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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 July 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Stage eight - as it happened
Stage eight: Le Grand-Bornand to Tignes (165km)

By Matt Braithwaite

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENED (ALL TIMES BST)

1647: Gerdemann finishes five minutes and four seconds down, handing the yellow jersey to stage winner Rasmussen.

Monday is a well-deserved rest day for the riders so see all you cycling fans back here again on Tuesday.

"Bad day for Aussie racers. I shall not mention that Cadel Evans is still in it. Because if I do he'll probably get attacked by wolves tomorrow." FigRollEnergy on 606.

1645: Mayo comes home second for Saunier-Duval, 2:47 behind. Alejandro Valverde steals third ahead of Moreau's small group.

1642: Rasmussen underlines his status as one of the world's greatest climbers as he wins the stage in a time of 4:49:40.

1641: Just one kilometre to go for Rasmussen, who has already been awarded the day's combativity prize.

1636: Vinokourov appears to have blown up as Carlos Sastre puts the hammer down and escapes his group. Kloden drops back to help his struggling Astana team-mate.

1633: A small group including Vinokourov and Andreas Kloden are trying to close on Moreau's group, the gap currently at around 20 seconds.

1626: Rasmussen has just the crowds and around 20 vehicles for company as he crosses the massive barrage de Tignes dam with 6km to go.

1619: Moreau cannot get away, and Mayo immediately attacks him and the rest of the chasing group. They are around a minute ahead of fellow yellow jersey hopeful Alexandre Vinokourov.

1615: Mayo has been caught by a small group containing Moreau, who attacks again. Just 10km left for Rasmussen who looks certain to claim a stage win for Rabobank.

1610: Rasmussen has 13km remaining on this first category climb to the finish line at Montee de Tignes.

1605: Spain's Iban Mayo is the latest to attack and he goes half a minute clear of the chasers, but Rasmussen is still five minutes clear.

1601: The leaders begin the final 18km climb to the finish and, almost immediately, Rasmussen drops Arroyo and Goubert. Further back, France's Christophe Moreau attacks and the peloton begins to splinter.

1558: A bad day for the Australians - following his crash, O'Grady is reported to be out of the race. Spain's Inigo Cuesta has also come off his bike.

1553: With 22km remaining, Kohl has gone off the front of the chasing group on the descent before the day's final climb.

1550: With Rogers out, the remaining T-Mobile riders switch their attention to closing Rasmussen down and take up the pace, along with Astana, at the front of the peloton.

1545: The leaders are over the summit and Rasmussen is six minutes ahead of the race leader. If things stay the same, he will be in yellow this evening, and could well hold on to the yellow jersey until the time trial next Saturday.

1542: Less than a kilometre to the summit and the leaders are more than five minutes ahead of the peloton. A distraught Rogers pulls over to the side of the road and abandons, to sympathetic applause from spectators.

1535: The unfortunate Rogers looks close to quitting as the peloton goes past him and he seeks medical attention, possibly with a collarbone injury.

"Looks like that's it for Rogers, that's a real shame." Lowlandbrit on 606

1532: Ivan Parra, of Colombia and Cofidis, is the latest rider to abandon.

1526: Rasmussen is piling on the pressure up the first category climb to Montee d'Hauteville and Arroyo and Goubert are doing well to hang on. Riding on his own between the leaders and the peloton, the injured Rogers is suffering.

1521: Back in the peloton, Gerdemann is four minutes behind stage leaders Rasmussen and Arroyo, who are both just 4 minutes 40-odd seconds behind him on general classification.

1517: The leading group has split - Colom, Rasmussen and Arroyo have moved away from Goubert and Kohl, while Rogers, perhaps suffering after his crash, has been dropped further.

1511: More problems further back - Stuart O'Grady and Britain's Charlie Wegelius have hit the floor and Levi Leipheimer has lost his chain. Arroyo has rejoined the leading group, and there are 42km remaining on the stage.

1507: T-Mobile's Rogers is back to the leaders but Arroyo is receiving running repairs from a medical team.

1502: Rogers and Arroyo are separately in pursuit of leaders Rasmussen, Colom, Kohl and Goubert, who are four and a half minutes ahead of the peloton.

1456: Disaster for Rogers and Arroyo as they hit a barrier on a bend when trying to escape on the descent, Arroyo going over the railings. It looked bad but both riders remount and continue.

1447: Rasmussen takes maximum King of the Mountains points at the summit, bringing him to within five points of polka dot-wearer Sylvain Chavanel, and the long descent begins to Bourg-St-Maurice.

"Rogers could really put some time into his opponents unless they start something soon." redders73 on 606

1441: With Rogers in the lead group and yellow jersey-wearer Gerdemann in the peloton more than five minutes adrift, Rogers is the virtual race leader as a Borat lookalike waves the riders past.

1433: The leaders are a minute ahead of Hincapie's chasing group and four minutes ahead of the peloton and the yellow jersey. Moreni has to work his way back to the chasers after taking a tumble.

1428: Kohl is finally caught by Le Mevel and Colom and then shortly after by the group of Rasmussen, Rogers, Goubert and David Arroyo. Still 70km to go today.

1423: Kohl, still looking strong at the front, is 3 min 32 sec ahead of the yellow jersey as the climb flattens out briefly. Le Mevel passes Colom for second place while Rasmussen and Rogers continue the pursuit.

1418: Rasmussen powers past the remnants of the original break, who try desperately to latch on to his back wheel. He is a minute behind Kohl. Colom and Le Mevel are the only others in between. There are still the best part of 10km to go to the Cormet de Roselend summit.

1415: Kohl began the day 4 minutes 31 seconds off the yellow jersey, so his lead of two minutes 47 over the peloton is significant. The original lead group are falling away and Rasmussen looks ominous in a new group of chasers.

1410: Kohl is away on his own, 20 seconds clear of Le Mevel with the remainder of the leading group a further 15 seconds back.

1406: The lead group is splintering as Kohl accelerates, seeing another three riders dropped, while the increased further back sees riders dropping off the back of the peloton, including Britain's Bradley Wiggins.

1401: Millar and Vaugrenard have lost touch with the leaders while a number of riders, including Michael Rasmussen, are trying to come across from the peloton.

1354: Bad luck for Millar - he has to stop at the bottom of the Cormet de Roselend climb to change bikes following a puncture, which sees him dropped from the leading group.

1347: 87km to go and Rabobank are still doing all the work at the front of the peloton. The gap is down to 1 minute 40.

"It must be a seven- or eight-horse race for overall honours in the GC this year - who knows which way to look? Just brilliant." kimitastic49 on 606

1340: The gap is down to 1 minute 48. The 18 riders in the leading group are the previously mentioned Rogers, Voeckler, Millar, Willems, Vaugrenard, Goubert, Hincapie, Schumacher and Auge, plus Jose Gutierrez, Jens Voigt, Mario Aerts, Jose Luis Arrieta, Jorge Azanza, Gorka Verdugo, Bernhard Kohl, Christophe Le Mevel and Cristian Moreni.

1331: The lead is holding at around the two minute mark as the race passes along the picturesque forest roads of Le Beaufortin.

"Millar can't stay with them, surely. I guess he'll keep Hincapie company again like yesterday, perhaps?" hockinsk on 606

1325: Rabobank are leading the chase at the front of the peloton and the five pursuers has been caught, but the 18-strong lead group still has a two minutes-plus advantage. The 20km first category Cormet de Roseland climb looms.

1318: Albertville, 105km to go. The second sprint goes uncontested at the front as the leading group focuses on increasing the gap to the peloton, which is now more than two minutes. For the record, the 1-2-3 was Frederick Willems, Schumacher and Antonio Colom.

1312: Five riders have broken from the peloton and are attempting to chase down the leaders on the descent to Albertville.

1307: Voeckler attacks again to take maximum polka dot points over the summit of the Col de Tamie, with Millar fourth. The peloton remains 90 seconds behind.

"Blimey, Millar's started well hasn't he? Lowlandbrit on 606

1304: The leading group is down to 18 riders but the lead is up to one minute and 30 seconds, and still contains Australian Rogers, the highest placed in the breakaway. He is four minutes and three seconds off the yellow jersey in the overall classification.

1258: No surprises as Cavendish abandons the race. The 'lanterne rouge' has had a tough debut Tour but also shown signs of his talent.

1251: Voeckler is caught by his pursuers on the second category climb to the Col de Tamie. T-Mobile's Michael Rogers is one of 20 riders now one minute ahead of the peloton.

"I don't think the final climb should be underestimated." reallywheelie on 606

1247: Voeckler, Jegou and Goubert make up the 1-2-3 at the first sprint.

1244: 128km remaining on the stage, and FDJ's Benoit Vaugrenard is attempting to cross the 20-second gap to Voeckler from the pursuing group, which includes Millar and George Hincapie. The peloton is a further 20 seconds back.

"Let's hope for attacks by out-and-out climbers like Rasmussen at the beginning of the Roselend ascent." DeGuzman on 606

1232: The descent sees Schumacher caught and Thomas Voeckler launch an attack. A small group leads the downhill pursuit.

1226: The third category Cote du Bouchet climb shakes things up. Schumacher still leads, taking four climbing points, followed by Juan Manuel Garate, Gorko Verdugo and Stephane Goubert.

1220: Over the first climb, the fourth category Col du Marais - Stefan Schumacher takes three King of the Mountain points, Alexandre Efimkin two and Marcel Sieberg one. Several riders are trying to bridge the gap to the leaders.

1214: Young Isle of Man star Mark Cavendish is one of several sprinters suffering because of the early pace as the peloton is strung out in pursuit of the leading group.

1207: The lead is 30 seconds as they pass through Les Clefs. T-Mobile control the front of the peloton; their manager, Rolf Aldag, has told Phil Sheehan that they are not planning on defending the yellow jersey with Gerdemann today.

1200: Five riders, including Jegou and Stephan Auge, have taken advantage of the largely downhill start to the stage to open a 20-second lead on the peloton.

1155: FDJ's Lilian Jegou leads the first attack as the riders cross the official start and the stage proper gets under way.

"Rasmussen looked strong at the end yesterday, proven climber, every chance today." Ellandbackagain60 on 606

1140: Sunday's 165km stage from Le Grand-Bornand to Tignes promises to be a brutal trek through the mountains, with three first category climbs.

Sylvain Chavanel starts the stage wearing the King of the Mountains jersey, with 42 points, while Linus Gerdemann and David De La Fuente both have 30.

Germany's Gerdemann, of T-Mobile, is the new overall leader, while David Millar is the best-placed Briton in 53rd, seven minutes 13 secs back.



SEE ALSO
Gerdemann snatches yellow jersey
14 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Steegmans too strong for Boonen
09 Jul 07 |  Cycling
McEwen wins Tour sprint thriller
08 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Cancellara claims Tour prologue
07 Jul 07 |  Cycling


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