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Live Reporting

Paul Fletcher

All times stated are UK

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  1. See you tomorrow

    Well, that is all from me today after another intriguing, hot and breathtaking stage in the Pyrenees. There will be another tomorrow and I'm expecting that one to heavily involve the race leaders.

    So get some rest and join me on Thursday.

    Riders of Team Sky lead the peleton
  2. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Tomorrow is a big day. Contador is running out of riders rapidly and will need help from Majka desperately. As it stands Froome has not had to do much at all - he's gone all the way to the climb without having to do much. Richie Porte has done most of the work for him."

    Richie Porte and Chris Froome
  3. More pain on Thursday?

    Tomorrow is the last day in the Pyrenees - 195km from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille.

    That includes a category two climb, two category one climbs and ends with an hors categorie climb up to Plateau de Beille - 15.8km and 7.9%. Easy, I'm sure.

    I wonder how Vincenzo Nibali fancies that one? 

    A rider climbs in the Tour de France
  4. Post update

    Dan Martin: "To bridge across the group and still get second - I'm very proud of that ride today. My legs are obviously good so we will just keep trying."

  5. Post update

    Bauke Mollema's late dash off the front has taken him into the top 10 at Vincenzo Nibali's expense.


  6. Yellow jersey

    Froome remains in yellow

    1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 41hrs 03mins 31secs

    2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing +2:52"

    3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar +3:09"

    4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +3:59"

    5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky +4:03"

    6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff -Saxo +4:04"

    7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto +4:33"

    8. Robert Gesink (Neth) LottoNL +4:35"

    9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant +6:44"

    10. Bauke Mollema (Neth) Trek +7:05"

    Riders in the Tour de France
  7. Majka dedicates win

    Hmm, Nibali lost 50 seconds today. 

    Rafal Majka on his win: "I knew this stage would be hard but I like this weather when it is warm and today I had a positive opportunity. I am so happy and this victory is for my team-mates and Ivan Basso."

    Ivan Basso, of course, withdrew from the race on Monday after announcing he is suffering from testicular cancer.

    Rafal Majka
  8. Post update

    Waiting to hear exactly how much time Vincenzo Nibali lost today. It won't get any easier for the Italian tomorrow with another day in the Pyrenees.

  9. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "A slight sigh of relief for Froome and the team. It's job well done."

  10. Post update

    It is hard to disagree..

  11. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Dan Martin fought all the way to the line and didn't hold back but was unfortunately unable to chase down Rafal Majka."

  12. Froome safely home

    A few riders had a dig off the front of the yellow jersey group in the last minute or so before they hit the line but Chris Froome came home safely and did not lose any time to his major rivals.

    In fact, I'd say Vincenzo Nibali was a good 30 seconds or so back. Waiting for that to be confirmed.

    Chris Froome
  13. Post update

    My apologies, Thomas Voeckler was not swallowed up by the peloton. The veteran finishes fifth.

    Bauke Mollema made a late surge off the front of the yellow jersey group and that led to problems for Nibali. 

    Thomas Voeckler
  14. Post update

    Serge Pauwels of MTN-Quebeka claims fourth. Superb for the wildcard team.

    Now, what has happened to Vincenzo Nibali?

  15. Martin claims second

    And a cracking ride too from Dan Martin, who finishes second for the second time on this Tour, roughly a minute behind Majka.

    Emanuel Buchmann takes third.

  16. Majka wins stage 11

    A superb ride today from Pole Rafal Majka, who punches the air as he crosses the line to claim the stage win.

    Rafal Majka
  17. Post update

    It was a terrible day for Vincezo Nibali yesterday and the defending champion seems to have gone again today.

    Vincenzo Nibali
  18. Nibali sliding backwards


    Richie Porte, who has put a big shift in, slides off the back of the yellow jersey group - as does Vincenzo Nibali.

  19. 1km to go

    Barring any late attacks, there will be no changes of note in the general classification today. Not sure we will be saying that this time tomorrow (more on that later).

  20. 2km to go

    Glory beckons for Tinkoff-Saxo's Rafal Majka...

  21. Post update

    Dan Martin blasts past Serge Pouwels. Second place for the Irishman today. I mean, surely he cannot bridge the two-minute gap with just 3.4km left?

  22. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "People are saying Froome has the yellow jersey wrapped up. But as we saw from some of the riders yesterday, if you have a bad day you can lose so much time on a climb quickly. We've never seen Chris do that but you never know. This is not over."

    Chris Froome
  23. 5km to go

    Dan Martin is probably going to catch Serge Pauwels in second, but I don't think he will be getting near Rafal Majka, who is close to the top of the final climb of another hot, tough day in the Pyrenees.

    Hats off to all of them.

  24. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

  25. Post update

  26. 6km to go

    The group of seven that we had out in front for some considerable time is severely splintered now. Thomas Voeckler has been swallowed up by the yellow jersey group. Team Sky are on the front of that one, with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas in front of Chris Froome.

    Chris Froome in the yellow jersey
  27. Post update

    One last dig from Dan Martin, who is now out on his own in third having dropped Emanuel Buchmann.

    But I don't think he will be troubling leader Rafal Majka, who is two minutes clear with 7km left to go. 

  28. Falling out of love with the Tour?

    Chris Froome might have struggled to weave his way through the crowds at some points during Tuesday's final climb and we have seen fans by the roadside today, but at least one person has been disappointed with the turnout so far.

    Veteran Sunday Times journalist David Walsh was on BBC Radio 5 earlier today and I thought he had some very interesting things to say...

    Fans at the Tour de France
    Quote Message: I've been coming to mountain stages for 33 years. I have never seen a crowd so small on a stage like Tuesday's. The crowds were unbelievable sparse. Have the French fallen out of love with their own race? I certainly believe they have. The mountains are were you get the hardcore fans and yet there weren’t that many. I used to dread the drive down from a mountain stage because it took so long with fans blocking the road as they walked home. On Tuesday it took us 20 minutes. from David Walsh Sunday Times journalist
    David WalshSunday Times journalist
  29. 9km to go

    So we end today with a category three climb up to Cauterets. All looking good for Rafal Majka, who remains more than a minute clear of Serge Pauwels.

    It has been a superb ride by the 25-year-old, who is closing in on his third stage win at the Tour after two in 2014. 

  30. Tricky little finish

    Quote Message: Funny finish to today's stage. It's a 6.4km climb at 5% but the last 2km are almost flat. On the drive up this morning, we were joking that there could be a bunch sprint with lead-out men. There won't be, though, because not only does this climb come immediately after the descent from the leg-shredding Tourmalet, there is a section of switchbacks with 3km to go with an average gradient of 10%. It will be very hot on the road by the time the riders reach that point and it could provide an opportunity for a puncheur to jump clear. The last mile or so would then be a question of head down, mouth open, ignore the burning sensation in your lungs and try not to black out. from Matt Slater BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  31. Post update

    As Rob Hayles was saying earlier....

  32. Post update

    This scares me...

    Alejandro Valverde
  33. 12.5km to go

    So, Pole Rafal Majka is one minute clear of MTN-Quebeka's South African Serge Pauwels.

    Behind Pauwels are Dan Martin and Emanuel Buchmann - but they surely now have too much to do?

    The yellow jersey group seem happy with their work for the day and trail by nearly six minutes.

  34. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If you're wondering why the yellow jersey group haven't brought back the riders out front, it's because the highest-placed rider out there is Dan Martin and he's 26th, so is not threat to the yellow jersey."

  35. Meanwhile, back in parliament...

    It seems that everyone is glued to the performance of Chris Froome and co. This image of French politician Regis Juanico was taken during a session of "questions to the government" in which the members can ask questions regarding the policy of the French government.

    Regis Juanico
  36. 20km to go

    For obvious reasons, it took the riders some time to get up the Tourmalet but they have been speeding along since then.

    Serge Pauwels and Dan Martin are trying to chase down leader Rafal Majka.

    All safe so far in the yellow jersey group. The big contenders are all there. 

    Rafal Majka
  37. Get Involved

  38. Post update

    Warren Barguil, who was involved in a crash yesterday, is trying to catch up with the yellow jersey group. The Giant-Alpecin rider is descending at 50 miles per hour.

    Yep, me too.

  39. On the buses!

    I wonder if Chris Froome is tempted to hitch a ride on the Team Sky bus instead of cycling up the mountains! 

  40. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "A few riders are having to get through some cows on the road. Hitting a dog can be catostraophic for a rider, but hitting a cow - I dread to think."

  41. 25km to go

    A split in the group of six riders - with Dan Martin and Serge Pauwels trying to catch Rafal Majka, who remains almost six minutes clear of the yellow jersey group with 25km to go.

    Will Majka hold on? Let me know what you think. Majka, of course, won two stages last year.

  42. Post update

  43. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Hmm, that looks like rather hairy action in north India.

  44. Post update

    Bit of a wobble on a corner from Rafal Majka. I've got to be honest, I find it slightly terrifying watching the speed they speed down a mountain.

  45. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I think Froome's GC rivals have to make the most of the descents. Nibali descends very well. There is plenty of room on the road for people to put Froome under pressure, but if Froome can keep Richie Porte with him it shouldn't be a problem." 

  46. On the way down

    Wonder if the pace in the yellow jersey group is dropping slightly? Michael Rogers, Andrew Talansky, Laurens ten Dam and Mathias Frank have all battled back and rejoined it.

    There are 35km left and that group is on its way down from the Tourmalet. Fast, barren, tough.

  47. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Do keep them coming, these are just superb.

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

  48. Majka at the top

    About 15 riders left in the yellow jersey group - including Chris Froome (obvs), Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and Tejay van Garderen.

    Richie Porte, second yesterday, lost touch briefly but is back on board now.

    Rafal Majka has just reached the top of the Tourmalet. He is about a minute ahead of the six riders behind him and five minutes 30 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group. 

  49. And more call it a day...

    Astana's Rein Taraamäe and Lampre-Merida's Rui Costa have both abandoned.

    There are 43.5km left with Rafal Majka still out on his own, with the breakaway group of six behind him. The main group, such as it is, are five minutes further down the road. 

  50. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    You can listen to Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles commentating on the remainder of this stage on Radio 5 live sports extra and on this page by using the play icon now.

  51. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Send us your snaps of mountains conquered - use #bbccycling or tell us about your climbs by texting 81111

  52. Post update

  53. Gastauer's had enough

    I've never been great at maths (witness my attempts to add up the distance ridden so far yesterday) but I make it four abandons today with the news that AG2R's Ben Gastauer has called it a day. Team-mate Johan Vansummeren has already quit.  

  54. Post update

    Astana still pushing the pace and their chasing group is getting smaller all the time.

    It was tough for Vincenzo Nibali yesterday but he looks a lot more solid today - wonder what he can produce over the next hour?

    Pole Rafal Majka is out on his own at the front as he nears the top of the Tourmalet. 

    Rafal Majka
  55. Post update

    Delhi to the Pyrenees? Hats off to you Akshay.

  56. Majka on the move.

    Interesting move from Rafal Majka, who goes off the front of the breakaway. Their lead is tumbling and the Tinkoff-Saxo rider has obviously had enough. Dan Martin, who did so much work to brudge the gap, is struggling to stay with him.

  57. Post update

  58. Post update

    Jean-Christophe Peraud, second last year, off the back.

    Team Astana raising the pace and the lead of the seven-man breakaway slips to six minutes.

    Team Astana
  59. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

  60. Halfway through the race

    Yep, we have just reached the halfway mark in this year's Tour. 

    As you were. A seven-minute lead for the breakaway with 50km left. They are making their way up the Tourmalet. A breakaway has not succeeded in staying out so far this year.....

    The seven are Dan Martin, Thomas Voeckler, Steve Morabito, Rafal Majka (who won the King of the Mountains last year), Serge Pauwels, Julien Simon and Emanuel Buchmann.

    It looks super hot, the wrong side of 30C.  

  61. Taking in the Tour

    The Pyrenees

    David Lewis from Glossop says: "It's just so amazing to have a global sporting event in such beautiful surroundings in the Pyrenees. The French have such a passion for the sport. I can't wait for the riders to get here and see who comes up the climb first."

  62. Post update

    And when the pain of the Tourmalet is over, the riders will make their way to the finish at Cauterets Vallee De Saint-Savin. 

    Cauterets Vallee De Saint-Savin
  63. And up they go

    This was supposed to be a good year for Frenchman Romain Bardet. Apparently he has sunstroke and is being sick on his bike.

    The seven-man breakaway are making their way up the Tourmalet and have a handy seven-minute lead. Looking good for one of the seven to grab some glory.

    Team Sky happy to control the main bunch. One thing is for sure, we're a little lower on the drama-ometer than we were yesterday.  

  64. Listen up

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    Don't forget, you'll be able to listen to the final stages of today's action on Radio 5 live sports extra - and indeed on this website - from 15:00 BST.

    Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles will be on duty for that one. 

    But if you simply cannot wait that long then check out the latest podcast from the guys as Simon, Rob and Matt Slater discuss yesterday's stage and the state of the race.

  65. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

  66. Post update

    The main group has just gone over the top of the Col d'Aspin. They are seven minutes behind the breakaway. All of which makes me think that the leading group of seven may well stay away - which begs the question, having worked so hard to get up to them, is this a day for Dan Martin?

  67. Post update

    Another abandon with AG2R La Mondiale's Johan Vansummeren pulling out. I make that three so far today.

  68. Get Involved

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

  69. Taking in the Tour

    Quote Message: Kerry Pitt-Kerby from Dorset comes out for three weeks every year to watch the Tour. He says: 'If you go to watch the Premier League you'll be lucky if you get a wave from a footballer, here you can get up close and support the riders and they really appreciate it. Team Sky are doing a fantastic job. I'll be making more noise than anyone else when they come through'. from Mark Ansell BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Mark AnsellBBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Kerry Pitt-Kerby (third from left) and friends
  70. Post update

    The impressive Dan Martin is first over the category one Col d'Aspin. That is 10 potentially valuable King of the Mountain points for the Cannondale-Garmin rider.

    Dan Martin
  71. Post update

    Quote Message: Greetings from the heart of the Pyrenees National Park and what a lovely spot Cauterets is. Today's finish line is in the middle of this small, resort town, 100m from the Adour river that carves through the Vallee de Saint-Savin. Right, enough travelogue, what's happening? The leading group of seven are an eclectic mix, with last year's King of the Mountains Rafal Majka being the most noteworthy name, not that he has done much this race, or this year, for that matter. He is almost an hour behind Froome. Ireland's Dan Martin put in a heroic chase to catch them on the Col d'Aspin, the second hardest climb on today's menu. He won a very similar stage at the Tour in 2013. The break has a seven-minute lead on the Team Sky-paced peloton. from Matt Slater BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  72. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Test 81111 or use #bbccycling

  73. Post update

    Chris Froome, by the way, is looking pretty comfortable towards the front of the peloton with plenty of his Team Sky team-mates controlling the pace. 

    And as Arnaud Demare drops out of the lead group of seven, Dan Martin joins them.

  74. Post update

    Dan Martin is really putting it in here, trailing the breakaway group of seven by less than a minute now, with all the hard work done heading up the Col d'Aspin.

    It looks very hot today, with temperatures pushing 30C. There are 75km to go - but the Col du Tourmalet between now and the finish. The Tour goes over it for the 80th time today.

  75. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Andy just does not look like he is having fun. James does.

  76. Testing times

    Chris Froome in action at the Tour

    Chris Froome's spectacular ride on Tuesday came on the same day that it had been revealed Team Sky had been hacked by critics convinced the 30-year-old is using performance-enhancing drugs.

    Froome is of course adamant that his achievements have nothing to do with doping.

    And he plans to be independently tested between the Tour's finish and the Vuelta a Espana, which begins on 22 August, to try to determine what makes him such an exceptional athlete.

    "I do understand where the questions are coming from, the history of the sport and the people before me who have won the Tour," said Froome.

    "I am sympathetic, but at the same time there needs to be a certain level of respect also."

  77. Hats off to Jose

    Did Forrest Gump do that one?

  78. Post update

    Cannondale-Garmin's Dan Martin is determined to catch up with the leading seven, so much so that he has shed Andriy Garvin. Martin is about two-and-a-half minutes back as he makes his way up the Col d'Aspin.

  79. Post update

  80. Get Involved

    Mountain memories

    Yesterday, in the spirit of the Tour reaching the mountains, I asked for your memories of hauling yourselves up the slopes.

    Thanks very much to all of you who contributed - some of the photos were amazing. In fact, we had so many that it was tricky to get them all in. So, I'm going to publish some more of them today - and please do keep them coming.

    If anyone has been up the Col d'Aspin or the Col du Tourmalet, do tell us just how hard (or easy) you found it. I just love the photo from Tim below... 

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

  81. Taking in the Tour

    Susannah Savage and friends
    Quote Message: Susannah Savage from Norfolk is on holiday here watching her first Tour de France with friends. She told me: 'Cycling has got really exciting over the last few years thanks to Wiggo, Cav and Froome. I really got into following it when the Tour started in Yorkshire last year. I can't wait to see the riders in real life and watching how fast they actually go'. from Mark Ansell BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Mark AnsellBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  82. Close to the Col d'Aspin

    You might not be surprised to hear that there are a few French riders in the seven-man breakaway, including Thomas Voeckler.

    The others are Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka), Steve Morabito and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) Julien Simon (Cofidis) and Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18). They are four minutes clear of the main group, with Dan Martin and Andriy Grivko trying to join them. 

    We are not far away from the category one Col d'Aspin but Daniele Bennati won't be worrying about that. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider has abandoned.

  83. Geraint Thomas's guide to stage 11

    Stage 11 of the Tour de France

    Team Sky's Geraint Thomas is having a cracking Tour - he was looking strong yesterday and lies fifth overall.

    Before the Tour he gave us his stage-by-stage guide. Here are his thoughts on today... 

    "This stage in the Pyrenees certainly lends itself to a breakaway. None of the teams chasing the overall win will ride full gas for the entire stage because the last climb isn't that hard. But it can still cause problems.

    "There might be a few guys cracking and they could lose minutes off the back, because the Col d'Aspin and the Tourmalet are two solid climbs, and with the long descent towards the finish it won't be a straightforward day, that's for sure."

  84. Post update

    There is less than 100km left of the stage or, to put it another way, the best part of 90km done.

    There have been loads of attacks off the front and currently there are seven riders clear with Dan Martin trying to join them. The breakaway group leads the peloton by four minutes.

    The Col d'Aspin comes after 117km and the Col du Tourmalet with 147km gone.

  85. Poetic pedalling

    Now this is an excellent question...

  86. More mountain madness

    Today's stage is another trek through the Pyrenees and it will not get any easier for a peloton that baked for hours in the mountain sun on Tuesday.

    The 188km from Pau to Cauterets comprises four category three climbs (with the remaining Cote de Cauterets close to the finish line), the category one Col d'Aspin and the infamous hors categorie Col du Tourmalet.

    No wonder Team Katusha rider Joaquim Rodríguez fell off his bike in the neutral zone before the start today.

  87. So far today

    The riders on stage 11 at the Tour de France

    Plenty to tell you about so far today.

    There was a four-man breakaway involving Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx), Bob Jungels (Trek) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN) but that was reeled in by the first climb of the day.

    Frenchman Thomas Voeckler was first over that climb - the category three Cote de Loucrup.

    Peter Sagan then finished second at the day's intermediate sprint - which with Andre Greipel ninth should see the Slovak back in green at the end of the day.

    FDJ's Steve Morabito was then first over the category three Cote de Bagnères-de-Bigorre and Daniel Teklehaimanot picked up the points over the category three Cote de Mauvezin. 

    Oh, and we've had one abandon, Bora-Argon 18's Dominic Nerz calling it a day.

  88. All change

    Richie Porte (left) and Chris Froome

    There was plenty of movement all over the place yesterday so now might not be a bad time to take stock of how the race is shaping up.

    Chris Froome is obviously in yellow - with Tejay van Garderen almost three minutes behind. Of his supposed key rivals, Quintana is more than three minutes back, Alberto Contador more than four and Vincenzo Nibali almost seven.

    Froome's exploits on Tuesday took him to the top of the King of the Mountains standings but because he is also in yellow the polka dot jersey is being worn by Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte.

    It wasn't all bad for Quintana on Tuesday, who took the white jersey as the Tour's best young rider.

    And in-form sprinter Andre Greipel took the green jersey from Peter Sagan after finishing ahead of him at the intermediate sprint. 

  89. Post update

    I've got an idea. BBC Sport's Gemma Sterba sent this photo in from France. Perhaps we should make Chris Froome ride this bike? See how you go then Chris.

    Cork bike
  90. Tired legs?

    One of the most fascinating aspects about today is the impact Tuesday's carnage will have on the riders.

    Even Chris Froome sounds unsure - "We did put in a lot of effort on Tuesday and we're going to have to gauge that over the next few days to see how much we've paid for that."

    I must admit, I'm not sure Team Sky are the sort of outfit that ever enter a stage wondering what will happen.

    I heard a little speculation yesterday that barring mishaps this race was not far from being over as a contest. The picture could be a lot clearer still in a few hours from now. 

  91. Fantastic Froome

    Chris Froome

    Yep, Tuesday was the first mountain stage of the Tour and a truly spectacular one.

    Chris Froome made his move with 6.4km remaining of the final climb up to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. By that stage he only had Nairo Quintana left of his main rivals and the Colombian could not keep pace.

    Vicenzo Nibali was long gone, Alberto Contador too. Tejay van Garderen had been dropped as well.

    It was compelling viewing.

  92. Au revoir

    Nairo Quintana (left) and Chris Froome

    You train all year. You focus and work and prepare. You carry the hopes of your countrymen, your team and your fans.

    You negotiate the cobbles and the crosswinds and the crashes during the first week of the Tour.

    And then on the first stage in the mountains you watch as one of your main rivals disappears up the road.

    And then you watch him no more because you can no longer see him.