This, from Axel Merckx on Twitter:
Trying to understand what those breakaway guys are doing to each other... I must have missed something earlier....
Hey guys, what'd I miss in the Tour lately? Anyone I know getting some attention?
Good morning, Tim. None of the 195 riders still in the race.
Right, thanks for the update, Brian...
Orica and Lotto are really cutting into the gap. The breakaway now has 6 minutes, with 48km to go. That's nearly a half-minute gone in 3km.
Tim, I understand you've been in touch with Ted King this morning.
Like everyone watching the TTT unfold yesterday, waiting to see how the time cut would shake out was nerve-wracking. As a friend, it turned out to be really painful.
So connecting with him last night and this morning was important - he's so terribly disappointed and frustrated with how everything went. Here's a guy, like every other rider still riding the Tour, that put all of his energy and resources into having his best ready to go for 3 weeks.
Tim -- I was thinking there just has to be so much anguish for him. He'd finally made it, and seemed to have great form. Yet in pro cycling, it's not like the team will reward a rider just for what could have been a year before, I imagine.
Crashing the first stage and then dealing with the shoulder injury is one thing, but feeling as helpless has he did with the timing issues surpassed any of the physical pain.
It's been interesting to see the groundswell of support for Ted, who's not one of the biggest names, but is very well liked. Neal penned an editorial yesterday urging officials to reconsider. Many will say that rules are rules, but there is room within the rules to adjust the time limit, and that should be invoked in a bizarre instance like this, when the officials' decisions on the finish on Saturday directly led to the chaotic events that saw King injured.
An athlete at any level is the same, whether you're a weekend warrior or in the Tour. You put all you have into your performance - but there is still so little actually under your control.
Argos, Orica, and Lotto are contributing to the chase. Omega Pharma is showing itself as well for the first time. Perhaps Mark Cavendish is feeling as though he'd like to give it a go today, even with bronchitis.
With 41km to go, the gap is down to 5:29. The leaders will ride onto the Cat. 4 Côte des Bastides in just over 4km.
The day's final categorized climb goes 5.7km at 3.1%.
@Brian Rules are rules, no question about that. The thing that comes up, especially with those that follow the sport closely, is that the sport has a trust issue at hand. Whether or not an official timed with a stopwatch, didn't time at all or made up a time for Teddy is unacceptable. It shouldn't be a topic of conversation!
Of course, beyond the Bastides, the Col de la Gineste tops out just 12.5km from the line.
Tim, we were talking about Ted a little earlier. He told Belgian TV he was anticipating a bit of a midseason break before coming back strong in the last part of the season. Did he tell you anything about his plans for the rest of the season?
We were talking about a few different plans for him. All of which are a real step-down from racing for the next 2+ weeks!
By the way, for those who just joined us, you can see everything Ted said earlier today if you scroll back to the beginning of our live coverage today.
Are we going to see another 200 on 100 event from the two of you?
But he'll have plenty of race days left to try and show his talent again. He mentioned Elk Grove, Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge as the US races that he's slated for. In between those, we are talking about our 200on100 v3.0 plans has been high on the list.
Are we going to see Ted in any UCI 'cross races this fall?
@Logan Haha, he does some CX?
@Logan If we've learned anything from Teddy, it's that he likes to ride his bike. So yes, I bet we will.
Sicard and Delaplace are back in the peloton on the climb.
Argos is on the front on the climb and the gap is down to 3:33.
This is going to be close for the break. The bunch will have timed this perfectly, or just missed.
De Gendt and Lutsenko are up against two Europcar riders in Reza and Arashiro. I'd imagine the cagey Dutchman to get active on the Gineste.
Andrew spoke with the UCI jury president this morning. That Q&A is coming to VeloNews.com very soon.
How would you describe the tenor of that conversation, Andy?
Contrasting vibe at the Tour start this morning. Cannondale was glum about the King decision, while Orica-GreenEdge was over the moon with back-to-back stage wins and the yellow jersey.
Orica has the gap down to 3:15 and is pushing hard.
Well Ryan (you seem familiar, but by another name) Switching bikes wasn't ideal, but an unavoidable situation considering his shoulder injury. Mechanics are absolutely slammed during a TTT day so an oversight like that isn't surprising. Sadly for Ted, he's the one being exposed by that situation.
Jury president comes across as a reasonable, informed fellow - he insists he is just applying the rules fairly and objectively. He insisted there was nothing that happened during the race that unduly influenced King's ride that warranted an exemption. He pointed out that King was dropped 150m into the race, and Cannondale was well aware that King could be eliminated.
Amadio said Cannondale could not send a rider back to help pace King because then they would risk losing two riders instead of just one.
The gap is down to 2:50 with 25km to go.