 738 available points.
From LeTour.fr: Two teams leading peloton
The long line of Movistar riders at the front of the peloton is more bunched up now. Sky has ridden up alongside the Spanish team.
The 20.8km climb to the top of Mont Ventoux has an average gradient of 7.5 percent. The climb starts gradually, with the first five kilometers not going over five percent. From here, however, the road really kicks up, with 9km at 7.5 percent or greater. It’s always very windy above treeline on the lunar landscape of Ventoux.
Some interesting analysis over on the TDF web site about Ventoux:
No one in the peloton of the 100th Tour has won at the top of the Ventoux but some have enjoyed success at the top of Ventoux.
Cadel Evans beat Robert Gesink at Mont Serein during Paris-Nice in 2008, the first year he wore the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. But this victory didn't happen on the road from Bedoin to the summit, rather it was on the other side – and lower down the slopes.
And, in the Tour's most recent visit, Tony Martin nearly earned a surprise victory for Germany after being part of an escape group that held off the GC riders, the climbing specialists and the favourites for the stage. The TT world champion was second behind Juan Manuel Garate in the year of his Tour debut.
The stories of these two riders – Evans and Martin – remind us that success can come from renown climbers or escape artists.
As it's not part of a mountain range, the days of the Tour to Mont Ventoux are traditionally long and on Bastille Day 2013 it will be no different: 242.5km, and only the final 20 uphill. It's a stage that begs for the brave to attack early but demands full concentration from the overall favourites. Chris Froome has his theories on how the race will be played out and although he has proven to be one of the strongest climbers in the race, he admits that he might not be chasing the Ventoux victory as the priority is GC: general classification ahead of a rare chance of glory... but the latter may just come his way by virtue of his overall ambitions.
With 30km to go the nine stage leaders - Sagan, Irizar, Fedrigo, Roy, Riblon, Losada, Chavanel, Impey and Poels - are 3'00" ahead of the peloton.
Riders already dropped on the climb to Bedoin include Cavendish and Hesjedal.