It's a short, uncategorized climb before a short descent to the base of the Ventoux climb
Sky on the front causing all kinds of damage already
Chavanel attacks the breakaway
Bon soir de France ... a stinker out there today.
Those tailwinds that pushed along the peloton all day turn into swirling crosswinds, then headwinds once they're high on the Ventoux - lower flanks of climb are protected are from the wind
In case you're just tuning in: 9 riders off the front with a 2min gap, the peloton is an hour ahead of schedule, and Team Sky is on the front on a short climb before the base of Ventoux, shredding the bunch
Stannard on the front for Sky. Chavanel going it alone from the breakaway.
Pierre Rolland gets popped off the back ...
This *was* 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
This is the only "easy" section of the climb ... once they turn into the woods, it's brutal all the way to the top
Chavanel needs about 10min head-start to have a chance to win this stage ....
When the king of the mountains gets dropped...
There should be some spectacular blow ups today ... Sky continuing to turn the screws
Kennaugh on the front for Sky now
There are steeper climbs, there are longer climbs, but the unforgiving grade - average 8% without one flat section - plus the exposure, wind, heat, makes Ventoux a beast
Gotta love Sagan ... riding a wheelie at the base of the Ventoux
Last time the race hit Ventoux, in 2009, it was the last climb of the Tour, and ended up being mostly a parade, as Astana rode to preserve its first- and third-place finishes for Contador and Armstrong, and Andy Schleck was unwilling to attack for fear of dropping his brother, Frank. Garate took the stage win from Tony Martin, but it was a pretty lackluster stage.
From the way Sky is riding, it's clear today won't look like that.
Three Skys still there for Froome
Chavanel hits the "real" climb of Ventoux - it's brutal here through the woods; almost no turns at all and 8 percent-plus all the way up to the Chalet
Irizar is another rider who had testicular cancer
Siutsou is gone already ... only two Skys left for Froome
Movistar takes over at the front with Rui Costa
Only Kennaugh and Porte left for Froome