Intermediate sprint interrupted by a dog that has so far crossed the road ahead of both groups.
Schachmann looks tired after his efforts on yesterday’s break but reaped a final advantage for Sagan ahead of the line. It has a lot of space to play.
159 km to go
Teuns leads Kung on the intermediate sprint line. They don’t care about the points, but Sagan does, and he’ll be there in three minutes.
Bennett is now in a chase group of nine runners who also broke off on the climb.
Bennett was good at holding on initially while Bora opened a gap to the rest of the pack, but he had no legs at the top of the climb.
Bennett now looks resigned. He has another Bora driver, Daniel Oss, sitting behind the wheel, but Oss chooses to leave and leave him behind now, taking as many points as possible.
Sagan reaches the top of the climb with Schachmann and nearly drops the German. Trentin is there and trying to catch up, but Bennett was spaced right up there.
Bennett is hooked to the back of this Bora train. And they’re getting a gap from the rest of the group …
Sagan hopes to be able to take maximum points from the group in the intermediate sprint, which comes 6km after the climb, and that Bennett will have fallen and will not collect any.
Kung guides Teuns over the top as Bora hits the front and lights it up on the approach.
Kung and Teuns have reached the first ascent of cat-4. It is only 1km, but the average gradient is 8.4%. Bora will definitely try to hurt Bennett there.
Ineos’ performance yesterday drew criticism from their former conductor Sean Yates, who wonders why they rode so hard on the penultimate climb and if Bernal got his training wrong. Full story at the link below.
Sean Yates raises serious questions about Ineos’ Tour de France tactics
171 km to go
Now everything is calm in the group and the gap from Kung and Theuns is reduced to 2:15 after 23 km.
Bol and Pedersen are now returning to the group. Maybe Bol just wanted to take a bigger break? I can’t find an explanation for Pedersen.
Kung and Teuns also look perplexed. They talk about it before they settle down and keep moving forward.
Pedersen reaches Bol and it’s all smiles between the two. They don’t seem eager to try and get close to Kung and Teuns. Odd.
Bol sits down and starts waiting for Pedersen.
Wait, Casper Pedersen (Sunweb) has other ideas. He gets off the pack and starts making his way. No reaction from anyone else in the group.
The pace in the group has now slowed down and things seem to have calmed down. Kung, Bol, Teuns move to 30 seconds.
Here’s how the points standings are ahead of this upcoming intermediate sprint
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep 252
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 186
3 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 162
4 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lot Soudal 155
5 Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team 146
It seems that Matteo Trentin (CCC) wants to be involved. He became interested in the intermediate sprints. The leader of the mountain ranking Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R) also makes a move but is brought back.
Kung manages to cross to get to three in front. They only have a handful of seconds, though, and it’s still starting behind.
Kung is next to respond and puts in a big acceleration from the group.
Another couple of bikers are chasing as we hit a flat false slope. The first real climb comes after 31 km.
The attacks have stopped but has not fully stabilized yet. The gap is thin.
Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) jumps.
Sunweb goes on with Cees Bol.
Asgreen looks like he might want to part ways here, rather than just guarding Bennett. He moves forward and raises his elbow. It is massively stretched but currently has no gaps.
Asgreen turns it off one more time before moving on to the front of that group. The platoon is deployed and the accelerations come and go in a frenzied start.
De Gendt’s Lotto Soudal teammate Roger Kluge is next to go, and he’s joined by EF’s Sergio Higuita in a little and big combo.
Thomas De Gendt tries a move, but is not going anywhere. Total and FDJ seem enthusiastic again.
Total Direct Energie throws the first move, but is quickly shut down by Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Kasper Asgreen. There is an intermediate sprint after 38km, and QuickStep obviously has Sam Bennett in the green jersey …
Here we are!
François Lemarchand gets up from the sunroof and waves the yellow flag. Attacks begin immediately.
Today we go to Lyon, the place of arrival of the first stage of the Tour de France, back in 1903. Maurice Garin was the driver who won that day and has the honor of being the first winner of a stage of the Tour.
Wondering who will be on break today? We have chosen some candidates for the rest of the race. We already saw a few yesterday along the way, while the first name on that list seems to me to be the best choice for today.
Magic 8: the best separatist specialists of the Tour de France to follow
The runners are seated behind the director’s car as we head through the last few kilometers of this naturalized zone.
We have details on these restrictions, as well as information on tomorrow’s stage, where the authorities will attempt to prevent anyone from witnessing the final two climbs.
Fans banned from the Tour de France start and end in the red zones of the coronavirus
They were out!
Bikers move amidst a large crowd in Clermont Ferrand. The departure and arrival areas will be limited from here on out as we return to the coronavirus red zones.
Race leader Primoz Roglic on the podium shortly before
Before we begin, why not catch up on yesterday’s action?
It was a double hit, with a gripping battle for the stage win from the breakaway, plus a real GC shock. Reports, results, photos … they are all here.
The pre-stage podium ceremony is well underway in Clermont-Ferrand, and the riders will start at 13:05 local time, so in just over 10 minutes. 15 minutes in the neutral zone will follow before the official start of the stage. Yesterday was in full swing for a long time and today we are likely to see another active start.
This stage is classified in the Tour de France road book as “flat”. I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion. They didn’t give the total elevation gain, but the Col du Béal takes us up to 1400 meters, not to mention the other four classified climbs and that long uncategorized climb. After yesterday’s party of 4,400 m in altitude, it’s another tough day.
Bonjour @ClermontFd 👋🚩 Depart / Start: 13:05 CET ⏰ # TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/WBOJk8lotZ12 September 2020
Hello and welcome as the Tour de France enters its second weekend. The great summit arrival at the Grand Colombier arrives on Sunday but first we have this hilly stage that takes us out of the Massif Central and towards Lyon, approaching the high mountains. The separatist hopes will have marked him a long time ago.