Cycling Live

Tour de France - Annecy - Semnoz


Live Comments

  1. 0km - Winners of the day are Froome, Quintana and Rodriguez - who will all be on the podium tomorrow in Paris - and Talansky too, who moves into the top ten. Big losers are Contador, who drops down to fourth, and Rolland, who missed out on the polka dot jersey despite his best efforts.

  2. 0km - Valverde takes fourth place 1:41 down. Porte comes home with a smile on his face for fifth place at 2:16. Talansky is sixth at 2:26 and just ahead of Contador.

  3. 0km - Second place for Joaquim Rodriguez, who breaks clear of Froome in the final 200m. Froome crosses the line with an understated clench of the first - the Tour is won.

  4. 0km - Victory for Nairo Quintana, the Colombian climber. In his debut Tour, that's a maiden stage win, the white jersey, second place on GC and polka dot jersey for Quintana!!

  5. 0.5km - And now Quintana rides clear! He will finally get his stage win, as both Froome and Rodriguez call it quits.

  6. 1km - Quintana joins Froome under the 1km-to-go banner...

  7. 1,2km - ATTACK: Froome powers clear!

  8. 1.5km - Now Kreuziger is dropping back from the Contador group... Talansky will definitely move into the top ten, while Valverde would be up to eighth tonight.

  9. 2km - It will be interesting to see if Froome is ruthless and goes for the win or is generous and allows one of his opponents to take the spoils.

  10. 2.5km - Rodriguez still does all the work, with Quintana and Froome in his wheel. They have 1:10 over Valverde, 1:45 over the Contador group and a further minute over the Mollema group.

  11. 2.8km - Andrew Talansky has ridden back to the Contador group - that is brilliant for his top ten ambitions.

  12. 3km - Froome lashes out at three fans running alongside him and getting a bit close. He then shakes his head...

  13. 4km - If Quintana wins the stage and Froome is second, the Colombian will win the polka dot jersey by three points.

  14. 4.5km - Kreuziger has given an energy gel and some water - but the Spaniard is really struggling. Valverde rides on his own in pursuit of the leaders. This should definitely assure him a top ten finish in Paris - but can he rejoin the three leaders?

  15. 5km - Rodriguez, Quintana and Froome ride side by side - they have knocked Contador off the podium and will now fight for the victory.

  16. 5.8km - Will we see a fourth stage win for Froome - or will we see a first win for either Spain or Colombia in this year's Tour?

  17. 6km - Now Froome comes to the front - and he is out of the saddle, and it looks odd because we're not used to seeing him ride like this.

  18. 6.5km - Rodriguez has been doing all the work on the front, primarily in the dancing position. Further back, Kreuziger has rejoined his team-mate Contador and Porte.

  19. 7km - The leading trio have 25 seconds on Contador and another 10 seconds on Kreuziger, who is fighting back.

  20. 7.5km - Quintana and Rodriguez managed to rejoin Froome on the front. These are the riders who will finish on the podium in Paris!

  21. 7.8km - Contador cannot match their pace and rides with Porte further back. He could drop off the podium today.

  22. 8km - Porte has blown - so Froome gets out of the saddle in pursuit! He not only catches, but passes Quintana and Rodriguez. Unbelievable stuff!

  23. 8.2km - Now Porte takes up the tempo ... and then Rodriguez attacks! Followed by Quintana!

  24. 8.5km - Valverde, Porte, Froome, Quintana, Contador and Rodriguez in that order - and they have caught Jens Voigt. But chapeau to the old man!

  25. 9km - Mouth open and perspiring like a race horse, Voigt continues on his way - but he has just 30 seconds. Back with the favourites, it's Costa setting a cruel pace... and Krezuiger cannot keep up! Now Costa goes, passing the buck to Valverde.

  26. 9.5km - Just eight riders left in the 'peloton' - pretty much the top seven on GC, plus Costa. Valverde is there too. But the likes of Fuglsang, Mollema and Kwiatkowsko are in a chasing group.

  27. 10km - Rolland, van Garderen and Vuillermoz are caught by the peloton - just one man up ahead - Voigt, who has 50 seconds.

  28. 10.5km - Rolland rides with Vuillermoz and van Garderen in pursuit of Voigt, but they will all be swept up by the peloton soon. Rui Costa has moved to the front now for Movistar, with Froome, Porte, Quintana, Contador, Kreuziger and Rodriguez following.

  29. 11km - Here we go - final big climb of the Tour: the HC Annecy-Semnoz - 10.7km at 8.5%.

  30. 11.2km - The Sky machine is already wiping up the remnants of the break - the likes of Riblon and Gilbert. Off the back, Evans, Schleck and three quarters of the peloton have slumped.

  31. 11.5km - Jens Voigt downs a can of coke ahead of this climb...

  32. 12km - The chasing group is breaking up after an acceleration from Tejay van Garderen, who is followed by Pierre Rolland. Back with the peloton, Sky have blown things apart - they have four riders off the front!

  33. 12.5km - Sky's Peter Kennaugh has already been dropped by the peloton - the past three weeks finally catching up with him. Numerous riders are off the back.

  34. 13km - Now Sky have moved to the front of the pack for the yellow jersey Chris Froome. It's the big engine of Ian Stannard pulling hard ahead of this final climb... They have reduced Jens Voigt's lead to just 2:05.

  35. 15km - 15km to go for Voigt who is no doubt telling his legs to "shut up" right now - and we're not yet onto that climb. You have to admire his panache, but there's no way he's going to win this one.

  36. 16km - The Rolland group is now 1:05 down on Voigt, with the peloton at 2:40.

  37. 17km - The final climb is a real monster - shorter but steeper than both Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez.

  38. 20km - The advantage is down to 2:55 for Voigt, with Katusha and Movistar setting the pace on the front of the pack.

  39. 24km - Despite all the efforts of the escapees today, you can't help but think it will all be in vain. There will surely be an almighty explosion from the peloton as soon as the last climb gets under way.

  40. 28km - Igor Anton has been caught by the Rolland chasing group. They trail Voigt by 1:45.

  41. 31km - The descent is over and it's now 20km of rolling roads until the final climb. Voigt has one minute over Anton, 1:48 over the Rolland group and 3:10 over the peloton.

  42. 32km - Kreuziger is off the back of the peleton after a mechanical and is being paced back by Nico Roche.

  43. 33km - Voigt rides past three fans pulling moonies on the side of the road... as you do.

  44. 35km - Philippe Gilbert's chain is stuck and he can only freewheel down this ascent until his BMC team car rejoins him.

  45. 40km - Voigt is on this long downhill, which is followed by a rolling 20km run towards the final climb of the day, the 11km HC ride to the summit of Annecy-Semnoz, which has never been ridden before in the Tour. The German has 3:30 over the peloton.

  46. 45km - Rolland edges ahead of the chasing group to make sure he takes the points for third place ahead of Riblon. With those 6 points, Rolland moves on to a total of 119 points - 15 ahead of Froome. But he will need to place high on the final climb or it will all be in vain...

  47. 46.5km - Over the summit for Voigt, who pockets the 10 points. Anton passes through next to take 8 points. He may catch him on the descent.

  48. 47km - As he nears the summit, Voigt is surrounded by a cluster of fans running alongside him in the road. One gets too close and tries to give the German a push - which is met with a swipe by an angry Voigt. Just leave him alone!

  49. 48km - Jens Voigt presses on in that inimitable rampaging style of his. The German veteran now has 3:25 over the peloton and will certainly cross the summit in pole position. No action as yet from the GC favourites - it's all going to come down to the final ascent of this short final stage in the mountains.

  50. 49.5km - Alexis Vuillermoz of Sojasun attacked the peloton earlier - and he's now reached the chasing group. Katusha still have a man on the front of the peloton - remember, fifth-place Purito Rodriguez is just 47 seconds down on second-place Contador in the general classification.

  51. 50km - Anton is sill 25 seconds down on Voigt, with the Rolland group riding at 1:55 and the peloton at 3:20.

  52. 51km - Katusha have sent a man to the front of the peloton - they're clearly thinking about setting up their man Joaquim Rodriguez, who could be on the podium tomorrow if things go his way.

  53. 52km - Gautier, Brutt, Burghardt and Gilbert have rejoined the Rolland chasing group, so we now have eight riders in pursuit of Voigt, who is having a stormer.

  54. 53km - There are some discussions going on between van Garderen and Rolland as they continue their pursuit of Jens Voigt. A lot of the initial break have been caught, with Flecha and Astarloza the latest.

  55. 54km - Burghardt is being dropped by the chasing group, which is now just Rolland, Riblon, van Garderen and Clarke. Riblon and Clarke will be familier with each other - they were in the break en route to Alpe d'Huez, with Riblon rounding the American with 2km remaining to take the win.

  56. 55km - The Rolland group now have Clarke in their sights. The peloton is now three minutes behind the leader, Jens Voigt.

  57. 55.5km - Anton still rides between the lone leader Voigt and the chasing group, who have just caught Brutt. Somewhere up ahead there is Clarke as well. Gilbert and Gautier are now being distanced by the group...

  58. 56km - Gilbert and van Garderen have joined their team-mate Burghardt in the Rolland group, which means there are three BMC riders in the chasing group. BMC are still without a win this year...

  59. 57km - Gilbert and Van Garderen are just 20 seconds from the Rolland chasing group now. Voigt has 1:10 over the chasers and 2:30 over the peloton. He's riding like a man who wants to give it his best - just in case it's the last time. Who knows, it may well be...

  60. 60km - Rolland rides in the chasing group with Gautier, Burghardt and Riblon. They're 45 seconds down on Voigt, who in turn leads the peloton by two minutes.

  61. 60.5km - Double attack from BMC: world champion Philippe Gilbert and team-mate Tejay van Garderen extricate themselves from the peloton in pursuit of the leaders.

  62. 61km - Gautier drops back to help his team-mate Rolland, who's riding with Anton. Brutt is having some problems too, so it's just Voigt and Clarke on the front now. 41-year-old Voigt is having a superb Tour - he's been on the attack numerous times.

  63. 62km - ATTACK BY JENS VOIGT! The German veteran ups the tempo on the front and only three can follow - Gautier, Brutt and Clarke. Pierre Rolland has been dropped...

  64. 65km - It was a fast and scenic descent to the valley below, and now the leaders are onto the next climb, the Cat.1 Mont Revard 15.9km at 5.6%. They only hvae 50 seconds over the Movistar-led peloton. Rolland needs to get over the summit in pole position, plus then finish in the top ten of the stage if he wants to win the polka dot jersey... it's going to be a tough call.

  65. 70km - The escapees have 55 seconds on the peloton. Tony Gallopin has a problem with his chain and needs a bike change - and it's taking a very long time for his RadioShack car to reach him.

  66. 75km - Burghardt is back with the leaders. Gautier is leading out Rolland for the climb, but the polka dot jersey doesn't know he has Anton in his wheel. Rolland veers to the right of the road - and almost drives Anton into the spectators. That was a close thing! The Frenchman goes on to take the points - and doesn't even apologise to the Spaniard, which causes some choice words from Anton and, in turn, some Gallic gesticulations. Rolland now on 113 points - 9 ahead of Froome.

  67. 77km - Puncture for Roman Kreuziger, who has to drop back for a wheel change. Big day for the Czech - he could secure the first Tour podium finish of his career with a decent ride. But will he be allowed to battle it out with his team-mate Alberto Contador on the final climb?

  68. 78km - The leaders are onto the next small climb, the Cat.3 Col des Prés - 3.4km at 6.9%. They have one minute over the peloton, which is still being controlled by Movistar.

  69. 80km - Marcus Burghardt needs a rear wheel change from the yellow Mavic neutral support car. It takes quite a long time and the German will now have to play catch up between the peloton and the leaders, who's advantage has been slashed to 50 seconds now.

  70. 82km - Rolland edges clear of the other escapees to take the 2pts atop the summit, with Riblon following for the 1pt ahead of Gautier. Rolland is up to 111 points now in the KOM standings - 7pts ahead of Froome.

  71. 84km - The leaders are onto the third climb of the day, the Cat.3 Côte d’Aillon-le-Vieux - 6km at 4%. They lead the Movistar-controlled peloton by 1:08.

  72. 85km - Nairo Quintana stands most to gain today: if things go his way, the 23-year-old Tour debutant could end up with a stage win, the white jersey, the polka dot jersey and second place on GC. That's quite a way to signal your arrival on the scene.

  73. 86km - Arnold Jeannesson has a rear puncture and needs a new wheel. This is very pretty countryside, it has to be said, Gautier is on the front, with Burghardt and Astarloza having a chat just behind. Gautier has flicked his elbow twice but no one comes through.

  74. 88km - The helicopter images show a wonderful winding hairpin descent - it will take us to the foot of the next climb, which will be taken on in two different chunks. The results from the sprint have come in - it was Greipel who took 11th place and 5pts ahead of Cavendish (4pts) and Sagan (3pts). So Sagan's lead is slashed to 101 points now... not that it really matters.

  75. 92km - Juan Antonio Flecha takes maximum points over the line at the intermediate sprint. When the peloton arrives, it looks as if Sagan, Cavendish and Greipel have an agreement - they all ride together in one line across the sprint. You'd need a photo finish to sort that one out!

  76. 93km - Interestingly, we're on course for the biggest peloton to arrive in Paris, with 170 riders still remaining from a field of 207. The past 10 years have had these rations: 155/198, 167/198, 170/197, 156/180, 145/180, 141/189, 139/176, 155/189, 147/188, 147/198. But while we're on course to match 2010's number of 170 arrivals, you have to take into context the extra team that is riding in this year's race, where we have 23 and not the usual 22 teams.

  77. 95km - Cannondale have come to the front alongside Movistar in anticipation of the intermediate sprint for their man Peter Sagan. Behind them, Sky shelter their yellow jersey Chris Froome, with Saxo-Tinkoff riding in their wheels. The gap is still 1:15.

  78. 100km - The peloton are really not letting this break off the leash, with the gap staying at 1:15. They may make it over the next two small climbs, but surely there will be an explosion on the Cat.1 Mont Revard.

  79. 105km - The other escapees are returning onto the four leaders. They have 1:25 over the peloton as they ride over winding, narrow roads surrounded by lush greenery. The road is now undulating for the next 25km, and ahead of the third climb of the day we have the intermediate sprint.

  80. 107.5km - And it's Anton who cheekily rides clear and takes the 2pts atop the summit ahead of Rolland, who has to settle for one. The Spaniard is clearly thinking about his team-mate Mikel Nieve, who could still yet win the polka dot jersey competition. Now the top looks like this: 1. Rolland 109, 2. Froome 104, 3. Nieve 98, 4. Quintana 97, 5. Riblon 93.

  81. 108km - The leading group splits towards the summit - Riblon, Rolland, Anton and Gautier ride clear...

  82. 109km - Leading group: Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Jens Voigt (RadioShack), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Christophe Riblon (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge).

  83. 110km - The riders are on to the next climb, the Cat.3 Col de Leschaux - 3.6km 6.1%. The two leading groups have come together so we have 10 out in front now.

  84. 111km - Movistar lead the peloton over the summit 1:35 down - it looks like they're not letting the escapees get too much headway. Given the short nature of this stage, that is probably wise. Everyone wants the win today.

  85. 112km - Riblon leads the chasing sextet of riders. Winner on Alpe d'Huez, the Frenchman could still take the polka dot jersey home and is clearly bent on giving compatriot Rolland a run for his money. Rolland, incidentally, is only wearing the polka dot jersey - he's not gone for the full short, helmet, sock look from earlier in the stage. Perhaps because he's only keeping the jersey warm for Chris Froome. Anyway, he's now the virtual KOM leader after crossing the summit in pole position to take 5pts.

  86. 114km - Sky were leading the pace onto this climb, but Movistar have taken it up. The high pace has already distanced Lanterne Rouge Svein Tuft of Orica-GreenEdge. The Canadian veteran, riding his first ever Tour, crashed on the descent of the Madeleine yesterday...

  87. 115km - The chasing quintet are 30 seconds in arrears and have been joined by another Euskaltel rider, Igor Anton.

  88. 116km - We're onto the first of six climbs - the Cat.2 Côte du Puget - 5.4km at 5.9%. The leading quartet have 1:50 over the peloton.

  89. 117km - Eurocpar are clearly very motivated today - for both the stage win and the polka dot jersey. They have both Rolland and Gautier on the offensive. Rolland knows that he will have to pick up as many points as possible over the first climbs, with the likely scenario being that one of the GC favourites takes the win - and 50 points - in Semnoz.

  90. 118km - The five riders in pursuit are Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Christophe Riblon (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge).

  91. 120km - The leading quartet have about 30 seconds on the pack, but we have some riders who have jumped clear of the peloton in pursuit.

  92. 122km - Rolland has been joined by Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Jens Voigt (RadioShack) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM).

  93. 125km - ATTACK: As soon as the stage starts there's an acceleration by Pierre Rolland, the polka dot jersey.

  94. 125km - It's a stunning day in Annecy with the sun out in a blue sky and the temperature 25 degrees Celsius. The remaining 170 riders are in the neutral zone... and the flag is waved! They're off!

  95. 12:35 - Nairo Quintana is likewise all but guaranteed the whote jersey as best young rider. The Colombian climber currently leads Poland's Michael Kwiatkowski by 10:36 and, barring any dramatics, will take the jersey in his debut Tour. Quintana will be more concerned with taking Contador's second place on GC, however.

  96. 12:35 - The green jersey competition is all but won, with Peter Sagan holding a 102-point advantage over Mark Cavendish. Theoretically, Cav could win today intermediate sprint and the stage, plus do the same tomorrow - and over-take Sagan, but he'd have to do it with his rival not recording any points in return; a double scenario that is nigh-on impossible. So, unless he crashes out today, Sagan will ride into Paris for his second successive green jersey win.

  97. 12:35 - The winner of today's stage could well go on to take the polka dot king of the mountains prize because of the 50 points up for grabs. In total, there's a maximum of 86 points available today, and currently Froome holds a slender one-point advantage over Europcar's Pierre Rolland after the Frenchman went on the attack yesterday. Froome is on 104, Rolland on 103, while Mikel Nieve, Nairo Quintana and Christophe Riblon all lurk on 98, 97 and 93 respectively.

  98. 12:35 - Chris Froome finished safely in the main pack on a day where there was little activity amongst the GC favourites - save for the odd dig on the final climb of the Croix de Fry. Froome leads Alberto Contador by 5:11 and Nairo Quintana by another 21 seconds - and unless something dramatic happens today, the British Team Sky rider will secure his first ever Tour de France win today. Contador, Quintana, Kreuziger and Rodriguez, however, are split by just 47 seconds in the battle for the the podium.

  99. 12:35 - Yesterday, Portuguese all-rounder Rui Costa bagged his second win of the race with a well timed attack from a large breakaway on the last of five climbs on a brutal second full day in the Alps. The Movistar rider swept up lone leader Pierre Rolland and then held off a chasing group of four to double his tally in this year's race in Le Grand-Bornand.

  100. 12:30 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 20 of the Tour de France, a short and sharp 125km loop from Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz that features six climbs, including the never-done-before HC summit finish. With the battle for podium positions and the king of the mountains competition still wide open, there's a lot to play for - even if Chris Froome's grip on the yellow jersey looks as firm as you can get.