Cycling Live

Tour de France - Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon


Live Comments

  1. 0km - So, there will be no change whatsoever in the top three tonight - but Cadel Evans will drop considerably down the standings after his terrible day.

  2. 0km - Here come the three top men in the GC: Nibali leads them over, with Wiggins and Froome right in his wheel 7:12 down on Voeckler.

  3. 0km - Dan Martin crosses the line 6:10 down to lead in a cluster of riders from that initial break away group.

  4. 0km - Next up: Jens Voigt, the German veteran, who crosses the line 4:20 down.

  5. 0km - Vino loses his footing on a pedal and will lose out on the third place. Izagirre frosses the line 3:25 down for third, with Vino right behind. Brice Feillu takes fifth place, 3:58 down.

  6. 0km - Here comes Chris Anker Sorensen of Saxo Bank. It has been a fine ride from the Dane. He's 1:40 down.

  7. 0km - Voeckler milks the crowd - and quite rightly so - as he rides torwards the line. The arms are up, the tongue is out, the win is his!

  8. 0.5km - The Frenchman starts his celebrations on the tree-lined streets iof Bagneres-de-Luchon.

  9. 1km - Voeckler approaches the flamme rouge. He won here in 2010 and he's won again in 2012.

  10. 2km - Voeckler has 1:50 on Sorensen. The win is his.

  11. 3.5km - Nibali, Wiggins and Froome all descending together as a three. Meanwhile, Cadel Evans is still on the final climb. He's over four minutes down on the yellow jersey group.

  12. 4km - Voeckler is giving Sorensen no leeway on this descent. Excellent riding.

  13. 5km - Tomorrow is going to be a big battle for the polka dots tomorrow: there are just four points splitting Voeckler and Kessiakoff.

  14. 6km - Jurgen van den Broeck leads the chasing group over the summit 8:32 down. Cobo, Valverde, Zubeldia, Van Garderen are all here.

  15. 7km - Nibali leads Wiggins and Froome over the top: 7:45 down on Voeckler.

  16. 7.5km - Nibali attacks again! He opens up a gap but Wiggins leads the chase - great riding from the yellow jersey. They're approaching the summit now.

  17. 8km - Voeckler has 1:40 over Sorensen - the stage is surely his.

  18. 9km - Nibali looks like a man resigned to finishing third in Paris.

  19. 11km - Evans is now more than three minutes down on the yellow jersey trio.

  20. 12km - Sorensen won't give up but it will be hard for the Dane to return on Voeckler, who is a very strong descender.

  21. 14km - Nibali, Froome and yellow jersey Wiggins - the three best men in the race - ride together as one. They have a van den Broeck chasing group further down the road.

  22. 15km - Chris Anker Sorensen crosses the summit of the Peyresourde 1:28 down on Voeckler, who will surely win this stage now - unless he crashes on this fast descent.

  23. 15km - Thomas Voeckler makes it a full house: that's four summits our of four today as he crossed the Peyresourde: that's the polka dot jersey, and probably the stage win too.

  24. 16km - Froome and Wiggins are closing in on Nibali.

  25. 16km - Voeckler edges his way through the crowds of supporters near the top of the summit. He has about a minute over Sorensen.

  26. 16km - Sky respond with a double counter by Froome and Wiggins. Froom only has 18 seconds on Nibali in the GC so he's protecting himself as much as Wiggins.

  27. 17km - ATTACK: Vincenzo Nibali attacks!

  28. 17km - Voeckler zips up his jersey as the summit approaches. What a Tour he's having since the first rest day.

  29. 18km - Voeckler still holds a nine minute gap over the yellow jersey group.

  30. 18km - Richie Porte is trying to move onto the front, but Ivan Basso won't let him. Astana's Janez Brajkovic is struggling to stay on. It's his birthday today.

  31. 19km - Evans is well off the back now. Van Garderen continues - he has the white jersey to think about and BMC won't want to lose that too. White jersey youth standings

  32. 19km - Evans has popped again! Jelle Vanendert and Ivan Basso are driving a fast pace on the front and the Australian's testing day continues. Kessiakoff and Hoogerland are being caught by the pack now...

  33. 20km - Sorensen catches Feillu as Voeckler continues. But he still has four more kilometres of this climb - it's going to be a real duel between him and Sorensen for the polka dot jersey points. Sorensen has dropped Feillu now. This is fascinating.

  34. 21km - Chris Anker Sorensen has a dig and drops Vino and Izagirre. He can see Feillu up ahead now.

  35. 21km - The main peloton with the yellow jersey are onto the start of the Peyresourd. Further up the hill, Izagirre is riding back to Vinokourov and Sorensen. At the front, Voeckler picks up water from his team car.

  36. 22km - ATTACK: Voeckler rides away from Feillu. Now is the time I have to do it on my own, he thinks.

  37. 22km - Vino and Sorensen still can't quite see Feillu and Voeckler up ahead - but they're getting closer.

  38. 23km - Normality resumes on the front of the yellow jersey group: Rogers, Porte and Froome ahead of Wiggins. Then Basso leading Nibali.

  39. 23km - Izagirre has dropped Voigt, who is fighting back on. There is still the Kessiakoff group further down the road, behind which a blown out Dan Martin rides just ahead of the peloton.

  40. 24km - Vino and Sorensen up the tempo and drop Voigt and Izagirre.

  41. 24km - Evans is back with the yellow jersey group after some great pacing by his BMC team-mates. Will he be able to hold on over the next summit?

  42. 25km - The leaders are onto the final climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col de Peyresourde (1,569m) - a 9.5km-long climb at 6.7%.

  43. 26km - Thomas Voeckler has fond memories of Bagnere-de-Luchon: he won here back in 2010 on the Tour's last visit.

  44. 27km - Evans has three team-mates in support as he tries to return with the GC favourite. White jersey Tejay van Garderen is not one of them - he's with the yellow jersey group.

  45. 29km - Europcar's Christophe Kern has been caught after his earlier attack. He'll try hold on and work for Pierre Rolland. The gap is nine minutes now. Evans is still fighting to get back with the yellow jersey group, which is being led by Jurgen van den Broeck, who is eyeing a fourth place in the GC now that the defending champion is in trouble.

  46. 31km - Feillu and Voeckler only have 53 seconds on the chasing quartet now - it may yet still come back together.

  47. 32km - Voigt, miraculously, is now back with Vino and Sorensen. Izagirre is returning too. Perhaps he was just bluffing, not wanting to share the work load.

  48. 33km - Izagirre and Voigt do not have the legs and drop back, leaving Sorensen and Vino to lead the chase of the two leaders. Voeckler has dropped back to talk to his team car. Can Europcar take a third win today?

  49. 33km - The leaders are nearing the start of the final climb.

  50. 34km - We have four riders in pursuit of the two leaders: Voigt, Izagirre, Vinokourov and Sorensen. They are 1:17 down on Feillu and Voeckler.

  51. 37km - Nibali and Basso lead the yellow jersey over the summit of the Col d'Aspin. Evans is about 45 seconds down. He has Moinard with him from BMC.

  52. 38km - Basso is driving a fast pace for Nibali, who has Wiggins right on this wheel, pre-empting the likely dig. The lead of the French duo is down to 9:15 now.

  53. 40km - Evans well off the back now in a group of six riders including his team-mate Schar. In fact, Evans is being dropped by this group, with Montfort and Leipheimer pulling clear. BMC will be riding for van Garderen now, presumably.

  54. 42km - Cadel Evans struggling on the back of the yellow jersey group.

  55. 43km - With the peloton, it's Liquigas who have upped the pace - but as a result, all their own riders have been blown off: Nerz and Szmyd. Now there's just Basso and Nibali on the front, with those Sky riders coasting along behind.

  56. 45km - Voeckler could well be in polka dots tonight: he's now on 97 points with Kessiakoff on 102.

  57. 46km - More points for Voeckler over the top of the climb. The Europcar man picks up a water bottle before crossing the summit of the Col d'Aspin. Feillu refuses water as they start the descent. Points breakdown for the KOM coming up. Vino takes third place ahead of Sorensen and Voigt. The Kazakh has returned with the chasers just ahead of the summit.

  58. 47km - Now Liquigas come to the front of the peloton, pushing Sky back a bit. Perhaps Nibali will look to attack towards teh end of this climb and then edge further clear on the descent before the final climb. Boasson Hagen has finished his turn and dropped off the back of the bunch.

  59. 48km - Voigt and Sorensen can see Voeckler and Feillu in the distance as the road weaves around the side of the mountain. They are still more than a minute back.

  60. 49km - The peloton are onto the Col d'Aspin now, with Edvald Boasson Hagen leading Sky and the peloton onto the Cat.1 ascent.

  61. 49km - Jens Voigt and Chris Anker Sorensen pull clear of Vinokourov. The German veteran is riding like a man possessed. You can see the anger in his pedal strokes - presumably after the Frank Schleck controversy that marred RadioShack's rest day.

  62. 50km - Winner on Monday, Pierrick Fedrigo is swept up by the bunch. The Frenchman was in the initial break but will now struggle all the way to the finish.

  63. 50km - Vino and Sorensen pull clear, with Voigt in pursuit. Martin cannot keep up. The two leaders look very strong. They have 1:30 over the chasers and 10:12 over the pack.

  64. 51km - Dan Martin, who looked so strong at the start of the Tourmalet, has been caught by the Voigt group. They are seven-strong now: Sorensen, ten Dam, Vinokourov, Hincapie, Voigt, Martin and Kiryienka. Five riders are in pursuit: Martinez, Caruso, Izagirre, Kessiakoff, Stortoni.

  65. 52km - Feillu and Voeckler have 11:30 on the peloton. A Feillu win today would save Saur-Sojasun's Tour. Europcar have already netted two wins, plus another two top fives.

  66. 55km - Attack by Vinokourov! It looks like Kessiakoff has blown up. Voeckler wants Feillu to come through and help. He looks very erratic - and quite barmy. He appears to be talking to himself. His earpiece is not in, so he really is just chatting away. To himself.

  67. 56km - American George Hincapie is receiving treatment from the medical motorbike. He has a big cut to his left elbow and has ripped the top of his BMC shirt on his left shoulder. He has blood on his knees too. Nasty fall that. We didn't see it on TV but it must have been at speed on that descent.

  68. 57km - Voeckler and Feillu have 1:10 on Martin and 1:55 on the Kessiakoff chasing group. Kern has caught his Europcar team-mate Arashiro and the duo are riding at 7:35 with the rambling Sky ride rolling along at 10:10 with the peloton.

  69. 58km - The leading duo are onto the third climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col d'Aspin (1,489m) - a 12.4km-long climb at 4.8%.

  70. 60km - CRASH: George Hincapie falls onto his left-hand side but manages to get back with the chasing group.

  71. 66km - It's a mighty shame that a climb as brilliant as the Tourmalet has been treated with disdaid by the main pack - it's a mere procession, a training ride led by Sky.

  72. 67km - Feillu is not renowned for his descending and is really struggling to keep Voeckler in sight. Chapeau to the Frenchman: he's managed to return to his wheel. These two are going for broke today. For Voeckler, the prizes could be huge: a second stage win, the polka dot jersey...

  73. 72km - This is a very aggressive descent from Voeckler, who is putting in a small gap on Feillu. Not wise - he really needs to keep his compatriot with him if he wants to stay out today.

  74. 73km - The leading duo have 10 minutes on the peloton at the moment. The pace has eased off - green jersey Sagan is back there. Liquigas appear content to sit in Sky's wheels.

  75. 76km - Voeckler takes 25 points over the top of the Tourmalet ahead of Feillu, who nets 20 points. We've had no sight of Dan Martin for a while, but he took third place, with Kessiakoff pipping Sorensen for fourth. They're almost two minutes behind the leading duo.

  76. 77km - Voeckler does up his Europcar jersey as he approaches the summit of the Tourmalet. You'd think Feillu would let his compatriot over in first place - for the sake of the atmosphere between the two leaders. Back with the chasing group, both Hincapie and Vinokourov are returning.

  77. 77km - Jens Voigt is catching the Kessiakoff group. What a Tour the German veteran is having.

  78. 78km - Voeckler and Feillu combining well on the front, taking alternate pulls on the front. Back with the peloton, Philippe Gilbert has just been dropped.

  79. 78km - Still Sky lead the peloton with Knees, Boasson Hagen, Rogers, Wiggins, Porte and Froome in a line in that order. Tedious for most fans, poetry in motion for others.

  80. 79km - Stortini and Izagirre have joined the Kessiakoff group, which is now five strong.

  81. 79km - Voeckler is running through the gamut of facial expressions: gurning, licking, lip smacking, tonguing - the works. He and Feillu now has 1:05 over the Kessiakoff group, with Martin riding solo in between.

  82. 79km - Boasson Hagen returns to the front with water for his Sky machine. What a Tour he's having behind the scenes as a super domestique.

  83. 80km - The leaders still have three more kilometres of this brutal Tourmalet climb. Hincapie has been dropped by the Kessiakoff group. Back with the bunch, Edvald Boasson Hagen has dropped back for water bidons.

  84. 81km - The French Voeckler-Feillu duo has 45 seconds on the Kessiakoff chasing quartet. Great ride from Feillu, who was on the verge of retiring from the race in the opening week with a nasty illness.

  85. 81km - Dumoulin and Minard have been caught by the peloton now, still led by Boasson Hagen for Sky.

  86. 82km - Dan Martin has been dropped by Voeckler and Feillu! That's a surprise - the Irishman looked so strong, but perhaps went too early.

  87. 83km - Martin, Voeckler and Feillu lead. Kessiakoff has been caught by ten Dam, Hincapie and Sorensen. The Swede will hope to finish ahead of these riders over the summit to limit his losses.

  88. 83km - Kessiakoff has been dropped by the leaders. The Swede will be caught by the ten Dam trio soon. With the peloton, it's Edvald Boasson Hagen who's setting the pace. Kern, who attacked earlier, has passed Dumoulin, one of the first riders from the initial break to crack.

  89. 83km - Ten Dam, Sorensen and Hincapie are chasing in a trio, but they're quite a bit back. Almost eight minutes further down the road, Lampre's Michele Scarponi has been dropped by the peloton.

  90. 84km - Another split in the leading group: Martin, Voeckler and Feillu pull out, with polka dot jersey Kessiakoff in pursuit. They are approaching the summit, hence the upping of tempo.

  91. 85km - Saxo Bank pair Paulinho and CA Sorensen are on the front of the leading group now. Vorganov is back with them too. Back with the bunch, Sagan has finally been dropped. Oh, and Europcar's Christophe Kern has attacked from the pack. The Frenchman was struggling with a knee problem but the rest day appears to have done him a world of good. Preparing the way for Pierre Rolland?

  92. 86km - Movistar's Rui Costa is rejoining the leading group now.

  93. 86km - Sprinters Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish are both off the back of the peloton now. Matt Goss too. The leaders have 7:20 over the pack. Christian Knees is ahead of Boasson Hagen, Rogers and Wiggins on the front of the pack.

  94. 87km - Giampaolo Caruso is there for Katusha too, so we have a leading group of around 14 now: Martinez, Sorensen, Voeckler, ten Dam, Vinokourov, Izagirre, Hincapie, Voigt, Kessiakoff, Martin, Kiryienka, Levarlet, Stortoni and Feillu.

  95. 88km - Euskaltel pair Egoi Martinez and Gorka Izagirre are joining the leadings. Vinokourov, Voigt and Stortoni are joining them too, so the pace must have dropped from the Martin group. Kiryienka is riding back on too.

  96. 88km - Dan Martin looks the dangerman here - the Garmin-Sharp rider is the driving force of this leading group. Back with the peloton, riders are dropping off the back. Green jersey Peter Sagan is on the back. The pace is not very high though - the gap is now 6:40 for the leaders. Liquigas are right on the front for Nibali alongside Sky.

  97. 89km - It's coming back together a bit now, with Hincapie, Voeckler, Feillu and Sorensen almost back with the three leaders. Sorensen looks to be really struggling and is not quite there yet with the other six.

  98. 90km - Martin flicks his elbow and urges one of this fellow leaders to have a tug, but neither Kessiakoff nor ten Dam oblige. It's a very early move from Martin. Now ten Dam comes through to lend a hand. He has split and phlegm hanging out of his mouth.

  99. 91km - Garmin-Sharp directeur sportif Jonathan Vaughters has already said in a Tweet that he thinks Dan Martin will win today. He's looking very strong. He now only has Kessiakoff and Laurens ten Dam with him.

  100. 91km - Bernie Eisel has now been dropped by the peloton, his work donw for the day. With the leaders, Hondo is caught after Dan Martin ups the pace. Six or so riders have gone with the Irishman, with another five or so in pursuit. It's really splitting up. Voeckler is struggling on the back.

  101. 92km - Germany's Hondo is still out in front as no-one from the break is prepared to chase the Lampre rider down. The climb is long and they know he won't be able to stay out on his own. Brice Feillu is on the back of the leading group, pouring water down his back. The Frenchman won in Andorra back in 2009 but has been out of the picture since. Matthieu Ladagnous is the latest rider to be dropped.

  102. 93km - Team Sky lead the peloton onto the start of the Tourmalet. Wiggins in yellow is tucked a bit back into the peloton, behind a cluster of BMC riders.

  103. 94km - There's an attack straight away from Lampre's Danilo Hondo on the Tourmalet. Already one or two riders are feeling the pinch from the leaders - Samuel Dumoulin drops back, as does Yaroslav Popovych.

  104. 95km - We're onto the HC Col du Tourmalet (2,115m) - a 19km-long climb at 7.4%. Once again, we're approaching it from the 'easier' side but it's still pretty brutal. What you'd expect from a climb literally called "Bad detour".

  105. 96km - There's a RadioShack theme to the latest videos on Eurosport: we have images of Chris Horner falling into a ditch, an interview with directeur sportif Alain Gallopin about the Frank Schleck situation, and a report on that positive test for Schleck too. Latest videos on Eurosport

  106. 100km - If you have just joined us, we have 38 riders out in front from a field of 155 riders (154 now that Vladimir Gusev has abandoned with a suspected broken collarbone). That's almost 25% of the peloton in the break - but no big names from the GC. The best placed rider is Egoi Martinez of Eusktaltel, who is 18 minutes down on Bradley Wiggins. The gap is 5:27 as they approach the second climb of the day, the Col du Tourmalet.

  107. 102km - George Hincapie drops back to the BMC team car to pick up an ice bag to stuff down the back of his jersey. The gap is 5:40 for the leading group, which includes that man Hincapie, who is riding an 18th successive Tour de France.

  108. 105km - The whole of Team Sky are on the front of the peloton - all eight remaining riders, including world champion Mark Cavendish, who said yesterday it was "nothing less than a pleasure" to ride in support of the yellow jersey. It will be worth it is i) Wiggins wins, and ii) Cav can take the final stage on the Champs Elysees.

  109. 110km - The leaders pass though the feeding zone. They have completed the long descent and are onto the smal flat section ahead of the Tourmalet climb. The gap is 5:35.

  110. 114km - The lead is now 5:25 for the break, which is being driven along by Japan's Yukiya Arashiro.

  111. 117km - We spoke to a prophetic Alexander Vinokourov this morning: "If you have good legs then you hope to get into the break and try and contest the win. I'm not scared and I feel good. If I can win, I'll give it a good shot. I think there will be a lot of people trying to get into the break. It will be a mental and physical battle."

  112. 119km - Vladimir Gusev has withdrawn from the race. It looked like a broken collarbone for the Katusha rider from that fall - and he could also have gone into a barbed wire fence on the side of the road.

  113. 120km - Kuijswijk punctured on the descent but appears to be back with the leaders now, who have reeled in those four riders who rode off the front on the downhill. Danilo Hondo is on the front for Lampre. They are approaching the feeding zone.

  114. 124km - CRASH: Two men down on the descent - Katusha and Cofidis. Romain Zingle for the French outfit and Vladimir Gusev for the Russian team. He's holding his arm on the side of the road.

  115. 126km - A couple of riders are clear from the break after that descent: Matthieu Ladagnous and Vorganov. They are being joined by two others - from Cofidis and Euskaltel, with the remaining escapees about 12 seconds back.

  116. 129km - Katusha's Eduard Vorganov leads the descent for the break - and the Russian almost runs into the back of the TV motorbike, which could not get round the bends at the same speed as the cyclist.

  117. 130km - Kessiakoff still leads the KOM standings on 89 points, but Voeckler has now moved onto 62 points and above his team-mate Pierre Rolland, who is on 55 points.

  118. 133km - The descent is interrupted by the slight rise up the Col du Soulor. The peloton are on it now, with Team Sky still holding the reins.

  119. 135km - Sumptuous scenery in Pyrenees: this is what the Tour is about. One of the Euskaltel riders leads the 38-man group on the descent. It's Jorge Azanza. You'd think a selection would be forced on the Tourmalet.

  120. 140km - Philippe Gilbert attacks near the summit - but it looks like that's more of a manoeuvre to pick up bidons from his BMC soigneur ahead of the summit. The gap is 4:25 for the leaders. We spoke to Gilbert this morning: "The Tour won't be decided today but it's still one of the last chances for the top five. I hope to be there for at least the first two climbs in support of Cadel."

  121. 143km - A superb lead-out by Arashiro there, who propels his man Voeckler to the summit. The Frenchman takes 25 points, with Kessiakoff second for 20. Sorensen couldn't keep up with them at all and faded fast. Success for Europcar, but it won't be enough - they need to distance the Swede and so will have to change tactics if they want to get the polka dots today.

  122. 144km - Arashiro leads the break, with Voeckler and Kessiakoff in his wheel. Sorensen is there as well - they're the men for the KOM competition.

  123. 145km - World champion Mark Cavendish is near the front of the peloton for Team Sky. On an HC climb! That shows you once again now relaxed things are out there so far today. Up ahead, it's Europcar pair Voeckler and Arashiro on the front, upping the pace. Voeckler wants the mountains points.

  124. 146km - Matthieu Ladagnous leads the break now, with Movistar's Vlad Karpets in his wheel. The Frenchman clearly has some fans out here today: someone had climbed on top of a tunnel and written his name in huge white letters. Now Voeckler comes through. The Frenchman has done up his jersey now.

  125. 147km - Movistar's Kiryienka leads the break as he picks up some water. Movistar are on the bottom of the prize money standings at the moment - they have had a very quiet Tour indeed.

  126. 148km - The leaders pass through the ski resort of Gourettes ad they continue their ascent of the Aubisque. The gap is steady: still 3:40. Bernie Eisel is setting the pace for Sky in the peloton, which gives you an idea of how easy they're taking things.

  127. 149km - Voeckler, Kessiakoff and Voigt ride together, but it's Fedrigo and Costa who are setting the pace on the front of this leading group.

  128. 149km - FACT: The Col d'Aubisque has been climbed 74 times in the Tour. Federico Bahamontes was the first to reach the top the most: 4 times. In 1954, 1958, 1963 and 1964.

  129. 150km - The gap of the 38 leaders is 3:45. The pace is not very high at the moment - understandably.

  130. 151km - It's a ridiculously hot day today with the sun shining bright in a sky of blue. The temperature is 30 degrees and already some of the break have their jerseys undone - most notably Voeckler, whose jersey is entirely open. Sean Kelly says on days like these riders will get through 25-30 bottle of water each.

  131. 152km - We spoke to Jerome Pineau this morning: "I will try but there's no guarantee I'll be allowed to get clear. I don't like these climbs. If I could stop on the top of the Tourmalet I probably would." The OMQS rider has now been reeled back into the peloton after trying to join the leaders.

  132. 153km - There are so many big climbs today it's hard to see anyone from the GC riders having a pop today on the Aubisque or even the Tourmalet. Surely they'll keep things back for the second two ascents of the day. As for the leaders, we're bound to see a selection on this climb or the next - some of the guys here aren't exactly climbers.

  133. 154km - We spoke to Frederik Kessiakoff this morning. The polka dot jersey is up for a scrap today: "There will be a war for the polka dot jersey. I will do my best to defend it and win points and be part of that war. I have never ridden in the Pyrenees and so it will be fun. If you feel good then it's okay. I think Voeckler and Chris Anker Sorensen are the riders to fear most in the competition." All three of those riders are involved in this break.

  134. 155km - CRASH: Chris Horner has a touch of wheels and falls off the road and down a steep ditch on the side of the road. He has to be helped out by a spectator. Terrible and ominous start to the Aubisque for the American - as if things weren't bad enough at RadioShack.

  135. 156km - We're onto the first of four climbs of the day, the HC Col d'Aubisque (1,709m) - a 16.4km-long climb at 7.1%. As David Harmon informs us on the Eurosport commentary, they are climbing this from the easy side.

  136. 157km - The road is beginning to head upwards and predictably Team Sky have come to the front to control things. The leaders have 3:40 on the peloton, but none of the men are a big threat to Wiggins on the GC. Egoi Martinez is the best-placed at 18:04 down on the Briton.

  137. 158km - 38 leaders: Cummings, Hincapie (BMC), Popovych, Voigt (RNT), Voeckler, Arashiro (EUC), Azanza, Martinez and Izaguirre (EUS), Hondo, Manzano, Stortoni (LAM), Martin (GRS), Bouet, Minard (ALM), Taaramae, Dumoulin (COF), Feillu, Levarlet, Marino (SAU), Hoogerland, Valls Ferri (VCD), Caruso, Trofimov, Vorganov (KAT), Casar, Fedrigo, Ladagnous (FDJ), Kruiswijk, Ten Dam (RAB), Costa, Karpets, Kiryienka (MOV), Paulinho, C. Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff, Vinokourov (AST), Sprick (ARG).

  138. 160km - Jerome Pineau is still doing his best to join the leaders, but trails the 38 riders by one minute. It's an intriguing group this, with many subplots and options, some great climbers too. Great to see Ireland's Dan Martin involved. And Johnny Hoogerland has been a rare sight in this year's Tour.

  139. 163km - It's interesting to see Pierrick Fedrigo in this group. Monday's stage winner in fact won a mirror image of this stage back in 2010 running from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau and covering pretty much the same roll-call of iconic climbs. Blazin' Saddles: Fedrigo, the Nose of Marmande

  140. 166km - The gap is now three minutes back to the peloton. Some names from the 38-man group: Kessiakoff, Voeckler, CA Sorensen, Hincapie, Cummings, Vinokourov, Voigt, Rui Costa, Arashiro, Karpets, Taaramae, Hoogerland, Popovych, Kruijswijk, Kiryienka, Fedrigo, Sprick, Paolini, Casar., Martinez, Vorganov, Voeckler, ten Dam, Paulinho, Dumoulin, Feillu, Martin, Marino...

  141. 168km - Jerome Pineau of Quick Step is trying to bridge the gap between the peloton and the leading group, which includes the likes of Paulinho, Kiryienka, Voeckler, Hoogerland, Kruijswijk, Taaramae, Kessiakoff, Dumoulin, Vinokourov, Popovych, Ten Dam, Hincapie, Cummings and Arashiro.

  142. 170km - Sergio Paulinho leads the break through the intermediate sprint. His team-mate CA Sorensen, also in this group, will be more interested in the KOM mountains point - he's third in the standings. Thomas Voeckler is in this leading group too.

  143. 172km - The group has one minute now. Some familiar faces are there: polka dot jersey Kessiakoff, Saxo Bank's Chris Anker Sorensen, Vinokourov, a couple of Europcar men. Back in the bunch, Sky and Wiggins don't seem to be too concerned so they must know that none of the leaders are a threat in the GC.

  144. 174km - Race radio is reporting 37 riders in the leading group - that's a huge split in the peloton. No confirmed names as yet, with the exception of Jens Voigt of RadioShack.

  145. 177km - A very large group has formed off the front of the peloton with countless riders trying to bridge the gap. There's no guarantee it will stick - the pace is fast. Remember, the intermediate sprint comes before all four climbs today - not that anyone can catch Peter Sagan in the green jersey standings. The Slovak has a 102-point cushion over nearest rival, Andre Greipel. Green jersey standings

  146. 178km - RadioShack, incidentally, still lead the team standings in spite of Frank Schleck's withdrawal from the race. Team standings

  147. 179km - Albert Timmer of Argos Shimano is making a huge pull on the front, opening up a small gap. The Dutchman is being followed by numerous riders.

  148. 180km - We also spoke to another RadioShack rider, Maxim Montfort: "It was a great shock,. I still can't believe it. Frank has all my trust and the team's trust. He went down to the police station himself, which says a lot. I believe in his innocence. He may have done it accidently. He's very anti-doping. I was having a massage when I learnt about it so I haven't seen him since. We're trying not to get distracted or lose focus."

  149. 182km - Eurosport spoke to Chris Horner of RadioShack this morning and asked him about the cloud that came over his team's rest day: "We lost a good friend and rider in Frank and we hope to have him back soon. I'm not extra motivated because of his absence. I feel good anyway and this stage means a lot to me."

  150. 185km - Seven riders open up a small gap: Izaguirre (EUS), Koren (LIQ), Paulini (KAT), Gusev (KAT), Roy (FDJ), Ten Dam (RAB) and Cobo (MOV). But it does not stick. Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil-DCM is the next to have a pop but the outcome is the same.

  151. 190km - There will no doubt be a shake up in the polka dot jersey standings today, what with so many major climbs on the agenda. Swede Frederik Kessiakoff of Astana currently leads France's Pierre Rolland (Europcar) by 14 points in the KOM standings. Polka dot jersey standings

  152. 195km - Numerous attacks from the outset but nothing sticking as yet. A reminder that Bradley Wiggins leads the GC by 2:05 ahead of team-mate and compatriot Chris Froome. Vincenzo Nibali is third, 2:23 down, and defending champion Cadel Evans is fourth at 3:19. Yellow jersey standings

  153. 197km - The remaining 155 riders get this decisive stage under way. Frank Schleck is the only non-starter after his controversy over the rest day.

  154. 10:15 - Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) still leads the race going into the final five days. For Wiggins, winning the Tour de France would be more the result of a three-year process than the end of a three-week race. "A few years ago I was failing as an athlete, I never really fulfilled my potential and I think the last few years with the right people around me I've started to realise my potential," the 32-year-old Wiggins said as the peloton enjoyed a rest day before two key mountain stages in the Pyrenees. Report: Wiggins on the verge of fulfilling three-year plan

  155. 10:10 - REST DAY BOMBSHELL: Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck has denied any wrongdoing after he was withdrawn from the Tour de France on Tuesday when he returned a positive test for the diuretic Xipamide following Saturday's Stage 13. Report: Schleck out of Tour after positive test

  156. 10:05 - On Monday, France’s Pierrick Fedrigo won stage 15 of the Tour de France in Pau after outsprinting American Christian Vande Velde from a break. It was a fourth career Tour stage win for 33-year-old FDJ-BigMat rider Fedrigo – whose last victory on the Tour came on the race’s previous visit to Pau back in 2010. Stagw 15 report: Fedrigo wins again in Pau

  157. 10:00 - Welcome to stage 16 of the Tour de France - a 197km trek starting in Pau and featuring the famous Pyrenean climbs of the Col d’Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourd before a downhill finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon.