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Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 11:00 UK

Tour de France - stage 12 as it happened

Stage 12 - Tonnerre to Vittel, 211.5km

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Peter Scrivener

1710: And that's it from me for this year's Tour. No record ninth stage win for Cav, but some valuable points in his quest to win the green jersey. Tomorrow promises to be another tough day. They're not quite back in the Alps, but the 200km ride from Vittel to Colmar has a couple of big hills to get over. Ollie Williams will be taking you through the stage. Thanks for all the banter on 606 and via text. I'm off to Southwold to sample the Adnams and take in a bit of Spiritualized. Cheers.

Get involved on 606
1705: dummy_half on 606: "Cav shows why the others are struggling to take a stage win - Columbia lead out and he wins; Cervelo lead out Hushovd and Cav wins"

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
1703: TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 AFTER STAGE 12:

Yellow jersey: Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R)
Green jersey: Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia)
Polka dot jersey: Egoi Martinez (Spa/Euskaltel)
White jersey: Tony Martin (Ger/Team Columbia)

Yellow jersey
1700: GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 12:

1. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R) 48hrs 27mins 21secs
2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) + 6secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 8
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) +39
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 46

Text in your views on 81111
1655: From Sarah dog lover, irresponsible owner hater, via text on 81111: "Specky (see 1616) - you took the words right out of my mouth (it wasn't while you were kissing me though!)"

Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
1644: Bit of a round-up then. Sorensen takes his maiden stage win. That means there's no change in the general classification standings as Nocentini came home in the peloton some six minutes later, along with Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong and Wiggins. Cavendish's sprinting exploits ensures he stays in green while Martinez did enough to retain the polka dot jersey.

1640: Bit of a crash, involving Cadel Evans, Levi Leipheimer and possible Andreas Kloden among others. But it was inside the last 3km so they should be okay timewise.

It's good news for a British rider
1638: And Cavendish leads them home. He sat in Hushovd's wheel down the final straight and then powered past him in the final metres. Look of disbelief on Hushovd's face - he had his team leading him out for that one. Cav picks up 13 points to move onto 195, Thor gets 12 to go to 185.

1634: Pellizotti is given third place as Pauriol drifts over back in seventh. Sorensen crossed the line with a smile almost as wide as his armspan. Great finish by him. Took the race by the scruff of the neck and nobody had the legs to live with him. The peloton is coming.

1633: The battle for the minor places is won by Lefevre. That was Sorensen's maiden Tour win in his 10th year as a pro.

1632: SAXO BANK'S NICKI SORENSEN WINS STAGE 12

1631: He's into the heart of Vittel and he's negotiated a couple of corners and he's on the long final kilometre drag up to the finish.


1629: Laurent Lefevre has a dig. Pellizotti and Martinez get after him. But nobody's catching Sorensen who is 34 seconds clear as he goes under the 2km banner.

1627: It's a fair old turn of speed by the Dane who has opened up a 23 seconds lead in no time at all. Pauriol has dropped out the chasing sextet. 3.5km to go.

1625:Sorensen has gone for it on his own with 5km to go. Calzati has given up and he's dropped back to make the chasing five a six. Sorensen is 13 seconds clear again.

1622: Looks like Sorensen and Calzati are struggling to stay out on their own. They are nine seconds clear and the five chasers are going to catch them. There's six kilometres to go.

1618: Peloton has certainly given this up. Leading duo now six minutes clear with only 10km to go. Calzati and Sorensen left out there, five chasing them down and now 13 seconds behind. Where's your money?

Text in your views on 81111
1616: From Specky, (preparing himself for the pro-dog backlash), via text on 81111: "I'm not a dog lover and this may sound unsympathetic... but for goodness sake! Who stands by the side of the road to watch the world's biggest professional bike race and decides letting their dog off the lead is a good idea? A collision with a dog at these speeds could end a rider's career (or worse). I presume the dog owner is "distraught" at their own stupidity?

1613: Inside last 15km, overall lead up over five minutes. Front two still out, 17 seconds clear of the five who were with them up until recently.

Get involved on 606
1610: tom oo on 606: "Let's not forget there are plenty of points available for 8th place and below, so we should still be seeing Cav, Thor et al sprinting it out to the line."

Text in your views on 81111
1608: From Will in Newcastle, via text on 81111: "Anyone else aware that Lance predicted the winner of the last 3 stages and also that today would be won by a breakaway?"

1606: A bit of a strike for home from Calzati and Sorensen. They went at about 22km to go. Lead is eight seconds at the 20km to go mark. They have a four minute advantage over the peloton.

Get involved on 606
1605: BBC Sport's Alex Murray on 606: "No comment on our first dogstrike of the Tour? (Apologies, I missed it, Scriv) Looks like Vaugrenard ploughed through a wee Yorkie that ran into the road and someone else almost went through the back of a team car that had to do an emergency stop. No news on the pooch but the official tour site reports the owner as being "distraught" which is never a good sign."

1602: Oops - typo alert - Fothen rides for Milram, nor Milmar - I mis-typed it first time this lunchtime and then copied it again at 1554 - thanks to those who pointed out the error.


1600: This lead ain't slipping. Back up to nearly four minutes. There'll be no ninth stage win for Cavendish today. 25km to go.



Text in your views on 81111
1555: From Graham, accounting in Cambridge, via text on 81111: "Latitude (see 1542) is brilliant, been for the last 2 years. The kids will have a blast. Don't fight the rain, embrace it.
Been to a fair few festivals with the kids, but now they're a bit more mobile and inquisitive and want to help with everything. Still, looking forward to the break.

1554: Okay. Enough tomfoolery for a bit. Let's remind ourselves who's out front. Saxo Bank's Sorensen, Euskaltel's Martinez, Pellizotti of Liquigas, Pauriol of Cofidis, Milmar's Fothen, Agritubel's Calzati and BBO's Lefevre are battling it out. Who is your money on?

Text in your views on 81111
1551: From Dan in Hants, via text on 81111: "Perhaps John C (see 1530) will get a day in the saddle...?"

1550: Leaders look like they might make it. 33km to go. Lead at three minutes 40 seconds.

Text in your views on 81111
1548: From Steve M in London, via text on 81111: "Seems the peloton have determined this is not going to be another one for Cav - doubt if that breakaway will get pulled back now!"

Text in your views on 81111
1546:From Chris, still at work, via text on 81111: "I think its nice to see the 2 top contenders for a jersey, battling it out even for the minor points."

The sun is out
1542: And here comes the peloton - still four minutes adrift and under 40km to go. Many riders labouring up the climb. Not Bradley Wiggins though - he's up near the front. Not a cloud in the sky by the way. Just wanted to put the sun graphic up really. Hoping it might be a good omen as I'm off to a music festival in Suffolk tomorrow. It's supposed to lob it down and I'm not looking forward to putting up a tent in a storm while trying to keep two small kids from hammering tent pegs through their feet.

Polka dot jersey
1538: Thousands lining the street and being kept behind barriers. And Pellizotti just climbs out of the saddle and gets over the top first. Four points for the Liquigas rider takes him to 71 points. Martinez gets three for his second place and moves to 88 points. He'll stay in the polka dot jersey when the race goes back into the mountains tomorrow.

1536: Final climb then. And it's a short-sharp 11% incline of just under 1km. Martinez sitting in wheel of Pellizotti.

Green jersey
1533: Here comes the sprint and the winner is....Cav...okay, not even he's good enough to make up four minutes. No real fight for the points. Cofidis' Pauriol goes through first with Pellizotti and Calzatis following. 42km to go and the third category climb will probably be with us before you read this.

Text in your views on 81111
1530:From John C in London, via text on 81111: "On the subject of domestic bliss (see 1203), my girlfriend, who has been forced into a new found passion, cycling, over the last week and a half, has just offered to 'reward' either me or my flat mate if one of us can manage to get a comment on the feed. As this is on a first to the line basis, and I'm not entirely sure what kind of 'reward' she's thinking of. Can you post this to ensure I am actually the recipient of it? Thanks
Happy to oblige although I'm not sure whether I want to know the outcome...

1528: Bit of a Vittel stat for you. 900,000,000 bottles of the town's water is sold in 80 countries every year. And in 1968 they were the first to use plastic bottles for drinks.

1526: Leaders have 50km to go. Their lead is four minutes. The general consensus is that the peloton takes 10km to bring the lead back by one minute. Looking good for the breakaway then.

It's good news for a British rider
Text in your views on 81111
1525: From Chris in Bexley, via text on 81111: "Can we get an update on the British riders? Slightly worried that the batting collapse at Lord's is going to start spreading to other sports."
You certainly can Chris. Not a lot to say really. All are safely ensconced in the peloton.

Polka dot jersey
1519:Pellizotti takes another point off Martinez's lead with victory over the final category four climb over the Cote de Morlaix. One final intermediate sprint and one cat three climb to come before the final 40km or so into the spa town of Vittel.

Get involved on 606
1518: CorruptedMind on 606: "I'm trying to figure out why Pellizotti and Martinez are trying to settle the KOM before the Alps. Have I missed something, have they removed the Alps when they reinstated the radios?"

Text in your views on 81111
1516: From Dave in Cardiff, via text on 81111: "482km, on rural roads, on heavy old bikes with only one gear, often riding alone, carrying a spare tyre round their necks, setting off in the early hours (2am) and finishing that evening, if at all. That's how they used to do it."

Text in your views on 81111
1515:From Nik in Herts, via text on 81111: "It's neither snake or serpent. Holidaying near Poitiers one year an old lady shouted "veeper, veeper!!" at my brother and me as we scrambled around some chateau ruins. We learned later on she was warning us about the snakes (vipers) in the grass."

Polka dot jersey
1508: Bit more action in the race. Pellizotti takes a crucial three points as the first rider over the Cote Des Grands-Bois. He won't have been happy to see Martinez follow him over, but the Liquigas rider has cut the Spaniard's advantage. Pellizotti now has 64 points to Martinez's 83 in the race for the polka dot jersey. Two more climbs to go today. Lance Armstrong had to make a brief stop for a new backwheel. No panic though and he's getting back to the rear of the peloton. 60km to go, lead at three minutes 50 seconds.


Get involved on 606
1505: causticcliffm on 606: Stage 5 in 1919 - 482km. Won by Jean Alavoine in 18h 54' 07". Wimp.

Text in your views on 81111
1503: From Chris in Southwark, via text on 81111: "I also wonder what the state of the roads were in rural France 100 years ago. 400km is phenomenal indeed."

1501: Leaders are chugging up climb number four the Cote des Grands-Bois, Lead at a steady four minutes.

Text in your views on 81111
1500: From Mol_and_Daze, via text on 81111: "It is a strict convention among riders not to attack during the feed zone but like all cycling conventions it does get broken especially when there is some underlying bad feeling. Fignon and Mottet's Systems U were particularly renowned for premeditated feed zone attacks, most famously in 1987 when they cost Jean Francois Bernard from their Toshiba rivals the yellow jersey and possibly the tour."

Text in your views on 81111
1458: From Myles in London, via text on 81111: "There are 2 venomous snakes in France (see 1432), both from the adder/viper family and are generally not fatal. (there is one other which is a grass snake but due to where its fangs are it can't get enough venom in to cause lasting damage). Yet another gem of information sourced from google."

1455: There's not a lot happening on the road. The front seven are pushing along and AG2R are still leading the peloton. 67km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1453:From Mat in Reading not doing much apart from following the tour, via text on 81111: "Cycling In 1919 they had the longest stage of the tour at 482km thats just over 300 miles. These guys don't know how good they have it. Anyone know how long that stage took?

Text in your views on 81111
1449: From Tim in London, via text on 81111: "Surely Romain would have shouted "Serpent!"? (See 1432) Can Phil give us an update on how heavy the roads are today?
Latest tweet from Phil says they look nice and smooth but he didn't ride today.


Text in your views on 81111
1450: From DCH in Cambridge, via text on 81111: "Didn't Super Mario win 4 on consecutive days in 1999? Which is better? 5 with a day between each one or 4 on the trot?"

Get involved on 606
1445: Im_partial on 606: "I can't really think that those little climbs are going to break up the field given where they are positioned, and still expect a bunch sprint at the end."

1443: Heading towards 75km to go. Will this seven manage to stay out front? They appear to be working well together and with the next two cat four climbs up the Cote des Grands-Bois and the Cote de Morlaix approaching, you can bet that King of the Mountains rivals Pellizotti and Martinez are keen to keep pushing. Lead at three minutes 50 seconds.

Text in your views on 81111
1440:From Anon, via text on 81111: "Bring back the Roubaix to Metz stage! (See 1420) 400km to sort the men from the boys... That distance is phenomenal when you consider the equipment and lower levels of support they had available. Has any recent tour had a stage anywhere near that long?"
Please remember to stick your name in your texts!

Text in your views on 81111
1435:From Jown_b, via text on 81111: "How does the feed zone work? Do riders have to eat their rations before coming out of it? Can a leading rider theoretically gain an advantage over the peloton by going thru it as quickly as possible?"
No advantage to be gained really as the riders grab little bags with the food in as they ride through the feeding station. This is then distributed among members of their team, or sometimes other riders as well, and they eat on the hoof. Lots of energy bars and gels is the order of the day.

Twitter
1432: BBC Sport's Phil Sheehan on Twitter: "There was a crash about 30km into stage 11 yesterday. Some of the riders went into a field to try and get around the carnage...then all scarpered back out of the field when Romain Feillu shouted "Snake!"

1430: AG2R continuing to set the pace on the front. Nobody else seems too keen to get involved. Still, they're doing a decent job in keeping the escapees within reach. 85km to go.

1427: On the tarmac, the septet out front are four minutes down the road as the route goes past the triple-deck Viaduc de Chaumont. There's a train track across the top and a couple of walkways underneath. You wouldn't catch me anywhere near it. I get nervous looking out the window of our office on the fifth floor at Television Centre.

Text in your views on 81111
1425: From someone working in a bank on the Isle of Man, via text on 81111: "We also have the sports on instead of bloomberg (see 1253) but everyone keeps an eye on your live report to see how our Cav is doing."

Text in your views on 81111
1423: From Iain in Moorgate, via text on 81111: "Faber popping in...that would make him 130 odd!?"
I did of course mean Ollie. And for those of you pointing out Mr Williams is the weatherman on Family Guy - thank-you.


Get involved on 606
1420: BigCog on 606: "Here's the detail of the only ever 5 consecutive stage wins in 1909 by François Faber:
Stage 2 : 7 July Roubaix - Metz 398 km (247 mi)
Stage 3 : 9 July Metz - Belfort 259 km (161 mi)
Stage 4 : 11 July Belfort - Lyon 309 km (192 mi)
Stage 5 : 13 July Lyon - Grenoble 311 km (193 mi)
Stage 6 : 15 July Grenoble - Nice 346 km (215 mi).

1415: Sorry, just getting a bit of food down my neck as the riders take on their feed for the afternoon. Around 95km to go. Lead has increased to just over four minutes. Apparently I missed them going past the final resting place of Charles de Gaulle - Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises. In 1960, the race stopped in the town so they could meet the then French president.

Text in your views on 81111
1407:From anon, via text on 81111: "Ollie Williams working for the BBC? Can I be the first to welcome him over from his previous job on the 'Channel 5 Action News' in Family Guy?"

Text in your views on 81111
1403: Isn't google (other search engines available) a wonderful tool - what did you all do before it? From anon, via text on 81111: "Consecutive stage wins. Have looked on wiki and google, no info, but most stage wins in a tour is 8 by 3 different riders. Freddie Maertens (1976), E ddy Mercx (1970, 1974) and Charles Pélissier (1930 - he also got 7 2nd places that yr!)"

1401: Lots of people agreeing with Ollie and saying Francois Faber won the most consecutive tour stages (see 1340) on text - looks like he may be safe tomorrow. Talk of the devil, he's just popped in to say hello, and no doubt gloat.

1358: Lead seems to have levelled out at three minutes, 15 seconds. No threat to the yellow jersey in the front seven. Sorensen is the closest, but he is almost 11 minutes adrift of Nocentini.

Yellow jersey
1353: AG2R leading the peloton. Let's not forget that they have maillot jaune Rinaldo Nocentini among their ranks.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1349: In any doubt how much winning a stage means to Cav? Check out BBC Sport Five Live's Phil Sheehan's Twitter photo of Cav's frame.

1345: Decent bunch out front heading towards today's late lunch in Juzzenecourt at the 111.5km point. They'll be in need of a bit of scran. They have been averaging 45.7km/h for the first couple of hours.

1343: Another drop-out. FDJ's Jerome Coppel has had enough.

1340: A lot of people on 606 suggesting Mario Cipollini as the man to win most successive Tour stages with four in 1999 (see 1318). However, my colleague Ollie Williams has just emailed me this: "Francois Faber won five consecutive stages in 1909 (stages two-six) which, I think, is still the record. He was from Luxembourg and was the first foreigner to win the Tour de France (also 1909) in what was, apparently, atrocious weather. Then he joined the Foreign Legion where he was shot dead. Fair to say he led a lively life."
If you can prove him wrong, then feel free to do so tomorrow as he will be in the live text saddle.

1337: Calzati, Pellizotti and Martinez take the green jersey points at the second intermediate sprint in Longchamp sur-Aujon at the 90km gone mark.

Green jersey
It's good news for a British rider
Mark Cavendish
1336: First glimpse of Kermit Cav. Looking resplendent all in green. A quick repeat of the first sprint of the day - Cav was looking over his shoulder at Hushovd as he glided over the line first.

1334: Looks like the leaders are being allowed to get away. Saxo Bank's Nicki Sorensen has joined in the fun. Sorensen, Euskaltel's Martinez, Pellizotti of Liquigas, Pauriol of Cofidis, Milmar's Fothen, Agritubel's Calzati and BBO's Lefevre are now three minutes clear with 120km remaining.

Get involved on 606
1330: Im_partial on 606: "News of Angelo Furlan's abandonment (see 1246) fills Kenny van H's heart with glee - that is his closest rival for Lanterne Rouge gone. Breathing room for our Dutch friend."

1328: I guess you've got to feel a bit sorry for the riders, particularly when there's no real change in the general classification as has happened in recent days. The media outlets want their soundbite, but the riders just run out of stuff to say.

1325: A painful interview with Bradley Wiggins on the TV - he openly admitted to being bored with answering the same questions about how well he has been doing this year. He clearly had other things on his mind, such as today's stage.

1320: Bit more action to bring you. Levio Leipheimer, Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck have stepped on the pedals. But their efforts came to nothing. Remi Pauriol of Cofidis and Milmar's Markus Fothen are the other two up front.

Text in your views on 81111
1318: From Neil via text on 81111: "Has anyone ever won three stages on the bounce? If so who and what's the record for consecutive stage wins?" Anyone got the time to have a look? Bit busy myself!

1316: King of the Mountains rivals Pellizotti and Martinez are in the front half dozen. Lefevre and Sylvain Calzati are also in with two as yet unnamed riders.

1313: Here we go again. Four men make a dash for freedom. They are quickly joined by two more and we have a leading sextet. A little under 150km to go.

Polka dot jersey
1308:Franco Pellizotti beat current polka dot jersey holder Egoi Martinez over the second climb of the day, the Cote de Gye-sur-Seine, but was thwarted in his attempt to make it a double over Cote de Essoyes. Laurent Lefevre took the three points there, but Pellizotti picked up a point which may yet prove crucial.

1305: And they're all back together as they ascend the Cote de Essoyes

1300: Another 15 have had a dig off the front - peloton not keen to let them go yet.

1254: Another breakaway foiled. Twelve went out and they were all counted back in again. They have been over the Cote de Gye-sur-Seine and are speeding down the other side - results when I have them.

Text in your views on 81111
1253: From anon, via text on 81111: "I work on a trading floor of a big bank and there are tv screens everywhere usually showing busines news. Today its either cricket or golf and i have the cycling on my pc! Where do i look... What a dilemma!" Not surprised you want to remain anonymous Mr(s) banker.

1250: Riders making their way up Cote de Gye-sur-Seine. The peloton is still together. About 160km to go.

1246: Lampre's Angelo Furlan has withdrawn from the race. No idea why. If I find it, I'll let you know. Turns out it's been a bad couple of weeks for the Fulan family. His parents used their savings to buy a campervan to follow their son's progress, but it was nicked in Barcelona.

1240: The Astana team has pulled in the escapees before they get too far down the road.
Quick update on the use of race radios for tomorrow's stage. Earpieces will be allowed after the International Cycling Union (UCI) lifted a ban an all communications between sports directors and their riders for the 13th stage. Here's their statement: "To put an end to the controversy which is compromising the running of the Tour de France, the UCI management committee has decided not to repeat the experiment of a stage without radio communication on Friday 17th of July."


1234: Couple of climbs in quick succession coming up. The Cote de Gye-sur-Seine is first with the Cote de Essoyes following. Both category fours.

1230: Bit of a break. Eleven riders have gone off the front and are about 10 seconds clear.

It's good news for a British rider
Green jersey
1225: Round one to Cav. With nobody breaking from the peloton, there's a good old-fashioned sprint in Channes and the Manxman outdoes Hushovd to take six points and extend his lead in the green jersey. Hushovd was second, so it's not like he wasn't trying for it himself.

Get involved on 606
1222: behavedave on 606: "Okay by my very inaccurate calculations today is a cumulative climb of 681 metres or 2,234 feet (ignoring the smaller undulations). That's a fair deal of climbing to your average person similar to the climb to some of the high fells in the lakes."

BBC Radio 5 Live
1220: Not a lot happening on the road, so time to remind you that you can listen to live commentary of the closing 90 minutes or so of the stage via Five Live on this website. The link will go up at 1515 BST.

Get involved on 606
1217: winnerfrogman on 606: "Millar looks eager to go, probably just rounding up a posse that can go with him. Pellizotti and Bennati would be decent allies in any break though but it has to be more riders than that to have half a chance. Might be better to leave it till later?"

Get involved on 606
1213: DeGuzman on 606: "Pozzato is my man for today, if he isn't in the escape, he could still do very well with today's finish"

1210: Bearing down on the first sprint of the day at Channes. And with the peloton all together, can you see a bit of a dash from Hushovd to try and close the gap on Cavendish?

Polka dot jersey
It's good news for a British rider
1206: Bit of a break on the climb. Garmin's David Millar among them and he takes three points for being first up Cote de Baon. He's followed over the top by Liquigas duo Daniel Bennati and Franco Pellizotti. The trio are soon hoovered up by the peloton though. 20km gone, 190 and a bit to go.

1203: Quick insight into the domestic bliss of Mr and Mrs Wiggins. Cath Wiggins on Twitter: nagged @bradwiggins 'why didn't you ring me?' he said 'cos I follow your twitter'
Guess these social networking sites do have a good use after all. Although, quick shout to Mrs Scriv if I may be so bold, I'm still going nowhere near facebook.

1200: Riders approaching first ascent of the day - the category four climb up Cote de Baon. It's a 2.2km climb and the peloton is still together. When can we expect the first fireworks?

Get involved on 606
1158: CorruptedMind on 606: "I have a feeling that this stage won't be as straightforward as everyone is thinking. Yes, there will be a break. Côte des Grands-Bois, Côte de Morlaix and the frightening (11%) Côte de Bourmont all run into one another in quick succession. There is also an intermediate at Saint-Thiebault. If the breakaway gets away and they aren't racing for the stage then Columbia won't be pulling at the front. So it makes everything that much more cagey. This stage has a couple of of ingredients for a peleton split today."

Text in your views on 81111
1155: From Andy, the deskbound domestique, via text on 81111: "The escapes have been a great feature of this Tour. Are they all spontaneous decisions by whoever happens to be around or do riders plan them beforehand?"

Text in your views on 81111
1152: From James (in Manchester at a PC with restricted bandwidth so following today by text!), via text on 81111: "Let's hope today's stage brings a bit more entertainment than 90 per cent of yesterday's. Might be a climbers' break today given the profile? On Lance' s Tweet on John Hartson (see 1122), John's situation looks very similar to what he went through so I'm sure that must strike a particular chord. I recently lost so meone close to me through cancer and it makes the Livestrong crusade so much more motivating."

1150: Not a lot happening on the road so far - couple of tentative looks, but no takers for the big break just yet. Early doors though, still inside five kilometres gone.

Twitter
1144: Lance Armstrong on Twitter: "Driving 2 the start. Whattya think? A break makes it 2 the finish 2day? I'm guessing so. Rolling terrain today too. Tomorrow's stage is tuf!" Obviously posted before the star of today's stage, unless he's developed the ability to Tweet and ride at the same time.

1142: Couple of texts on the neutral zone asking what it's all about. As far as I'm aware, it's just the time before the race where the riders all get together behind the official start car and parade through the town they are due to leave from. A bit of a thank-you to the hosting town and to show-off a bit. I'm sure others can fill me in if there's more to add. In the meantime, the riders have left the neutral zone and are on their way to Vittel. 169 left as Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (GCE) has withdrawn after tearing ligaments in his shoulder following a crash during stage 11.

Text in your views on 81111
1140: From Alan in Woking, via text on 81111: "I sent a text to my dad saying 'Boonen's really justifying his inclusion in the tour isn't he?' and he text back saying 'Boonen who?'. The old man's still got a bit of humour left in him."

Get involved on 606
1139: bazza_w on 606: "Fantastic. Now I've got the Open Golf on one tab and the TdF on the other. A productive day looms."

Green jersey
1135: Could be an interesting day in the battle for the green jersey. Cav is obviously in possession for today. But Thor Hushovd will be keen to get his Norwegian hands back on it. There are three intermediate sprints scattered throughout the stage. Hushovd has 169 points, Cav 176. Like I say, could be an interesting day.

Text in your views on 81111
1132: From John, frantically keeping track of cricket, golf and cycling whilst at work, via text on 81111: "The only reason Cav has been called 'anti-french' is because he refused to let a Frenchman win on Bastille Day. What cheek!

1128: Just time then for me to give you a reminder of who is in which jersey and how the overall standings look.
Yellow jersey
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 11:

1. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R) 43hrs 28mins 59secs
2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) + 6secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 8
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) +39
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 46

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 AFTER STAGE 11:

Yellow jersey: Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R)
Green jersey: Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia)
Polka dot jersey: Egoi Martinez (Spa/Euskaltel)
White jersey: Tony Martin (Ger/Team Columbia)

1125: The riders are gathered in Tonnerre for the start of stage 12. There will be the usual preamble through the neutral zone before racing proper begins around 1140 BST.

Twitter
1122: Usual raft of Tweets from the cyclists overnight, but one from Lance Armstrong caught my eye: "My thoughts go out to John Hartson. Livestrong, John! We're pulling for you! Folks, hold him in your thoughts and prayers please." For those of you who don't know, John Hartson is a former Welsh international footballer who is suffering from cancer.

Get involved on 606
1120: City HobGoblin on 606: "With a tough day coming up tomorrow and today being a hilly stage its tailor made for a successful breakaway."

1117: The other sport to which I refer is Tom Fordyce covering day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord's: Sam Lyon is in the golf hot seat as the first day's play at the 138th Open Championship gets underway:
Get involved on 606
Text in your views on 81111
1112: Quick call to action. I'm sure you all know the score by now, but just in case you need a reminder, you can get involved on 606 or by texting 81111. Lots of other sport on today so please remember to put cycling at the beginning of your text.


Mark Cavendish
1109: The first five of the climbs are all category four affairs, the shortest is 2.1km, the longest 2.4km. And the sole category three climb is a mere 0.8km long. Easy peasy then for the 170 riders left in the race. The stage finishes some 40km beyond the final climb, in Vittel - a slight uphill finish, but I think Cav has already proved that he can cope with that.

1105: Bit of a roller coaster ride today. Six climbs, but none too severe, and a flat run-in with a slight incline at the finish, reminds me of the Big Dipper at Blackpool.

1103: Britain's Mark Cavendish will be decked out in green for stage 12 of this year's Tour - a 211.5km ride from Tonnerre to Vittel - and there's another flat finish which may just suit the Manx Missile. A repeat of yesterday's win and he breaks Barry Hoban's British record of eight stage victories on the Tour

1100 BST: Are you ready to watch history made today?




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see also
Sorensen grinds out stage victory
16 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish equals record with win
15 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish surges to third victory
14 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Fedrigo triumphs on ninth stage
12 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Sanchez secures stage eight win
11 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week two photos
17 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Nocentini takes lead in mountains
10 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France ones to watch
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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