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Live Reporting

Paul Fletcher

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    We've got a transitional stage on Friday, 198.5km from Muret to Rodez.

    I've got a rest day but fear not, Chris Osborne will be here to guide you through that one. 

  2. Post update

    Chris Froome is up next to take his yellow jersey. He has survived, nay, succeeded, in the Pyrenees, building a lead at the top of the GC.

    But we've seen enough today to realise that this race is far from over.

  3. Happy days

    Joaquim Rodriguez looks absolutely over the moon as he stands on the podium following his stage victory. His children are smiling too.

  4. Why doesn't Britain love Froome?

    Lots of words written about Chris Froome this week so we've got our very own Matt Slater to join them.

    He has written an excellent feature asking why Britain doesn't love Chris Froome.

    Please do take a look. 

  5. Finding form

    Was it just me or did Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali look a little stronger today? Nibali in particular had struggled through the Pyrenees.

  6. Yellow jersey

    Chris Froome remains two minutes 52 seconds ahead of Tejay van Garderen and three minutes nine seconds in front of Nairo Quintana.

    Geraint Thomas is fifth and still looking very strong.

  7. Good day for Froome?

    Hmm, so Alejandro Valverde takes one second off Chris Froome after his late dash for the line.

    I suspect after that brutal attack-laden climb, Froome would settle for that. 

  8. Post update


  9. Post update

  10. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It was a great ride by Rodriguez to go out so early on the stage an hold on in the conditions. What a race we had in the yellow jersey group. They all gave body blows and tried to isolate Chris Froome. It was Geraint Thomas who played the biggest part for Froome."

  11. Post update

    Wow, this has been a brilliant last hour or so.

    Mind you, there are plenty of riders still some way from home who probably do not agree.

  12. Post update

    Alejandro Valverde, who has looked strong today, has a very late dig. He sprints off the front and will probably take a couple of seconds off Chris Froome as the yellow jersey group comes home.

  13. Post update

    The remains of the earlier 22-man breakaway are coming home.

  14. Post update

  15. Post update

    There won't be any big losses for Chris Froome today, if any.

  16. 1.5km

    The yellow jersey group has 1.5kms to go. Geraint Thomas still on the front.

  17. Post update

  18. More attacks?

    Geraint Thomas back on the front of the yellow jersey group, Chris Froome behind him, then Nairo Quintana.

    Any more for any more anyone?

  19. Post update

    Jakob Fuglsgang finishes second, Romain Bardet crosses in third.

    Joaquim Rodriguez, by the way, has now won two stages this year. He is 36.  

  20. Post update

    Simon Brotherton

    Cycling commentator

    "Joaquim Rodriguez has time to blows kisses to the crowd. He caught the world champion on the slopes of Plateau de Beille and it's a great win for the Katusha rider."

  21. Rodriguez wins stage 12

    Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver celebrates

    Joaquim Rodriguez crosses the line first. Brilliant from him. Meanwhile, back down the road....   

  22. Quintana again

    What is that expression on the face of Geraint Thomas? It equates to hard work for sure.

    Another move from Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome follows.

  23. 1km to go

    Meanwhile, up the road Joaquim Rodriguez goes under the 1km to go banner. Superb.

  24. Post update

    Geraint Thomas catches back up with the yellow jersey group. Incredible stuff. Alejandro Valverde has another dig. I cannot type fast enough.

  25. Post update

    They catch Chris Froome, who no longer has Geraint Thomas for company. He is being attacked all over the place - all his rivals are like vultures.

  26. Froome makes his move

    Chris Froome bursts off the front, Nairo Quintana follows, as does Tejay van Garderen and others.

  27. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's been like a bar brawl at the front of the group, but the pace Geraint Thomas is setting is doing enough for Chris Froome."

  28. Post update

    Geraint Thomas is once again on the front of the yellow jersey group. Chris Froome behind him. A multitude of riders desperate to take time off Froome are immediately behind them.

    Don't go anywhere.

  29. Get Involved

    Your top speeds

  30. 3km to go

    Joaquim Rodriguez closing in on a stage win - his second of the Tour.  

  31. Post update

    Richie Porte cracks but Geraint Thomas tries to drive Sky along and he soon closes the gap on Nairo Quintana. This is gripping, fascinating, compelling bike racing.

    Sky on the defensive. 

  32. Post update

    Here it is - Nairo Quintana attacks.

  33. 4km to go

    Alejandro Valverde is up with Vincenzo Nibali - but there is no panic immediately behind them.

    Richie Porte, then Geraint Thomas then Chris Froome. You would not exactly call Froome isolated.

    Up the road, Rodriguez has 4km to go.

  34. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Is the cold getting to Froome? We know he really likes the heat. The other guys are trying to make the most of it and I wonder if his legs are a little blocked up in the cold."

  35. 5km to go

    Up the road, Joaquim Rodriguez is out on his own and gritting his teeth. If he can hold it together, glory will be his.

  36. Now Valverde

    Nibali is a little way up the road. Now Movistar's Alejandro Valverde is attacking.

    It is as though all the teams are working together to try to break Sky and Froome.

  37. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "No panic by the yellow jersey with Contador's move. Contador took about 20 lengths out of the group but Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas stood their ground and rode back up to Contador. Nibali's gone and it's as if they are trying to get panic into Froome - but there is no panic yet."

  38. Post update

    When will Nairo Quintana make his move?

    Nibali, of course, is seven minutes behind Froome on the GC.

  39. And now Nibali

    Team Sky not panicking at all, steady rhythm all the way. 

    Hmm, Alberto Contador is caught and then Vincenzo Nibali has a dash. 

  40. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There was a lightning strike just out in front of us, but I hope the weather is behind us. It is absolutely chucking it down on Rodriguez out there."

  41. Contador has a go

    Hmm, scratch that. Alberto Contador has a big dig off the front of the yellow jersey group.

  42. Post update

    Richie Porte - wearing the polka dot jersey - is on the front of the yellow jersey group, Geraint Thomas behind him and Chris Froome in third. 

    Alberto Contador looks anything but smooth.

  43. Rodriguez on the move

    Drama at the front, with an excellent surge from Joaquim Rodriguez taking him clear of the group of three chasing Michal Kwiatkowski.

  44. Post update

    Excellent news on the commentary front - you can once again listen to Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles using the play button.

  45. 8.5km to go

    All the big guns towards the front of the yellow jersey group. No big move from any of the GC contenders so far.

    Michal Kwiatkowski's lead up at the front is now 23 seconds from the three riders hot on his tail (Rodriguez, Bardet, Fuglsang).

    The Pole is still nine minutes clear of the Froome group.

  46. Get Involved

    Your top speeds...

  47. 10km to go

    The Astana team are setting the pace in the yellow jersey group. 

    Up the road, Fuglsang, Bardet, Rodriguez and Meintjes are all desperately trying to catch Kwiatkowski. 

    The Pole has a one-minute advantage.

  48. Living on a prayer

    Yesterday the Tour went past the halfway point in terms of distance covered.

    In total there are 21 stages with 3,360km of cycling. So far all of the riders have spent at least 41 hours in the saddle.

    Wonder if most of the peloton see it as a positive - or think "Just halfway? You've gotta be kidding me!"

    Riders at the Tour de France
  49. Post update

    Quote Message: This has been a momentous ride for Michal Kwiatkowski. If the rumours are true about a move to Team Sky, the galacticos look of their squad will only grow next season. Chris Froome and friends have just started the climb up the Plateau de Beille, more than 10 minutes behind, the Polish world champion, and I have been looking forward to this half an hour all day. Will Team Sky try to put more time into Froome's rivals? Can Contador, Quintana or Van Gardenen take some back? Pull the chair a little closer and watch very closely. from Matt Slater BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  50. 12.5km to go

    Michal Kwiatkowski, the world road race champion, is now out on his own at the front, having left Sep Vanmarcke behind.

    Still hammering down - or at least, there is lots of spray.

  51. Radio issues

    Bikes in the rain

    The weather seems to be playing all kinds of havoc.

    We're having a few problems with our audio commentary from France at the moment. Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles are out there at the finish line and we'll hopefully have them back soon.

  52. Race within a race

    We could have two races at once here. The first will involve whether one of those those who have been away for most of the day can claim the stage.

    The second will involve attacks on the yellow jersey - and whether any of the GC contenders currently in the yellow jersey group can take time out of Chris Froome. 

  53. Get Involved

    What's your top speed?

    Text 8111 or use #bbccycling

  54. 17.5km to go

    Michal Kwiatkowski and Sep Vanmarcke are approaching the bottom of the Plateau de Beille. They are getting very wet.

    Izagirre, Cherel, Bardet, Rodriguez, Fuglsang, Meintjes - slightly battered after his crash - and Barta are still trying to catch them. 

    The yellow jersey group still has 25km to go.

    Michal Kwiatkowski
  55. Post update

    The wise man (or woman) always brings a brolly.

    Rain at the Tour de France
  56. Post update

    Quote Message: It is pretty grim out on the road. Chris Froome and all the main contenders are in a reduced peloton heading down the Port de Lers. That is the final descent of the day and they are lucky that the rain is ahead of them. It is currently hammering down on the guys 10 minutes further up the road. They have less than 30km to go now but they are a very hard 30km getting harder all the time. from Matt Slater BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  57. Post update

    Quote Message: I have been wondering how it was 30C and yet still so green in the Pyrenees. Mystery solved - they have monsoons here and the press corps are currently holed up in a leaking tent. I am not complaining at all. On the drive up to the finish line, 1,780m up the Plateau de Beille, we passed the usual thousand or so amateur cyclists - young, old, male, female - all clad in lycra and often with just what they could stuff into their jersey pockets. I would like to give them all a hug now...but I would get wet. from Matt Slater BBC Sport at the Tour de France
    Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
  58. Scenes from the finish line

  59. Taking stock - 30km to go

    For those just joining us, here is what is happening.

    The weather is looking dodgy, hammering down at the finish line.

    Michal Kwiatkowski and Sep Vanmarcke are out on their own, with seven riders less than a minute back and trying to catch them.

    They are on the flat as they approach the brutal climb up to the summit finish at Plateau de Beille.

    The main field is more than 10 minutes back, with Chris Froome and the other yellow jersey contenders in that group.

    We could well be looking at another breakaway win - but will anyone try to take some time out of Froome? Surely they have to.

  60. What goes up...

    Most riders may have laboured up the huge Tourmalet on Wednesday, sliding off the back of the diminishing main group.

    But it sure does seem as though they enjoyed going down - or at least the speeds they achieved - and were keen to share some of their exploits.

    Mark Cavendish tweeted to say that he reached 101.9km per hour. In old money that is 63.3 miles. That's a speeding ticket on most roads.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who has gone that fast. Where was it and what did it feel like?

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling 

  61. Post update

  62. Taking a tumble

    MTN-Quebeka's Louis Meintjes gets it wrong at a right hander and takes a Mr Tumble. Thankfully he is OK to carry on.

    TV pictures of the finishing line - it is hammering down.    

  63. 40km to go

    Michal Kwiatkowski and Sep Vanmarcke are absolutely powering down from Porte de Lers.Hairy stuff.

    The yellow jersey group is a shade less than 10 minutes behind and has just reached the summit.

  64. Post update

    Hailstones at the finish line. Fairly brutally hard. Sunny for the riders at the moment.

  65. Trouble for Peraud

    Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud finished second last year - he has just slid off the back of the yellow jersey group. And we haven't even got to the hors categorie summit finish yet.

  66. Cranking up the pace

    Chris Froome

    Team Sky still working hard on the front of the main group. Indeed, they are ramping up the pace and the size of their yellow jersey group is diminishing.

    Up at the front, there is a mighty scrap going on, with Kwiatkowski and Vanmarcke trying to resist seven riders who are 20 or so seconds behind them. The chasing seven includes such decent climbers and they are desperate to catch up. 

    The yellow jersey group are 10 seconds behind.

  67. Look who's here

    No, not French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was at the start of the stage today.

    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls

    No, I mean him, the Texan. You know who I mean. He is in France for a two-day charity ride, the 'One Day Ahead' event that is, not surprisingly, one stage ahead of the actual Tour route.

    The ride is to raise money for the fight against leukemia - but the journalists surrounding Lance Armstrong this morning probably weren't asking him about that.

    Lance Armstrong surrounded by journalists
  68. Post update

    Sep Vanmarcke and Michal Kwiatkowski are the two lone leaders now, 5km from the summit of the Porte de Lers.

    They have a 25-second advantage over three riders trying to join them - Jakob Fuglsang, Louis Meintjes and Romain Bardet.

  69. Post update

    Team Sky working hard at the front of the peloton, trying to control the pace. I'm not sure that will prevent Nairo Quintana from launching an attack. Mind you, we said that on Tuesday and look at what happened on that summit finish.

  70. Post update

  71. 60km to go

    60km left and a good couple of hours before the end of the stage. 

    We had a breakaway winner yesterday in Rafal Majka, who claimed his third career stage victory. The three leading riders have a 13-minute advantage over the yellow jersey group but a lot of climbing between now and the finish.

    The are currently on the slopes of the category one Port de Lers - and we've got another summit finish on the hors categorie Plateau de Beille after that.

  72. Get Involved

    Banter with the pros

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

    SMS Message: A few years back I went to watch the bi-annual Newport Nocturn race in Shropshire. Got chatting to a couple of young up and coming riders by the names of Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas. Wonder whatever happened to them. Oh, David Millar was there too. from Ian in Wolverhampton
    Ian in Wolverhampton
  73. Listen up

    You can listen to coverage of this stage using the play icon on this page from 15:00 BST.

    Simon Brotherton will be joined once again in the commentary box by Rob Hayles.

    In the meantime you can tuck into the podcast, with Simon and Rob joined by Matt Slater.

  74. Attack, attack, attack

    There has been a lot of talk recently about Team Sky's computers being hacked and data records relating to Chris Froome stolen.

    Froome has repeatedly insisted he is a clean rider, is prepared to be independently tested after the race and is happy to be a figurehead for clean cycling.

    But right now his immediate attention is very much on what will happen during this stage.

    "A really decisive stage today," said Froome before the start. "We've got a lot of tough climbs out there. The weather's only getting hotter so at this stage in the race I do expect other GC contenders, they're definitely going to push me.

    "They're going to try on the final climb maybe even before that but the guys are up for it and hopefully they can get me through". 

    Froome, so far, is being very well looked after by his team.

    Chris Froome (right)
  75. 65km to go

    The lead riders are approaching the lower slopes of the Port de Lers. I say lead riders - there are three of them now. Georg Preidler, Sep Vanmarcke and Michal Kwiatkowski.They are 12 minutes 36 seconds clear of the yellow jersey group.

  76. Post update

    Just another ingredient that should ensure a dramatic few hours of sporting excitement......

  77. Post update

    Not strictly relevant to the Tour, but lols for Hoy.

    Maybe the touring Australian cricketers took a stroll past?  

  78. Post update

  79. Blasting past Bradley

    We asked for you to tell us about your encounters with the pros.

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

    Sir Bradley Wiggins
    SMS Message: Met Brad Wiggins a few weeks before his Tour win - his son and my nephew played for the same mini rugby league club in Wigan. He was very happy to chat about his Romandie and Paris -Nice wins, and I wished him well for the Tour... Probably what spurred him on. from Ed, Guildford.
    Ed, Guildford.
    SMS Message: Out for a ride around Bolton with the Bury Tandem Club one Sunday, I mentioned to the (blind) guy on the back that there was some plonker in front of us in all the Sky gear riding some fancy bike. As we cruised past, a glance to the left showed it be none other than Wiggo himself towards the end of a training ride. from Jez, Bolton
    Jez, Bolton
  80. Geraint Thomas's preview to stage 12

    Stage 12 guide

    Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas - fifth in the GC - gave us hisstage-by-stage guideto the Tour before the race started.

    The Welshman was in no doubt about how tough today will be.

    "This is probably the hardest of the three Pyrenean stages, and coming third, everyone will be feeling the last couple of days," said Thomas.

    "This will be a big showdown between the yellow jersey contenders. If anybody has lost a bit of time in the first week, possibly at the team time trial, they will really get stuck in on this stage to try and win back as much as they can."  

  81. Post update

    The composition and size of the front group seems to be ever changing.

    It was 22, then three tried to get away, now we have 13 in front with another eight just behind them. The splits are occurring going up, the coming back together is happening going down.

    They have a lead of pushing 10 minutes over the main group. At what point do we start to think they might stay away? 

    And might the real race still unfold behind them, with attacks from GC contenders in the yellow jersey group. 

  82. Post update

    BBC Sport's Mark Ansell was at the start line in Lannemezan this morning. It wasn't that long after 10:00 BST when the riders rolled out for today's stage. It was pretty hot then but looks a lot more changeable now. Not unlike my view out of the window here in Salford, if I'm being honest.

    The start at Lannemezan
    The start at Lannemezan
  83. Get Involved

    We asked for your stories of mixing with the pros. I kind of expected you lot to be crashing the party, not the other way around... 

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

    SMS Message: Re: bumping into cyclists: I very nearly knocked Chris Boardman off his bike a couple of years ago on the back roads of Cheshire! Poked the front end of the car out of a junction trying to see, and caused him to swerve out of the way with a look of panic on his face as he flew by. Sorry Chris!! from Mark, Edinburgh
    Mark, Edinburgh
  84. Nice and steady

    Radio race warning the riders about gravel on the descent. Some of the roads look fairly slippery as well. There is 90km to go - but a lot of climbing (and aggresive attacks?) before we reach Plateau de Beille.

    Team Sky still at the front of the peloton.

  85. Post update

    Hmm, suns out now.

  86. Post update

    Careless Philip. Very careless.

    Fail to prepare...

  87. Polka dot jersey

    Lots of people in their swimwear by the side of the road in the mountains. While it's raining. Still, they look pretty happy with life as they cheer on the riders.

    Lampre-Merida's Kristijan Durasek burst off the front of the breakaway to ensure he was first over the Col de la Core and is now on his way down.

    Chris Froome, of course, is currently top of the King of the Mountains standing, although because he is in yellow Richie Porte (second in the KOM standings) is currently wearing the polka dot jersey.

  88. Get Involved

    Your banter with the pros

    Alberto Contador might be in a scrap to try to haul his way up the general classification standings but he took time out this morning to thank everyone who has been in touch to offer their support.

    It got me thinking, anyone ever found themselves in conversation with a top cyclist, a twitter exchange perhaps? Or just bumped into them randomly in the supermarket and soon found themselves in conversation?

    I'd love to tell you when it happened to me but sadly that cupboard is bare. I just get people telling me all about the mistakes I've made.

    Text 81111 or use #bbccycling

  89. It's raining

    Yes, it is raining a little. Thunderstorms are forecast for later in the afternoon.

    We're back to 22 riders in the leading group. These include the likes of Jakob Fuglsang, Michal Kwiatkowski, Romain Bardet Bryan Coquard, Sylvain Chavanel and Joaquim Rodriguez.

    They have a lead of eight-and-a-half minutes. 

    Georg Preidler, another member of the breakaway, was the first man over the category two Col de Portet-d'Aspet earlier and he collected five King of the Mountains points for that.

  90. Green jersey

    Before we zone right in on the business of getting up and down mountains, let's sort out what happened at the day's intermediate sprint.

    It was won by birthday boy Andre Greipel, who turns 33 today. Alas for the Gorilla, with Peter Sagan finishing third the Slovak will remain in the green jersey. He has a two-point advantage over Greipel.

    I guess the Sagan fan club will be happy...

  91. Dowsett calls it a day

    Movistar rider Alex Dowsett has been struggling ever since crashing on the cobbles and limping in last on stage four.

    The Maldon-born rider finished yesterday in 175th place on the GC, with only Michael Matthews behind him.

    Sadly Dowsett slipped off the back of the main group early on today's stage and abandoned soon afterwards.

    Hope that elbow heals soon.

    Alex Dowsett
  92. Right here, right now

    Just to bring you right up to speed, the race has reached the category one Col de la Core, with roughly 107km remaining.

    At one point we had a 22-man breakaway with a seven-minute lead. The group is now down to 16 but their lead is up to eight-and-a-half minutes.

    The Sky train is controlling the front of the peloton. 

  93. Tough times ahead

    Vincenzo Nibali

    Arguably, yesterday was a relatively comfortable day for the race leaders, with Team Sky's Chris Froome maintaining his two minutes 52 second lead over Tejay van Garderen.

    Of the GC contenders only out-of-form defending champion Vincenzo Nibali lost time as he laboured up the final climb. The Italian is having a seriously tough time of it - and it will not get any easier over the next few hours. 

    Today takes us 195km from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille. It encompasses one category two climb, two category one climbs and rounds off with a punishing 15.8km climb up to the hors catergorie Plateau de Beille (average gradient 7.9%).

    Good luck with that one.

  94. The Pyrenees - day three

    The first day in the Pyrenees saw Chris Froome smash apart the field with his late surge up to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. 

    Yesterday took us over Col d'Aspin and the Tourmalet. The stage was the first breakaway victory of the Tour, with Pole Rafal Majka first over the line.

    What does the third and final day in the mountains have in store for us?

  95. Bending your mind

    What does the Tour de France do to a cyclist? Just ask Bora-Argon 18 rider Sam Bennett...