CYCLING Live

Tour de France - *Bordeaux - Pauillac (CLM)

 

Live Comments

  1. 16:15 - Thanks for joining us today - be sure to return tomorrow for live coverage of the final stage into Paris.

  2. 16:11 - Fabian Cancellara takes the penultimate stage ahead of Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch. A titanic performance by the Swiss against-the-clock specialist.

  3. 16:10 - Alberto Contador wins the Tour de France by 39 seconds!

  4. 16:09 - Alberto Contador crosses the line 5:42 down on stage winner Fabian Cancellara in 35th position.

  5. 16:07 - Here comes Andy Schleck: he crosses the line 6:17 down in 43rd.

  6. 16:05 - SCHLECK ALMOST LOSES HIS FOOTING! The white jersey's right foot almost comes off the pedal there - that could have been nasty. Surely it's curtains now. Yes: 29 seconds is the gap now, so 37 seconds on the overall. Just imagine if it's 39 at the end of the day - the same amount of time that Schleck lost to Contador over that chain incident last week.

  7. 16:03 - Heer comes Sanchez, 5:50 down on Cancellara. The Spaniard will drop from third place to fourth tonight.

  8. 15:59 - Schleck is running out of steam - the latest check is 23 seconds.

  9. 15:59 - Menchov grimaces as he crosses the finish line 3:50 down in 11th place. Success though for the Russian - he'll be on the podium tomorrow in Paris.

  10. 15:56 - Now it's Contador's turn to ride under the banner... it's going to be a tense last 10km - and remember what Fabian Cancellara said: the last 7km are key.

  11. 15:53 - Schleck passes under the 10-to-go banner. Is his dream coming to an end?

  12. 15:51 - Menchov catches and passes Van den Broeck for dead.

  13. 15:49 - Yellow jersey Alberto Contador crosses the second check point 3:44 down in 32th place. Which means two things: one, he's still six seconds ahead of his rival, and two, neither men are going very well compared to the top finishers out there today.

  14. 15:46 - Schleck goes through the second check at 3:50 in 34th place. Roughly the same time as Sanchez, interestingly.

  15. 15:44 - Contador has six seconds on Schleck now ahead of the second time check...

  16. 15:43 - Menchov is 2:30 down in 11th position at the second check. But more importantly, he looks to be well ahead of Sanchez, who is approaching the point now. Here comes the Euskaltel orange man... He's 3:51 down on Cancellara in 34th. So it's adieu podium for the Spaniard. Menchov in the driving seat.

  17. 15:37 - Schleck is riding terribly close to the supporters on the edge of the road to make sure he takes the shortest route possible. Could be dangerous if one fan decides to take an ill-timed photo. Schleck throws away his water bottle and will take up another soon as he passes the feed zone.

  18. 15:35 - Contador looked so composed at the beginning but is now beginning to shift quite considerably on the bike. The Spaniard doesn't look comfotable out there. It could be the wind, it could be the pressure, it could be a saddle sore - who knows.

  19. 15:32 - Kloeden at the finish line - the German comes home 7:34 down. But we're not interested in that: at the back of the field, Contador now has a 4 second advantage over Andy Schleck in the virtual standings, so Schleck's lead is still 4 seconds.

  20. 15:28 - It's difficult to tell what the situation is though because the latest virtual time check showed Schleck four seconds down as opposed to six seconds up...

  21. 15:26 - CONTADOR SIX SECONDS DOWN! Andy Schleck has cut his deficit to just two seconds at the first check. But is he going too hard too early?

  22. 15:23 - Menchov has 40 seconds on Sammy Sanchez at the first time check - it's going well for the silent assassin.

  23. 15:20 - Luis Leon Sanchez is toiling out there - 4:22 down in 44th at the second check.

  24. 15:18 - Contador's lead is hovering around the 5 seconds mark - this is very close.

  25. 15:16 - Menchov is riding with a water bottle attacked to the back of his seat. It's a neat look. But he's still 52 seconds down at an unofficial time check.

  26. 15:14 - Contador is four seconds faster at this early stage according to race radio! But we're not at the first time check just yet.

  27. 15:07 - With a slight grin on his face, Armstrong comes over the finish in 58th position, 7:04 down. It's one Tour too many for the Texan.

  28. 15:06 - An unofficial time check at 2km shows Schleck and Contador on exactly the same time. Very interesting.

  29. 15:06 - Vino is 3:25 down at the second check in 28th position. Meanwhile an out of sorts Evans has the time to wave at the crowd as he whimpers over the finish line a massive 10:56 off the pace. That's the fourth slowest time of the day from the Australian.

  30. 15:04 - AND WE'RE OFF! Alberto Contador, the yellow jersey, powers down the ramp and already he looks to be in supreme form. The Spaniard looks like poetry on a bike. He'll take some beating today and should definitely finish in the top three.

  31. 15:02 - Basso comes home a massive 9:51 down on leader Cancellara in 123rd position. It's been a torrid 3rd week on the Tour for the Italian, suffering from illness and fatigue following his Giro win earlier this year.

  32. 14:59 - Here he is: Andy Schleck all in white (except some yellow cuffs) looks poised on the ramp. The Luxembourger looks very focused - but surely he can't recoup the 8 seconds deficit from his big rival and friend Alberto Contador.

  33. 14:57 - Third-place Sammy Sanchez has started. It remains to be seen if he can hold on to his podium place after that crash two days ago. Just two more to go now: Schleck and Contador.

  34. 14:56 - Roche is 38 seconds down on Vino at the first check. He started the day at 1:57 ahead of the Kazakh so it's going to be tight.

  35. 14:55 - Now it's Denis Menchov's turn. Can the Russian ride to a place on the podium today? Slight wobble at the start, but he's now on his way.

  36. 14:50 - Right: top five time. Van den Broeck is first to leave, the big Belgian heading for his best ever finish in the Tour. The Lotto man wasn't happy with President Sarkozy's presence atop the Tourmalet - wonder what he thought about Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz yesterday. Talking of which, how many Tom Cruise film references can you pick up in today's Blazin' Saddles blog?

  37. 14:47 - Armstrong is really struggling out there, passing the second check point 4:31 down in 47th. It seems ridiculous that the American was even considered for a top ten this year, let alone as a serious rival for Alberto Contador.

  38. 14:45 - Wiggins is 8th fastest at the second check, 2:01 down on Cancellara. Meanwhile, Rogers is over 8mins down at the finish. Andy Schleck is on the rollers at the start as Rodriguez puts his helmet on and zips down the ramp.

  39. 14:40 - Armstrong is a huge 1:45 down on Martin at the first check.

  40. 14:35 - Chris Horner heads down the ramp. Up next: Kreuziger and Hesjedal.

  41. 14:35 - Alberto Contador is on the rollers listening to some music. He's still in Astana colours but will replace turquoise with yellow in half an hour when he starts.

  42. 14:30 - Luis Leon Sanchez, decked out in red and yellow as Spain's time trial champion, gets underway just as the polka dot jersey Anthony Charteau comes home, a massive 10:27 down on leader Cancellara.

  43. 14:25 - Chavanel is just about to catch Mario Aerts. Meanwhile Levi Leipheimer rolls down the start ramp back in Bordeaux. His team-mate Andreas Kloden went a few minutes ago - and there's still one final RadioShacker, Chris Horner, to go.

  44. 14:20 - Wiggins powers through the first time check 31 seconds down on Tony Martin's target time. Promising.

  45. 14:15 - Here is John Gadret, Nicholas Roche's best friend from the AG2R team. The bald climber will have a shocker today - you can bank on him being caught by Alexandre Vinokourov, who is up next. And then wouldn't it be a picture if he's caught by Roche as well...

  46. 14:10 - Thomas Lovkvist down the ramp now. Gosh, that means the Swede is better placed than Wiggins in Team Sky. What a reality check for the Brit.

  47. 14:05 - Thomas is currently in 7th place at the finish, 3:38 down on Cancellara. Ivan Basso, winner of the Giro, is already on course. As is Sandy Casar, winner of stage 9. Carlos Sastre just down the ramp. The Spaniard won't enjoy this one. Old man Moreau left just before him.

  48. 14:00 - Big cheers for Lance Armstrong as he gets his day underway. It's a succession of underperforming stars at the moment.

  49. 13:58 - Bradley Wiggins, all in white with a union jack helmet, rolls down the ramp. Is this his moment? He's wearingf what looks like a pair of high top cycling shoes - either that or he's pulled his socks right up. Just over an hour to salvage his disappointing Tour.

  50. 13:55 - A focused Cadel Evans zips down the start ramp. No rainbow jersey for the Australian today - seeing that he is the road race world champion, he has to revert to his normal BMC jersey.

  51. 13:50 - Talking of Cunego, the Italian is now on course. Followed by stage 14 winner Christophe Riblon.

  52. 13:47 - CRASH! Garmin's Johan Van Summeren falls off his bike at the bottom of the ramp. That was embarrassing... no doubt Carlos Barredo will have some words with him later - the Spaniard did the same in last year's Vuelta prologue.

  53. 13:45 - Chavanel's QuickStep team-mate Jerome Pineau is coming to the finish. The former polka dot jersey comes down a massive 8:43 down. He's followed swiftly by Vasili Kiryienka who comes home just over three minutes down. No one apart from Damiano Cunego tried harder to get a stage win this year than the Belorussian.

  54. 13:40 - Next up: double stage winner Sylvain Chavanel. What a great Tour the charismatic Frenchman has had.

  55. 13:30 - Australia's Michael Rogers is on course, powering down Bordeaux's Rue Fondaudege. Rogers came into the Tour in fine form but it hasn't really worked out for him. This is his discipline though so maybe he can turn things round?

  56. 13:25 - Geraint Thomas passes the 36km check point 2:01 down on the Swiss chrono specialist. Pressure's on the Brit's team-mate Bradley Wiggins today - may be Sky's last chance of a win in this year's Tour unless something extraordinary happens on the Champs Elysees involving Edvald Boasson Hagan.

  57. 13:20 - Eurosport has caught up with Fab Cancellara in the finish zone: "It was a beautiful course for me. I am happy and proud to have done such a good time, especially after such a difficult three weeks in the saddle. My advice to Andy Schleck? He's got to take nothing for granted and has to fight to the end. It's a little deceiving because the end doesn't come when you expect it - there is still a little to more to go."

  58. 13:15 - Word on the rue is that it's getting windier out there today. Those early times set by Cancellara and Martin may prove hard to beat.

  59. 13:10 - In comes Zabriskie - exactly three minutes down on leader Spartacus. It's been a quiet tour for the loopy American.

  60. 13:07 - Team Sky's Geraint Thomas us currently on track to post the fourth fastest time of the stage, 50 seconds behind Martin at this same stage - the 18.2km mark

  61. 12:45 - Schleck, who is due out just before 3pm UK time, finsihed the TT last year 3:41s down on Tour winner Contador, which is not a great indicator for the young Luxemburger

  62. 12:25 - Former green jersey leader Thor Hushovd has finished the stage with the 43rd best time of the day - that's 9:03s behind stage-leader Cancellara and, more importantly, nine places and nearly two minutes behind rival Mark Cavendish

  63. 12:08 - David Zabriskie is pushing for a place on the podium in today's stage, but currently is only setting thr fourth fastest pace. At the second check point, the Garmin Transitions rider is 1:46 down on stage-leader Cancellara

  64. 11:41 - There's a little lull in proceedings now as there's a gap before some more of the challengers for today's stage win. And the general consensus among you lot is that Schleck doesn't quite have what it takes to overhaul Contador today. There's a bit of disagreement amongst you all though as to whether Contador can beat Cancellara's time or just fall shot of the Swiss rider

  65. 11:25 - Unfortunately for mgh0302, who predicted a Tony Martin win, Fabian Cancellara has now crossed the line 17 seconds in front of the German to take the stage 19 lead. mgh0302 also doesn't fancy Contador for today's stage. Anyone else?

  66. 11:23 - At the third check point, Cancellara has maintained his nine second advantage over Martin. //// So let's have your predictions folks. Who is going to win today's stage? And also, do you think Schleck can overhaul Contador's eight second advantage for the yellow jersey? Leave your comments below.

  67. 11:17 - Cancellara, who won this year's prologue, is absolutely flying now as he has made up a whopping 18 seconds between the first and second check points and is now nine seconds up on Tony Martin's split at the same stage

  68. 11:13 - At the first check point Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara is nine seconds behind stage leader Tomy Martin's time - can he make that up?

  69. 11:04 - Tony Martin has displaced team-mate Grabsch off the top spot for the stage win, coming home in a time of 1:01.31, 1:31s ahead of Grabsch. Meanwhile Jeremy Roy has taken the third placed spot, sneaking in front of O'Grady by just six seconds.

  70. 10:52 - Stuart O'Grady is the latest rider to drop into second place at the finish with a time of 1:05.02, behind Grabsch by 2:18. That time is inching down all the time. However, Mark Cavendish has also crossed the line and is down in 13th, 5:58 behind stage leader Grabsch

  71. 10:42 - SaxoBank's Nicki Sorensen has moved into second place in the race to win the stage, posting a time of 1:05.11, still a good two minutes and 27 seconds behind Grabsch's leading time

  72. 10:29 - David Millar has crossed the finsih line a full 2:32s behind Grabsch with Roux a further 49 seconds back in third but Tony Martin is now out on the course and is already 41 seconds up on team-mate Grabsch's time at the first check point

  73. 10:19 - Grabsch is the first rider to cross the line and he has notched up a time of one hour, two minutes and 44 seconds. Who is going to beat that? Time trial specilists David Millar, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are sure to have something to say about it.

  74. 10:05 - Grabsch continues to lead the way at the second time-check, with the HTC-Colombia rider extending his lead over second rider through, Anthony Roux, to 2:13s. Fabian Cancellara apparently rode the course this morning to get a feel for it with sporting director Brad McGee in the car behind him

  75. 09:54 - David Millar, the 2003 TT world champion before he admitted to doping, is just 0.43 seconds behind Grabsch as he passes through the first check-point. Fellow Brit Mark Cavendish and Germany's Tony Martin are now also out on the course

  76. 09:50 - The early staters are through the first check point with time trial specialist Bert Grabsch, from HTC-Colombia, setting the early pace. He already sits 1:05 ahead of the next-best rider

  77. 09:37 - The early starters are out on the course, one minute separating them at the start, but to fill the time before they reach the finish line, why not read the latest Blazin' Saddle blog? If you fancy having a look at that, all you have to do is click here!

  78. 09:33 - As we've already said there were few changes in the classifications yesterday, with Contador maintaining his eight second lead over Schleck for the yellow jersey. Petacchi took over the lead from Hushovd in the green jersey standing and that was about it. For a full look at the classifications, click here!

  79. 09:29 - There were no real changes to the classifications yesterday with Cavendish still trailing Alessandro Pettacchi, who took the green jersey lead after stage 18, and Thor Hushovd despite picking up his fourth stage win of this year's Tour. To have a watch of yesterday's finale, click here!

  80. 09:24 - It's another gorgeous day in France with temperatures in the Gironde region about 24 degrees, just about perfect for the riders. As yet there's no real breeze to write home about but later on that could change, with an easterly breeze forecast. To keep an eye on the weather, click here!

  81. 09:21 - To have a look at the stage profile, including further detail about both the start town of Bordeaux and the finish town of Pauillac, all you have to do is to click here!

  82. 09:19 - Francesco Reda's retirement during stage 18 yesterday means that there are now just 170 riders left in this year's Tour. To have a look at the full list, click here!

  83. 09:09 - It's the penultimate day, a 52km time trial between Bordeauzx and Pauillac, and it all comes down to this - Alberto Contador is in yellow. But the Spaniard, a two-times winner, is just eight seconds ahead of Andy Schleck. Time that is not impossible to made up on a time trial

  84. 09:08 - Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage from Stage 19 of the 2010 Tour de France