Barry Glendenning

Author's details

Name: Barry Glendenning
Date registered: October 1, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united

Latest posts

  1. Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome set to win fourth title after time trial — July 22, 2017
  2. Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning — July 22, 2017
  3. Tour de France: Primoz Roglic wins stage 17 as Froome extends lead – as it happened — July 19, 2017
  4. Tour de France: Michael Matthews wins stage 16 in photo finish – as it happened — July 18, 2017
  5. Tour de France: Michael Matthews wins stage 14 as Froome regains yellow – as it happened — July 15, 2017

Author's posts listings

Jul 22

Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome set to win fourth title after time trial

Maciej Bodnar won the time trial, while Chris Froome extended his lead to 54 seconds and will seal victory in Paris

5.07pm BST

And it’s also all from me for this year’s Tour, as somebody else will be swanning in with a late burst to grab the glory in tomorrow’s final stage … which is absolutely fine with me! Thanks everyone for your time, your emails, questions and contributions over the past three weeks. It’s always a pleasure. We’ll just finish up by giving this column I wrote on Lance and his podcast one last push.

Related: Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning

5.04pm BST

Related: Chris Froome set for fourth Tour de France title after increasing lead in time trial

5.00pm BST

A mail from Anthony Lawton: “Everyone, you included, says now that Froome has ‘won’ by being in yellow at the end of today. Why? Is tomorrow not a real race, but just a parade ride into a Paris for the cameras?”

Traditionally it’s a procession, Anthony, that hots up in the final 10 kilometres as the teams with sprinters get their ducks in a row to fight out a mightily aggressive finish on the Champs Elysees. Neither Froome nor his team-mates will have anything to do with that. The yellow jersey did change hands on the final day once, in a time trial. Greg Lemond took it off Laurent Fignon and because a Frenchman lost out, the organisers did their damnedest to ensure it never happened again.

4.49pm BST

An email from Daniel Mitchell: “Wow, oh wow,” he wows, oh wows. “What a finish! I had twenty quid EW on Bardet so that last ten minutes was me frantically pacing around the flat, shaking. Quick question – should I celebrate now or wait ’til tomorrow? Are the podium places effectively locked?”

You can go and collect, Dan. Barring a kidnapping, a particularly bad slip in the shower or a fall down the stairs you’ll get your winnings.

4.44pm BST

4.39pm BST

4.34pm BST

Bardet and Froome finish: Bardet finishes and clings on to third place by the skin of his teeth. Mere seconds later, Chris Froome crosses the line behind him. He was fast, but not fast enough to topple Maciej Bodnar. The Polish Bora Hansgrohe rider wins the stage.

4.31pm BST

Froome has Bardet in his sights: The only two riders left out on the course negotiate a long stretch of road that affords Froome a view of his rival and gives him something to aim at as he passes under the flamme rouge signposting one kilometre to go.

4.30pm BST

Uran finishes: Despite a brief encounter with a barrier near the finish, Uran stays upright and pedals his way home. He’ll be on the second step of the podium in Paris tomorrow.

4.28pm BST

Mikel Landa finishes: The Sky man stops the clock at 29min 06sec. Romain Bardet needs to finish in a time of 30min 19sec to prevent Landa taking his place on the podium. Bardet has already been knocked down to third place by Rigo Uran.

4.26pm BST

Chris Froome powers on: He’s having another great day and any faint hopes his rivals might have had of taking the yellow jersey from him have all but evaporated. At the second checkpoint, Froome clocks in at just two seconds slower than Michal Kwiatkowski, his team-mate.

4.24pm BST

Romain Bardet blows up on the climb: Not literally, I hasten to add. He’s battling the gradient and losing a lot of time as he bobs up and down, in and out of the saddle. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

4.21pm BST

Chris Froome hits the first checkpoint He’s two seconds quicker than stage leader Maciej Bodnar and 43 seconds quicker than Bardet. Rigoberto Uran went through 26 seconds off the pace and looks to be riding himself into second place on GC. He’ll overtake Bardet at this rate.

4.18pm BST

Warren Barguil finishes: The King of the Mountains left the velodrome with a big goofy grin on his chops and it’s still there when he returns. He salutes the crowd on the short ride from the stadium entrance to the finish line.

4.16pm BST

Alberto Contador finishes: The Spaniard posts a time of 28min 36sec, which ought to put him in the top 10 on the stage. He’s also likely to leapfrog Warren Barguil on the General Classification. Maciej Bodnar’s time of 28min 15sec remains the one to beat.

4.13pm BST

Froome going well: Wearing a yellow helmet and skinsuit, Froome is motoring along nicely and reports suggest he’s already going a lot faster than Romain Bardet. It’s not inconceivable that he could catch and pass the Frenchman, which would guarantee him a less than warm welcome back to the Velodrome.

The most popular Englishman ever to set foot in Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome was a Chris, of course: Chris…Waddle.

4.11pm BST

The most popular Englishman ever to set foot in Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome was a Chris, of course: Chris…Waddle.

4.10pm BST

Lizz Poulter writes from the Velodrome “That was vicious booing,” she writes. “The reaction, understandably, to Bardet was raucous, but when Froome came up on screen the catcalls were shockingly widespread and really loud. I get the reasons but wow! All over bar the pedalling now.”

4.06pm BST

The race leader and defending champion rolls away at the countdown and goes on his way. It will be interesting to see if he goes all out to win the stage, or takes it a little bit easy to avoid any accidents. He hasn’t won a stage in this year’s Tour, or a bike race of any kind in this calendar year. One suspects that barring an accident or a mechanical, he’ll win quite a big bike race tomorrow.

4.02pm BST

Maciej Bodnar still leads Mikel Landa and Rigoberto Uran are out on the road, while Romain Bardet and Chris Froome are under starters orders. Bardet sets off and like every other Frenchman today, is cheered out of the stadium.

3.59pm BST

it;s from the sandpaper (!) he glues to the saddle for extra grip (via @clickclickjim) pic.twitter.com/ImvMb9pNr2

3.58pm BST

Just four more to go: Fabio Aru sets off. Mikel Landa, Rigoberto Uran, Romain Bardet and Chris Froome are the only riders left to start. Bardet needs to make up 23 seconds on Froome, Uran needs 29.

3.56pm BST

Dan Martin is away He’s sixth on GC and 2min 56sec behind Chris Froome on GC. He won’t make that up, but could make up the 1min 01sec separating him from Fabio Aru in fifth. Ahead of him on the road, Louis Meintjes and Simon Yates are both racing.

3.53pm BST

More on Tony Martin’s possible misfortune: “There is also talk that the brown marks on his shorts is sandpaper that he uses to give him extra grip on his saddle,” writes Benjamin Parker, offering an explanation I’m happy to run with. “However on watching the video of the soigneur giving him water after the stage it appears as though he is reluctant to get too close. I guess we may never know.”

3.51pm BST

Warren Barguil sets off Wearing the polka-dot jersey for King of the Mountains, the Frenchman rolls down the ramp and is cheered on his way out of the stadium sporting a big goofy grin. For him, today will be more of a lap of honour than a time trial.

3.49pm BST

Louis Meintjes and Simon Yates coming up The battle for the white jersey should end today and it’s Yates’s to lose. The Orica-Scott rider is seventh overall, one place and 2min 06sec ahead of Meintjes on GC.

3.47pm BST

Sylvain Chavanel finishes to rapturous applause The Velodrome looks quite empty, but there’s plenty of noise as the French veteran powers home. He’s 37 seconds off the pace in a highly commendable seventh place.

3.40pm BST

Kieran Pender is in Marseille: He’s bedded in with Orica Scott and has spent half an hour this afternoon following Daryl Impey around the course. The South African is fourth fastest at the moment, with a time of 28min 35sec. Perhaps if Kieran and the lads in the car had tooted their horn and shouted a bit of encouragement, Impey might have gone 21 seconds faster. Anyway, here’s Kieran’s long read about 24 hours on the road with the Australian funsters. You read that and I’ll be back in five minutes …

Related: Orica-Scott: 24 hours on the road with the Australian Tour de France team

3.34pm BST

Here’s a home-town decision if ever I heard one Team Sunweb’s French rider Warren Barguil has been awarded the Super Combativity award. Like Keith, below, I would have bet the farm on Thomas De Gendt winning that. Even if Barguil was a more worthy winner than TDG (and I don’t think he is), he already has a couple of stage wins and the polka dot jersey to his name. Would it kill the judges to share around the baubles?

@bglendenning Barguil gets the Super Combativity award. Thomas De Gendt woz robbed!

3.28pm BST

Tony Martin: Judging from evidence posted by one eagle-eyed TV viewer on Twitter, it seems Tony Martin’s failure to win might have had something to do with a little “accident” he had on his way around today’s course. I’ll spare you the grisly details, but let’s just say he’s probably the only cyclist alive who actually wishes he was kitted out in the brown shorts worn by AG2R Mondiale.

3.22pm BST

Primoz Roglic is have a shocker. The outright favourite for today’s stage was 25 seconds off the pace at the first checkpoint and then had a mechanical at the bottom of the hill leading to the second. After a bike-change, he was 38 seconds off the pace at the top of the climb and won’t be winning this stage.

3.21pm BST

144 riders have started: [Reporter takes embarrassingly long time to do mental arithmatic] There are just 23 left to go out and it’s currently a Polish one-two. Maciej Bodnar is the surprise leader with an excellent time of 28min 15sec, just one second ahead of his compatriot Michal Kwaitkowski.

3.16pm BST

Lizz Poulter writes: “Greg van Avermaet managed a cheery wave as he left the stadium,” he says. “He was on stage this morning but I can’t remember why.”

Keep those cracking anecdotes coming, Lizz!

3.12pm BST

3.10pm BST

Kwiatkowski finishes a second down: Despite a herculean effort, Michal Kwiatkowski finishes a second down on Maciej Bodnar.

3.04pm BST

Oops! Kwiatkowski’s time at the second checkpoint was 20min 21sec, just one second quicker than Bodnar. I’m not sure how I got that quite so wrong – humble apologies. I think I might need new specs.

3.00pm BST

Kwiatkowski hits the second checkpoint: He’s put another second into Bodnar and is now seven quicker. That’s not official, but we’ll know very shortly.

2.55pm BST

Michal Kwiatkowski is burning up the course: The Sky rider is putting in a big shift and you can bet your bottom dollar Chris Froome is following him in the team car. He passes the first checkpoint at 11min 53sec, six seconds quicker than Bodnar.

2.47pm BST

Stefan Kung finishes: The 23-year-old Swiss is one for the future, but finishes 34 seconds down on Maciej Bodnar, whose time of 28min 15sec is looking more and more impressive.

2.41pm BST

Man down! Movistar’s Jonathan Castroviejo’s overcooks a corner and crashes into a barrier. He’s quickly back on his feet, gets handed a replacement bike and continues on his way. Mathiej Bodnar continues to lead the stage with a time of 28min 15sec. I’ll be back in five minutes, so here’s Orica-Scott’s Strage 19 Backstage Pass to help you pass the time.

2.38pm BST

Skinsuit palaver: After the dreary dispute over Sky’s skinsuits that followed the Dusseldorf time trial, it has been confirmed that Chris Froome will be wearing one provided by the Tour today, which presumably won’t have the panelling in the duds worn by his team-mates. On ITV, Luke Rowe has joined the commentary team and says the yellow jerseys Froome wears each day are provided by the Tour and only have three-quarter length zips, which means they can’t be opened like everyone else’s shirts.

Related: Vortex suits explained: Team Sky’s latest rule-pushing marginal gain

2.32pm BST

Thomas Voeckler: Riding his penultimate stage of the Tour before retiring tomorrow evening, the 38-year-old Frenchman is out on the road and passes the first checkpoint 1min 19sec on the time posted by Bodnar.

2.29pm BST

Tony Martin finishes: It’s another frustrating ride for Tony Martin, who finishes 14 seconds down on Maciej Bodnar. He hasn’t been in the best of form this year, or perhaps he’s just getting old. It happens to the best of us, Tony.

2.23pm BST

92 riders have started: Just 75 more to go …

2.18pm BST

Tony Martin further down: There’s practically three riders abreast as Tony Martin crosses the second checkpoint at the top of the climb. He’s almost 13 seconds down on Maciej Bodnar.

2.16pm BST

Another email from Lizz Poulter. She wants to know where fellow Guardian reader Zinzi is sitting in the Velodrome. This could be a long afternoon …

2.14pm BST

Tony Martin a second behind: The German was a second off the pace set by Bodnar at the first checkpoint and has just passed his minute-man.

2.12pm BST

Maciej Bodnar sets a new best time: The Bora–Hansgrohe rider smashes up the course, finishing in 28min 15sec. That’ll take a bit of beating. Sky’s Vasil Kiriyenka doesn’t trouble it as he enters the stadium and posts a time of 29min 22sec.

2.09pm BST

From Lizz Poulter in Marseille: “Good crowd in the Green Jersey stand, yellow looking very sparse (maybe prawn sandwich brigade will join later), and white absolutely deserted thanks to Carrefour’s shenanigans,” she writes. “Huge cheer for Tony Martin as he set off.”

Martin is approaching the first checkpoint, while Luke Rowe has joined Ned Boulting in the ITV commentary box. He said he didn’t do a recon ride around today’s course and got seriously caught out by the climb, which kept ramping up every time he thought he’d reached the top.

2.03pm BST

Checkpoint No1 is at Palais du Pharo at the 10.2km mark, while No2 is at the top of the ramping climb at Notre-Dame de la Garde (15.6km). Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) was quickest so far past the first in 11min 59sec, while Cannondale-Drapac rider Tyler Phinney was quickest past the second at 20min 22sec. Phinney is the current clubhouse leader with a finishing time of 29min 21sec.

1.58pm BST

Tony Martin rolls down the ramp: The first of the big stage favourites rolls down the ramp in his Katusha skinsuit. He’s the reigning world time trial champion and a two-time Tour de France time trial stage winner. He’s likely to give us a fair idea of what today’s winning time might be. Depending on how he’s feeling, he might even give us today’s winning time.

1.55pm BST

1.38pm BST

Good spread in @guardian this morning including analysis of Sky’s unpopularity (with some) from @rwilliams1947 #TdF2017 @willfoth #LeTour pic.twitter.com/XGAU7BUoy9

There’s also my column on Lance Armstrong and his Stages podcast on the back page, if you fancy buying yourself a paper today. Alternatively, you can read it here …

Related: Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning

1.34pm BST

Luke Rowe speaks The first man out on today’s stage says he felt very sluggish and more or less confesses to ITV’s interviewer that he wasn’t trying a leg on today’s stage. He tells them he enjoyed the finish in the stadium, saying he now knows how Wayne Rooney must feel when he scores a goal [insert obvious gag about reminding Wayne here].

Rowe also says that he was slowing down at the corners, to try to figure out the best way to take them so he can pass on any pertnent info to Chris Froome. Realistically, he says, there’s not really much he can tell his team leader that he won’t already know.

1.30pm BST

Related: Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course by a stretch ahead of Lizzie Deignan

1.25pm BST

Rowe’s glory is short-lived: Taylor Phinney clocks in at 29min 21sec, while on ITV, David Millar and Ned Boulting speculate on today’s winning time. Boulting goes for around 28 minutes, but Millar thinks it will be lower.

1.23pm BST

The Velodrome far from full: There’s plenty of empty seats at this early stage, but the welcome is warm as Luke Rowe complete’s his day’s work. The Sk rider didn’t kill himself out there, it must be said – making up that 4hr 33min 04sec deficit on his team leader Chris Froome was always going to be a tall order. His time for today was 31min 09sec and makes him the early clubhouse leader.

1.16pm BST

Today’s main stage contenders: Primoz Roglic is the favourite to win this stage, while Tony Martin, Chris Froome, Stefan Kung, Michal Kwiatkowski and Vasili Kiriyenka are the only others the bookies give any sort of realistic chance of winning the stage.

Kiriyenka is lowest on GC in 114th place and will be the first of this bunch out on the road. He’ll be followed by Martin, (101st on GC), Kung (80th), Kwiatkowskli (58th), Roglic (38th) and Froome (1st).

1.02pm BST

Here’s our man in France with all the skinny on Edvald Boasson Hagen’s win yesterday and a comprehensive preview of today’s stage, which is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Related: Boasson Hagen breaks clear to win stage 19 as Froome tightens grip on Tour title

12.58pm BST

As lanterne rouge, Sky’s Luke Rowe is first out on the course. He’ll be able to do a reconaissance mission for Chris Froome, who I’m sure has studied and ridden the course already. Froome will probably follow one or two of his team-mates around in the team car later. At the Dusseldorf time-trial he followed Michal Kwiatkowski.

12.52pm BST

12.50pm BST

12.48pm BST

Having won both stages, the Dutch rider is a worthy winner, but the format of this women’s race needs tweaking. Today’s pursuit course was too short to give Van Vleuten’s rivals any chance of catching her and made for a bit of a damp squib. Your humble reporter would suggest a three-stage race for next year’s renewal, including a climb, a time-trial and a sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.

Anyway, hats off to Annemiek and Lizzie Armitsted, now it’s time to turn our attention to the lads. There are three riders still in with a chance of winning this year’s Tour but it’s Chris Froome’s to lose.

12.40pm BST

The remaining riders finish: The final group of riders enter the stadium, where it’s only 100 metres from the entrance to the finish line. I know the tickets were free, but the assembled crowd aren’t getting much bang for their buck. Here’s hoping DJ Faze is playing some banging tunes.

12.37pm BST

12.35pm BST

Deignan sprints into the stadium: Lizzie Deignan sprints into the stadium ahead of her Italian rival and crosses the finish line in second place. It’s the same one-two-three as we had on Col d’Izoard.

12.34pm BST

Annemiek van Vleuten hits the stadium: The Dutchwoman rides into the stadium to a rousing reception and crosses the finish line. It was an easy win in the end, which is rather disappointing. Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longho Borghini rode well together, but just weren’t good enough to beat a time trial specialist.

12.32pm BST

Good news from the Velodrome: “It’s pretty quiet in here for the women’s race,” writes Zinzi. “But they have started showing the race on the screens at least!”

12.31pm BST

2.5km to go: Annemiek van Vleuten is going to get a crick in her neck from looking over her shoulder, but there’s nobody in sight behind her. She passes under the Two Kilometre To Go banner, as Deignan and Longo Borghini continue their futile pursuit. The gap is now out to 1min 50sec.

12.29pm BST

3.7km to go: Annemiek van Vleuten pedals relentlessly onwards, her hands on the drops as she taps out a ferocious rhythm. The gap is 1min 41sec – as much as they’ve tried, the rest of the field have failed to put up any sort of decent fight.

12.26pm BST

Megan Guarnier dropped: The American, who has been riding with Deignan and Longo Borghini, is struggling on the climb and gets left behind.

12.24pm BST

7km to go: Van Vleuten has a look over her shoulder and sees nobody in pursuit. She reaches the top of the climb and begins her short descent. The gap is down to 1min 29sec.

12.23pm BST

8.5km to go: I’m guessing here, but presumably if the riders have no support cars, then they also have no race radios, a state of affairs that suggests Annemiek van Vleuten has no idea how far ahead she is of her three pursuers. Halfway up the climb to Notre-Dame de la Garde, the gap is 1min 46sec. Barring a mechanical, she won’t be caught. It really does seem quite extraordinary that the crowds gathered in the Velodrome aren’t being shown this race.

12.18pm BST

10 kilometres to go: Annemiek Van Vleuten heads towards the climb with her lead intact. The three riders in pursuit are not making any sort of dent on her lead, which remains at 1min 41sec.

12.17pm BST

La Course st2 is underway but is not being shown on the screens in the stadium. That’s a massive @LaCoursebyTDF

Instead of the race the screens are showing the stadium DJ. You wouldn’t know there was a race on.

12.14pm BST

Van Vleuten holding her lead: The Dutch time trial champion’s talents are standing her in good stead as she slightly extends her lead over the three girls trying to chase her down and turn the end of this stage into a sprint finish. She has a little over 12 kilometres to go.

12.12pm BST

Amazing scenes in the Stade VDrome pic.twitter.com/shDrWJaSV9

12.11pm BST

15km to go: At the back of the field, Karol-Ann Canuel has made up the 16 seconds that separated her from the four riders who started together before her. They’re about five minutes behind the race leader and working together.

12.08pm BST

18km to go: Van Vleuten has a lead of 1min 37sec over the three riders in the chasing group: Deignan, Longo Borghini and Guarnier. All 19 women are now out on the course. They’re all on road bikes, as time trial bikes are verboten today. Curiously, none of the riders have support cars, so I’m not sure what happens in the event of a puncture or some other mechanical.

12.05pm BST

Deignan, Borghini and Guarnier are working together. The women placed second, third and fourth are now riding together in a team pursuit of Van Vleuten. Behind them, a small group of riders who all finished at the same time on Thursday set off together.

12.03pm BST

Lizzie Deignan is racing: Yorkshire’s finest sets sail, 43 seconds after Van Vleuten and sets off at a fairly sedate pace, presumably waiting for Elisa Longo Borghini and Megan Guarnier to catch up with her so they can start working together. Spare a thought for the Eurosport commentary team, who are working without pictures after a power outage in their box.

12.01pm BST

Annemiek Van Vleuten is racing: The La Course leader rolls down the ramp in her Orica-Scott kit and leaves the stadium riding a road bike.

11.58am BST

Lizzie Deignan speaks: Currently in second place and due to set off 43 seconds after Van Vleuten, the English rider says she’ll almost certainly try to form alliances with other riders in her bid to hunt down the Dutchwoman. “ I’m not the best trialist,” she says. “Trying to close the gap is not possible for me so I’ll probably wait for the other girls and see if we can work together. I’ve got nothing to lose.”

There are 19 riders contesting today’s stage – those being the ones that finished within five minutes of Van Vleuten on Thursday. Canada’s Karol-Ann Canuel will be last out of the gate, 4min 50sec after the leader.

11.54am BST

Joanna Rowsell Shand speaks: The Olympic champion and now retired British cyclist is a pundit on Eurosport and says if she was a betting woman, she’d have her pennies on Annemiek Van Vleuten, who is an excellent time-trialist, going full bore from the gun and staying away to win the stage and La Course.

11.50am BST

An email from Lizz Poulter: “I’m over-excited to be sitting in the Vélodrome watching the caravan,” she writes. “I’m in the Polka Dot jersey stand – Carrefour were touting outside the metro so we changed our White Jersey stand tix for bags and hats and t-shirts.

“Of course there’s no such thing as a free lunch and we’ve been asked to move twice so that the stand looks fuller on TV! We were bought cheap. Anyway, I’m planning to bug you with inane observations and the odd photo during the afternoon. At the moment we’re watching bike stunts (I’d rather be watching Zidane in his pomp, but hey).”

11.38am BST

11.33am BST

Today’s stages in both the men’s and women’s race begin and end in the Orange Velodrome, a venue better known as the home of Ligue 1 football team Olympique de Marseille, but reverting back to its original role for today’s shenanigans. It is expected to be packed to its 67,394 capacity.

A technical, 22.5-kilometre city time-trial, today’s route boasts one steep climb to Notre-Dame de la Garde, the basilica that towers over Marseille. Here’s what Will Fotheringham had to say about it in our stage by stage guide to this year’s Tour.

Finishing in the Stade Vélodrome with a quick flip round the Vieux Port, this is the last chance to change the standings but it is relatively short. Expect a battle for the stage win with Tony Martin the likely favourite, and if yellow is close it could be a thriller to match the Giro d’Italia finale.

11.33am BST

Here’s how our man pootling around France in his Citroen 2CV saw Thursday’s stage from his splendid view atop Col d’Izoard.

Related: Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course stage one with Lizzie Deignan second

11.33am BST

Related: Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning

11.33am BST

10.01am BST

Greetings one and all. We’ve a long day’s bike-racing around Marseille ahead of us, which kicks of with the second and final stage of La Course. Described somewhat enthusiastically by Lizzie Deignan as “that thing”, it is a peculiar race that will start in the Orange Velodrome at Marseille. Riders will set off in dribs and drabs based on the time differences recorded at the finish of Thursday’s stage on Col d’Izoard, ride the 22.5km course that the men will be using for their time trial later and first past the post wins.

Collaboration and collusion between riders is allowed. Annemiek Van Vleuten will, be first out of the gate, having won Thursday’s stage by 43 seconds from Deignan. Elisa Longo Bourghini finished in third place, 1min 43sec off Van Vleuten’s pace.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/22/la-course-by-le-tour-de-france-2017-live

Jul 22

Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning

Forgiveness may still be a long way off but the disgraced cyclist’s Tour de France podcast is proving popular and he is well qualified to have an opinion

Opinions vary among cycling fans on just how good or bad this year’s Tour de France has been. With only two stages left we find ourselves in the welcome situation where the top step of the Paris podium is still up for grabs but many have felt short-changed by a route that has been heavily criticised, not to mention the more unforeseeable early exits of a clutch of the peloton’s finest through injury or controversial disqualification.

What few who have heard it can contest, however, is that some of the most intelligent, insightful and amusing analysis of this year’s race has been offered from the back of a converted Winnebago generally parked up somewhere in Colorado. There’s just one small or very big problem: the man delivering these forthright opinions is Lance Armstrong.

Related: Boasson Hagen breaks clear to win stage 19 as Froome tightens grip on Tour title

Related: How Stephen Roche ruled cycling in 1987 | Steven Pye

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/22/lance-armstrong-podcast-tour-de-france-cycling

Jul 19

Tour de France: Primoz Roglic wins stage 17 as Froome extends lead – as it happened

Froome extends narrow Tour de France lead as Roglic wins in Alps and Kittel abandons

5.07pm BST

Another dominant display from Sky and Chris Froome, in which the race leader showed little or no sign of weakness as he was forced to repel a number of attacks. “He feel very good today, he was very defensive and it’s been a good day for us,” says Mikel Landa. “It’s an uphill finish and everyone have to try to give 100%,” he says of tomorrow’s stage, before admitting he didn’t feel so good today. If that’s him on a bad day … well, crikey.

Tomorrow we’ll have a stage finishing on the Col d’Izoard for the first time in race history and it should be another belter, but first we’ll bring you the early action from the fourth edition of the women’s La Course race. The women’s peloton will tackle the famous mountain and those who finish with the best times will compete a completely new kind of race in Marseille on the penultimate day of the men’s race.

4.55pm BST

Le TOP 10 du classement général ce soir. / TOP 10 of the GC after the 17th stage. #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/RaQK0noOL9

4.50pm BST

Related: Chris Froome extends narrow Tour de France lead as Roglic wins in Alps

4.44pm BST

4.40pm BST

An excellent day for Primoz Roglic, but a bad one for Fabio Aru, who finished 31 seconds behind his rivals for the podium after struggling on the ascent to the summit of the Galibier.

Le TOP 10 de cette 17ème étape ! / TOP 10 of this 17th stage! #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/Hv3S5cnPeA

4.35pm BST

4.31pm BST

1. Chris Froome
2. Rigoberto Uran +27sec
3. Romain Bardet
4. Fabio Aru, +53sec
5. Mikel Landa +1min 24sec

4.30pm BST

Chris Froome holds his lead on GC. Rigoberto Uran is now in second place with an identical time to Romain Bardet, but leading the Frenchman on hundreths of seconds.

4.28pm BST

1. Primoz Roglic
2. Rigoberto Uran
3. Chris Froome
4. Romain Bardet
5. Warren Barguil

4.27pm BST

Fabio Aru is off the podium: Fabio Aru is yet to finish the stage and will definitely be off the GC podium by close of play tonight.

4.26pm BST

The sprint for second: Rigoberto Uran finishes second and picks up a six-second time bonus. Chris Froome is third and Romain Bardet is fourth.

4.25pm BST

A latecomer to cycling, the Slovenian ski-jumper turned bike-racer raises his arms in victory as he crosses the line. That was a fine effort on a marquee stage.

4.23pm BST

You’ll remember the betting odds I posted earlier: Looking back, I see that Primoz Roglic was 12-1 at the time. He passes under the one-kilometre to go kite with a lead of over a minute and is time-trialing his way to victory.

4.21pm BST

4km to go: Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic continues his escape to victory, barring an accident. He’s been brilliant today. Behind him, the main GC contenders have given Fabio Aru the slip. He’s 40 seconds behind the yellow jersey group.

4.19pm BST

If you’re joining us late: Marcel Kittel abandoned in the wake of a crash in which he hurt his shoulder and knee earlier today after coming down in a group crash. Having won five stages, his Tour is over and Michael Matthews is now in pole position to take the green jersey on Sunday.

4.16pm BST

Roglic continues his descent: With a little under eight kilometres to go, Roglic is 1min 25sec clear of the chasing posse.

4.15pm BST

King of the Mountains not yet confirmed: Apologies, we’ve been sold a pup – it’s still mathematically possible for Barguil to lose the KOM. He leads Roglic by 49 points and there are 58 up for grabs.

4.12pm BST

In the yellow jersey group: It’s hand-signals and elbow flicks a-go-go as Froome, Uran, Landa, Bardet and Barguil team up to try to chase down Roglic.

4.11pm BST

16km to go: It’s downhill all the way and Fabio Aru has about 12 seconds to make up if he’s to keep his second place on GC. Primoz Roglic is putting on a masterclass of descending as he pedals a few strokes to maximise his speed, before leaning over his top tube to minimise drag.

4.07pm BST

TV viewers are treated to some wonderful aerial shots: It’s not a particularly technical descent, but it is a very sweeping and speeding one. Roglic is hurtling down, crouched low over his crossbar and handlebars, while behind him a procession of GC contenders are working well together as they chase him down.

4.04pm BST

Warren Barguil is King of the Mountains: He’ll keep the polka-dot jersey, having made it mathematically impossible for anyone to catch him between now and Paris by being third over the Galibier. For being first over it, Primoz Roglic gets €5,000 prize for the Souvenir Henri-Desgrange for being first across the highest peak in this year’s Tour de France.

4.01pm BST

Primoz Roglic is descending: It’s scary stuff as he flies down the narrow descent with what looks a seriously scary drop on his left-hand side. Roglic’s lead over the yellow jersey is 1min 35sec. “It’s a big ask [of anyone behind Roglic] at this point of the race unless something happens,” says David Millar on ITV.

3.59pm BST

Darwin Atapuma is second over the Galibier. He’s followed by Warren Barguil in the polka-dot jersey. A 28-kilometre descent awaits.

3.58pm BST

Primoz Roglic is first over the summit of Galibier. Back in the yellow jersey group, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa are struggling.

3.57pm BST

One kilometre to the summit of Galibier: Primoz Roglic is a minute clear of Darwin Atapuma as he heads for the summit through a corridor of excitable cycling fans, many of whom are probably drunk as newts. Some gobshites wrapped in Colombian flags sprint alongside him, until he passes between the crowd barriers keeping them out of his way. They’ll be lots of other cyclists’ problem soon.

3.53pm BST

Martin launches his second big attack on the yellow jersey group and Froome, looking invincible, puts an immediate stop to his gallop. Remember, this lot are 2min 14sec behind the stage leader Prmoz Roglic. Roglic is a minute clear of Darwin Atapuma, who has put distance between himself and the trio that is Alberto Contador, Serge Pawels and Mathias Frank.

3.48pm BST

The Frenchman goes again and Froome follows him again. The yellow jersey group is now six strong: Bardet, Froome, Landa, Aru, Martin and Rigoberto Uran. Simon Yates has lost contact with them, while Aru looks to be struggling.

3.46pm BST

Third on GC, Romain Bardet attacks the yellow jersey group and Chris Froome responds immediately. Bardet is reeled in.

3.45pm BST

In the yellow jersey group: Polka-dot jersey Warren Barguil attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group, which is being towed by Mikel Landa. Behind Landa, Fabio Aru attempts to get up Froome’s inside, but is blocked off.

3.43pm BST

Primoz Roglic is bossing this stage! He’s flying up the Galibier with 4.4km to go to the summit. Behind him, Pauwels, Contador and Matthias Frank have been passed by Darwin Atapuma but are still going OK, not going too far into the red zone.

3.41pm BST

Contador struggling at the front: Primoz Roglic catches Pauwels and goes solo at the front. Alberto Contador settles on Pauwels’s wheel and lets him go. Back in the yellow jersey group, Michal Kwiatkowski has ridden, literally, to a standstill. The upshot? Chris Froom is left with Mikel Landa as his sole lieutenant as Sky’s Mikel Nieve is also spent.

3.37pm BST

Dan Martin attacks: The nails hard Irishman (via Birmingham) attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group. He dropped out of the top 10 yesterday after getting caught on the wrong side of the split when the crosswinds kicked in.

3.35pm BST

Serge Pauwels goes solo: The Dimension Data rider puts about 25 metres between himself and his four former companions at the front of the race. I’m not sure if he’s trying to escape or just lead the others up at a quicker pace. Matthias Frank looks to be struggling at the back of the bunch.

3.32pm BST

3.31pm BST

Up the Galibier they go: Alberto Contador (Trek), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates), Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL–Jumbo) continue to make their way up the Galibier, while Team Sky are leading the yellow jersey group at a searing lick. The gap is down to 2min 53sec.

3.28pm BST

An email from Strauss Bourden: “Oh my, what a Tour this year,” writes Strauss. “The most interesting part in this stage in the GC race has to be Contador attacking and no one following. I was surely expecting Landa to go with any strong rider that has any chance at the GC. Landa may be helping teammate Froome but is he saving his legs for a massive attack tomorrow where he goes with someone or takes Froome with him?”

The gap from the leading quintet, who have 9.2km to the summit of Galibier, to the yellow jersey group is 3min 03sec.

3.25pm BST

Contador, Roglic and Pauwels are joined by Darwin Atapuma and Mathias Frank. Pauwels attempts to get the quintet organised, but they’re not working very well together yet. The gap to the yellow jersey is 3min 20sec. “It’s highly unlikely they’ll be caught before the stage finish here today,” says Sean Kelly on Eurosport, although I understand much will depend on the way the wind’s blowing once they go over the top.

3.22pm BST

3.15pm BST

A breakaway from the breakaway: Primoz Roglic, Alberto Contador and Serge Pauwels have opened a gap between themselves and the rest of the lead group with 14km of the Galibier left to climb.

In the yellow jersey group, Michal Kwiatkowski is acting as two-truck. Damiano Caruso, Rigoberto Uran, Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet, Chris Froome and Dan Martin are all present and correct in the dwindling yellow jersey group, which is shelling riders by the bucketload.

3.12pm BST

The Col de Galibier: It’s the highest summit of this year’s Tour at 2,642m above sea level. The climb is 17.7 kilometres in length, with a gradient of 6.9%.

3.11pm BST

44km to go: Primoz Roiglic attacks off the front of the Contador group, with the gap back to the yellow jersey group at 3min 35sec. The assault on the Galibier has begun.

3.05pm BST

An interesting observation from Glenn Easton: “If calculations are correct, Sky currently have the Lanterne Rouge (Luke Rowe) and Yellow (Froome),” he writes.

Your calculations are spot on, Glenn. With McLay out, Rowe is the new lanterne rouge. He started 3hr 32min 19sec behind Froome this morning.

3.03pm BST

50km to go: Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic “sprints” to the front of the Contador group to take maximum KOM points as first man over the summit of the Telegraphe. Part one of today’s double-whammy is behind him – he and his fellow escapees have a five-kilometre descent ahead of them before assault on the Galibier begins. The gap back to the yellow jersey is 3min 45sec.

3.00pm BST

Almost there: Having led the Contador group the whole way up the Telegraphe thus far, Bauke Mollema passes the One Kilometre To The Summit banner. His jaw looks set in stone as he pedals on relentlessly, while the faces of many of those strung out behind him are masks of pain.

2.57pm BST

Onwards and upwards: Team Sky are on the front of the yellow jersey group as they make their way up the Telegraphe, with Michal Kwiatkowski leading the charge. Ahead of them on the road, Bauke Mollema is making the pace for the lead group. The gap from Mollema/Contador’s group to Kwiatkowski/Froome’s group is 4min 05sec.

2.55pm BST

Dan McLay abandons: The sprinter from the French Fortuneo-Vital Concept has stepped off his bike. He was the lanterne rouge this morning, in last place on GC 3hr 50min 36sec behind Chris Froome.

2.51pm BST

The Contador group greatly diminished: With five kilometres to go to the summit of the Telegraphe, the Contador group has been halved to 12 riders. The gap to the yellow jersey is 4min 05sec.

2.49pm BST

For what it’s worth, the betting on today’s stage right now: Contador 6-4, Romain Bardet 6-1, Chris Froome 6-1, Rigoberto Uran 9-1, Primoz Roglic 12-1, Dan Martin 14-1, Fabio Aru 16-1, Serge Pauwels 20-1, Warren Barguil 20-1, Mikel Landa 25-1, Brice Feillu 25-1, Tony Gallopin 25-1. Romain Bardet for me, although I’ll be keeping my pennies in my pocket.

2.48pm BST

Kelvin writes: “The UAE Team can’t win, can they?” he begins. “I was reading some comments below the line where someone was calling them United Astana Emirates and saying that they were helping Aru when he was in yellow. Now they are being criticised for ostensibly helping Froom and team Sky. Just let them ride.”

Everyone’s a critic, Kelvin! Even you, criticising the critics!

2.44pm BST

The climb up the Telegraphe continues: It’s an HC climb that’s 11.9km in length, 1,566m above sea level and has a gradient of 7.1%. As the going gets tough, Thomas Voeckler and Nico Roche are dropped from the lead group, which is being towed along by Trek’s Bauke Mollema. The yellow jersey group is 3min 43sec behind.

2.40pm BST

59km to go: I’m having a Kittel of a day myself. Thanks to those for pointing out that I got my UAEs and Bahrains mixed up. A silly error, but as luck would have it – David Conn had these completely different human rights abuses covered as well …

Related: Abu Dhabi accused of ‘using Manchester City to launder image’

2.34pm BST

The climb up the Telegraphe begins: Alberto Contador has a mechanical of some sort and stands calmly at the side of the road waiting for the Trek team car so he can get a replacement bike. The gap to the yellow jersey group is 3min 45sec. Contador mounts his replacement bike and is paced back on to the leading bunch by – I think – Wanty Group’s Marco Minnaard, who waited for him.

2.30pm BST

63km to go: Ben Swift of UAE Team Emirates does a turn on the front of the yellow jersey group. ITV co-comms man David Millar is harsh in his criticism of UAE for helping out Sky for no other reason than to protect Louis Meintjes’s eighth place, which is undre threat from Alberto Contador. “It belittles the brand,” says Millar. “They’ve done nothing so far and are now riding defensively.”

2.26pm BST

67km to go: “You say Kittel still holds green, is this really the case?” asks Philip Mellor. “I was under the impression you had to make it to Paris to win the jersey, no? Will Kittel be ascending the podium this afternoon? Surely not!”

Apologies for any misunderstanding, Philip – a poor choice of phrase in all the excitement. Kittel was technically still wearing the torn and blood-stained green jersey and was still leading the category, but will no longer be eligible to win it, even in the unlikely event that nobody surpasses his total. Michael Matthews will be wearing green tomorrow, barring an accident.

2.20pm BST

69km to go: The yellow jersey group passes through the feed zone in what passes for the calm before the Telegraphe-Galibier storm. Contador’s Trek are towing the lead group along, while Froome’s Sky are in charge of the yellow jersey group. The gap is 3min 20sec.

2.14pm BST

I’m pulling into the side of the road to attend to a call of nature but will be back very shortly. Here’s some mid-stage entertainment from Orica Scott to keep you entertained while I’m away.

2.12pm BST

The Contador group: There are 24 of them, negotiating the 14-kilometre gap between the descent from the Croix de Fer and the beginning of the climb to the Telegraphe. They lead the yellow jersey group by 3min 07sec.

That Contador group in full: Alberto Contador, Jarlinson Pantano and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Amaël Moinard and Nicolas Roche (BMC), Darwin Atapuma (UAE), Rudy Molard (FDJ), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha-Alpecin), Thomas De Gendt and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Jonathan Castroviejo and Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac), Ondrej Cink (Bahrain-Merida), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Brice Feillu and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Cyril Gautier and Mathias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale).

2.03pm BST

Continuing the descent: The gap from the Contador group to the yellow jersey is 3min 06sec as the riders continue whizzing down the descent of the Croix de Fer.

2.00pm BST

Massive news, as the Green Jersey abandons. Kittel hit the deck hardest of several riders who came down in a group crash this morning. He lost time, injured his knee and shoulder and has been forced to quit. He’s won five stages in this Tour and still holds the green jersey, but Michael Matthews looks a certainty to take it from him.

1.58pm BST

86km to go: De Gendt and Navarro have been reeled in by the Contador group, which makes my life a lot easier. The gap to the yellow jersey group is 2min 59sec. The gap from Froome to Contador on GC was 7min 10sec this morning.

1.52pm BST

92km to go: Thomas De Gendt and Dani Navarro were first over the Croix de Fer and the gap back to the Contador group, which includes Bauke Mollema, Tony Gallopin, Serge Pauwels and Brice Feillu, was 27 seconds. The gap between the leaders and the yellow jersey group is 3min 19sec and everyone is on the descent.

1.48pm BST

94km to go: “Sickness and exhaustion,” have been cited as the reasons for Thibaut Pinot’s abandonment. He couldn’t get up the Croix de Fer.

1.46pm BST

Final word on the Sky debate. “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game,” says Guy Hornsby, in a mail that should keep everyone but the most one-eyed fan-boys happy. “It’s perfectly possible to detest Sky’s prickliness and hypocrisy under Brailsford, but profess man-love in the extreme for G, as I do. Froome’s a bit mechanical, but jesus, he’s an incredible bike rider. In fact there’s a lot to admire about their road squad, whatever you feel about the team itself. But that’s cycling.

“Revisionism is how it’s always been. I have respect for the tragic but dogged Tommy Simpson, despite his drug use. I loved the buccaneering Pantani, whose career was an epitaph of doping, coke and premature death. In fact, many of my cycling heroes from the 80s and 90s (the awesome Robert Millar, Andy Hampsten and LeMond accepted, I believe) have all doped.

1.41pm BST

Thomas De Gendt is first over Croix de Fer: He scores 20 KOM points and is followed over by Dani Navarro. The Contador group is about 20 seconds behind them and the yellow jersey group, led by Sky, are a further three minutes back as the leaders begin their descent.

1.34pm BST

One kilometre to the summit of Croix de Fer: Thomas De Gendt and Dani Navarro have dropped Michael Matthews. contador and his merry men are 200 metres behind them on the road. Behind Contador, Team Sky are bossing the peloton, keeping the gap to the leaders down to 3min 08sec.

1.31pm BST

An email from Matt Brown: “I wasn’t aware you have a pro-Sky or anti-Sky agenda, do you?” he asks. Well Matt, if somebody in the Guardian comments section says so, then it must be true.

Matt continues: “I’m with those that feel ambivalent about Sky management at the moment, what with their previous ‘zero tolerance, ultra-high standards’ stance jarring with an apparent lack of clarity answering recent allegations. The riders continue to impress though.”

1.24pm BST

Thibaut Pinto abandons: Not much was expected of him in this Tour after his exertions in the Giro, where he won his first Grand Tour stage on the penultimate day. He duly didn’t deliver and Francais De Jeux are now down to just three riders.

1.21pm BST

Landa v Froome: “Surely, just as Froome was doing with Wiggins, Landa will simply ride to show he’s ‘stronger’ than Froome,” writes Steve Harding. “To actually attempt to win the race without a team is difficult as Aru is about to show us. I do think Aru’s got a chance – it’s going to be great to watch.”

It’s difficult, but as I said, there is precedent: Stephen Roche has done it in the past, against an Italian in Italy. Any, it’s just a hare-brained theory from a man with a rabid anti-Sky agenda – I could well be talking through my hat. We’ll see …

Related: Stephen Roche: I had people spitting rice and wine in my face

1.18pm BST

113km to go: De Gendt and Matthews lead by 20 seconds from Dani Navarro, who has attacked off the front of the second group. The yellow jersey group is now 4min 09sec behind them.

1.17pm BST

114km to go: De Gendt and Matthews continue to lead. The big group behind them has broken up and Contador is currently picking his way through the debris after being paced on to the back by his domestique Michael Gogl, who had dropped out of the group to wait for him.

1.12pm BST

An email from Andy Ashton: “I enjoy your Tour commentary, just interesting you’ve got such a bee in your bonnet about Sky and Brailsford in particular, who have so far just been guilty of not answering enough of your questions,” he says. “But you’re happy to give Lance Armstrong a help back into the world of acceptability. ‘Yes, yes, he’s a liar and a cheat etc…’”

Thanks for the mail, Andy. It’s a fair(ish) point you make, but I find it interesting that you chose to ‘et cetera’ past the following part of my introduction to Lance’s podcast. Specifically: “Yes, yes … he’s a liar and a cheat and a bully and a fraud, but he’s been there and bought (and subsequently been stripped of) the seven yellow T-shirts. The Texan offered some typically forthright and interesting insights and opinions …”

1.05pm BST

117km to go: Plenty of climbing left to do on Croix de Fer, with De Gendt and Matthews still leading. Alberto Contador is one hairpin bend behind the 31-man group that’s 1min 50sec behind the two leaders. He’ll soon be able to see them.

12.58pm BST

How things stand: Thomas De Gendt and Michael Matthews are 1min 50sec clear of a group of 31 other riders. Alberto Contador is chasing that group and the gap from the stage leaders to the yellow jersey group behind Contador is 4min 44sec.

12.56pm BST

16km to go to the summit of Croix de Fer: Contador pulls away from Quintana as he attempts to bridge the gap from the yellow jersey group to the breakaway.

12.54pm BST

Yesterday’s debate on Sky: My attention was steered towards some amusing whinges in the comments section of Will Fotheringham’s blog, regarding my “anti Sky agenda”. This one was a particular favourite …

Glendenning said he had loads of emails, far too many to deal with. He carefully chooses the ones he wants. He would really like to have a go at Froome but does it through his attacks on Brailsford. Totally transparent, I don’t know who he thinks he’s fooling. I could really do without his slanted commentary. The Guardian is my paper. I wish it wasn’t his.

12.44pm BST

125km to go: The camera cuts to Katusha-Alpecin sprinter Alexander Kristoff, who has had a nasty crash. He’s got a cut under his eye, a scuffed helmet and his jersey is ripped on the left shoulder. On the front of the peloton, Nairo Quintana attacks and is reeled in. Alberto Contador attacks and Quintana goes with him.

12.37pm BST

127km to go: Michael Matthews and the apparently tireless Thomas De Gendt lead the 31-man breakaway by 1min 10sec as they begin the climb up Croix de Fer. The peloton is at 5min 15sec.

12.28pm BST

Matthews now nine points behind Kittel: The 20 points Michael Matthews picked up in the intermediate sprint mean he is now nine (that is definitely correct) points behind Marcel Kittel in the race for the green jersey. On his podcast, Lance Armstrong reckoned would definitely pick up some more points in the time trial, if he needed to. It’s shaping up to be a very tight contest and the way both riders’ luck is going at the moment, you’d have to back Matthews. Nothing has gone right for Kittel in recent days, on or off the bike; if had ducks, they’d drown.

12.25pm BST

A correction from Warren Seddon: “Not to be a stickler, but De Gendt is 76 point behind Barguil in the KoM category (after his 3 points just now),” he writes. “Also re: Landa, he is a relatively woeful time trialist, so would have to put an awful lot of time into Froome in the next two stages to win in Paris (something that Sky are unlikely to allow!).”

12.24pm BST

Thomas De Gendt waves Michael Matthews through: De Gendt signals to Michael Matthews that he won’t contest the intermediate sprint, but the Australian clearly doesn’t trust him and stays on his wheel, so he can keep tabs on him. Matthews duly crosses the line to take maximum points – now he and his fellow Sunweb riders will spend the rest of the day focussing on keeping Warren Barguil in the polka dot jersey.

12.20pm BST

Three kilometres to the intermediate sprint: Thomas de Gendt and Michael Matthews have put some time between themselves and the rest of the escape party, which is comprised of 31 riders. None of them are prominent in the GC.

They are: Cyril Gautier and Mathias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jonathan Castroviejo and Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Michael Gogl, Jarlinson Pantano and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Amaël Moinard, Nicolas Roche and Danilo Wyss (BMC), Darwin Atapuma and Ben Swift (UAE), Rudy Molard (FDJ), Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha-Alpecin), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Simon Geschke and Albert Timmer (Sunweb), Nicolas Edet and Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Alberto Bettiol and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Ondrej Cink (Bahrain-Merida), Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Brice Feillu and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro)

12.18pm BST

An email from Matthew Trim: “I’d like to hear more on your conviction that Mikel Landa is going to knife Froomey in the back like a Tory politician,” he writes. “I would assume that to do so today he would have to have had another team lined up (which apparently he has), would be able to get to the finish without the help of anyone else in the Sky team (probably not, really), and is sufficiently filled with hatred for Sky (they do appear to be in the Marmite category right now) to do it. On balance I think unlikely, although would be interested to hear your perspective.”

Well, I could be completely wide of the mark, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life is that people are not to be trusted and there is precedent. Exhibit A: Stephen Roche disobeyed team orders to beat his Carrera team leader Roberto Visentini in the 1987 Giro, with the help of various riders from other teams (see below).

12.11pm BST

The riders who took the points on the Col d’Ornon

1. Michael Matthews, 5 points
2. Thomas De Gendt, 3
3. Serge Pauwels, 2
4. Simon Geschke, 1

12.09pm BST

An email from Justin Horton: “I’ve never followed cycling closely so this is probably a naive question rather than anything else, but are Team Sunweb likely to find themselves at all hampered by the fact that Barguil and Matthews are competing for different jerseys?” he asks. “Also, is Barguil still to be considered a possible GC contender, given the strength of his climbing and that there are two mountain stages (including today’s) to come, despite being so far back?”

It’s funny you should ask, Justin, as Michael Matthews has just sprinted past Thomas De Gendt to deny him maximum points on the summit of Col d’Ornon, doing Barguil a favour in the process. De Gendt is 18 points behind Barguil in the King of the Mountains standings. Personally, I don’t think Barguil has a hope of winning the Tour, as he’d need far too many things over which he has little or no control to go his way, even if he did tear up the stages today and tomorrow.

12.01pm BST

The 30-man breakaway: Riding in the gutter looking for protection from the wind, LottoNL–Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic clips a wheel in front of him and goes down. He’s quickly back up and off in pursuit of his fellow escapees. They include Michael Matthews, Thomas Voeckler, Laurens Ten Dam, Thomas De Gendt, Nicolas Roche and Tony Gallopin.

11.58am BST

Halfway up the first climb: A motorbike cameraman pulls upsides Michael Matthews and the Australian they call “Bling”, out of his saddle and pushing hard, grins down the barrel. He’s loving life at the moment and it’s no surprise, as everything he touches turns to gold.

Related: Michael Matthews heading for Tour de France showdown on streets of Paris | Kieran Pender

11.56am BST

Did Michael Matthews do the dirty? That’s open to debate. The 30-man breakaway in which he and several other Sunweb riders find themselves had already attacked off the front before Kittel and several other riders went down in that crash, so it would probably be unfair to suggest they broke the unwritten rule of the peloton that dictates you don’t take advantage of a stricken jersey wearer’s misfortune by attacking him when he’s crashed or had a mechanical.

11.52am BST

Kittel getting more attention: Marcel Kittel is now taking a tow off the doctor’s car at the back of the peloton, getting an ice pack on his right shoulder, which he landed on when crashing. He’s lucky he didn’t break his collar bone. His knee is cut, his shoulder is cut and bruised, and his jersey is ripped down one side. He’s looking very sorry for himself.

11.49am BST

Those in the peloton are sitting up: They’re waiting for everyone who was involved in the crash to receive medical or mechanical attention, where required, before putting the hammer down again. There’s one kilometre to go to the start of the first climb.

11.48am BST

All involved in the crash are OK: Well, they’re all back on their bikes and won’t be too pleased to hear that while they were crashing, an attack was launched off the front of the peloton. A group of 30 riders, including Michael Matthews and several of his team-mates, have opened a gap of 1min 47sec on the yellow jersey group.

11.46am BST

Kittel back on his bike: Wincing in pain and with blood dripping from his right knee, Marcel Kittel gets back on his bike and sets off on his way again. He has to stop again and get a new bike, then pull up alongside his team car and get a new right shoe, which he replaces while getting a tow from the car. You’ve got to feel for Kittel – he had a nightmare day yesterday and today is already shaping up to be worse.

11.43am BST

There’s a pile-up as a couple of riders crash in the peloton and bring several others down. Steve Cummings goes off the road and into a ditch, but is fit to continue. The green jersey and polka dot jersey are both involved: Marcel Kittel looks fairly badly hurt, while Warren Barguil is also down.

11.40am BST

20 kilometres into today’s stage: Repeated attacks off the front of the bunch come to nothing and the race has yet to settle down.

11.39am BST

A few kilometres to the foot of the first climb: The race remains far from settled, but the peloton is strung out. After yesterday’s heroics, Michael Matthews needs to claw back some more intermediate sprint points on Marcel Kittel today. He’s 29 points behind Marcel Kittel in the chase for the green jersey, so expect him to go all out to pick up maximum points in today’s sprint, which is between the first and second of today’s categorised climbs.

11.35am BST

One non-starter today: Lotto–Soudal rider Marcel Sieberg didn’t sign in today and becomes the latest rider to drop out of this year’s Tour. We’ve had 26 abandonments or disqualifications so far this year, leaving 172 riders in the peloton.

11.32am BST

Cyril Gautier attacks. The AG2R rider attacks and is followed by a couple of team-mates. They’re attempting to get a few riders up the road, so that Romain Bardet will have team-mates to help him if and when he jumps across later today.

11.26am BST

Following the roll-out, race director Christian Prudhomme signalled the start of racing at 11.16am (BST). There are 176km to go, the peloton is still together and we’re in for a day of great fun. As ever, it’ll be a long one, so your emails and Tweets on whatever subject takes your fancy are welcome. If you’re sending an email, try to keep them as short as you can. Twitter may be broken, as I understand it might have exploded in the wake of recent revelations about the large salaries paid to various BBC stars.

11.17am BST

Related: Michael Matthews wins chaotic stage 16 after ‘attacking like a maniac’

11.15am BST

Yes, yes … he’s a liar and a cheat and a bully and a fraud, but he’s been there and bought (and subsequently been stripped of) the seven yellow T-shirts. The Texan offered some typically forthright and interesting insights and opinions into the Sky rest day “scandal” in the latest of his Stages podcasts and also had plenty to say about today’s route. You can watch the podcast in its entirety below, but here’s what he had to say about today’s terrain.

It’s a true mountain day. This race is so close, and [this stage] is effing hard. Forget the first Category 2, then you get right into the Hors Category Croix de Fer … super hard … downhill and then you hit the double-whammy of Telegraphe, slight downhill and the Galibier … it could be an epic battle.

“Again a downhill finish takes a little bit out of it. That downhill on the back side of the Galibier, which is technically called a different climb. The Tour de France actually goes up that side from time to time, but they don’t call it the Galibier when they go up that side.

10.58am BST

It remains tight as a drum after yesterday’s action, where Dan Martin was the only big GC loser after getting caught on the wrong side of the split in the peloton once the crosswinds began to take their toll. The first four riders on GC are separated by just 29 seconds, while I remain utterly convinced that Sky’s Mikel Landa, who is just 1min 17sec back, might go against team orders and try to “steal” this Tour from his leader Chris Froome.

9.41am BST

After yesterday’s unexpected tension and ridiculously hard exertions, an absolute monster of a stage awaits today – the first leg of an Alpine double-header. It’s an Alpine classic featuring a Category 2 climb, a Category 1 climb and two Hors Category ascents in the shape of the Col de Croix de Fer and the Col du Galibier.

Stage 17 from La Mure to Serre Chevalier is classic Alpine stuff featuring two hors catégorie climbs: the Col de la Croix de Fer to soften the contenders up, and then the Col du Galibier from its hardest side to split them apart. A small selection will fight out for the stage win, and it will probably be the main men such as Froome and his rivals for the yellow jersey.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/19/tour-de-france-2017-stage-17-takes-riders-into-the-alps-live

Jul 18

Tour de France: Michael Matthews wins stage 16 in photo finish – as it happened

The Australian Sunweb rider took his second stage win on another eventful day

5.01pm BST

Many, many thanks for your time and your emails on a day of racing that was far more exciting than this particular reporter expected it to be. The riders tackle the Alps tomorrow, on a day when they’ll face the Col de la Croix de Fer and the Galibier. Tune in tomorrow, when we’ll bring you all the action.

4.53pm BST

Marcel Kittel speaks: “I can’t say I am happy about losing all the points, but there was nothing to do,” he says. “It is what it is. I gave of my best on the climb, but it wasn’t our day today and now we have to move on.” He makes no mention of being ill, which is not to say he wasn’t feeling poorly.

4.52pm BST

Dan Martin was the day’s big loser, dropping out of the top 10 after getting caught on the wrong side of the split when Sky formed the echelon in the crosswinds 20 kilometres from home. It probably didn’t help that three of his team-mates were babysitting Marcel Kittel in the grupetto 10 minutes further back – despite the best attempts of Jack Bauer, who did a massive turn in a bid to get Martin back in touch, they were unable to bridge the gap.

Nouveau classement général, Quintana revient dans le top 10 / New GC, @NairoQuinCo is back in the top 10! #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/wlRhNcQWnI

4.45pm BST

Related: Michael Matthews wins stage 16 at Tour de France after crosswinds chaos

4.43pm BST

Top 10 #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/1ON5NS3kSi

Sprint serré, @blingmatthews gagne aujourd’hui ! / Matthews takes the win, it was close! #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/4eaJwe5dPx

4.38pm BST

Michael Matthews speaks: “To get my second one in three days it’s … I don’t really know. It probably won’t sink in until tomorrow.” He goes on to say that he had originally tried to get in the breakaway, but was being marked by Dan Martin. When he heard that Marcel Kittel had been dropped , he and his team-mates tried to do as much damage as possible in the quest for green jersey points. He’s reduced the deficit from 79 points to 29.

4.34pm BST

Matthews keeps the win: John Degenkolb, who I originally mistook for Greg Van Avermaet, has had his complaint thrown out. It seems he was unhappy with some sort of flick or contact n the run-in, but reports suggest the jury has decided it was something and nothing.

I’ve also had an email telling me that “Belgian TV [are] reporting that one of their team saw John Degenkolb ride over to Michael Matthews after the finish, point right at him and tell him “fuck you”. Matthews came off his line a little there are clearly impeded the German.” Thanks to whoever sent that in.

4.28pm BST

1. Michael Matthews
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen
3. John Degenkolb
4. Greg Van Avermaet
5. Christophe Laporte

It seems that John Degenkolb has lodged an official complaint, saying that Michael Matthews cut him up on the run-in.

4.24pm BST

Edvald Boasson-Hagen made a pig’s ear of that. Looking for his first stage win since 2011, the Norwegian mistimed his late surge and was beaten by a wheel on the line. It looked a lot tighter in real time, but Boasson-Hagen had the beating of Matthews there if he hadn’t left it so late. The Australian didn’t even know he was coming up his outside, as he was focussing totally on Degenkolb, who was on his inside.

4.21pm BST

Michael Matthews finishes a great day for himself and his team by winning the stage and taking the maximum number of points available, while his main rival for the green jersey remains out on the road.

4.19pm BST

Degenkolb, Boasson Hagen and Matthews cross the line together.

4.19pm BST

200m to go: Matthews hits the front!

4.19pm BST

1.6km to go: Daniel Bennatti grits his teeth and jumps off the lead bunch with a brave but doomed solo effort.

4.17pm BST

2.8km to go: Movistar are grafting at the front of the lead group, as they don’t want Dan Martin to get back in touch with their group.

4.16pm BST

3.6km to go: The gap to the Kittel group (remember them?), for anyone who’s wondering, is now almost 12 minutes.

4.15pm BST

7.5km to go: Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff are among the sprinters to miss out on getting into the lead group, while Marcel Kittel’s woes have been well documented. You’d have to fancy Edvald Boasson Hagen for the stage win at the moment. He’s in the front group and has his lead-out man with him. Greg van Avermaet is another puncheur who is well placed, with three team-mates to help him out.

4.12pm BST

9km to go: Correction: Rigoberto Uran is in the lead group. Apologies, but it all happened so quickly it’s a mite difficult to keep on top of it. Dan Martin is the only GC contender to have been left behind and he’s 24seconds behind.

4.10pm BST

12km to go: Among the potential stage and Tour winners in the front group, we have Michael Matthews, Greg van Avermaet, Edvald Boasson Hagan, Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet, Simon Yates and Chris Froome, which has spat out the rest of the Sky riders. Mikel Landa is struggling to stay in touch. Dan Martin and Rigoberto Uran have been left behind and are frantically trying to get back in touch but the gap appears to be widening.

4.06pm BST

13km to go: Correction: Dan Martin has been caught on the wrong side of the split and been left behind by the echelon. In the panic when it formed, Trek’s Jarlinson Pantano crashed and looked to have hurt himself quite badly. Axel Domont also came down.

4.04pm BST

14km to go: A brilliant recovery from Fabio Aru, who looked to have been caught out by the Sky echelon, but manages to bridge the gap. There are splits throughout the peloton, but all the GC contenders are in the front group.

4.03pm BST

16km to go: Sky have six riders at the front of the bunch, putting the hammer down as they string out the peloton. They form an echelon and a gap opens. Here we go!

4.01pm BST

17km to go: The gap back to Marcel Kittel’s group, who haven’t been shown on TV for a while but may well have stopped for a beer if the clock is right, is now more than nine minutes! Nine!

4.00pm BST

18km to go: Kwiatkowski and Froome take over at the front, controlling the pace of the peloton as it meanders through a small village.

3.59pm BST

20km to go: Fabio Aru and two other Astan riders take over at the front of the bunch, while Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski escorts Chris Froome further towards the front. These are nervcy times in a bunch where all the main GC contenders want to be as near as possible to the front in case of crosswinds.

3.55pm BST

21km to go: The gap from the main group back to the Kittel group is now over eight minutes!

3.54pm BST

22km to go: Sky lose a few places in the peloton after taking the wrong side of a roundabout and losing their position at the front. They force their way forwards to a position of prominence again.

3.53pm BST

25km to go: The flags on the side of the road show the riders are struggling into a very strong headwind. Behind them, the Kittel group is now 7min 45sec behind. Meanwhile, the truth is finally out: “Be honest Barry,” writes Nick. “The reason Sky and therefore Brailsford get such an undeserved hard time from you, is due to the Guardian’s agenda with Sky and Murdoch.” I would respectfully argue that the presence of the word “undeserved” in that mail speaks volumes about who exactly it is that has the agenda.

3.44pm BST

30km to go: Team Sunweb continue to tow the peloton towards the finish with what ITV’s David Millar describes as something of “a status quo” having descended on the peloton. There have been no crosswinds for them to contend with yet; they’re currently riding into a strong headwind. “You’re often caught out a the moment you think when nothing’s going to happen, then all of a sudden you find yourself in the third group on the road,” says Millar. “It all happens so quickly.”

3.38pm BST

34km to go: Alberto Contador attacks off the front of the bunch, catching Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski unawares as he rode with a musette dangling from his mouth. Having missed out at the feed zone, Kwiatkowski throws his lunch to the side of the road and heads off in hot pursuit to close down the attack.

3.36pm BST

Man down! Serge Pauwels from Dimension Data crashes in a bottle-neck as the road narrows. He gets back on his bike and continues.

3.34pm BST

37km to go: It’s pancake flat as the peloton starts to break up after their earlier exertions. They’re still going at a ferocious lick as a grupetto of riders, who seem to have decided their day’s work is done, forms off the back. The gap from the stage leaders to the Kittel group has judged edged past the six-minute mark.

3.27pm BST

Matthews wins the intermediate sprint: It’s not much of a contest as Michael Matthews is gifted the 20 points at the intermediate sprint., with Andre Greipel rolling over in second place. Sonny Colbrelli was third. Marcel Kittel is 5min 20sec behind.

3.25pm BST

44km to go: “For those maintaining Sky are getting an unfair ride, I’ll reiterate that this is a direct consequence of their puritanical entry into professional cycling,” says Guy Hornsby. “Many, many teams have doped, many recent riders (Contador, Diego Ulissi, Tom Danielson, Luca Paolini as well as Cardoso) have been banned. Indeed Sky dropped their own clanger with the signing of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, subsequently dumping him the moment it arose – but none of them claim to be as virtuous as Sky do, or ever have.

“Brailsford may not like Cycling News, but it’s articles like this one that perfectly summarise the hypocrisy they employ, both over TUEs (saying they’d withdraw a rider with an allergy) and transparency (telling the media in 2013 to ‘get organised, and you tell me what could we do so we wouldn’t have to ask these questions’). Then at the merest sign of trouble, they start banning press, refusing access with Brailsford behaving like a sulking teenager.”

3.21pm BST

47km to go: the gap from the yellow jersey group to the green jersey group isa 4min 38sec and continues to grow as the former approaches the intermediate sprint.

3.20pm BST

53km to go: “I have to say that your coverage of the Sky debate seems extremely biased by your own opinion and does not represent a fair assessment of the situation,” writes Ian Townshend. “No other team carries the same assumption that they should share everything with us and constantly prove their innocence.”

Hmmm? I thought the same rules applied to all cycling teams, but apparently I’m mistaken.

3.09pm BST

57km to go: The speedy, single file descent to the Rhone Valley continues as Nacer Bouhanni gets on to the back of the peloton after expending a massive effort. The gap from the lead group to the Kittel group is now out to four minutes.

3.05pm BST

Gerard Fitzgerald writes: “Sky wouldn’t be getting such grief if they hadn’t being so sanctimonious at the start,” he writes. “Their refusal to join Vaughters et al in their transparency grouping is strange. Sky may have not doped but they have pushed right up to the line of cheating. Very much like Michael Rasmussen 10 years ago. If you want to be the cowboy with the white hat you better be cleaner than clean.”

We’re getting plenty of mails on this topic and apologies if I don’t get around to using them all. Sky’s sanctimony does seem to be getting under a lot of people’s skin, while sympathy for Chris Froome seems to be a prevailing theme among our readers.

3.03pm BST

Paul Griffin writes: “Such a shame about George Bennett abandoning,” he says. “He was a breathe of fresh air. And probably a fillip for Kiwi sports fans after their nation choked at their national sport so recently. Twice.” Oof!

3.00pm BST

64km to go: The sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), his team-mate Nicolas Edet and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) are trying to bridge the gap from the Kittel group to the yellow jersey/Michael Matthews group. They’re 50 seconds behind, as Bouhanni gives his pace-making team-mate an occasional push to help him along.

2.57pm BST

Intermediate sprint: Today’s sahaping up to be all about the green jersey, although the forecast crosswinds could liven things up. There are 20 points on offer to the winner of the intermediate sprint that’s 43.4km from the finish, and a further 30 points up for grabs to the winner of the stage. If Michael Matthews was to take all 50, the gap between himself and Kittel in the battle for the green jersey would be down to 29.

2.53pm BST

An email from Mark Newitt: “It’s not about doping, but something asking difficult questions about other teams,” he says.

Related: How Bahrain uses sport to whitewash a legacy of torture and human rights abuses | David Conn

2.51pm BST

2.50pm BST

72km to go: The peloton descends from the Massif Central to the Rhone Valley led by Michael Matthew’s Sunweb team, who continue to increase the gap to the Marcel Kittel group. It’s 3min 26sec and rising.

2.48pm BST

77km to go: Today’s stage has been enexpectedly entertaining thus far and things look likely to hot up even further in the near future as the riders approach the flat finish and the crosswinds that await.

The word from the Quick Step team, incidentally, is that Kittel has been suffering from stomach problems, but was reported to be feeling better. He certainly doesn’t look well. He’s being nursed through today’s stage by three team-mates – Sabatini, Vermote and Stybar – whose time might have been better spent working with Dan Martin in the yellow jersey group. Quick-Step are already down to seven riders following the withdrawals of Philippe Gilbert and Matteo Trentin.

2.42pm BST

2.41pm BST

78km to go: Kittel’s group is 2min 50sec behind the yellow jersey group, where Michael Matthews, his main rival for the green jersey is safely ensconced with his team-mates who are making the pace.

2.39pm BST

84km to go: “For the sake of an idle muse, can you go over how far back Kittel would need to be to miss the cut today?” asks Matthew Trim. “Any chance it could happen if his group fractures and he is on the wrong side of an echelon?”

Well Matthew, to the best of my knowledge, the cut-off depends on many factors: the calculations are made taking into account the level of difficulty of the stage (there are four categories of difficulty not counting team time trials – I’m guessing today’s wouldn’t be particularly high) and the average speed of the winner (which is shaping up to be very high), so it’ll be hard to know until somebody wins it how close he needs to be. Looking as poorly as he does – and there’s a very good chance he may have the gastroenteritis that did for his team-mate Philippe Gilbert – I’d say it could be touch and go for Marcel today. By contrast, it could be a very elaborate bluff!!!

2.32pm BST

86km to go: The gap from the yellow jersey group to Marcel Kittel in his green jersey continues to grow. It’s now 2min 24sec.

2.31pm BST

88km to go: George Bennett abandons. The Kiwi rider was 12th on GC but hopelessly adrift of the field and has given up the ghost. I don’t know if he’s ill, injured or had a crash … but his Tour is over. I’ll bring you more information as I get it.

2.24pm BST

95km to go: The camera cuts to Marcel Kittel as he’s nursed over the Col du Rouvey. He is suffering very badly and looks dreadful. His team-mates have given up trying to pace him back to the yellow jersey group and look instead to be focussing their attention on just getting him to the finish line.

2.21pm BST

An email from Ashley Roberts: “I have to disagree with your response to James Austin,” he says. “It’s perfectly possible to criticise Sky while also criticising the free ride which many commentators and fans give to the likes of Astana, Valverde, and Contador (to name just a few) who have a much more dubious or downright proven history of doping. For many there appear to be double standards and blatant hypocrisy at play.”

It is indeed, Ashley, but I fail to see how the “whataboutery” regarding other teams or riders that is employed when attempting to stick up for Sky is even remotely relevant to Sky’s myriad shortcomings in the transparency department. Plenty of people criticised and continue to criticise Astana, Contador and Valverde, but the Sky story currently garners more column inches because it is still ongoing and they refuse to help people trying to get to the bottom of it.

2.15pm BST

100km to go: The peloton heads towards the summit of the Cat 4 Col du Rouvey, the day’s second climb. The gap back to the Kittel group is almost two minutes.

2.12pm BST

Lotto joining with Sunweb, also Cummings in there for a good while as well… hard finish definitely one for Boasson-Hagen

2.11pm BST

An email from Michelle O’Hara: “I can understand Brailsford’s frustration,” she says. “Cycling news is tabloidesque in its approach to Sky. They definitely have questions that should be answered but why is the focus constantly on them? I have seen little discussion, for example, on Cardoso of Trek being suspended shortly before the tour started for taking EPO. The sport won’t clean itself up by simply focusing on the one team and ignoring failed drugs tests in another.”

Again, thanks for the email. To answer your question, I would say the reason the focus is constantly on Sky is because they refuse to answer those questions you speak of, despite having originally promoted themselves as paragons of virtue and transparency. Because of this, reporters presume they have something to hide and can be forgiven for presuming as much, even if they don’t have anything to hide. As for the point about Cardoso – his suspension was widely reported, as far as I remember.

2.04pm BST

A bad day for George Bennett: The Kiwi LottoNL-Jumbo rider began today’s stage in 12th place overall on GC, but has lost 4min 43sec already. He’s in a group of three riders that are three minutes behind the green jersey group. The green jersey group that is 1min 40sec behind the main peloton.

1.59pm BST

A cry for help: “Wonder if you or any of your readers can help – the level of knowledge and expertise in these parts is very impressive,” says Lizz Poulter. “I’m going to Marseille on Saturday (last minute decision) and when I went to the website yesterday I was able to book two tickets for the white jersey end of the Stade Vélodrome but then discovered that tickets had to be picked up before 13-07. Does anyone know if I’ll be able to get in? I’m going to Marseille on Thursday, so could swing by the venue well before Saturday’s stage starts.”

Well, anyone? I can’t see it being too much of a problem – just bring your receipt and any other paperwork, then make the very fair point that if the tickets had to be picked up before yesterday, then perhaps they should have been sold before yesterday.

1.56pm BST

115km to go: The peloton is back together after the successful pursuit of Sylvain Chavanel. Sunweb are keeping control at the front of the bunch, while Marcel Kittel is in a group over a minute behind.

1.54pm BST

An email from James Austin: “David’s views on Sky seem a bit much; Sky have high budget but many of their key riders came through their system – including Froome, Rowe (the road captain) and Thomas,” he says. “Their tactics are the same that every top team has used throughout cycling history -La Vie Claire, Renault, Discovery etc.

“It’s interesting that people focus so heavily on the TUE issue, which seems completely within the rules, and give a pass to other teams and riders with far more suspicious histories (Movistar, Astana etc.) I don’t notice anyone booing Aru despite him hailing from a team and nation with a far greater history of doping.

Related: Sir Dave Brailsford’s marginal gains are now applied to being bumptious | Marina Hyde

1.46pm BST

The green jersey is dropped from the green jersey group. Marcel Kittel is in big trouble, his face a mask of anguish and pain as he struggles to stay in touch with the group that’s already been dropped by the peloton. There are rumours he has been ill, so you can only sympathise if he’s got a dose of the gastro-enteritis that forced his team-mate Philippe Gilbert out of the Tour today. Sympathise with Kittel, obviously … and anyone cycling downwind of him. Ouch.

1.42pm BST

Sylvain Chavanel attacks: The Frenchman attacks off the front of the breakaway quintet. Thomas De Gendt tries to go with him, but quickly throws in the towel. The peloton have caught the three other escapees and are about to catch De Gendt. I suspect it won’t be long before Chavanel throws in the towel.

1.40pm BST

How things stand with 1267km to go: Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott), Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) have a lead of 22 seconds over the peloton, which is being led by the riders of Team Sunweb riding for Michael Matthews, with assistance from BMC. Matthews is second in the green jersey category and is trying to maximise his gains now that Marcel Kittel has been dropped from the peloton.

1.35pm BST

131km to go: The focus is on the green jersey as Marcel Kitteland Nacer Bouhanni find themselves in a group struggling badly to stay in touch with the yellow jersey group, where Michael Matthews and his Sunweb team-mates are making the pace. Matthews is 79 points behind Kittel, but could make up 50 today if Kittel stays dropped. He’s in a bunch of over 40 riders that are almost a minute behind the yellow jersey group.

1.31pm BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “I’m a massive fan of stages with crosswinds, and the chaos they can cause (Stage 13, in 2013 was a belter) but it’s hard not to talk about Sky at this juncture,” he says.

“I’m a huge fan of their riders, and even Froome, who doesn’t inspire, is a worthy champion, but their PR department should be binned. Riding into the sport on a wave of transparency and chest-puffing, they’ve managed to alienate so many people. And while Brailsford is clearly a cycling genius, his performance on this Tour leaves a pretty bitter taste.

1.28pm BST

135km to go: Geschke has given up his effort to bridge the gap to the breakaway and has joined his teammates on the front of the peloton. Every single Sunweb rider is lined up there, towing the rest of the field at a pace so ferocious that the gap to the five riders in the breakaway is down to 40 seconds.

1.26pm BST

137km to go: The peloton is towed along by Team Sunweb, who are putting the hammer down to help Michael Matthews take points off Marcel Kittel, who is being cut adrift. His group is now 35 seconds behind the bunch and the gap is growing.

1.24pm BST

143km to go: Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Darryl Impey (Orica-Scott) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) lead the stage and now have a lead of 52 seconds over the yellow jersey group, which has reeled in Michael Matthews. Sunweb rider Simon Geschke is on the road between the two groups. Behind the yellow jersey group, the Kittel group is not quite in touch, but is hanging in there.

1.18pm BST

144km to go: The peloton has been smithereened as Thomas De Gendt breasts the metaphorical tape at the summit of Cote de Boussoulet to take two King of the Mountains points. He’s followed over the top by Sylvain Chavanel and then Michael Matthews, who’s been paced up to lead group by Laurens ten Dam. Behind them, the yellow jersey group is about to be re-joined by the Kittel group. Confused? I’ll attempt to clear it all up.

1.13pm BST

146km to go: Michael Matthews attacks off the front of the bunch as Marcel Kittel drops out the back with about 30 other riders who are finding the early pace too punishing. Two Quick-Step riders are trying to pace the group of dropped riders back on to the yellow jersey group. So much action, and we’re still one kilometre to go to the summit of the first climb.

1.11pm BST

147km to go: Sky try to close down the attack because Dan Martin forces them to do so by man-marking Michael Matthews. The Australian doesn’t look too happy to see Kittel’s team-mate up on his wheel, as Martin’s presence means Sky are obliged to reel him in due to his high GC position. We’re all together again.

1.07pm BST

147km to go: Halfway up the first climb of the day and our breakaway group is growing all the time as one rider after another jumps across from the main bunch. Among them? Michael Matthews, Marcel Kittel’s main rival for the green jersey. Kittel is towards the back of the bunch, already suffering from today’s ridiculous fast pace.

1.06pm BST

148km to go: Our four-man breakaway becomes a five-man breakaway as Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) joins the escape party. The gap is only 12 seconds, but the quintet are: Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

1.01pm BST

Another breakaway: The bunch reforms and Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas De Gendt and Thomas Degand take their turn to attack. Steve Cummings emerges from the bunch to bridge the gap. Behind them, the peloton is already fractured with plenty of riders struggling in the gutter and we’re only starting the first climb.

12.57pm BST

An email from David, who is unhappy with Sky. I’m guessing his surname isn’t “Brailsford”: “I’ve been a cycling fan since the 90s, watching it with my granddad,” he says. “The only bits of British success were Yates in a breakaway or Boardman in the prologue, but we supported those bits. When Sky came in and we have, now, multiple Tour winners, I’m ashamed. Their arrogance, dodgy TUE usages, insolence with the press, money throwing for the super-domestiques and bullying attitude (UK cycling) have left me ashamed. The reference was made to Bruyneel, their behaviour is appallingly similar to the whole Armstrong organisation. Allez Bardet!” In the interests of balance, it should be added that other opinions on Sky are available. Feel free to send yours in.

12.54pm BST

Another breakaway: Maurits Lammertink (Katusha Alpecin) and Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie) attack off the front of the bunch and are joined by Marcus Burghardt (Bora Hansgrohe). The gap is 17 seconds as the riders of Katusha and Sky attempt to form a block across the front of the peloton.

12.51pm BST

The breakaway is caught. Showing no sign of finding its early groove, the bunch reforms and more counter-attacks begin off the front. The prevailing mood this afternoon seems to be one of extreme edginess.

12.47pm BST

The race has yet to settle down. Several Sunweb riders are sitting on the front of the main bunch, while two BMC riders attempt to take Greg van Avermaet across to the breakaway, which also has two Direct Energie riders in it.

12.45pm BST

Christian Prudhomme signals the start of racing. With the winds howling, we could be in for an unexpected treat today. The thinking is that various teams will throw the kitchen sink at Marcel Kittel from the gun in an effort to deny him the green jersey. Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews is his nearest rival in that category. Already, a group of about 20 riders, including one from Sunweb and AG2R’s Jan Bakelants and Marcus Burghardt (Bora Hansgrohe), have opened a gap of 15 seconds on the bunch.

12.41pm BST

Hmmm … According to the lads on ITV, the field has been reduced to 175 riders due to the withdrawal of Philippe Gilbert, but I make it 174.

12.38pm BST

Riding but not racing, as the peloton rolls out behind the car of race director Christian Prudhomme ahead of the signal to start racing.

12.33pm BST

Barriers being blown down near finish… https://t.co/jbGNExrR1n

12.19pm BST

Related: Tour de France enters final week with all to play for … and the Galibier looms | William Fotheringham

12.18pm BST

12.17pm BST

While today’s stage is expected to finish in a sprint, crosswinds of up to 70km per hour have been forecast for today. Should they materialise, they could have a big impact on GC. As ever, our friends from the Global Cycling Network are on hand to explain (a) why and (b) how professional bike racers can use to them to their advantage when it comes to putting the hurt on their rivals.

12.16pm BST

Quick-Step Floors has announced that their Belgian rider will not start today’s stage due to illness. Gilbert has been suffering from viral gastroenteritis. It’s a bad start to a day Quick-Step will be hoping ends in star sprinter Marcel Kittel’s sixth stage win of this year’s Tour. Gilbert becomes to 24th rider to leave or be asked to leave this year’s Tour, reducing the field to 174 of the 198 starters.

Sad news: @PhilippeGilbert won’t start today’s #TDF2017 stage due to a viral gastroenteritis. We wish you health and a fast recovery, Phil!

12.16pm BST

His old buddy Lance Armstrong, a man with whose work some readers may be familiar, has been doing a daily Tour de France podcast called Stages with Austin radio personality JB Hager. Considering Armstrong’s “previous” as a liar, bully and the mother of all drug cheats who conned his way to seven Tour de France wins, which have since been stripped from his palmares, pleasures probably don’t get much guiltier, but I think it’s very entertaining and packed full of expert insight.

Curiously, Armstrong seems to share my view that Chris Froome should be very wary of Mike Landa. “If I’m Chris Froome, I don’t trust him as far as I throw him,” says Lance. “I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, good guy … but I am saying what I sad the other day: he’s leaving the team. So, when that happens you have different interests.”

12.14pm BST

For the second successive rest day, the international written media were not granted access to Chris Froome, despite his status as race leader. While some of them were invited to listen in on his broadcast interviews, in which he was asked only about the race, one journalist did feel the lash of Sir David Brailsford’s tongue.

Brailsford launched a bizarre attack on Barry Ryan of Cycling News, telling the Irishman he was not welcome at yesterday’s Sky media event. “You’re not invited,” said Brailsford. “We have invited the people we we want to speak to. You’ve been writing shit about me.”

Related: Team Sky’s Sir Dave Brailsford launches verbal attack on cycling journalist

12.14pm BST

2.51pm BST

After yesterday’s rest day, the riders resume battle with a trip towards the Alps from the medieval mountain city of Le Puy-en-Valey, which hosts the Tour for the sixth time. Just 29 seconds separates the top four riders as the race enters its final week, while Dan Martin is fifth on GC, just another 43 seconds off the pace despite the injuries he sustained in the Stage 9 crash that ended Richie Porte’s Tour. Indeed, you could throw a blanket over the first seven on GC, with Mikel Landa and Simon Yates in sixth and seventh, at 1min 17sec and 2min 02sec respectively.

Anyway, here’s Will Fotheringham’s take on today’s track, from our stage-by-stage guide to this year’s Tour. He’s expecting a sprint finish once the riders descend from the clouds.

A similar stage to this in 2015 went to Greipel but not without a certain amount of pain as the early move was reeled in. It will go to a sprinter but one who can survive the opening hills, going up to 1200m-plus. Greipel, Arnaud Démare and Sagan are the likely names, or maybe the Briton Ben Swift.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/18/tour-de-france-2017-stage-16-live

Jul 15

Tour de France: Michael Matthews wins stage 14 as Froome regains yellow – as it happened

5.16pm BST

Related: Chris Froome takes yellow off Fabio Aru as Matthews wins stage 14 of Tour

5.08pm BST

5.02pm BST

5.00pm BST

Marooned at the back of the peloton without team-mates in the closing stages, Fabio Aru lost touch with the Big Boys and Sky took full advantage of his misfortune to take 25 seconds out of the Italian. On ITV, Chris Boardman has no sympathy whatsoever for Aru, saying today’s turn of events “was totally foreseeable and his team failed to foresee it”. He goes on to say he expects better from a major international cycling team with a multi-million pound budget.

4.55pm BST

4.51pm BST

What. A. Finish! It’s a victory for @blingmatthews! @chrisfroome gains time on Aru and moves back into yellow too. #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/KSMfKNFrdT

4.50pm BST

New GC, Froome back in yellow #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/n2cHWTeO3d

4.48pm BST

1. Michael Matthews
2. Greg Van Avermaet
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
4. Philippe Gilbert
5. Jay McCarthy

4.47pm BST

Sunweb win their second stage in two days Michael Matthews sits up on his bike about 50 metres from the line and raises his arms in celebration, having crushed Greg van Avermaet and Edvald Boasson Hagan in the final uphill sprint to the line.

4.45pm BST

Michael Matthews wins the stage, with Greg van Avermaet having to settle for second. Fabio Aru finishes well off the pace and will lose the yellow jersey to Chris Froome.

4.44pm BST

500m to go: Philippe Gilbert, Michael Matthews, Greg Van Avermaet and John Degenkolb are on the front as they hit the ramp to the finish line.

4.43pm BST

1.6km to go: Sky riders Michal Kwiatkoski and Chris Froome race up the left side of the road, trying to take advantage of the yellow jersey’s poor position pinned at the back of the bunch.

4.42pm BST

2km to go: Fabio Aru is a long, long way back in the peloton. “Too far back for a finish like this,” says David Millar on ITV.

4.40pm BST

4km to go: The teams of Michael Matthews, Greg van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert are getting their ducks in a row ahead of what promises to a very intriguing finish.

4.39pm BST

5km to go: The breakaway is caught.

4.38pm BST

7.5km to go: Philippe Gilbert moves towards the front of the bunch, his passage made easy by the wide road. Ahead of him, our four-man breakaway is being led by Perichon.

4.37pm BST

8km to go: Caruso, Arndt, Maurits Lammertink (Katusha) and Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo) have opened a 10-second gap on the peloton, where Edvald Boasson Hagen is visible at the front.

4.35pm BST

10km to go: Team Sky lead the peloton through the 10km To Go banner, chasing a group of four riders who are trying to establish a lead. One of them is Damiano Caruso from BMC, while another is Nikias Arndt from Sunweb.

4.32pm BST

12km to go: Martin continues to try to put some time between himself and the peloton, prompting a panicked reaction from Sunweb and BMC.

4.30pm BST

12km to go: Thomas De Gendt is caught, prompting an attack from Tony Martin on the climb. Warren Barguil tries to close it down. Behind them, the peloton is seriously strung out.

4.27pm BST

14km to go: It may not be an official climb, but it’s all uphill at the moment for TDG, as who is now about 10 seconds clear of the bunch. His face is a picture of pain.

4.25pm BST

14km to go: Thomas De Gendt seems to realise the jig is up, constantly looking over his shoulder to see if there’s any sign of the peloton behind him.

4.24pm BST

15km to go: BMC and Sunweb lead the chase as Thomas De Gendt’s lead over the chasing posse is reduced to 32 seconds.

4.20pm BST

19km to go: Thomas De Gendt puts the hammer down with the gap between himself and what’s left of the peloton down to 59 seconds.

4.19pm BST

An email from Conor Lundy: “Warren Barguil has just been asked to do the cycling equivalent of getting four pints in halfway through a stadium gig,” he writes and he’s not wrong. Barguil has finally been handed a load of bidons from the team car and is making his way back through the peloton to dispense them to his fellow Sunweb riders.

4.13pm BST

This is a narrow, blustery, technical and undulating run-in. The peloton are pushing hard with 25km to go #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/dezJLOjFnX

4.11pm BST

27km to go: Warren Barguil is at the back of a peloton that has been broken into pieces, waiting for his team car to join him so he can collect serve the drinks. It can’t be easy making your way through a strung out peloton travelling at full speed weighed down by water bottles destined for those leading the chase.

4.09pm BST

28 km to go: Behind De Gendt, Thomas Voeckler rejoins the peloton having slowed down to stock up on bidons for his team-mates.

4.08pm BST

30km to go: Thomas de Gendt attacks! The Lotto–Soudal rider has gone for home with 30 kilometres to go, with the gap between him and his team-mates down to 1 min 28sec.

3.59pm BST

36km to go: Thomas De Gendt picks up another two KOM points that guarantee him second place in that particular competition overnight. Back in the bunch, Warren Barguil, Laurens ten Dam and Sylvain Chavanel are working hard on the front.

3.56pm BST

37km to go: Thomas De Gendt leads the climb to Cote de Centres with Thomas Voeckler on his wheel. They’ve dropped Timo Rosen, Reto Hollenstein and Maxime Bouet.

3.54pm BST

37km to go: Kittel is paced back on to the bunch and immediately spat out the back again.

3.53pm BST

Hollenstein et Bouet distancés / dropped #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/qqMXkUFdht

3.52pm BST

38km to go Marcel Kittel is dropped from the peloton and his Quick-Step Floors team-mate Fabio Sabatini waits to help try to pace him back. In the breakaway group, Maxime Bouet is struggling to stay in touch with his four fellow riders.

3.38pm BST

49km to go: Hats off to Timo Rosen, who suffered a rear wheel puncture at the worst possible time and was forced to put in a heroic effort to catch up with his fellow escapees as Thomas de Gendt put the hammer down in the race for KOM points.

3.37pm BST

51km to go: The gap from the breakaway quintet to the peloton is 1min 59sec as they tackle the first of the day’s two climbs: Cote du Viaduc du Viaur, a Cat 3 climb of 2.3km with a gradient of 7 per cent. Thomas de Gendt is first over and goes into second place in the King of the Mountains. He’s a massive 60 points behind Warren Barguil, who currently wears the polka dot jersey.

3.32pm BST

56km to go: In a bid to break the tedium, ITV get Mark Cavendish on the blower from the Isle of Man, where he is recuperating from the shoulder injury that ended his Tour last week.

Asked to explain the difference between “ordinary” sprinters such as himself and the guys who specialise in uphill sprint finishes, he says it’s all down to “physiology”.

3.25pm BST

3.17pm BST

63km to go: Back in the peloton, a couple of BMC riders are doing the donkey work at the front.

3.16pm BST

64km to go: Up at the front of the race, the Direct Energie team car pulls up alongside Thomas Voeckler and he has a pow-wow with his sporting director, who hands him a sticky bottle.

3.10pm BST

68km to go: The gap from the breakaway group and the peloton is down to 1min 41sec, as Team Sunweb tow the bunch along.

3.05pm BST

An email from the splendidly monikered Zack Gomperts-Mitchelson: “VeloBaz!” it begins. “Having expected to be able to watch a lot of this Tour life has meant I’ve been restricted more or less to highlights. As such, this Tour has been great! Lots of very compressed drama on ITV4. I would however say it suffers in two ways, first the course is plain stupid, what on earth we needed all those pan flat 200k stages for I don’t know.

“In recent years as EPO has left the peleton it’s become pretty obvious that if the stage is too hard it’ll be boring; knackered cyclists can’t do anything but protect themselves and it applies both on the flat and in the high mountains. Also, I don’t really understand Christian Prudhomes new proclivity for downhill finishes; they’re both dangerous and have a tendency to neutralise the last climb. The best stages in all Grand Tours of late have been short flat run ins to HC climbs, the riders arrive fresh and unafraid to empty themselves so you get racing.

3.03pm BST

Still in the vaults: Two years ago, Tour nearly man Greg Van Avermaet put a distressing number of second place finishes behind him to beat Peter Sagan into second place the last time a Tour stage finished on the steep climb in Rodez. William Fotheringham saw there to see it.

Related: Greg Van Avermaet wins stage as Chris Froome keeps Tour de France lead

3.00pm BST

74.6km to go: As the peloton enjoy their lunch and talk on the Eurosport commentary turns to dry white wines, the gap to the breakaway stretches to 2min 35sec. The breakaway passes though Carmaux, which was the scene of Andre Greipel’s first Tour de France stage win in 2011. He beat Mark Cavendish by a wheel-length and Richard Williams was there to chronicle proceedings for the Guardian.

Related: Tour de France 2011: André Greipel denies Mark Cavendish on stage 10

2.52pm BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “It’s always fascinating when team mates are trying to maintain a unified front but the leader is struggling, and Sky seem to be in this mess more often, by dint of their galaxy of GC talent,” he writes.

“Froome/Wiggins, Froome/Porte, Froome/Landa, with G and Kwiatkowski also leaders in any other team (though none has reached the LeMond/Hinault apogee). Sending a team mate up the road is de rigeur these days, but I genuinely think Sky hedged their bets yesterday after Froome’s travails on Peyregudes, and had he had legs Landa never would’ve been up the road.

2.47pm BST

The riders pass through the feed zone: Arguably the highlight of their day, the riders are handed their musettes of rice cakes, energy bars, gells, brioche and other nutritious goodies. With 83 kilometres to go, the gap between the breakaway and the peloton is 1min 56sec.

2.42pm BST

Those Mavic neutral service vehicles and motorbikes? What are they all about, eh? As usual, our friends at the Global Cycling Network are here with another informative and entertaining video to help brighten up an otherwise dull afternoon.

2.37pm BST

89km to go: The gap is down to 1min 40sec as the breakaway rolls along roads lined on either side by spectators out tfor some Saturday afternoon fun.

2.30pm BST

An email from Billy O’Brien: “ Just like to add to Conor Lundy’s reminder,” he writes. “The idea that Landa might be aiming for yellow glory – anyone who grew up with racing in the 80s this is far from an outlandish idea. As well as the astonishing 87 Giro with playboy Roberto Visentini versus Roche in the Carrera team, there was the Hinault/LeMond broken promise. Basic rule I think being if you are team leader at start you better live up to it else all is fair in love and cycling.

“Also with Pippa on ITV someone should ask her about riding shotgun with Carrera’s Eddie Schepers to protect Roche from the enraged Tifosi. They apparently spat and punched Roche with Millar and Schepers riding either side to protect him physically on the mountains – and Millar wasn’t even on the Carrera team, Panasonic I think. Eddie Schepers was the only Carrera domestique who supported Roche. Of course Roche survived and did the Triple; Giro Tour and Worlds – for any of the under 40s watching today.”

Related: Stephen Roche: I had people spitting rice and wine in my face

2.20pm BST

Even the French TV guys have lost interest! As Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hellenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) pedal along with a gap of 2min 09sec, the people in charge of the French TV pictures completely ignore the cyclists and opt instead for a long aerial shot of the countryside, including various swimming pools, churches and assorted other buildings.

2.08pm BST

107km to go: Team Sunweb continue to tow the peloton along in pursuit of a five-man breakaway that must be annoyed at only being allowed to open a gap of 1min 56sec. I’ve read and heard some cycling enthusiasts and commentators saying that this year’s Tour has been one of the least exciting in many years, and while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with them, today’s stage is showing every sign of being one that won’t live long in the memory.

1.58pm BST

116km to go: The gap between the breakaway and the bunch is at 2min 21sec. Meanwhile on ITV, Pippa York, upon being asked which of today’s teams she’d like to ride on, opts for BMC because she likes their kit. She says there are several teams she wouldn’t like to be on because of the way they’re set up, but diplomatically opts not to name

Sky
them.

1.50pm BST

An email from Conor Lundy: “I agree with you about Froome not having a desire to see Landa in yellow,” he says. “I think had he let him get the jersey yesterday then it would have caused a discussion in the team at least. With Froome still ahead in GC there’s no discussion, though Landa might think otherwise.

“On the subject of team politics, RTE 1 radio have a feature up today on Stephen Roche’s 1987 triumphs. He flouted the team hierarchy in the 1987 Giro in pursuit of glory and was nearly lynched by the home crowd. He went on to become a legend. Fill your bottles Mikel!
Worth a listen if any readers are finding proceedings slow.”

1.48pm BST

1. Thomas De Gendt 20 points
2. Maxime Bouet 17
3. Thomas Voeckler 15
4. Reto Hollenstein 13
5. Timo Roosen 11
6. Marcel Kittel 10
7. Michael Matthews 9
8. Fabio Sabatini 8
9. André Greipel 7
10. Sonny Colbrelli 6
11. Jack Bauer 5
12. Roy Curvers 4
13. Zdenek Stybar 3
14. Amaël Moinard 2
15. Danilo Wyss 1

1.43pm BST

Kittel wins the bunch sprint: Well, in so far it was a sprint – he took the points, finishing first of the peloton and sixth overall, with Michael Matthews rolling over the line behind him.

1.42pm BST

Thomas de Gendt wins the intermediate sprint: And takes the €1,500 prize that goes with it, to be shared among himself and his team-mates. Back in the bunch, Marcel Kittel’s team is lining up at the front to ensure their man mops up the majority of what points were left behind by the breakaway group.

1.37pm BST

128km to go: The gap is down to 1min 53sec as the riders head for the intermediate sprint in Rabastens.

Interesting Rabastens fact: the 19th century French lawyer, historian and member of the Société des Antiquaires de France, which is based in the Louvre, was born there on 25 August 1815.

1.29pm BST

137km to go: Following their stage win yesterday, the Sunweb team of King of the Mountains leader Warren Barguil are controlling the pace at the front of the peloton, with a couple of BMC riders upsides them. With their team leader Richie Porte out of the race, BMC will be keen to win this stage with Greg Van Avermaet.

“Without Richie, our main objective now is stage wins,” said Van Avermaet this morning. “Today is my big chance. I have the support of the whole team to keep the peloton together. Hopefully I can write the same script as two years ago. But the competition is high with Matthews, Degenkolb, Gilbert, Boasson Hagen and maybe a few GC guys in the mix as well.

1.22pm BST

139km to go: Not a lot going on, with the gap between the five-man breakaway and the peloton hovering around the 2min 10sec mark.

1.15pm BST

.@BMCProTeam, @TeamSunweb & @Bahrain_Merida quickly got into action to control the gap under 3′.#TDF2017 #TDFdata pic.twitter.com/ZpZ09XqL5n

1.14pm BST

1.13pm BST

146km to go: Our five-man breakaway is now 2min 09sec clear of the peloton.

1.10pm BST

A veteran speaks: Guesting on the ITV co-comms, Pippa York – three-times a stage winner in the Pyrenees and a one-timer Tour King of the Mountains – is asked by a viewer if she misses bike racing. “I don’t miss racing,” she says. “I raced so long that I actually got mentally tired of it. You eventually reach a point where you’re saturated with it. You eventually reach a point where you can still do it physically but not mentally. I miss being able to cycle fast, I only have the downhill for that now.”

For any readers that may not be aware that York was once Robert Millar, arguably Britain’s greatest ever cyclist, you can read more here in this fascinating interview.

Related: Philippa York: ‘I’ve known I was different since I was a five-year-old’

1.01pm BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “I’ll stick my hand up on the Velogames front,” he says. “Been playing it for a few years now and usually I’ve done pretty well. Sadly this year I managed to pick G, Porte and Majka. So basically I’m cursed. My team name? Froome Wagon.”

1.00pm BST

@bglendenning If Sky switched leadership to Landa, then Froome should not have attacked. But, absent that, he had to defend his position.

12.54pm BST

159km to go: Reto Hollenstein has bridged the gap to the breakaway, which is now five strong and 2min 56sec clear of the bunch: Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin), (Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

12.43pm BST

169km to go: On Eurosport, Carlton Kirby is discussing an interview Sky rider Mikel Landa gave to Spanish TV last night in which he said “I’ve got the legs to win this Tour, I just don’t have the stripes”, meaning he thinks he can win the race but won’t be allowed to pull rank on Chris Froome.

Rumoured to be off to Movistar at the end of this season, only time will tell whether or not he’ll do so attack Froome anyway. While nobody seems to have a clue what Sky were doing chasing down Landa’s breakaway yesterday, my own possibly hair-brained theory is that Froome doesn’t trust his team-mate and had no desire to see him in yellow. Other conspiracy theoreis are, of course, available. It could be a long afternoon, so feel free to share yours via email or on the Twitter.

12.39pm BST

De Gendt (LTS), Roosen (TLJ), Voeckler (DEN) & Bouet (TFO) covered the first 10km at 45.7km/h to open a 2’45 gap over the Peloton.#TDFdata

12.37pm BST

So this has been my office twice a day for the past week. The Isle of Man Hyperbaric Chamber is… https://t.co/vKkXzXe8DP

“So this has been my office twice a day for the past week,” writes Mark in the post that accompanies his photo of what looks like a giantPolo mint covered in fridge magnets. “The Isle of Man Hyperbaric Chamber is a publicly funded facility that not only treats divers, but people with injuries and chronic illness, from every walk of life. I swear by the treatment when I’m injured, but not nearly as much if it wasn’t for the amazing people that work there. They honestly care so so much about every patient and go above and beyond for anyone who enters. Just want to give a massive thank you too everyone there.”

12.34pm BST

174km to go: Voeckler, Roosen, De Gendt and Bouet have opened a gap of 2min 40sec on the bunch, from which Katusha’s Swiss rider Reto Hollenstein has been allowed to escape.

12.30pm BST

An email from Dan Phillips: “Few would bet against Van Avermaet?” he says. “Well allow me to. I’ve Mr Matthews in one of my fantasy cycling teams. Yes that’s right I have a few across the various platforms. Yes, I have a problem. But can we feed my addiction with a Guardian Readers’ Fantasy League? Anyone else on Velogames?”

If you have the slightest clue what Dan is talking about, please feel free to … do whatever it is he wants you to do.

12.28pm BST

179km to go: Riders from BMC, Sunweb, Astana and Sky line up across the front of the peloton, in a bid to block any potential attempts from those behind them to bridge the gap to the four-man breakaway.

That breakaway: Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

12.25pm BST

Slightly behind schedule, they’re off and racing in Stage 14 of this year’s Tour, with one particular veteran Direct Energie rider up towards the front of the bunch eager to attack. So eager in fact, that Prudhomme announces it’s time for “un attack de Thomas Voeckler”. The Frenchman duly obliges and is followed by Thomas de Gendt, Maxime Bouet and one other rider.

12.16pm BST

Today’s stage has two climbs: A pair of Category 3 climbs, they don’t amount to much more than hills of beans compared to yesterday’s monsters but will still take some negotiating. The first is the Cote du Viaduc du Viaur, 50 kilometres from the finish. It’s 2.3 kilometres in length and has a gradient of 7%. Further up the road, 36 kilometres from the finish, Cote de Centres is spookily similar: the same length and has a gradient of 7.7%.

12.08pm BST

Well, sort of under way – the peloton is currently riding in procession through the streets of Blagnac, awaiting the flag-drop of race director Christian Prudhomme to signal the start of racing.

12.06pm BST

12.03pm BST

Despite his valiant attempt to soldier on with fractures to his left wrist and elbow, Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang was forced to abandon yesterday, when it became apparent he couldn’t grip his handlebars properly. Francaise Des Jeux rider Arthur Vichot also dropped out, still suffering from the after effects of a heavy fall two days previously. His withdrawal means FDJ only have four of their original nine riders left in the race, after Arnaud Demare and three team-mates were eliminated on Sunday after missing the Stage 9 time cut. Fuglsang and VIchot’s withdrawals bring the number of riders sidelined so far to 21, leaving 177 riders in the race.

11.53am BST

Orica Scott is one of the more media friendly and accessible teams on the Tour and – occasionally questionable choices of soundtrack aside – their daily Backstage Pass invariably makes for informative and interesting viewing. Enjoy …

11.49am BST

Rash prediction for the day, breakaway with at least one rider lying between 15th and 25th moving into or towards the top 10 overall…

11.40am BST

Here’s how the GC looks now! Froome 2nd, Martin down to 6th & Yates extends his lead in the White Jersey comp. #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/v5ogS0WQYl

11.40am BST

Related: Warren Barguil delights home fans with Tour de France win as Landa moves up

11.27am BST

After yesterday’s short, mountainous and intriguing stage, the riders embark on a transitional stage of almost 200 kilometres that ends in a steep uphill kick with a gradient just shy of 10% that will suit riders such as Michael Matthews, Ben Swift, Tony Gallopin, Jan Bakelants and Greg Van Avarmaet, a winner in Rodez in 2015.

An early breakaway looks a certainty and after yesterday’s perplexing climax, in which Sky helped to chase down a breakaway featuring one of their own big-hitters, it will be intriguing to see which riders are sent to join any escape party by assorted teams.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/15/tour-de-france-2017-stage-14-live

Jul 14

Tour de France: Barguil wins stage 13 on Bastille Day – as it happened

4.58pm BST

If there are any late dramas involving sanctions for illegal feeds or anything else, we’ll mention them tomorrow. Stage 14 is over twice as long as today’s stage, but arguably a lot less tough – it’s due to start at around 11am (BST), so be sure to tune in for more velo fun.

4.51pm BST

Related: Warren Barguil delights home fans with Tour de France win as Landa moves up

4.51pm BST

From William Fotheringham’s stage-by-stage preview: Out of the frying pan of the mountains into the fiery heat of the plains for a punchy uphill finish which will not suit a conventional sprinter. The Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet won here last time around and, after the spring he has enjoyed, few would bet against him or his fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert.

4.42pm BST

Nouveau classement général, Contador revient dans le top 10 / New GC, @albertocontador is back in the Top 10 #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/hUgRbvSxPA

4.36pm BST

Warren Barguil finally gets his stage win. Having been denied so cruelly in a photo finish at the end of stage nine when he had already given his “winner’s” interview to French television, Warren Barguil won’t lose this one. There are no major changes at the head of the GC, although Mikel Landa has moved to fifth and is now 1min 09sec off the lead. He could closed the gap even further if his team leader Chris Froome hadn’t worked so hard in the chasing group. Things might be tense at the team dinner tonight.

4.28pm BST

Top-10 on Stage 13 #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/L5aq9iYDlY

4.26pm BST

Aru stays in yellow: The Italian Astana rider will stay in yellow as he finishes just behind Chris Froome, 1min 48sec behind Barguil.

4.24pm BST

It’s a real mountaineers’ sprint as Warren Barguil wins the stage for France on Bastille Day. Alberto Contador was nicely poised on his wheel but powerless to pass and finished second. I think Quintana was third and Landa fourth.

4.23pm BST

500m to go: Landa leads the group of four.

4.22pm BST

1.4km to go: The gap is down to 1min 54sec, with Simon Yates and Dan Martin between the leading quartet and the yellow jersey group.

4.21pm BST

Confusing tactics in the yellow jersey group. Chris Froome seems to be doing a lot more work than necessary, considering his team-mate Mikel Landa is in the lead quartet and riding for the maillot jaune. On ITV, Ned Boulting posits a theory I wholeheartedly agree with: Froome doesn’t want Landa in yellow.

4.19pm BST

6km to go: The yellow jersey group is hive of paranoia, with assorted GC contenders taking turns to peer suspiciously at each other. Meanwhile the gap to the lead group stretches to 2min 11sec. Rigoberto Uran has been caught, but they’ve let Dan Martin escape.

4.16pm BST

7km to go: Riding for GC, Mikel Landa is now doing all the work on the front of the leading quartet, while Dan Martin attacks the yellow jersey group.

4.15pm BST

8.7km: Contador, Quintana, Barguil and Landa still have a gap of 2min 04sec on the yellow jersey group, where various riders are bickering about what to do about Rigoberto Uran.

4.13pm BST

10km to go: Rigoberto Uran attacks the yellow jersey group and opens a gap. Michal Kwiatkowski and Aru move to try and close him down.

4.12pm BST

11km to go: Romain Bardet is nicely poised at the back of the yellow jersey group, tucked in behind Froome and Kwiatkowski. In the leading quartet, Warren Barguil has downed tools and is refusing to do a turn on the front. He has a Bastille Day stage win on his mind.

4.10pm BST

15km to go: The gap’s out to 1min 58sec as the Sky riders in the yellow jersey group laugh in the face of Fabio Aru’s pleas with them to do some work at the front. As Aru tries to hit the front and do some work himself, Kwiatkowski tries to block him. As things stand, Aru would stay in yellow tonight. Mike Landa is 2min 55sec behind him on GC and needs to pull another 57 seconds out of somewhere to take yellow. It’s not going to happen on this downhill finish.

4.07pm BST

16km to go: Dan Martin streaks clear at the front of the yellow jersey group on the descent in a bid to protect his fifth place on GC.

4.05pm BST

18km to go: The snaking descent to the finish continues apace, with our four leaders 1min 49sec ahead of the chasing yellow jersey group. It would be a fairly big surprise if the stage winner didn’t come from one of the front four.

4.00pm BST

23km to go: The yellow jersey group begin their descent, with the top four on GC all watching each other like hawks. Their hesitation allows Dan Martin and Simon Yates to rejoin the group.

3.59pm BST

25km to go: Barguil takes the King of the Mountain points on the summit of Mur de Peguere and him, Quintana, Landa and Contador begin their descent.

3.58pm BST

27.5km to go: Chris Froome attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group with Michal Kwiatkowski waiting for him a few yards up the road. Kwiatkowski, Froome, Aru, Louis Meintjes and Rigoberto Uran are riding in a line towards the summit of the final climb. They’ve dropped Dan Martin.

3.55pm BST

27.5km to go: Warren Barguil leads Nairo Quintana to within touching distance of the front two – the gap has been closed.

3.54pm BST

28km to go: Back in the yellow jersey group, Dan Martin is putting in the hard yards on the front in a bid to protect his own position in the GC. Romain Bardet and Fabio Aru will be delighted with his effort, as it helps them out too.

3.52pm BST

28km to go: Contador and Landa have just over a kilometre to go to the summit of Mur de Peguere and behind them, Quintana and Warren Barguil have them in their sights and can’t be much more than 10 or 12 seconds behind. The gradient is 18 per cent at the moment.

3.50pm BST

The yellow jersey group is down to just 10 riders on the Mur de Peguere. @chrisfroome is there & @michalkwiatek is waiting up ahead #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/mKCXYEZkal

3.47pm BST

29km to go: ITV reveal that it took Alberto Contador and Mikel Landa 4min 41sec to cycle the last kilometre. That’s how uphill it is!

3.46pm BST

30km to go: Landa and Contador are out of their saddles and struggling to turn their pedals, while behind them Michal Kwiatkowski has been dropped by Quintana and Barguil. In the yellow jersey group, Sky’s Mikel Nieve has been dropped. Chris Froome has no team-mates left in the yellow jersey group, but he does have Kwiatkowski ahead of him up the road.

3.43pm BST

30km to go: Landa and Contador hit a stretch of the climb where supporters are not allowed congregate on either side of the road. The road is very narrow and the ramps are brutal – they’re almost at a standstill.

3.40pm BST

30km to go: Landa and Contador have a gap of 2min 35sec on the yellow jersey group with 4.2km to go to the summit of Mur de Peguere. The yellow jersey group has just passed under the Five Kilometres To The Top banner, with AG2R doing the work at the front.

3.38pm BST

32km to go: Alberto Contador grabs a bottle of water from a spectator and pours the contents over his head and back. His own head and back, I hasten to add … not the spectator’s. That would be weird.

3.35pm BST

Jakob Fuglsang abandons: Having been struggling badly all day, the Astana rider decides that a life trying to ascend mountains with a fractured wrist and elbow is no life at all and climbs off his bike.

3.30pm BST

36km to go: In the Quintana/Barguil/Kwiatkowski group, Kwiatkowski is letting the other two riders do all the work. The plan, presumably, is for him to join the two leaders and then do enough work on the front of the group to get Landa into the yellow jersey. A surge from Contador means the gap between the leading duo and their three pursuers has widened to about 30 seconds again.

3.28pm BST

37km to go: That third ascent is to the summit of Mur de Péguère, a 9.3km climb with a gradient of 7.9%. Once they’ve crossed the summit, riders will have a 26 kilometre descent to the finish line.

3.26pm BST

38km to go: Contador and Landa have 2min 17sec on the yellow jersey group, but only about 10 seconds on Quintana, Kwiatkowski and Barguil with less than two kilometres to the beginning of the third ascent of the day.

3.22pm BST

An email from Neil Smith: “At last some decent racing tactics from the guys from Sky!” he writes. “Landa is obviously stronger than Froome this year, so send Landa up the road and in to the yellow jersey, making two Sky GC riders to mark, then let them (Landa and Froome) duke it out in the final time trial to see who is top dog. Win win for Sky.”

3.21pm BST

44km to go: Just 23 seconds separate Contador and Landa from Quintana, Kwitkowski and Barguil on the descent from the second of the day’s three big climbs – that’s going to be one hell of a breakaway group if they merge. Further back, Chris Froome and Romain Bardet have put the hammer down in a bid to try and catch up.

3.13pm BST

52km to go: Race leader Fabio Aru has been hopelessly exposed today. With no team-mates in support, he’s decided to stay with Froome and ahead of him on the road, the stuff of his worst nightmares as he slept last night is unfolding – two strong riders in a breakaway, one of whom can take his yellow jersey … and there’s not a thing he can do about it.

3.11pm BST

55km to go: Warren Barguil is third over the summit, followed by Nairo Quintana and Michal Kwiatkowski. Sky will have two riders in the breakaway if Kwiatkowski can bridge the gap of about 20 seconds.

3.09pm BST

55km to go: Landa and Contador open the gap to the yellow jersey group to 2min 15sec – the Sky rider will soon be virtual leader of the Tour! The duo crest the the summit of the Col d’Agnes and prepare for the descent.

3.05pm BST

57km to go: Landa and Contador are working well together as they ascend Col d’Agnes, with Nairo Quintana leading a chasing quartet that is around 40 seconds behind them. The gap from Landa and Contador to the yellow jersey group is just over two minutes.

3.02pm BST

58km to go: Mikel Landa and Alberto Contador are 3.6km from the summit of Col d’Agnes, while Nairo Quintana leads the four-strong counter-attacking group behind them. In the yellow jersey group, race leader Fabio Aru is on his own without any team-mates around him in support, while Chris Froome still has a couple of team-mates with him.

2.59pm BST

Landa is smashing it. Interesting times chez Sky.

2.58pm BST

59km to go: Contador and Landa lead and are 1min 19sec clear of the yellow jersey group, which is 21 riders strong. Between them on the road, Nairo Quintana, Alexis Vuillermoz, Warren Barguil and Michal Kwiatkowski are trying to catch the two leaders.

2.55pm BST

60km to go: Mikel Landa does a turn in front and increases his and Contador’s lead to 1min 40sec. “You’re not going to close that gap with domestiques,” said David Millar, pointing out that any of the main GC contenders who wish to do so are going to have to close it themselves.

2.50pm BST

62km to go: Contador and Landa continue their assault on Col d’Agnes, having dropped Alessandro Di Marchi. There’s a gap of 47 seconds between them and the yellow jersey group, but – this group to be confirmed – Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), Warren Barguil (Sunweb) and Alexis Vuillermoz Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) are attempting to bridge the gap.

2.46pm BST

did @nedboulting just say the the peloton was Napoleon Blownapart on #BastilleDay @millarmind @itvcycling @bglendenning

2.45pm BST

63km to go: Contador and Landa drop Di Marchi and begin the 10km ascent to the summit of Col d’Agnes, the second of the day’s three Cat 1 climbs. It has a punishing gradient of 8.1 per cent.

2.43pm BST

63km to go: Jakob Fuglsang is struggling on the descent of the first climb and has become detached from his group of stragglers in the grupetto. His position on the bike is all wrong and he can’t brake properly; he’s crawling down the hill.

2.39pm BST

66km to go: With Fabio Aru and Rigoberto Uran isolated and left to their own devices as far as putting out fires is concerned, Sky have thrown a cat among the General Classification by launching Landa’s attack on the GC podium. He’s in seventh place at the moment, 2min 55sec off the lead.

2.37pm BST

69km to go: The peloton is in bits nearing the top of the first climb and Sky’s Sergio Henao is the latest to crack. “We’ve three races going on here,” says David Millar on Sky. “Contador is going for the stage win, Landa is riding for GC and Barguil is going for King of the Mountains points. They’re all pursuing different agendas and they’ll work together to achieve them.”

2.34pm BST

70km to go: Alone in front with a lead of 27 seconds, BMC rider Alessandro Di Marcho pedals onwards and upwards. Back in the yellow jersey group, Warren Barguil attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group and is immediately followed by Sky’s Mikel Landa and Trek’s Alberto Contador.

2.31pm BST

71km to go: Assorted riders are dropping out the back of the peloton, with Cannondale-Drapac rider Andrew Talansky and Sky’s Christian Knees among them. Earlier, Astana rider Andriy Grivko dropped out of the peloton to help nurse his team-mate Jakob Fuglsang along. Whenever possible, Fuglsang is sitting up in his saddle, riding withhis arms hanging down by his sides – it’s ridiculous.

2.28pm BST

72km to go: Alessandro Di Marcho puts a gap between himself and Sylvain Chavanel and Philippe Gilbert with a little over two kilometres to go to the summit of the first serious climb of the day: Col de Latrape. It’s a 5.6km long climb with a gradient of 7.3%.

2.25pm BST

An email from Paul Griffin: “In fairness to the UCI, water-gate could have been worse,” he writes. “Imagine how it would look if they had fined riders for drinking water on a climb exactly 50 years to the day since a rider died on a climb, partly as a result of dehydration. What? Oh.”

2.24pm BST

74km to go: Jakob Fuglsang is dropped from the peloton again and is quite clearly struggling to hold the left side of his handlebars, a state of affairs that is unsurprising considering he has a fractured wrist and elbow. Quite how much assistance he’ll be able to provide for Fabio Aru in this condition is anyone’s guess and one can’t help but feel that he’ll be a danger to himself and others on descents in the Pyrenees and Alps in this condition.

2.19pm BST

80km to go: There’s all sorts of excitement at the front of the race, where Alessandro De Marchi, Philippe Gilbert and Sylvain Chavanel have opened a gap of 1min 07sec to the peloton. However, a sizeable chase group is trying to get across to them. Of the nine riders in pursuit of the front three Bauke Mollema is the highest on General Classification, over 34 minutes off the pace.

2.12pm BST

1. Sylvain Chavanel 20 points
2. Philippe Gilbert 17
3. Alessandro DeMarchi 15
4. Michael Matthews 13
5. Marcel Kittel 11
6. Sonny Colbrelli 10
7. André Greipel 9
8. Nicolas Edet 8
9. Nicolas Roche 7
10. Marco Haller 6
11. Jack Bauer 5
12. Pierre-Luc Périchon 4
13. Greg Bole 3
14. Andrey Grivko 2
15. Florian Vachon 1

2.09pm BST

Arthur Vichot abandons: The FDJ rider hoists the white flag and climbs off his bike, meaning that his team is now reduced to just four of their original nine riders. His team-mates Ignatas Konovalovas, Jacopo Guarnieri, Mickael Delage and Arnaud Demare all finished outside the time limit on Stage Nine.

2.05pm BST

87km to go: Alessandro De Marchi, Philippe Gilbert and Sylvain Chavanel open a gap of 16 seconds on the bunch. Behind them, Matthews comes fourth in the intermediate sprint, with Kittel freewheeling over the line behind him.

2.03pm BST

88km to go: At the back of the bunch, Jakog Fuglsang is desperately trying to stay in touch. The intermediate sprint is coming up in a kilometre. Marcel Kittel leads the Green Jersey category with 352 points. Michael Matthews is his nearest rival on 222.

2.00pm BST

90km to go: Barguil and Voeckler are caught by a gang of riders, but there’s only a couple of seconds between them and the rest of the peloton.

1.59pm BST

90km to go: Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Warren Barguil (Sunweb) have opened a gap of just 11 seconds on the peloton. Voeckler looks behind him to see if anyone else is going to join them and shakes his head in frustration when he sees no help is forthcoming. Sky are controlling the bunch, apparently cycling at full gas so nobody can escape.

1.53pm BST

98km to go: Barguil and Voeckler open a gap of 12 seconds on the bunch. A few riders are trying to bridge the gap. At the back of the peloton, Fuglsang has already been dropped. It seems very unlikely he’ll finish this stage, given his injuries.

1.49pm BST

Christian Prudhomme waves his white flag and right from the gun, Warren Barguil and Thomas Voeckler attack. Barguil is in the polka-dot jersey for King of the Mountains and his closest rival in that category, Thomas De Gendt, was at the back of the bunch in the pre-stage procession, showing no interest in attacking today after yesterday’s exertions.

1.47pm BST

Jakob Fuglsang update: The Astana rider rode yesterday’s stage with “small” fractures to his left elbow and wrist and is back on his bike today to provide what help he can for team leader Fabio Aru.

1.44pm BST

George Bennett speaks: Asked by ITV about the time penalty he incurred yesterday before seeing it reversed this morning, LottoNL–Jumbo rider George Bennett seems to have tongue firmly inserted in his cheek as he replies. “Yes, a cynic might look at it that way,” he deadpans when it’s put to him that the race jury has seemed very reluctant indeed to punish French riders for breaking the rules in this Tour.

He does point out, however, that the head of the jury is actually Belgian and goes on to say that he didn’t actually know there was a rule forbidding the taking on board of water in the final 20 kilometres of a stage and points out that “I’m not usually at the front so it’s never really applied to me because I’m usually out the back and nobody cares.”

1.38pm BST

The riders are rolling through Saint-Girons in their daily pre-race procession behind the car containing race director Christian Prudhomme and the white flag he’ll wave in a few minutes to signal the start of racing.

1.34pm BST

@bglendenning Froome was on the radio often yesterday, presumably reporting heavy legs. He should have let Landa go to show Sky’s strength.

1.29pm BST

1.27pm BST

Great Minds Think Alike Dept “Like Mr FroomieDog, I too am a bit behind the pack,” writes Dean Taylor. “Apparently the TV highlights also picked up on SL2 – I was working late.”

1.17pm BST

An email from Sam Riley: “Brilliant race yesterday and proof we’ve got a proper bike race on our hands,” says Sam. “That final kilometre was like a track sprint at the end – as good/exciting as any flat sprint I’ve seen so far. Brave ride from Cummings yesterday. Landa is clearly stronger and should be allowed to progress/attack. Remember when you said that in 2012, Froome fans?! Elsewhere, the French clearly want a French winner and why not, they deserve one – allez Bardet! Finally, keep an eye on Uran who could be the surprise in this race. He’s a good time trialist and now he’s got those 20 seconds back overnight, he’s got a chance. What a race!”

1.09pm BST

An email from Dean Taylor: “What with Romain Bardet’s success yesterday, I was reminded all over again that I cannot hear (or read) his surname without thinking of On a Ragga Tip by SL2,” he says. “Perfect for a Bastille Day knees up.”

12.40pm BST

New @letour G.C:

2nd – Froome
5th – Martin
6th – Yates

#TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/b0YkmoX6Kz

12.39pm BST

#TDF2017 is as tight as it gets – this is the 1st time ever 3 riders are within 30″ on GC after stage 12 (let alone 4 within 35″).#TDFdata pic.twitter.com/RcCM5zcXNh

12.39pm BST

After Chris Froome lost his yellow jersey to Fabio Aru yesterday, his wingman Mikel Landa was fiulmed having what looked like a frank exchange of views with Sky’s head sports director Nicolas Portal. On the day’s steep final ramp to the finish line, where Froome lost 21 seconds in the final 300 metres, Landa had surged clear of his team leader with 200 metres to go in an unsuccessful attempt to win the stage.

If had he had finished in the top three instead of fourth, he would have taken a time bonus of one of Froome’s rivals, but many commentators feel he should have stayed with Froome to help him up the final metres of the climb. Exactly how much assistance he would have been able to provide at that point is open to debate.

post-race meeting done @TeamSky pic.twitter.com/ty21z6KsM4

12.39pm BST

Following the conclusion yesterday’s stage, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) each received time penalties for taking illegal feeds after taking water from the side of the road inside the final 20 kilometres of the stage, ion direct contravention of Tour rules. Having stated they would not be reversing their decision, the Tour jury today did exactly that and cancelled the penalties.

The apparent ridiculousness of a rule forbidding cyclists from drinking water as they climb a mountain on a hot day is a debate for another day, but the jury’s decision to sanction Uran and Bennett in the first place caused much controversy and their subsequent u-turn has caused prompted even more.

12.39pm BST

Related: Fabio Aru grabs yellow from Froome as Bardet wins Tour de France stage 12

11.35pm BST

Today’s stage is short but unlikely to be sweet for the riders, many of whom will have enjoyed a Bastille Day lie-in after yesterday’s exertions and in preparation for the three Category 1 monsters that lie in wait today. The action doesn’t begin until 1.45pm (BST), but there’s plenty to discuss before that. William Fotheringham is our man in the Pyrenees and here is his take on today’s stage from the Guardian’s stage-by-stage preview.

Continuing the trend for short, sharp mountain stages, this has three first-cat climbs in just over 60 miles. That means all bets are off. It is short enough to encourage some serious attacks. The best candidates for this are Quintana’s Movistar, who are experts at shaking up this kind of mountain stage.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/14/tour-de-france-2017-stage-13-drama-awaits-on-bastille-day-live

Jul 13

Tour de France: Bardet wins stage 12 as Aru edges into yellow – as it happened

AG2R La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet won the stage, while Chris Froome lost the yellow jersey to Astana’s Fabio Aru

4.31pm BST

Read all about Romain Bardet’s stage win on a day when Chris Froome lost his yellow jersey to Italian rider Fabio Aru. Tune in tomorrow, when the riders will tackle a short 101-kilometre stage from Saint-Girons to Fois. Don’t be fooled by the distance, mind – it boasts three Cat1 climbs. Thanks for your time, company and emails today and please join join me again tomorrow. For now, I’m off for a post-stage

pedal on the stationary bike next to my desk, in an effort to get rid of unwanted lactic acid
pint. Slainte!

Related: Fabio Aru grabs yellow from Froome as Bardet wins Tour de France stage 12

4.19pm BST

After nearly six hours of racing, Romain Bardet wins his third ever Tour stage on the eve of Bastille Day. A counter-attack in the closing stages took him past Fabio Aru, who won’t mind being beaten seeing as he’s ridden his way into the yellow jersey. Chris Froome showed vulnerability in the closing metres of today’s race, losing over 20 seconds in the final 300 metres.

4.13pm BST

John Hubbard writes in response to Dirk Siebel “Doping does make a difference to spectators,” he says. “The lure of elite sport of any kind is that we want to see what marvels human beings can achieve through extraordinary physical and mental effort, not what can be achieved through cheating. Cycling spectators are cheated just as much as spectators in other sports by dopers.

“Dirk accepts doping gives cheats ‘an unfair boost’ and it’s that unfairness that helps them train harder and longer, gives quicker recovery times from injury, and better performance on the day. If it’s not fair, it’s wrong. And doping is just wrong.”

4.10pm BST

Astana rider Fabio Aru takes the yellow jersey on a day when Chris Froome lost 21 seconds in the final 300 metres of today’s summit finish.

New top-10 overall #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/2l25dqRMDg

4.07pm BST

1. Fabio Aru
2. Chris Froome, 0.06
3. Romain Bardet, 0.25
4. Rigo Uran, 0.35
5. Dan Martin, 1.41

4.06pm BST

The Astana rider did enough to take the yellow jersey off Chris Froome’s shoulders. He leads the GC by six seconds.

4.04pm BST

Provisionally at least. Once the sums have been done, it looks as if the Italian Astana rider is going to be in the yellow jersey this evening, having started the day 18 seconds in arrears. Chris Froome lost 21 seconds in the final 300 metres of this stage.

4.02pm BST

Romain Bardet wins by two bike lengths from – I think – Fabio Aru. Chris Froome finishes 21 seconds behind and there are bonuses to be factored in as well.

4.01pm BST

150m to go: Aru leads from Dan Martin and Romain Bardet.

4.01pm BST

300m to go: Aru attacks and Froome follows.

4.00pm BST

600m to go: George Bennett attacks! The Kiwi rider jumps off the front of the bunch but is immediately caught.

3.59pm BST

1km to go: Dan Martin looks a likely winner of this stage as he attempts to get on the shoulder of Chris Froome. Mikel Landa is looking as strong as anyone as he leads Chris Froome.

3.58pm BST

14km to go: As if pedalling through treacle, Landa, Froome, Aru lead the group up these final brutal yards. At the side of the road, some moron lights up a flare.

3.57pm BST

2km to go: The leaders pass under the two-kilometres-to-go banner and Nieve is dropped. Landa and Froome continue to lead them up the hill with just a ridiculously steep 1,500m left to go.

3.55pm BST

3km to go: The lead group go over the top of the Col de Pyresourde and begin the short descent before tackling the 2.4 kilometre climb to the finish line at Peyragudes. The gradient is a calf-sapping 8.4%.

3.53pm BST

5km to go: Nieve, Landa and Froome lead the bunch towards the summit of Col de Pyresourde. Alberto Contador is in trouble – he’s out of his saddle, pedalling hard and shouting at the cameraman to get away from him.

3.51pm BST

6km to go: The lead group have taken over a minute out of Nairo Quintana. In that lead group, there’s eight of your top 10 on GC with only Quintana and Fugslang missing: Chris Froome, Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa (Sky), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Fabio Aru (Astana), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Dan Martin (Quick-Step), Louis Meintjes (UAE) and Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).

3.49pm BST

An email from Chris Betteridge: “Does Chris Froome have huge dirt on all the other riders in the peleton?” asks Chris. “The reluctance to attack him when opportunities arise is astonishing. They aren’t going to beat him in a ‘gentlemanly’ fashion, so what this race needs is a bastard of a rider to try and take advantage of his mechanicals and off road excursions!”

3.47pm BST

7km to go: Cummings is caught by the yellow jersey group and dropped after a fine day’s work. I’m fairly sure Warren Barguil has also been dropped, but will confirm imminently. The lead group is about 12 or 14-strong and boasts three Sky riders (including Froome), Rigoberto Uran, Alberto Contador, Simon Yates, George Bennett, Louis Meintjes, Dan Martin and others.

3.43pm BST

8.8km to go: And 3.3km to the summit of the Col de Peysourde. Steve Cumming’s lead is down to 14 seconds. As a camera-toting motorbike pulls alongside him, he smiles wryly and makes a “gun under the chin” gesture with his forefinger and thumb. I think it’s safe to say he won’t be winning this stage.

3.41pm BST

9.4km to go: Michal Kwiatkowski is dropped by the yellow jersey group and is struggling to even turn his pedals. Stage leader Steve Cummings has just accepted a bottle of water from a spectator and poured over his own head and down his back. His lead is down to 41 seconds and he’ll do very well to win the stage from here.

3.38pm BST

Most of the exciting stuff on this Tour is happening on descents. Much of it while French TV are on Ad Breaks. #cursedupausepub

not to mention Pinot’s outstanding form here…

seems he’s ill too. Mollema, Rolland struggling as well

3.36pm BST

11km to go: Nairo Quintana has been dropped by the yellow jersey group, which is being led by four or five Sky riders, Fabio Aru and Warren Barguil. Rigoberto Uran, Simon Yates, Dan Martin and Alberto Contador are also there or thereabouts. They have opened a gap of 1min 53sec on Quintana, a gap that looks as if it could get an awful lot bigger before the afternoon is out.

3.32pm BST

Most of the exciting stuff on this Tour is happening on descents. Much of it while French TV are on Ad Breaks. #cursedupausepub

3.32pm BST

11.8km to go: The rest of the yellow jersey group wait for Froome, Aru and Nieve to catch up with them in the early stages of the penultimate climb to the Cat1 Col du Peyresourde. Alone in front of them, Steve Cummings has a lead of exactly two minutes.

3.29pm BST

Aru and Froome go off the road! Chris Froome, Mikel Nieve and Fabio Aru completely misjudge a corner on their descent and gatecrash a picnic being enjoyed by some spectators. Nieve zooms between two campert vans, while the other two stop just short of leaving tyre tracks across somebody’s baguettes. Both are OK, neither actually come off their bikes and they’re soon on their way again.

3.26pm BST

An email from Ricky in Ontario: “You said you had to pull into the side of the road for your call of nature,” he writes. “At such a crucial stage in the race, any good minute-by-minute athlete, like any good cyclist, would do it on the go! You must have a bin beside your desk!”

I do indeed, Ricky. In fact, this being the Guardian, I have two but am not sure whether to go in the recycling bin or the other one. I guess, seeing as my litter is already recycled, I’d have to pee in the red one.

3.23pm BST

16km to go: Steve Cummings whizzes down another little descent before hitting the final climb of the day. He’s increased his advantage over the yellow jersey group to 2min 08sec.

3.20pm BST

20km to go: Steve Cummings negotiates a little flat section at the bottom of the descent and passes the 20km to go banner. He has another five kilometres to go until the final climb of the day. He leads the yellow jersey group by 1min 54sec.

3.14pm BST

25km to go: Steve Cummings begins his long, technical descent down a ridiculously narrow road that looks less than the width of two cars. Behind him, Cyril Gautier misjudges a corner and ends up in a grass margin. Michal Kwiatkowski is leading the yellow jersey group down the decent, with Chris Froome on his wheel. Here’s hoping everybody gets down safely, as I have to pull into the side of the road, hike my cycling shorts down and attend to the call of nature. Back in five!

3.10pm BST

30km to go: Behind Cummings, Thomas De Gendt is fighting back and is leading Cyril Gautier up the climb. They’re about to be caught by Warren Barguil, but not before De Gendt and Gautier crest the summit.

3.09pm BST

30km to go: The yellow jersey group, headed by six Sky riders, passes the sign announcing one kilometre to the summit. Warren Barguil attacks off the front looking for as many King of the Mountains points as possible. Further up the road, Steve Cummings is first over and takes 20.

3.06pm BST

31km to go: Steve Cummings has one kilometre to go to the summit of Port de Bales. Behind him, Cyril Gautier has recovered after being dropped from the once 12-strong breakaway and has just passed Thomas de Gent, whose goose looks well and truly cooked.

3.05pm BST

32 min: Alberto Contador and Warren Barguil attack off the front of the yellow jersey group but are quickly caught.

3.01pm BST

Steve Cummings attacks: Cummings attacks Thomas De Gendt and the Belgian offers no resistance whatsoever. He has nothing left in the tank. Steve Cummings is on his own with two or three kilometres left to the summit of today’s HC Port de Bales climb.

3.00pm BST

Jakob Fugslang latest: The Astana rider with the “small” fractures to his left wrist and elbow is struggling to stay in touch with the yellow jersey group, which is 2min 32sec behind our two leaders.

2.58pm BST

De Gendt et Cummings en tête, Gautier tente de revenir / De Gendt and Cummings leading, Gautier trying to bridge #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/ug0IXJ0ACT

2.54pm BST

35km to go: Steve Cummings makes his way back towards Thomas de Gent and gets on the Belgian’s wheel. The gap to the peloton is 2min 39sec – there are six riders from Team Sky at the front; everyone left in the race except Luke Rowe and Christian Knees.

2.52pm BST

36km to go: Julien Simon, Jack Bauer, Diego Ulissi, Koen De Kort, Imanol Erviti and Michael Matthews have all been dropped by the breakaway. With over five kilometres to go to the summit of the HC Port de Bales, Thomas de Gendt has surged clear of Stefan Kung, Cyril Gautier and Steve Cummings.

2.47pm BST

37km to go: There are just five members of the original breakaway left and they’re being led by Thomas de Gendt. They’re about to be joined by Brice Feillu, who was paced up from the peloton by Maxime Bouet.

2.44pm BST

An email from Aidan Gentry: “Any news on how Fuglsang is doing with his creaky arm?” he asks. He’s hanging in there, as far as I know, although I think he has been dropped – or isa about to be dropped – from the peloton. I can tell you for certain that Thomas Voeckler, who many French bike fans fancied to put in a good showing today, has also been dropped.

2.41pm BST

39km to go: There are grupettos forming all over the mountainside as more and more riders asre shelled out the back of the peloton. AMong them, Thibaut Pinot, who has had a poor Tour. In the breakaway group, my tip for the day, Diego Ulissi, is struggling to stay in touch.

2.39pm BST

40km to go: With the gap down to 3min 47sec and 10km to go to the summit of Port de Bales, two spectators dressed as bumble bees run along the roadside shouting encouragement at the leaders of the peloton. Sky are still calling the shots, although Luke Rowe is no longer acting as a tow-truck. He’s done for after all his hard work and going backwards.

2.37pm BST

“I enjoyed Road to Valor telling the story of Gino Bartali,” writes Ben Collier. “He really didn’t like to talk about the charity work he did between winning the 1938 and 1948 Tours!”

2.33pm BST

Related: From the archive, 14 July 1967: Simpson dies after collapse on Tour

2.32pm BST

43km to go: With the gap from the 11-man breakaway to the peloton down at 4min 27sec, there’s been a counter-attack off the front of the bunch. Fortuneo–Oscaro riders Maxime Bouet and Brice Feillu arer currently trying to bridge the gap from the bunch to the breakaway, which is making its way up the Hors Categorie Port de Bales.

2.26pm BST

@bglendenning cycling book suggestion – try the Rider by Tim Krabbé

@bglendenning on the subject of tour books, I loved “a race for madmen” by Chris sidwells. It’s out of date but a great intro to the history

2.25pm BST

Andrew Benton responds to accusations that he as good as stole food from the mouths of various Fotheringham family members: “Ah, but someone else previously bought the new version when it was new and thereby contributed to the Fotheringham family shoe fund,” he writes. “But I can contribute to helping disadvantaged communities get safe drinking water, and all the other myriad things Oxfam does.

“I wouldn’t have bought a new full-priced version, I’m not that dedicated to reading about cycling. That’s why I’m asking about recs for the general reader – take cycling books out of the specialist market, make them mainstream, and Will and his cohorts will be on the cycling book gravy train for ever!”

2.23pm BST

@bglendenning + 1 for French Revolutions. Entertaining, but also a good look into how much the riders must put in to the sport.

2.16pm BST

50km to go: The gap from the breakaway to the peloton is 4min 10sec.

2.15pm BST

Speaking of cycling books: Another one I read and enjoyed and is well worth a read considering the welcome presence of Pippa York on ITV’s commentary team over the next few days is In Search of Robert Millar by Richard Moore. It’s been several years since I read it, but I suspect it may be ever so slightly outdated, given recent revelations.

2.11pm BST

This profile of the final climb looks a mite more intimidating than that posted by Sky.

L’enchainement terrible qui attend les coureurs pour cette fin d’étape ! ⛰️️⛰️
35 pts encore en jeu pour le #MaillotaPoisCarrefour ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/NYE1H6sXyP

2.09pm BST

Look at that final climb! A savagely steep run to the line awaits in Peyragudes. 55km to go #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/VlmuLRTpyT

2.08pm BST

An email from Andrew Benton: “I bought a secondhand first-edition of Will Fotheringham’s Put me Back on my Bike a couple of weeks ago (thanks Oxfam Harpenden bookshop),” he says. “After having completed just a couple of chapters it seems quite a lot about Will’s experience of finding out about Tom’s experience and flits about a fair bit. Definitely one for the die-hard cycling fan, and the faded colour pic of Simpson with a BP sponsor’s logo on his shirt in a group with Anquetil, Merckx and Altig reminds readers it was a very different age to keep it all in context. What’s the best cycling book around for a general interest reader?”

Ha-ha! Well Andrew, I’m sure Will will be absolutely delighted to hear you bought a second-hand version of his book, in the process contributing no pennies to the Fotheringham family shoe and food fund. Off the top of my head, I’m struggling to think of any decent books about cycling I’ve read that might be of general interest. A ROugh Ride by Paul Kimmage and The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton are decent exposes of drug abuse in cycling by riders from two different generations. I also enjoyed French Revolutions: Cycling The Tour de France by Tim Moore.

2.01pm BST

Marcel Kittel rejoins the peloton: Having been dropped by the breakaway on the climb to Col des Ares, Marcel rejoins the peloton and is no longer riding alone.

1.55pm BST

65km to go: Correction – Michael Matthews leads the charge down the descent at a ridiculous lick and goes so fast that he opens a gap on the rest of the breakaway. He gets to the bottom and starts looking over his shoulder, waiting to see how far behind the fellow members of his escape party are. Before too long, they rejoin him.

That 11-man escape party in full: Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Stefan Kung (BMC), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Julien Simon (Cofidis)

1.51pm BST

69km to go: The peloton begin their descent and we see one unidentified rider taking too bends at top speed while cycling with no hands as he attempts to put on a gillet that’s flapping in the breeze. It’s no longer raining and the road looks dry as further down the mountain Thomas de Gendt leads the descent of the breakaway.

1.48pm BST

An explosive burst of pace from Matthews: Every little helps and Michael Matthews does his bit by standing on his pedals and zooming past Thomas De Gendt to take the 10 points on offer to the first rider over Col De Mente. They’re no use to him, but denying De Gendt maximum points will help his team-mate Warren Barguil. The breakaway group sweeps up all the points available on this particular climb.

1.44pm BST

73km to go: Thomas De Gendt forces the pace of the breakaway up the Col De Mente and it looks as if Michael Matthews is going to try to steal a march on him to help his team-mate Warren Barguil, who is currently wearing the polka-dot jersey.

1.42pm BST

An email from Dirk Siebel: “I just wanted to send some thoughts on the topic of doping which seems to be on many people’s minds, particularly with the Tom Simpson link today,” he writes.

“Doping in a sport such as cycling is somewhat strange. For all the people watching on TV or along the road, it doesn’t make a difference whether some rider needs 40 or 50 minutes to get to Alpe d’Huez, it will be spectacular either way. The people who really are cheated are the fellow riders in the peloton, particularly GC contenders trying to win clean. That’s very different from, for example, athletics where spectators are cheated when somebody breaks a world record thanks to doping.
:Also, I often think that many people don’t acknowledge the sacrifices all these riders make, including those who are using illegal methods. Yes, it gives them an unfair boost but they still have to train hours every day, they still have to get through crashes and injuries and they still have to dedicate pretty much their whole life to cycling, more often than not for very meagre returns.

1.39pm BST

76km to go: It’s wet and misty as the breakaway group head pedal onwards and upwards to the summit of the Col de Mente. They’ve about two kilometres to go and the peloton are 5min 36sec behind them.

Back in the bunch, Warren Barguil, who leads the King of the Mountains category and is wearing the polka dot jersey to show for it, can be seen in fifth place behind Chris Froome. He’s presumably leaving himself nicely poised to go with any attack that might be launched off the front of the bunch.

1.32pm BST

78km to go: As the peloton takes on the early stages of the climb to the Col De Mente, assorted riders are being shelled out the back of the bunch. Among them: Bora Hansgrohe rider Maciej Bodnar, yesterday’s most aggressive rider who led for 204 kilometres yesterday before being collared just 200 metres from the line. Ouch.

1.26pm BST

79km to go: The 11-man breakaway continue their assault on the Cat1 Col de Mente, while the peloton are 6min 11sec further back and freewheeling through a little dip before they hit the official foot of the climb. Luke Rowe and Christian Knees have been doing all the work on the front of the bunch for Sky and we’ll find out soon enough how much it’s taken out of the duo.

1.19pm BST

An email from Sam Charlton: “I can’t help but agree with the thought that it’s a missed opportunity to pay tribute to Tom Simpson,” writes Sam. “Whenever Le Tour goes over Huez et al , we always get stories about Pantani, and various tributes to equally talented riders with questionable habits. All in a completely different era to ours. What was then acceptable, is obviously no longer. Whilst I am obviously not condoning doping, I do think that it is another dose of double standards by ASO. lest we forget that many confessed dopers are part of commentary teams etc. It’s a real shame and no doubt part of a modest whitewashing of the rich history of Le Tour, regardless of ones opinions of the riders.”

1.16pm BST

82km to go: The breakaway group are finding the going tough as they head up the Col de Mente and Marcel Kittel is the first to crack. He drops off the back of the escape party, which is being led by Steve Cummings. The gap from Cummings to the peloton is 6min 19sec.

1.11pm BST

85.8m to go: If you or anyone you know is on the roadside of this stage about 88km from the finish, Chris Froome just discarded his black Sky gillet, which will make a nice souvenir for somebody.

1.04pm BST

89km to go: The Cat1 Col De Mente is next on the agenda for the field. It’s 1,349m above sea level, 6.9 kilometres in length and has a gradient of 8.1%. This is its 19th appearance in the Tour.

12.55pm BST

12.53pm BST

More reader bickering: “I think Alister Conner is confusing the two Kiwis in the race, Jack Bauer is in the breakaway not George Bennet,” writes Oliver Gauld. “So stand down on historic NZ virtual leader.”

12.50pm BST

102km to go: And the breakaway group have just ascended the Col des Ares. THe gap to the bunch is 5min 53sec. Looking at the current betting for today’s stage, the breakaway’s Steve Cummings heads it at 5-2. Chris Froome is next at 4-1, despite Sky having said they’ve no interest in winning the stage and would prefer to just put more time into Fabio Aru. Also in the break, Diego Ulissi is 5-1 and would be my idea of the winner if I was having a punt. Aru (9-1), Dan Martin (10-1), Thomas De Gendt (12-1) and Romain Bardet (12-1) all next. Barring some sort of serious attack by Aru and his depleted/injured Astana team-mates, I’d say today’s winner will come from the breakaway.

12.42pm BST

Another injured rider tweets …

Thank you for everything, Tom. 50 years ago today. pic.twitter.com/wRx5iGYWoT

12.40pm BST

An email from Jason Humphreys: “Of course it’s a shame that Sagan and others have left the race for different reasons, but Marcel Kittel’s performances have been a real highlight,” he writes. “Not only has it been a joy seeing him lie in ambush before ripping the sprint finishes to shreds, but the fact that he looks like a model has caught the attention of my wife (also German), meaning the daily Tour highlight shows are suddenly being tolerated. Not sure that would’ve been the case had Froomey been bagging the stage wins … Allez Marcel!”

12.37pm BST

1. Michael Matthews 20 points
2. Marcel Kittel 17
3. Thomas De Gendt 15
4. Jack Bauer 13
5. Stefan Küng 11
6. Koen De Kort 10
7. Diego Ulissi 9
8. Nils Politt 8
9. Cyril Gautier 7
10. Julien Simon 6
11. Imañol Erviti 5
12. Stephen Cummings 4
At 5.45
13. Christian Knees 3
14. Luke Rowe 2
15. Mikel Nieve 1

12.34pm BST

BMC rider Richie Porte is home.

My new set of wheels aren’t quite as cool as my @Ride_BMC but it’s nice to finally be home. pic.twitter.com/gbE5qPv2QX

Perfect height to make me a coffee, while on your way to the fridge to grab the beers #beoverlater

12.23pm BST

Tom Simpson died 50 years ago on Mount Ventoux. Here’s William Fotheringham’s take on a missed opportunity by this year’s Tour organisers. I have to dash away for five to 10 minutes, but will be back ASAP. Don’t touch that dial as today’s stage promises to be a thriller. To confirm: Michael Matthews won the intermediate sprint and took 20 points. Alongside, but a couple of centimetres behind him, Marcel Kittel was second.

Related: Tour has missed a chance to honour Tom Simpson by not going up Mont Ventoux | William Fotheringham

12.20pm BST

Had some great images in my head when listening to Philippa York’s comms – cycling has never been as good again as it was in the 80s

Related: Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st century

12.19pm BST

Michael Matthews wins the intermediate sprint. Well, I think he did – it was tight as a drum between himself and Marcel Kittel as they crossed the line, but the Australian Sunweb rider looks to have got up. I will bring you confirmation as soon as I have it.

12.16pm BST

An email from David Alderton: “After such an agonising near miss from a break a few years back, I’d love for Jack Bauer to stay out and win today,” he writes. “It’s highly unlikely, but the break still has hope, but getting away in the downhills looks tricky. Hamilton breaking his collarbone and riding on was rock and roll to me in 2003, grinding his teeth down on the way, but I was disappointed to find out the rest afterwards. His book is good, mind you, but nobody comes off well in it.”

His book is very good and ca be bought from the Guardian Bookshop by clicking on this link. Here’s the bumf …

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. On a fateful night in 2009, Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle met for dinner in Boulder, Colorado. Over the next eighteen months, Hamilton would tell Coyle his story, and his sport’s story, in explosive detail, never sparing himself in the process. In a way, he became as obsessed with telling the truth as he had been with winning the Tour de France just a few years before. The truth would set Tyler free, but would also be the most damning indictment yet of teammates like Lance Armstrong. The result of this determination is The Secret Race, a book that pulls back the curtain and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before. A world populated by unbelievably driven – and some flawed – characters. A world where the competition used every means to get an edge, and the options were stark. A world where it often felt like there was no choice.

12.12pm BST

123km to go: The gap from the 12-man breakaway to the bunch is 5min 38sec, it’s spilling rain and the intermediate sprint is two kilometres away.

12.07pm BST

126km to go: The gap is 5min 34sec as the breakaway group head towards the intermediate sprint. Following that, things get a lot tougher and the first climb is the 7.5 kilometre long Cat 2 Col des Ares at 797m above sea level with a gradient of 4.6 per cent.

12.04pm BST

@bglendenning G’day Baz. May I just point out that with a 4 minute gap, George Bennett of NZ is virtual Maillot Jaune. Historic, won’t last.

12.01pm BST

We’re approaching the intermediate sprint: The breakaway group is about four kilometres away and Marcel Kittel and Michael Matthews look likely to contest it between them. Kittel already has five stage wins in this Tour under his belt, of course.

11.59am BST

133km to go: Sky lead the peloton down the descent of the Cote de Capvern with the gap out to 5min 18sec. Long before we get to the business end of today’s stage, here’s a preview from the good people at CyclingTV.

11.49am BST

141km to go: The gap is out to 5min 09sec and your breakaway group is: Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Stefan Kung (BMC), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Marcel Kittel and Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Julien Simon (Cofidis).

Thomas De Gendt took the sole King of the Mountains point available on the day’s first climb and it’s flat all the way now to the intermediate sprint at Loures Barousse.

11.45am BST

144km to go: Various Sky riders pick up

jiffy
feed bags before hitting the official feed zone. Hmmm … what are they up to? Pippa York’s theories, as espoused on ITV: an attack at the feed zone, perhaps … or maybe they’re just trying to make other teams edgy and nervous by forcing them to wonder what they might be up to.

11.40am BST

Guy Hornsby offers Bob O’Hara out to the car-park: “Not wanting to make this about me and Bob O’Hara, but I was fully aware Fulgsang and Aru are both Astana and the Dane is fifth in the GC,” he seethes. “But given the former’s injury, it’s debatable how effective he’ll be as a super-domestique for Aru. I’d discounted his ‘chances’ for that very reason, and expect him to be outside the Top 10 by tea time. Of course, as Barry pointed out, Tyler Hamilton heroically rode with a broken collar bone, and indeed G managed the 2013 tour with a fractured pelvis sustained in a frantic stage in Corsica, so it’s not impossible. But I feel Aru will be on his own by the time he reaches the Peyragudes.”

11.38am BST

149km to go: Team Sky continue to put in the hard yards at the front of the bunch as the gap goes out to 4min 28sec. The breakaway are well into the day’s first climb, the Cat 4 Cote de Capvern that’s 594m above sea level and is 7.7km in length with a gradient of less than 4%. A speed-bump, ostensibly. On ITV, Chris Boardman says: “This stage has Steve Cummings written all over it”. THe Dimension Data rider has given himself a decent chance by getting in the breakaway, but has an awful lot of work to do.

11.25am BST

156km to go: The gap is out to 4min 04sec as the rain continues to pour down. It is, we are told, warm and sunny at the finish of today’s stage at Peyragudes.

11.23am BST

Ben Tomlinson writes: “Peter Sagan’s been keeping himself busy with photoshop since he got kicked out of the Tour.”

Ready to race in the upside down #strangerthings #netflix pic.twitter.com/JtWBO6pv1O

11.21am BST

Another mail from Bob O’Hara, who is having a productive day: “This would probably have been more interesting on the last couple of stages, but I’ve just noticed that Sky have both the yellow jersey and the Lanterne Rouge in their possession,” he says. “No doubt all part of their marginal gains.”

Luke Rowe is the Sky cyclist occupying last place on General Classification, just 1hr 57min 26sec off the lead set by his team leader Chris Froome.

11.17am BST

Bob O’Hara writes! “Someone should whisper in Guy’s ear that Aru and Fulgsang are in the same team,” he says. “Mind you, if Fulgsang is still in the top 12 by the end of today, he’ll have earned it.”

That’s Jakob Fulgsang, who set off on today’s stage with “small” fractures in his left wrist and elbow that are surely going to hurt like hell when he starts pulling out of his handlebars on the climbs. Tyler Hamilton famously rode half a Tour with a broken collarbone, which was a fairly heroic effort even if it did turn out he was not the most scrupulously honest of professional cyclists.

11.13am BST

163km to go: The gap between the peloton and the breakaway is out to 3min 05sec with all the hard work on today’s stage yet to be done. Sky continue to lead the bunch on a day they’ll be hoping to tighten their stranglehold on the race.

11.04am BST

Orica Scott’s Stage 11 Backstage Pass

11.01am BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “Finally, a stage that should be a real selection,” he writes. “How odd it feels with so many of the big GC names or Super-Domestiques already out or adrift. I honestly can’t remember a Tour that’s had such an attrition rate at this stage. And all it’s done, bar G’s exit, is strengthen Chris Froome’s hand.

“Aru’s chance is greatly diminished by Fulgsang’s injury, BMC’s leader is gone, Quintana looks fatigued, Contador a shadow of himself, and the top 12 has only Sky with more than one team member in it. In many ways, to unseat Froome, individuals will have to work together, while still pushing their own GC aims. That’s an unlikely event, or one that rarely works out, but if Bardet, Aru, Uran, Martin, Yates and Quintana can attack in waves from the Mente onwards, then this race may yet come alive.

10.59am BST

173km to go: The gap between the peloton and the breakaway stretches a little and is out to 2min 46sec.

10.57am BST

179km to go: Back in the peloton, Team Sky are leading the bunch and are controlling the gap. Why? To facilitate any other riders who might want to attack, according to David Millar. His colleague Pippa York said that if she was Warren Barguil and chasing the points jersey, she “would throw everything at the first two mountains and then hope I’m going to survive on the hors categorie climb once the GC battle kicks off”. She goes on to say that if Barguil waits until the feed station to attack, he’ll have the Sky-bots to contend with. She also criticises Barguil and Team Sunweb’s tactics earlier in the race.

10.52am BST

Today’s breakaway: Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Stefan Kung (BMC), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Marcel Kittel and Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Julien Simon (Cofidis) have opened a gap of 2min 28sec after 30 kilometres of racing.

10.47am BST

Today’s intermediate sprint: Marcel Kittel leads the points classification and will be hoping to win today’s intermediate sprint which is in Loures-Barousse, 120 kilometres from the finish. Before that, there’s a 7.7km Cat 4 climb, which ought to pose Kittel few problems. Michael Matthews, his nearest rival in the points category is part of a 12-man breakaway that has opened a gap on the peloton, but Kittel has tracked and gone with him.

10.43am BST

An added treat on ITV’s Tour coverage: Over the next few days, Philippa “Pippa” York will be helping out on co-comms and her insights ought to be invaluable.

In what I suppose you could say was a different chapter of her life, Pippa rode as Robert Millar and was one of the greatest riders in British cycling history. No mean climber, Millar won the King of the Mountains prize in the 1984 Tour when finishing fourth overall, came second in the 1985 and 1986 Vueltas and was also second in the 1987 Giro. He also won three Tour stages, all of them in the Pyrenees.

Related: Philippa York: ‘I’ve known I was different since I was a five-year-old’

10.32am BST

Warren Barguil attacks: Team Sunweb rider Warren Bargui, who is wearing the polka-dot jersey and could more or less guarantee himself this year’s King of the Mountains title today, attacks off the front and brings a host of big name climbers with him. The peloton is strung out and stretched to breaking point, but has yet to split.

On ITV, David Millar suggests it’s ridiculous that Barguil is doing this early work and says that his team-mates should have placed themselves at the front of the bunch at the beginning of the stage to help him with this donkey work. Early mention of Marcus Burghardt means that it’s time for our annual screening of this clip from the 2007 Tour showing him colliding with the world’s hardest Labrador pup.

10.25am BST

The breakaway is over: Due to extremely low on numbers in their escape party, Messrs Gogl, Burghardt and Van Keirsbulk fail to put any distance between themselves and the peloton, realise the futility of trying to do so on such a day with so many big climbs ahead and return to the bunch.

10.21am BST

The Danish Astana rider, currently in fifth place on GC and Fabio Aru’s chief lieutenant, crashed at the feeding station in an accident that ended his team-mate Dario Cataldo’s Tour yesterday. Fugslang was left with minor fractures to his left wrist and elbow, but has started this morning anyway. It’ll be interesting to see if he finishes.

10.16am BST

An early start for the riders today on what promises to be a seriously attritional day’s racing. It’s raining heavily in Pau as race director Christian Prudhomme uses his white flag to semaphore the start of racing. Michael Gogl, Marcus Burghardt and Guiallaume van Keirsbulk immediately try to form a three-man breakaway.

10.10am BST

Related: Jakob Fuglsang’s Tour de France in doubt after crash but Kittel rolls on

9.57am BST

After yesterday’s flat stage, the peloton tackle the bumpy stuff again, in a stage that finishes in a brutal summit finish at the Peyragudes ski station on one of the Tour’s oldest climbs, the Col de Peyresourde. Here’s William Fotheringham’s take on the stage from our Tour de France preview.

The last 80km looks dire, with the first-cat Col de Menté, the hors-catégorie Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde at the end. This is the second of only three summit finishes – so it is a vital chance to gain time for any climbers. The long run in to the Menté will favour an early break with a good climber, and France will be rooting for Thomas Voeckler in his last Tour.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/13/tour-de-france-2017-stage-12-takes-race-into-the-pyrenees-live

Jul 11

The whimsical inanity of Wimbledon’s press conferences remains bafflingly odd | Barry Glendenning

From asking about Novak Djokovic’s inward journey, to inquiring whether a cold might kill Roger Federer – the press pack’s curious agenda raises eyebrows

During the press conference that followed his third round win over Ernests Gulbis, Novak Djokovic was asked to ruminate on his journey. “Paradoxes and contradictions are some of the more interesting parts of life,” observed his inquisitor. “You’re on this journey that’s exploring different aspects of life, very subtle, inward quiet. Yet tennis is such a war, a battle, winner, loser, boxing without the violence. How do the two aspects of your life impact each other? Does your journey in any way diminish your ferocity, your fight?” Eh?

Related: Johanna Konta and Andy Murray make history with different approaches | Barry Glendenning

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jul/11/inanity-weirdness-wimbledon-press-conference-novak-djokovic-roger-federer

Jul 05

Tour de France 2017: Fabio Aru wins stage five, Froome takes yellow

An impressive late surge ensured Fabio Aru won the stage, while Chris Froome took over the yellow jersey from his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas

4.41pm BST

“It’s an amazing feeling to be back in yellow, but I am aware the race is far, far from over,” says Froome. On the subject of Geraint Thomas being in second place and Sky having the one-two, he said: “It gives us options going forward in being able to play both cards.”

Froome goes on to say that Sky made have made a little bit of a mistake in letting Fabio Aru get away with his attack at the finish, but doesn’t seem overly concerned. “Fabio showed in the Dauphine that he’s in great form and he is going to have to be one of the guys we mark very closely in the next two weeks,” he says.

4.36pm BST

4.33pm BST

Chris Froome takes over in yellow on a day when his rivals Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador both lost time on the final climb.

4.26pm BST

Related: Tour de France: Chris Froome in yellow jersey as Fabio Aru wins stage five

4.25pm BST

David Clark has an interesting question: “Have there ever been five riders who have English as first language in the first six of Le Tour?” he asks. “Probably not.”

4.23pm BST

4.21pm BST

Chris Froome in yellow: If BMC were trying to throw down a marker today, they failed dismally. They led the peloton to the foot of the day’s second and final climb at a ferocious lick and all their riders apart from Richie Porte were unable to keep up when Sky took over pace-making duties. The upshot? Chris Froome had plenty of assistance on the final climb, while Richie Porte had none. The duo finished at the same time, meaning that Froome takes the yellow jersey from Geraint Thomas.

4.18pm BST

Dan Martin speaks: “That’s a hell of a lot of seconds, thirds and fourths I’ve got in the Tour De France in the past two or three years now,” says the man who came second on the stage and is now fourth on GC. “This is not about confidence, it’s about calmness. I’m just enjoying my racing, I’m feeling no pressure at all. I’m just enjoying riding the Tour de France. The team’s on a real roll and I’ve got some of the best riders around me to support me.” He also congratulates Fabio Aru on a great ride and says the finish line came too early for him.

4.14pm BST

4.10pm BST

4.09pm BST

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but even with the benefit of the 20-20 kind, I’m still none the wiser as to what the hell BMC were doing wasting so much energy dictating a ferocious pace at the front of the peloton today, only to put Chris Froome in yellow. If there’s method to their madness, I can’t see it and I don’t think I’m the only one.

4.06pm BST

The Italian champion’s attack proves brilliantly timed and he holds on to win the stage for Astana. That was a fine ride. Dan Martin finishes a few seconds back in second.

4.05pm BST

Less than a kilometre to go: Fabio Aru attacks the final ramp and it looks like he’s going to make it!

4.03pm BST

1.2km to go: Fabio Aru continues to lead, chased by Froome, Martin, Porte and others. Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador are both struggling.

4.02pm BST

1.5km to go: Froome attacks off the front of the chasing pack and Richie Porte tries to go with him. Dan Martin Joins them.

4.01pm BST

2km to go: Astana rider Fabio Aru attacks off the front and nobody goes with him! He opens a lead of 13 seconds but will he be able to stay clear?

4.00pm BST

3km to go: Kwiatkowski pulls to the side of the road after a decent shift at the front and Sky’s Mikel Nieve takes over pace-making duties. Geraint Thomas is tucked in behind him, with Chris Froome and Richie Porte are behind him.

3.57pm BST

3.7km: Jan Bakelants and Philippe Gilbert are caught and give each other congratulatory pats on the back as they’re absorbed into a bunch that’s shedding a steady stream of riders as a result of the pace being hammered out by Sky on this steep stairway to the sky.

3.55pm BST

4.1km to go: The gap is reduced to 14 seconds as Michał Kwiatkowski hammers out the tempo for Sky at the front of the bunch. Thibaut Pinot and Warren Barguil have both been dropped.

3.52pm BST

4.5km to go: The searing heat can’t helping these guys either and several are riding with their shirts unzipped and flapping in what passes for the breeze.

3.51pm BST

5.2km to go: It’s a hugely steep incline from the gun on this short but very tough climb. Bakelants and Gilbert are already out of their saddles as assorted riders are shelled out the back of the chasing bunch, which is being led by Dave Brailsford’s Skybots. The gap is down to 27 seconds.

3.49pm BST

5.9km to go: Bakelant and Gilbert hit the foot of the climb as BMC’s riders are crowded out of the front of the chasing pack. Quick-Step get their riders in position to help Dan Martin, who’ll fancy his chances here.

3.48pm BST

6.5km: Sky take over at the front of the bunch, with Nairo Quintana and his Movistar chums tucked in behind them.

3.46pm BST

7km to go: Orica-Scott’s riders drift to the front of the bunch, clearly hopeful of trying to give their Colombian rider Esteban Chavez a shot at winning today’s stage. The gap is 1min 07sec.

3.45pm BST

10km to go: On a descent leading to the foot of the final climb, Bakelants and Gilbert attempt to put more time between themselves and the rest of the field. Voeckler, Boasson Hagen, Van Baarle and Perichon are together on the road between the two leaders and the main bunch.

3.42pm BST

12.5km to go: Thomas Voeckler has a long conversation with himself as he watches Philippe Gilbert and Jan Bakelants pedal away into the distance, leaving him behind. The breakaway group has been blown apart and Gilbert and Bakelants are 1min 27sec clear of the posse.

3.39pm BST

13km to go: Philippe Gilbert celebrates his birthday with an attack off the front of the breakaway and is immediately followed by Thomas Voeckler.

3.38pm BST

16km to go: There’s 1o kilometres to go until the main climb of the day and it’s profile is pretty brutal: 1,000m featuring an opening ramp of 14% and a closing section at 20%.

3.33pm BST

17km to go: “It looks very difficult to see any of the breakaway holding on for victory,” says Sean Kelly, as the riders of Astana come upsides their BMC counterparts at the front of a bunch that is 1min 46sec behind the six-man breakaway.

3.24pm BST

22km to go: Our six-man breakaway have been together for 140 kilometres and remain 2min 13sec ahead of the chasing bunch, which is still being controlled by Richie Porte’s BMC team.

3.14pm BST

31km to go: The gap from the few to the many stands at 2min 35sec as the riders descend the first climb of the day ahead of their assault on the second.

3.07pm BST

The Guardian’s man on Le Tour writes: “I’ve been trying to figure out why BMC are riding and I wonder if it’s because Philippe Gilbert would probably get yellow from that break,” he says. “If he did that he could well hold it as far as the final week. That would mean Quickstep controlling the race for much of the time, meaning that Sky could conserve their strength. In a sense, it’s better for BMC that Sky have the jersey and all that goes with it than a strong team like QS do. It’s a thought anyway.”

Whatever their reasons for doing so, back at the front of the bunch, BMC continue to make the pace.

3.00pm BST

45km to go: Our eight man breakaway is now a six-man breakaway, with De Gendt and Mickael Delage having been dropped. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) lead today’s stage.

2.56pm BST

46km to go: Thomas De Gendt drops out of the breakaway and rejoins the peloton, stocking up on bidons for his team-mates along the way.

2.55pm BST

@bglendenning interesting point made by Neil in Munich….BMC director was on TV last evening and wished Ritchie was 10 seconds closer.

2.53pm BST

Oops Dept! I’ve rather jumped the gun, there. The riders have just climbed Cote d’Esmoulieres, not … the other one. Apologies!

2.50pm BST

52km to go: Jan Bakelants, who was last week forced to issue an apology after making extremely sexist and derogatory remarks about the Tour’s podium girls or tour hostesses in a newspaper interview, attacks off the front of the breakaway and is first over the summit of the first climb of the day, bagging himself two King of the Mountain points. Spare a thought for his queen.

2.44pm BST

2.42pm BST

54km to go: With a lead of 1min 46sec, the breakaway group hit the first climb of note in this year’s Tour de France: the Cat 3

La Planche Des Belles Filles
Cote d’Esmoulieres (1,035m/5.9km/8.5%). Thomas Voeckler leads them up the hill, with Jan Bakelants on his wheel. Mickael Delage has been dropped.

2.36pm BST

57km to go: In the breakaway group, Edvald Boasson Hagen wins the intermediate sprint. Back in the peloton, Michael Matthews launches himself off the front and mops up the lion’s share of the small points and is followed over the line by Marcel Kittel.

2.34pm BST

60km to go: Behind the breakaway, with Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish conspicuous by their absence from the race (you might have heard about that, it’s been mentioned), the likes of Marcel Kittel, Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Demare have made their way to the front of the peloton in a bid to mop up whatever points are left now that the green jersey in this year’s Tour is very much up for grabs.

2.31pm BST

61km to go: The gap is 2min 03sec and there’s three kilometres to go until the intermediate sprint. One of the following men will win it: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Delage (FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac).

2.23pm BST

An email from Neil in Munich: “The BMC move isn’t that bad, sure they just want to put down a marker, but moreover they have probably targeted this for a stage win and Sky have let the break go with some decent climbers in it,” he writes. “BMC don’t want to let them get too far ahead due to the bonus seconds available for winning the stage that Porte can make up on Froome – especially with the final stage being TT too – hence the need to control the peloton and maximise their chances of reaping a good day’s work.”

2.20pm BST

72.3km to go: BMC continue to put in the hard yards at the front of the peloton, with the riders of Sky just behind them. The gap to the eight-man breakaway is 2min 14sec, the riders have completed almost 90 kilometres and we’re getting towards the business end of the stage. The intermediate sprint is at the 103km mark and precedes the first climb of the day: the Cat 3 Cote d’Esmoulieres (1,035m/5.9km/8.5%).

2.15pm BST

More on Sagan’s DQ: “What bothers me particularly about the decision is that none of the concessionaire’s are ex cyclists,” writes Bev Nicolson. “The difference between what a lay person thinks watching the footage and what an ex-pro bike rider thinks is quite striking. For rulings like the one yesterday and for questions about skin suits I think the make up of that group needs to change.”

2.11pm BST

@bglendenning makes sense for Porte to target this stage win, not least for the psychological “winner here wins overall” advantage.

2.07pm BST

81km to go: The breakaway riders pass through the feed zone, with several of the riders not bothering to take a musette. Being in the breakaway, they can treat their support cars as a kind of rolling buffet and don’t need to bother, although I’d have thought the only conceivable benefit of being a professional cyclist was the daily treat that is a bag full of unspecified edible and quaffable goodies.

2.01pm BST

On BMC’s power play: Think Richie Porte’s pushing for a stage winm” writes Michael Wilson. “He needs to cut back into Froome’s advantage at some point, why not here on a climb where he can go all out to the finish. Froome has benefit of additional time trial coming up so this wont be the last time we see BMC pushing the pace.”

And this from Josh Morris: “Either BMC think they can do what Sky can usually do, which is convincingly win the first mountain stage and put Porte in yellow,” he says. “The other possibility is that because they’re not loaded to the eyeballs with climbing talent in the way Sky are, they’re putting the hurt on in the places they can, on the rolling run-in.”

1.53pm BST

An email from Andrew Cleland: “I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest this, but a cynic might wonder who has the most to profit from Sagan’s DQ and then consider the nationality of that person and his team,” he says.

You’re certainly not the first to peddle this conspiracy theory in the past 20 hours, Andrew, but I don’t buy it for a second. If Sagan was kicked off the Tour to benefit a Frenchman riding for a French team, why would his disqualification occur on a day when the palaver surrounding it completely overshadowed a rare stage win by … a Frenchman riding for a French team. Also, it’s the Swiss-based UCI who turfed Sagan out of the race, not the race organisers themselves. They are reported to be furious that their box office star has been disqualified.

1.44pm BST

Interesting fact. Today the Tour passes through Luxeuil Les-Bains, where I attended a wedding eight years ago next week. It was quite the do in the small provincial town, where the local hostelries and saloons were sadly ill-prepared for an invasion of thirsty Irish folk, who drank one particular bar dry in about two hours, prompting an urgent call for emergency supplies.

Throw in an absence of choral music during the church ceremony due to the presence of mice in the organ who the local padre had no wish to disturb and a best man accidentally left hanging by his suit jacket from some spikes on the back of an ill-advised attempt to scale a high gate in a bid to locate the wedding rings and it’s fair to say that a good weekend was had by all. There’s 94km to go and the gap is 2min 30sec.

1.37pm BST

Dan Martin has a medical consultation: The Katusha time trial specialist is currently enjoying a tow from a Skoda hatchback, where a doctor in the back seat is preparing to minister to some wound that doesn’t seem immediately obvious. There’s just under 100km to go and the gap is down to 2min 17sec.

1.35pm BST

An email from Dan Jenkins: “This BMC power play seems a bit odd,” he writes. “We so often hear riders saying that the Tour is all about saving energy so is it really worth spending a day on the front just to make a statement? If they really are stronger than Sky surely that will quickly become apparent anyway in the coming stages anyway. I wonder if they’ll regret making the effort if Porte ends up in yellow and suddenly they have to control the race day in day out.”

A fair point, well made. It makes no sense to me either. Can anyone out there with superior cycling smarts to Dan or I offer an explanation for this apparent tomfoolery?

1.32pm BST

103km: The peloton is strung out like your ma’s washing as the BMC boys drag them along the road with the gap to the escape party is reduced to 2min 31sec.

1.23pm BST

109km to go: It’s quite an illustrious breakaway containing some big names and BMC are leading a strung out peloton to whittle away their lead. Behind BMC, Sky’s riders are lined up and keeping their powder dry while their rivals in red and black put in the hard yards.

1.16pm BST

119km to go: Your breakaway: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac).

Also, many thanks for your emails on the Sagan v Cavendish palaver, but please try to keep them short and don’t send long dissertations analysing the crash. We’ve kind of moved on from that and everyone has their own interpretation, but it’s the decision to disqualify Sagan without any kind of hearing (fair or otherwise) that seems to be the main talking point at this stage.

1.09pm BST

An email from Dan Dracea: “It is, indeed, mind-blowing that in 2017 a sporting incident is judged without hearing input from those involved in it,” he says. “You summed this up correctly and Andre Greipel also had a point with his change of opinion – judging images is mandatory, but so should hearing riders’ opinions. I often write about Formula 1 and this happens all the time there. The two drivers and any other relevant people are brought together with the jury to analyze the situation in the best possible way.”

1.06pm BST

BMC throwing down a marker? Their sporting director Yvon Ledanois has told French television that his team are towing the peloton because “Sky isn’t the only strong team at the Tour de France; BMC is as strong as Sky if not even stronger”. It’s all well and good to say that, Yvon, but are your skinsuits as dimpled and your wheels as round?

1.02pm BST

“At some level, you have to admire Dave’s ability to act like the deeply troubling revelations of the past nine months never happened,” writes Marina Hyde of bike-racing’s answer to the bloke in The Big Lebowski who peed on The Dude’s rug.

Related: Sir Dave Brailsford’s marginal gains are now applied to being bumptious | Marina Hyde

12.55pm BST

131km to go: Led by the riders of Richie Porte’s BMC team, the peloton reels in Tsgabu Grmay. The gap to the eight-man escape party is 3min 28sec. Of the cyclists in the leading bunch, Boasson-Hagan (fourth at 16 seconds) and Gilbert (sixth at 30 seconds) are the highest placed on General Classification.

12.50pm BST

Marcel Kittel speaks: In an interview recorded before the beginning of the stage, the German said that the decision to kick Sagan off the Tour was tough, but that the decision of the commissaires has to be respected. He adds that it will serve as a wake-up call for the other riders, which is something I haven’t heard anyone else mention.

12.46pm BST

139km to go: Ethiopian rider Tsgabu Grmay (Bahrain-Merida) has got himself caught in no-man’s land as he tries to bridge the gap between the peloton and the breakaway group.

12.44pm BST

Two birthday boys in the peloton today: Alexander Kristoff, who was caught up in the thick of the action at the finish of yesterday’s action, turns 30 today. Philippe Gilbert is celebrating his 35th birthday by joining the breakaway.

12.41pm BST

An email from Robin Hazelhurst: “Maybe part of the reason Cav hit Sagan’s elbow was because he was going through a gap he couldn’t fit through,” he says. “At his peak he could get through gaps like that, but after illness he is not at his peak and so his racing instincts wrote a cheque his legs couldn’t cash. Sagan’s elbow shouldn’t have been there, but nor should Cav. It was a 50/50 racing incident which is unfortunate, but these things happen in sprints.”

12.33pm BST

Our breakaway: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Delage (FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) have opened a gap of 2min 37sec on the peloton and there’s 150 kilometres to go.

12.26pm BST

12.25pm BST

An email from Luke Harrison: Well, an abridged version of a very long email from Luke Harrison: “Sagan did cause the crash but down to inattention rather than intent,” he says. “The elbow flick was a result of the contact that caused Cav to go down rather than the other way round. Chris Boardman had a point about Demare cutting off Bouhanni as well; this sort of stuff is going on all the time in sprints as riders try to get on the best wheel.”

12.23pm BST

The riders have left Vittel, race director Christian Prudhomme has semaphored the start of racing and we already have an attempted breakaway of six or seven riders led by Direct Energie’s Thomas Voeckler, who is riding in his final Tour de France at the grand old age of 38.

12.18pm BST

Email from Dave Evans: “It is odd that the decision to DQ was not accompanied by consultation with other riders,” he says. “Surely Cavendish who, let’s be honest, knows a thing or two about how such things happen, would have supported a less severe penalty?”

I suspect you might be right, Dave. I’ve just seen an interview Cavendish gave this morning and for a man who isn’t backwards in going forwards when something is bothering him, he seemed very calm and far from angry, but obviously frsutrated that his Tour is over. He said he hasn’t spoken to Peter Sagan yet, but would still like to hear his thoughts on that elbow. On EuroSport, Greg Lemond has just insisted that Peter Sagan didn’t do anything technically illegal, while pointing out that if he deserved sanction, so di a few other cyclists involved in the sprint. WHich leads us nicely into this …

11.55am BST

The Australian team is one of the more fan-friendly operations on the race and their daily video Tour de France diary is always worth a look. The Partridge-esque part of this episode where an obsessive fan presents Esteban Chavez with a homemade poster with her photo superimposed over one of his mother is worth the price of admission alone.

11.42am BST

Sagan reluctantly accepts DQ:I can only accept…decision of the jury, but I disagree. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong in the sprint.

11.25am BST

You’ve had my take on yesterday’s events and Will Fotheringham’s added his two cents worth to a topic on which everyone seems to have an opinion, so feel welcome to mail or tweet your thoughts to the addresses above and it’ll help pass the time before the riders head off from Vittel at 12.20pm (BST) and launch their first assault on the pointy stuff.

11.10am BST

Related: Tour de France will miss Peter Sagan’s star power but safety must come first | William Fotheringham

11.07am BST

Having made their decision to disqualify Peter Sagan in a fair amount of haste without actually consulting any of the riders involved in yesterday’s sprint finish, the UCI judges who booted him off the Tour have stood by their decision and the Slovakian world champion is currently on his way home after leaving his team hotel this morning.

As is invariably the case in such matters, opinion is divided on what actually happened, whose fault it was and what should have been done about it, but there seems to be a fair amount of sympathy out there for Sagan from all but the most blinkered Mark Cavendish fan-boys.

Sometimes I should watch images before I say something. Apologies to @petosagan as I think that decision of the judge is too hard.

11.07am BST

10.48am BST

Related: Mark Cavendish out of Tour and Peter Sagan disqualified after horror crash

9.30am BST

After yesterday’s tedium featuring a 190km solo breakaway, two big crashes, the withdrawal through injury of the peloton’s best sprinter and the controversial disqualification of popular World Champion Peter Sagan, today promises to be comparatively thrilling as the Tour hits the bumpy stuff for the first time. The 193 remaining riders are due to set off from Vittel at 12.20pm (BST), on a stage that features the Cat 3 Cote d’Esmoulieres and finishes with a tough 5.9km climb to La Planche Des Belles Filles that ends with a vicious kick in the final 300m. Will Fotheringham is our man in France whose hopes for a quiet day yesterday were ruined and here’s his take on today’s route.

The first set-piece summit finish on the short, brutal climb to a small ski station in the middle of nowhere, where Chris Froome won in 2012. It is a simple equation: if Sky’s leader is on form he will make an early mark here. If he loses even a few seconds, the pressure will be on.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/05/tour-de-france-2017-stage-five-live

Jul 04

Tour de France: Arnaud Démare wins stage four after late crashes

5.46pm BST

Peter Sagan has got off a lot more leniently than the Dimension Data chief might have liked, but then the race jury may have studied frame by frame footage of the crash and decided that Sagan didn’t actually elbow Cavendish in the end.

There are all sorts of interpretations of the incident on the internet already, but what doesn’t seem to be in doubt is that Sagan was in the wrong for veering across the road in an attempt to get on a wheel he had no business taking. Whether or not he elbowed Cavendish, or indeed Cavendish would have gone down anyway without Sagan flicking out his elbow, is open to interpretation. The good news is thast Cav was able to walk away from a horrible crash, although his future participation in this Tour is in serious doubt.

Causes a big crash at 1.5 to go, elbows elbows fellow competitor in the head 300 meters… can only result in one decision. #Goodbye pic.twitter.com/xeTB0llOPF

5.39pm BST

5.26pm BST

Never mind scouse wit @bglendenning #VILenin springs to mind on today’s #tdf17 stage @Vittel_FR pic.twitter.com/edmpuo0HQS

5.23pm BST

For playing fast and loose with his elbow, Peter Sagan has been given a 30-second penalty and demoted to 115th place on the stage (presumably last of the main finishing bunch).

A slap on the wrist for a flick of the elbow, you could say. A points deduction might have been more appropriate, as 30 seconds doesn’t amount to a hill of beans one way or the other for Sagan. That said, he will lose the points he earned for finishing second behind Arnaud Demare.

5.18pm BST

Here’s how they finished after after a thrilling climax to an otherwise fairly boring stage.

5.12pm BST

An email from Will van Wyngaarden: “Zack Gomperts-Mitchelson is talking rubbish,” he fumes. “Sagan swerved across the road to grab Demare’s wheel. Who was at fault in the situation is another matter, but there was room and Sagan closed the door and then shoved his elbow in for good measure.”

I’d have to agree with Will’s view that Sagan definitely swerved across the road to get on Demare’s wheel and wasn’t carried by’ the drift of the sprinting bunch’, as Zack contends.

5.08pm BST

Related: Mark Cavendish’s Tour could be over after Sagan clash leads to heavy crash

5.05pm BST

My colleague Gregg Bakowski, whose dulcet Scouse tones many of you will be familiar with from our Football Weekly podcast, has just wandered over and said: “Baz, d’ya reckon that Belgian fella who led for 200 kilometres all on his own is sitting in the team bus thinking: ‘I did all that and thanks to those two nobody’s even mentioning it now.”

It does indeed seem a long, long time ago since poor Guillaume van Keirsbulck weas playing a starring role in what was shaping up to be one of the most boring stages in Tour de France history. I suppose if nothing else, Cavendish’s accident proves that life comes at you fast and things can change in the blink of an eye.

4.59pm BST

An email from Zack Gomperts-Mitchelson: “That was about as bad a crash as I’ve ever seen in a sprint,” he says. “I have no idea what Cav thought he was doing there; I guess thats what makes him Cav: fearless to a fault.

“No room at all, especially not at that speed. That is his tour done. Sagan’s elbow came out, I don’t think it was deliberate as in malicious, he was being pushed along the road by the drift of the sprinting bunch and must have felt the contact. He’ll probably still get pilloried for this. It’s quite possible there was just no room for Cav to go into.”

4.57pm BST

We see footage of Mark Cavendish stepping off the Dimension Data team bus with his right hand heavily bandaged and the arm to which it is attached resting in a sling. He seems very calm and says he hasn’t yet spoken to Peter Sagan, but would like to. He insists he has a very good relationship with the Slovak rider, but wants to hear an explanation for the rogue elbow that knocked him off his bike in the closing stages. He’s unhappy about it, but won’t be making any further comments until he has spoken to Sagan.

4.52pm BST

An email from Marie Meyer: “Watching in America, where the talking heads are making every excuse imaginable to say that obviously Sagan did not throw an elbow,” she says. “It was just his ‘momentum’ that caused it to fly out.”

Thanks for that, Marie. Having seen the incident again, here’s my definitive take on it. Arnaud Demare was making his winning surge for the line with Cavendish directly behind him and the gap between the pair closing.

4.44pm BST

Related: Mark Cavendish’s Tour could be over after heavy crash at stage four finish

4.42pm BST

Lotto-Soudal team manager Marc Sergeant speaks: The Belgian head of German sprinter Andre Greipel’s team doesn’t mince his words on the subject of Sagan’s antics either. He says Greipel was “pissed” at Sagan’s behaviour in yesterday’s intermediate sprint and was “pissed” again today at the way Sagan was veering all over the road in the closing stages of today’s sprint. Sergeant claimed not to have seen today’s closing stages very well yet, but pointedly says with a shake of his head “that’s twice in two days from Sagan”. Furthermore, he announces that Greipel, by all accounts one of the nicest blokes in the peloton, has told him that from this day on, he will no longer be friends with Peter Sagan.

4.37pm BST

Team Dimension Data sporting director Roger Hammond speaks: He looks a little fed up, to say the least as he explains that it’s premature to say that Mark Cavendish has broken his shoulder or collar-bone and that the rider is on his way to hospital to undergo x-rays. He points out that Cavendish also injured his hand and, upon being told that Sagan had gone to apologise to Cavendish, says: “If I was Peter Sagan, I would also go and apologise.”

4.32pm BST

Meanwhile at the finish line: Peter Sagan has climbed off his bike and gone straight to the Dimension Data team bus to see Mark Cavendish. He’s currently standing outside the vehicle, awaiting an audience. There’s no question he stuck out an elbow to prevent Cavendish coming up his inside. Cavendish was hurled into a roadside barrier and hit the deck with sickening force. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trek-Segafredo’s German rider John Degenkolb rode straight over the prone Cavendish and came down himself. He’s understood to be OK.

4.27pm BST

More on the crash with 1,500 metres to go: Most of Marcel Kittel’s Quick-Step team went down and brought down several others, including race leader Geraint Thomas, leaving those lucky enough to be at the front of the bunch at the time to duke out the stage between them.

4.24pm BST

But look at the state of him. If it turns out that Peter Sagan did bring him down, he’s going to be most displeased. Having just seen another replay of the incident, I would have no qualms in suggesting that Sagan deliberately knocked him into the barriers. Early, obviously unconfirmed reports suggest that after staying on the ground for a long time, Cavendish has a broken shoulder.

Mark Cavendish up and about but bearing wounds of terrifying crash into barriers at full gas pic.twitter.com/s4fcentlVT

4.21pm BST

The Sky reporter tweets …

Sagan gave an elbow for sure. Standby for fireworks on the 4th July. But in meantime, worrying for Cavendish who seems badly injured there.

4.19pm BST

That’s a first ever Tour de France stage win for Arnaud Demare.

4.18pm BST

Arnaud Demare wins the stage, but all the talk will be of two big crashes on the run-in. The first occurred on a straight section with everyone fighting for position and Geraint Thomas got caught up in it, but looked absolutely fine as he pedalled home.

Moments later, there was a horror-crash as Mark Cavendish appeared to be brought down by Peter Sagan. I’m not sure if they clipped wheels, or Sagan stuck out an elbow as he felt Cav coming up his inside, but the Manx missile was catapulted into the air and hit the barriers sickenly hard. Here’s hoping he’s OK. Stay with us and we’ll keep you posted.

4.14pm BST

It’s carnage, with Mark Cavendish hitting the barriers hard in the closing stages. That looked hideous and he’s stayed down. Arnaud Demare from FDJ wins the stage!

4.11pm BST

Less than 2km to go: Casino Corner and the bunch is strung out as Mark Cavendish’s Dimension Data team comes off the rails. There’s a big crash!

4.10pm BST

Less than 3km to go: The field take the sharp left and a number of those who had been at the front get squeezed out of position and back into the bunch.

4.09pm BST

Less than 5km to go: On they roll, still out in the countryside with a sharp turn approaching in a little over two kilometres. A native of these parts, Bouhanni clearly knows this and has got his Cofidis team into a good position to lead into it.

4.07pm BST

6km to go: Nacer Bouhanni assembles his Cofidis team in the centre of the road and they take up the pace before moving to the left. Astana’s road lieutenant, whoever he is, is gesticulating furiously as his team is being squeezed out of position. It’s all very exciting … if you’re into this sort of thing.

4.05pm BST

9km to go: Less than 10 kilometres to and they’re packed sardine can-tight at the front of the peloton, where Mark Cavendish’s Dimension Data team look well positioned with everyone in the right order. There’s no sign of Marcel Kittel’s Quick-Step team near the front. Is the German going to paddle his own canoe and surf in on the coat-tails of other riders? Does Dan Martin fancy a cheeky solo effort off the front?

4.01pm BST

13km to go: Assorted riders of Katusha, FDJ, Dimension Data, Direct Energie, Lotto Soudal, Bora, Movistar and Cofidis are all visible near the front of the bunch as they try to control the pace of the peloton before starting to get their ducks in a row for their lead-out trains.

3.57pm BST

16km to go: Looking into the camera on the motorbike in front of him, Guillaume van Keirsbulck performs a cut-throat gesture with his hand, blows out his cheeks, hoists the white flag and is swallowed up by the bunch. A few riders give him congratulatory pats on the back as he takes up position at the arriere de peloton and takes a well-earned breather.

3.53pm BST

19km to go: The gap is down to 27sec and if Guillaume van Keirsbulck looks over his shoulder he’ll be able to see the peloton approaching. What’s his over-riding emotion, I wonder? Disappointment? Relief? Whatever he’s feeling after 190 kilometres out on his own, he deserves every credit for a fine effort and a brave day’s work.

3.45pm BST

22km to go: The first of those three right-angle bends to which Fothers alluded, Casino Corner, is almost certainly the most dangerous. On Eurosport, Sean Kelly has explained that there’s a steep descent which means the bunch will arrive at it doing 70kph. The Eurosport commentary team have also voiced their “concerns” (translation: hope) that in his determination to win on his home turf, Nacer Bouhanni, a man known for his kamikaze behaviour in bunch finishes, could cause all sorts of mayhem and chaos. The gap between Guillaume van Keirsbulck and the bunch currently stands at exactly 60 seconds.

3.39pm BST

Big news: Not only has he finished his lunch, he has been out on a recon mission. Good work Fothers, you’ve saved me a job. Here’s hoping for another victory for a certain towering German, so those “Kittel wins in Vittel” headlines can write themselves. To the best of my knowledge, the final kilometre of today’s stage is gun-barrel straight to the line.

Final 3k in Vittel includes a very rapid descent and three right-angle bends. All very exciting no doubt.

3.35pm BST

The Guardian’s cycling correspondent has finished his lunch.

Fair play Van Keirsbulck, bit of a long-winded way to pick up a couple of primes but he’s hung in rather well. I think he’ll last 15k more

3.31pm BST

36km to go: Our boy Guillaume is first over Category 4 Col des Trois Fontaines and takes the sole King of the Mountains point available for today and the €200 that goes with it. He’s racked up about €1,000 in prize money so far today, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. That said, he’ll have to share it with his team mates at the end of the Tour, which makes it hardly worth the bother.

3.25pm BST

39km to go: With over 168km of solo cycling behind him, Guillaume van Keirsbulck awaits the inevitable and must surely be hoping the peloton will put him out of his misery sooner rather than later, so he can sit up and take it easy. The gap stands at 1min 47sec and it’ll be interesting to see how our leader gets on tomorrow when they Tour hits the mountains, when every single one of his rivals is comparatively well rested.

3.20pm BST

3.10pm BST

47km to go: Arnaud Démare, who many fancy to win this stage, is the first of the bunch to cross the line at the intermediate sprint, with Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan also in the shake-up.

3.08pm BST

49km to go: Stage leader Guillaume van Keirsbulck is first past the post for the intermediate sprint, with the peloton just under three minutes behind him. It’ll be interesting to see who in the peloton decides to go for it. Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish are currently at the front of the bunch.

3.04pm BST

54km to go: The gap is down to 3min 24sec as Guillaume passes through a small one-street town in which no more than 40 or 50 people are lining the streets in dribs and drabs. Two of them comprise a two-man band that’s playing the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, and our stage leader removes one of his bottles from its cage and flicks it in the direction of a little girl and her mum who are cheering him along from the side of the road. I can’t stress enough that this was not an act of insane aggression from a man who has just spent 155 kilometres cycling on his own in extreme heat – it’s intended as a souvenir for the child.

2.56pm BST

62km to go: The gap is down to 4min 09sec and Guillaume van Keirsbulck has 12 kilometres or so to go before the intermediate sprint at Goveller. Today’s hillock, the Col des Trois Fontaines, with one King of the Mountains point available, is a further 13 kilometres up the road.

2.48pm BST

Nacer Bouhanni: I mentioned earlier that today’s stage finishes near the Cofidis sprinter’s locale and he’ll obviously be trying hard to win it. It’s no secret that the Frenchman is unpopular in the peloton, but on Eurosport, the commentary team have been saying he’s not even liked by his own team-mates. It seems Monsieur Bouhanni is always quick to point the finger of blame at team-mates on the regular occasions that sprints don’t go his way, but very slow to thank them on the infrequent occasions that they do. He’s still looking for his first Tour de France stage win and it will be a massive surprise if he breaks his duck today.

2.44pm BST

Ion Izaguirre update: Having crashed out in the opening time trial and fractured two vertebrae in his lower back, the Bahrain-Merida team leader had an operation in Dusseldorf last night. He’s expected to spend another four days in hospital in the German city and the suggestion from his team is that he won’t see him back on a bike this year. We wish him well.

2.40pm BST

Oops! “Oh Barry, you’ve had an absolute shocker there,” writes Joseph Gilbody. “It’s the other American Cannondale Drapac rider, Nate Brown in polka-dots today! Phinney lost it yesterday to his team mate.” And it’s not like I said exactly that at the beginning of this report, is it?

2.34pm BST

2.33pm BST

2.29pm BST

79km to go: The gap is getting smaller and smaller – down to 4min 25sec now – with the peloton presumably mindful of the imminent intermediate sprint in Goviller at the 158km mark. Marcel Kittel is currently wearing the green jersey, but it’d be a brave man or woman who’d bet against Peter Sagan finishing the race without it on his shoulders for the sixth consecutive year. THere is also a solitary King of the Mountains point available for whoever crosses the pertinent speed-bump that is the Col des Trois Fontaines first. Cannondale Drapac rider

Taylor Phinney
Nate Brown wears the polka-dot jersey today and will hold on to it until tomorrow, when he’ll almost certainly lose it.

2.19pm BST

84km to go: The gap is down to just over five minutes as FDJ rider Arthur Vichot tows the peloton along at an increasingly strong lick. Depending on his mood after nearly 123 kilometres riding alone, Guillaume van Keirsulck continues to enjoy or endure his 15 minutes of fame, earning plenty of always welcome publicity for his Wanty- Groupe Gobert team.

2.10pm BST

The riders pass through the feed zone: So what better time to present this old favourite from the Global Cycling Network, for anyone who wants to know what’s in those musettes full of treats that the riders get handed. Enjoy and I’ll be back in 5min 23sec.

2.02pm BST

A brilliant read here from Rob Smyth, for any cricket fans looking for something to help pass the time until we get to the business end of this stage.

Related: ‘The nastiest match I ever played in’: England v South Africa, Headingley 1998 | Rob Smyth

2.00pm BST

100km to go: With the gap at 6min 23sec, Guillaume is being chased by a peloton led by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Julien Vermote (Quick-Step Floors) and Team Sky. Passing the feed station at the tete-de-la-course, the stage leader ignores the feed-bag held out by his team soigneur and Eurosport co-comms man Sean Kelly explains why.

“He has his own service car right behind him,” explains Kelly, who goes on to say that instead of taking the musette and having to waste time emptying everything into his pockets and bottle cages, he can just summon the car and take one thing at a time: a ‘sticky’ bottle, a ‘sticky’ gel, another ‘sticky’ bottle, a ‘sticky’ can of coke etc, etc and so on. By sticky, of course, Kelly means one of those laboured handovers from car passenger to rider, where the object changing hands appears to “stick” to each party’s hand, allowing the cyclist to take a “completely accidental” tow from the car and get a bit of minor respite.

1.44pm BST

@bglendenning Boring area of France this too isn’t it? Bit of windy coastline or some cobbles, maybe even a grand city be a treat right now

1.43pm BST

110km to go: Guillaume van Keirsbulck continues to ponder the futility of his own existence as the peloton close the gap to 6min 43sec. He won’t mind the fact that his lead has been almost halved, as it will help douse any faint flicker of misplaced hope he might have entertained of actually winning this stage. It is, after all, the hope that kills you.

1.39pm BST

How the other live dept: And cheers to you too! Far be it from me to steer you away from my wonderful coverage, but is that not the Tour on the TV in the background?

Thoroughly enjoying @bglendenning MBM for @guardian_sport while waiting to fly from Rome to Paris pic.twitter.com/0D2K9oZ5tZ

1.36pm BST

An email from Michael Brunskill, from the Football Supporters’ Federation. “If you’re looking for similar scenarios to today’s lone break I remember watching as a kid back in the early 90s and Thierry Marie broke away and built up a 22 minute lead at one point,” says Michael, whose interest in cycling has come as a revelation to me.

“He hung on to win the stage by a couple of minutes and took the yellow jersey, although he was from a bigger team at the time so you wonder if a few favours were pulled in as there wasn’t much of a chase. I remember Channel 4 had a feature the next day and it showed the peloton tootling along at 25km/h with Marie’s team blocking the entire road. A quick Google tells me it was 1991 and Marie’s solo break lasted for 145.4 miles through Normandy, the second longest in history.”

1.32pm BST

1.31pm BST

116km to go: HUGE EXCITEMENT! Guillaume’s team car pulls up alongside him again and his sporting director hands him a bidon of refreshing, thirst-quenching water. The gap is down to 7min 11sec.

1.21pm BST

124km to go: Hands clasped, possibly in silent prayer, out front of the handlebars on which his forearms are resting, Guillaume continues his lone journey as his gap is whittled down to 8min 21sec. Back in the bunch, race leader Geraint Thomas is snacking on something he just pulled from his jersey pocket. A leg of roast chicken, maybe … or some fish-fingers smothered in hot melted cheddar cheese. It’s difficult to tell.

1.17pm BST

John Flannery writes from Dublin: “Interesting to read that about van Keirsbulck being a grand-son of Benoni Beheyt,” he says. “Twenty-five years after Beheyt shocked everyone in the 1963 Worlds, the same Belgian locale of Ronse (Renaix) was the scene of another upset when Claude Criquielion and Steve Bauer tangled within metres to the finish of the 1988 race. All Maurizo Fondriest had to do was more or less freewheel over the line to become World Champion. I was at the race and all the Belgium supporters around us couldn’t believe what happened.”

1.15pm BST

@bglendenning worth remembering one previous huge solo breakaway- from one B Wiggins. reeled in @9k to go after 199 https://t.co/KqXXURis0U

1.14pm BST

131km to go: Guillaume’s team car pulls upsides him and he and his Sporting Director have a chat about something or other. Meanwhile at the stage finish, if my experiences are anything to go by, the journalists following this year’s Tour are in an area outside the media centre (generally a giant marquee or local school gym), toasting Guillaume’s good health for making their day so much easier and stuffing their faces at the lunch buffet, which generally boasts no end of local delicacies. With today’s stage ending in Vittel, the local delicacy is probably not as potent as those who don’t have to drive later on might have been hoping for.

1.08pm BST

1.06pm BST

134km to go: Guillaume van Keirsbulck continues to pedal along on his own at 48km per hour, his forearms resting on his handlebars, his hangs hanging over the front. He leads the peloton by 10min 34sec and what passes for the chase is now being led by Quick Step’s Julien Vermote.

1.01pm BST

139km to go: Guillaume’s lead is getting smaller and seems to have peaked at just under 13min. He’s now 11min 39sec ahead of the posse, which is being towed along by Lotto-Soudal rouler Thomas De Gendt.

12.53pm BST

An email from Jim Bennett: “In response to James’ earlier question [about lone breakaways winning flat stages], Tony Martin nearly managed it in the Vuelta in 2016,” says Jim. “He went from the gun and was only caught by the peloton 20 metres from the finish. Martin has a pedigree for that kind of thing given his time trial prowess. Not sure Guillaume is quite in the same league … good on him though.”

“I didn’t win, but it was special all the same,” said Martin after that stage. “I realised that after finishing, when everybody wanted to talk to me. Although my feelings are bittersweet, I felt like a winner who was only lacking just a little bit of luck.”

12.47pm BST

With thanks to the official Tour de France website: “Guillaume van Keirsbulck is the grand-son of Benoni Beheyt, the 1963 world champion who rode for himself instead of leading out his leader Rik van Looy and won stage 22 in the 1964 Tour de France in Versailles but had a short career as he quit at the age of 26,” they inform us.

“Guillaume’s father Kurt was a pro cyclist from 1988 to 1991. He did a long breakaway in the 1990 Paris-Roubaix riding for Belgian kermesse’s team Isoglass-Garden Woods. He only got to know in the morning that he’d take part in the race as a replacement for his team-mate Martin Hendrickx who fell ill.

Easy ride today @TeamWantyGobert #trainingcamp pic.twitter.com/lTxM14GSJA

12.40pm BST

An email from Ryan Loonan: “Hope you’re enjoying yourself watching Guillaume on his presumably ill-fated attempt to win the stage,” he says. “I wonder if yourself or any of your readers can answer my question: is there any sort of protocol for organising a breakaway amongst the teams? Do riders talk to each other beforehand, or are there just a handful that have it in their heads that they’d like to join a breakaway that day, and then join the first foolhardy man to make the attack? Enjoy the rest of your day, and FYI, I’m backing Guillaume to make it to 3.5km before he gets caught.”

To the best of my knowledge Ryan, but I’ll happily stand corrected if anyone knows better, both scenarios occur with regular frequency. Various riders will be ordered to particpate in breakaways at the start of certain stages, some conspire to do so together and others just go if they fancy it and their sporting director doesn’t mind. Guillaume’s sporting director said he’d assumed a couple of other riders would go with his man, but the inference seemed to be that nothing had been arranged beforehand.

12.37pm BST

An email from Thom Burgess: “On a scale of 1 to 10 how much chance do you reckon Guillaume has of beating Jose-Luis Viejo’s 22min 50sec lead over the peloton achieved in 1976?” he asks.

Well Thom, at the moment it’s 12min 59sec and there’s 153 kilometres to go. I’d say there’s a massive chance of him breaking that record.

12.34pm BST

@bglendenning perhaps Guillaume cd be given special permission 2have his phone today?https://t.co/YUIKySevUNhttps://t.co/qEXtoE4sxq

This wouldn’t be Luca Paolini texting from his iPhone in today’s stage, would it – at about 60-kph..! http://t.co/Spbcz5ZniL

12.33pm BST

156.8km to go: Guillaume gets out of the saddle for a stretch as ITV get his team director Steven De Neef on the phone from the team car for a chat. Tragically, the line is very poor but he has this to say of his rider: “He’s feeling alright,” says De Neef. “He’ll go as far as he can, that’s not a problem. It’s just a problem that the stage is so long but he’ll just continue for as long as he can.”

12.29pm BST

160km to go: Guillaume continues to endure his long dark tea-time of the soul, with the gap out to 12min 27sec.

“A little optimistic, perhaps, but at how far does the gap have to get for a rider in this situation to get a little optimistic, to have a hope,” asks James Austin. “Twenty mins? Thirty mins? Ten mins with 50k to go? I imagine he sits there, legs churning, with complex mathematical equations going through his head.” James goes on to ask if a rider has ever broken like this on a flat stage and won.

12.25pm BST

164km to go: The helicopter cameras give us a splendid panoramic view of Le Chateau de Wendel Joeuf as Guillaume opens a gap of 11min 37sec over a peloton that may well be discussing the binning off of today’s feed station in favour of stopping somewhere nice for a leisurely wine-fuelled lunch. I have no idea whether or not race rules preclude such a group decision, but they could hardly disqualify 194 riders if everyone did it. That would put Guillaume in yellow and all he’d have to do to become the most unlikely winner in Tour history is negotiate the remaining 17 stages on his own.

12.11pm BST

172.6km to go: Guillaume continues to plough his lonely furrow, while Sky tow the peloton along with gap heading towards 10 minutes. One can’t help but wonder what thoughts are going through Guillaume’s mind. Is he enjoying himself? Is this the stuff of nightmares for him? At ewhat point will he start entertaining foolhardy stage-winning notions of the “You know what? I can do this!” variety?

12.07pm BST

@bglendenning Van Keirsbulck from Roeselare. As was Jean-Pierre Monseré, World Champion 1971, sadly killed in a collision with a car…

By a tragic coincidence, according to Wikipedia, Monsere’s son was also killed at the age of seven, after being hit by a car while riding a bicycle he had been given as a present.

12.03pm BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “Bless old Guillaume, there’s something faintly gallant about an attack like this today,” he says. “Looking at his Palmares he’s pretty much been racing all at home until recently, and there’s something joyous about a Tour debutant going out full beans on an utterly doomed tilt at glory. Or course, you cynics will say, this is as much about getting his sponsors’ names in the TV coverage, and that’s a big part, especially for a Pro Conti team like Wanty-Groupe Gobert, but I’ll take it. Everyone deserves their day in the sun. My money’s on being scooped up around 5km from the end.”

11.56am BST

There he is! Our new BFF Guillaume! Go on, follow him on Twitter so he gets a nice surprise when he gets back to the team bus after this stage and switches his phone on. He has just over 13,000 followers at the moment – let’s see how high we can get that total by close of play in today’s stage.

TEAM PRESENTATION @LeTour #dusseldorf #letour pic.twitter.com/YyzOfwzhqZ

11.53am BST

Let’s go with Guillaume: Look, the poor fella’s out on his own and will be for the next five hours, so let’s dispense with the formalities and just call him Guillaume. Anyway, he’s opened a lead of 8min 22sec over an indifferent peloton, which (a) makes him virtual leader of this year’s Tour de France and (b) quite literally means he could stop at a roadside cafe, go inside and knock back a quick beer, pay his tab, leave, get back on his bike and still be leading the peloton in this stage.

11.49am BST

Today’s lone leader is a Belgian 26-year-old who was born on Valentine’s Day and rides for Wanty–Groupe Gobert. According to reader Johnny Long on Twitter, he also has a tattoo which means “Guillaume is greater than the highs and lows” on his forearm, which you can see here.

@bglendenning GvK has a tattoo which means ‘Guillaume is greater than the highs and lows’, also his birthday is on Valentine’s Day. https://t.co/IWgtW0qEwe

Here he is 😉 pic.twitter.com/bDVbKCxZGz

11.43am BST

Right from the gun, Guillaume van Keirsbulck attacked and nobody – absolutely nobody – attempted to go with him. In the peloton, there were bemused looks among various riders as they wondered why nobody else was attacking and when Van Keirsbulk realised he was on his own, he began repeatedly looking over his shoulder in a bit of a panic as it began to dawn on him that he might have to ride up to 200 kilometres on his own. On Twitter, somebody has already suggested he should fake a mechanical in orderr to get back in the bunch, while my own theory is that this might be one big elaborate practical joke being played on the Belgian by the rest of the peloton.

11.38am BST

Felt like this last year- will it be the same again #tdf #TourdeFrance @bglendenning pic.twitter.com/wcLCfYad42

11.35am BST

Speaking to ITV before racing began: Mark Cavendish said that everyone is already very tired because yesterday’s stage was deceptively difficult. “People say flat stages are pretty boring, but it was really tough yesterday,” he said, pointing out that a fast pace into a headwind meant many of the sprinters were just “struggling to hang on” in the peloton. Cavendish predicted that the bunch would probably take it easy today, but said he didn’t fancy any brealkaway’s chances of hanging on to win, as they did the last time a stage finished in Vittel in 2009.

11.29am BST

Guillaume van Keirsbulck opens a lead of well over two minutes on a peloton that couldn’t be more content to let him go, so they can meander along at a leisurely pace and rest their already weary bones and muscles ahead of the first assault on the mountains tomorrow. Unless some other cyclist is ordered to jump across and try to bridge the gap to Guillaume van Keirsbulck, he’s going to have a very long and lonely day out on his own before inevitably being reeled in ahead of the big sprint finish.

11.25am BST

Race director Christian Prudhomme sticks his head out of the sun-roof of his red car, waves his white flag to signal the start of racing and immediately, Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty) attacks. Much to his own and everyone else’s amazement, nobody else goes with him.

With 205 kilometres to go, this could be a very, very, very long day for him, for me and for you. Get those emails and tweets in folks! I’ll find a prize in the Guardian Sport book cupboard for whoever sends in the most entertaining cycling anecdote or Guillaume van Keirsbulck “fact”.

11.16am BST

The riders have begun to roll out of Mondorf-les-Bains in procession behind the race organiser’s official car. They’ll pedal sedately for a while before he waves the flag to signal the start of racing.

11.11am BST

Having missed last year’s Tour after injuring his hand in an altercation at his team hotel, some might say Cofidis rider Nacer Bouhanni has done well to get even this far a year later. The 26-year-old sprinter has yet to win a stage of Le Tour, but will hoping to get his ducks in a row for a big performance today, as he hails from Epinal in the Vosges province that Vittel is also part of.

10.47am BST

Three withdrawals so far: After three stages, two of them in decidedly inclement weather, the field remains 195-strong with just three riders having crashed out so far. Movistar rider Alejandre Valverde was the high profile casualty in the opening time trial, in which Bahrain-Meridia’s Ion Izaguirre also came a cropper. Orica-Scott’s Luke Durbridge injured ankle ligaments during the opening time trial and was forced to abandon early in stage two when soldiering on proved beyond him. “When I was out there I just couldn’t get out of the saddle. I was virtually pedalling on one leg,” Durbridge told the Herald Sun. “It’s probably the hardest bike race in the world to pull out of. I’m very upset to not be able to support the team and I just love the Tour de France and love working with this team.”

10.20am BST

10.18am BST

10.10am BST

Related: Tour de France 2017: Peter Sagan holds off Michael Matthews to win stage three

10.10am BST

General Classification after stage three

9.48am BST

Welcome to our rolling coverage of today’s fourth stage which begins in the Luxembourg town of Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel, the home of the official mineral water of Le Tour, which flows freely in northeastern France. It’s likely to be a stage for the sprinters, according to our man in the media tent, William Fotheringham. Here’s what he wrote in our stage-by-stage guide to this year’s race.

“French flat”: the kind of rolling roads that do not look tough but where fatigue builds over the days, particularly when you have a run of stages over 200km. Expect to see the usual first-week flat stage plot unfold: early break, late capture, hectic bunch sprint finish with French sprinters like Arnaud Démare and Nacer Bouhanni in the mix.

Related: Tour de France 2017: stage-by-stage guide

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/04/tour-de-france-2017-stage-four-live

Jul 03

Wimbledon 2017 day one: Wawrinka exits, Konta and Watson through – as it happened

8.43pm BST

Right, that’s it from us for day one. Stick around on site for all the reports and reaction from Wimbledon. But from me, cheerio!

Related: Andy’s welcome return enhances pleasure of Wimbledon’s day-tripping ultras | Barney Ronay

Related: Venus Williams breaks down in tears at Wimbledon over fatal car crash

Related: Petra Kvitova touched by crowd’s reaction to winning Centre Court return | Barney Ronay

8.41pm BST

Happy days for Bedene but not a good day for Stan Wawrinka, who crashed out in the opening round to Daniil Medvedev:

Related: Stan Wawrinka follows Nick Kyrgios out of Wimbledon in first round

8.40pm BST

At 15-30 down Karlovic booms down his 44th ace and an 118mph second serve – 40-30, but Bedene battles back to deuce. And he brings up match point with a brilliant cross-court forehand. And he takes it! At the 65th time of asking we have a break of serve. And it’s enough to give Bedene a 6-7, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 8-6 victory.

8.36pm BST

65. Bedene holds to love. Meanwhile, Bouchard, having won the first set 6-1 against Suárez Navarro, has just lost the second set 6-1. And Azarenka, having lost the first set 6-3 to Bellis, has won the second 6-2. And Jelena Ostapenko, the French Open winner, has won her first set 6-0 against Marchenko.

8.31pm BST

Karlovic reaches 100 unreturned serves in the match and hammers down his 43rd ace as he, rather predictably, goes 40-30 up. But Bedene sparks hope after a double fault and a lovely passing shot, hope that is quickly snuffed out. Hold No64.

8.28pm BST

63. So Bedene leads 6-5 and Karlovic again has to serve to stay in the match.

8.27pm BST

62. Karlovic has won 102 out of 118 points in which his first served has landed in, Bedene 104 out of 126.

8.25pm BST

Petra Kvitova made an emotional return to SW19 this afternoon. Barney Ronay was there to see it:

The match was closed out to a wash of fond applause for a popular former champion who really might not have been back here had the knife cut a little deeper last December. The attack itself was both horrific and a little bizarre in its details. Kvitova was having breakfast when a man rang the doorbell claiming to be there to read the electricity meter. The man entered her home and attacked her with a knife, causing serious injury as the fought him off. Kvitova’s attacker fled with the equivalent of £150, although the incident has reportedly been reclassified as a blackmail attempt by local police.

Related: Petra Kvitova touched by crowd’s reaction to winning Centre Court return | Barney Ronay

8.23pm BST

61. And it’s just beginning to get a little murky as the sun disappears behind the stands. Karlovic is serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down in the fifth …

8.20pm BST

We’re up to 60 successive holds now between Karlovic and Bedene: 4-4 in the fifth.

8.20pm BST

How was Andy Murray feeling after his win over Sasha Bublik? Let’s find out together:

Related: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray ‘really positive’ after easy opening win

8.11pm BST

57.

8.09pm BST

Make that 56 consecutive holds.

8.08pm BST

On No1 Court, Azarenka has lost the first set 6-3 to Bellis, while on Court No2 the unseeded Eugenie Bouchard, a runner-up here in 2014, has powered through the first set 6-1 against the No25 seed Carla Suárez Navarro.

8.06pm BST

Meanwhile out on court three, Bedene and Karlovic are at the beginning of the fifth set. There have been 54 consecutive holds of serve in this one, with 60 aces boomed down. It’s 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-7 … with Bedene now 2-1 up in the fifth. Make that 55 consecutive holds. This could go deep. Though surely not this deep:

Related: John Isner v Nicolas Mahut – as it happened | Wimbledon 2010 | Paolo Bandini

8.01pm BST

It’s Medvedev’s first grand slam win, and what a place to do it. He kissed the Centre Court turf after the victory. He could, potentially, go on to face Andy Murray in the quarter-finals in the same arena later in the tournament.

7.57pm BST

So Wimbledon day one has a major upset. Daniil Medvedev, just 21 and ranked 49 in the world, has ousted the No5 seed and three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss player was struggling with his knee throughout but take nothing away from the Russian, he was superb and thoroughly deserved his 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

7.55pm BST

Wawrinka can barely return serve – whether it is his body or his mind that has given up the ghost is unclear. Perhaps it’s both. Two match points … but Medvedev tightens up and sends a couple of unforced errors sailing out. He bangs down an ace to bring up his third set point … and this time Wawrinka goes long. The No5 seed is out!

7.51pm BST

Make that 0-40! Make that a double break! Make that 5-1 to Medvedev!

7.51pm BST

And he goes 0-30 up on the Wawrinka serve. Huge problems for the No5 seed.

7.50pm BST

Medvedev holds and moves to within two games of the biggest win of his career.

7.46pm BST

Break point for Medvedev in the fourth game of the fourth set … and he takes it with a crashing backhand pass. Wawrinka is two sets to one down and now a break down at 3-1 in the fourth. Shock ahoy!

7.42pm BST

Karlovic-Bedene has gone to a tie-break in the fourth set, just as it did in the first. And the second. And the third. Breaks in short supply on Court No3.

7.40pm BST

Victoria Azarenka, a two-time semi-finalist in SW19, has had her match against the young American Catherine Bellis bumped up to Court No1 but the Belarussian could be forgiven for wishing she was stuck out of the spotlight in some obscure corner – she’s 4-1 down in the first.

7.36pm BST

Here’s the full order of play for Tuesday:

Related: Wimbledon 2017: Order of play for Tuesday 4 July

7.30pm BST

Stan Wawrinka, serving to stay in the third set, is 40-15 but a succession of errors hand his opponent four successive points and the third set. The three-times grand slam winner is in a heap o’ trouble.

7.24pm BST

Watson, by the by, is likely to face the No18 seed Anastasija Sevastova in the second round. She’s currently a set up against Yulia Puntintseva.

7.20pm BST

While Watson marches on, Naomi Broady’s Wimbledon is over – she has been beaten 6-4-6-2 by Romania’s Irina-Camila Begu.

7.17pm BST

Watson has another match point, her fourth, at 6-5 in the tie-break … and this time Zanevska goes long! Watson makes the second round.

7.12pm BST

More treatment for Wawrinka on Centre Court, who is not looking quite so tranquilo about the problem now.

7.09pm BST

Watson, having had a couple of match points in the 10th game of the set, now faces a tie-break.

7.05pm BST

Top wordsmith Barney Ronay was on Centre Court earlier on to watch Andy Murray’s routine first-round win over Sasha Bublik and take in the opening day atmosphere:

Stroll around the floral byways of the All England Club and what strikes you each time is how strikingly un-striking everything is, how unremarkably just-so every beautifully tailored detail remains. Things that don’t really exist elsewhere these days exist here as staples, essentials. Panama hats. Blazers. Endless crinkly, sun-bronzed men with elegantly bouffant hair and crested ties: where are they the rest of the year? Even the impressive structural renovations seem to have been blended with conservation-area care, like the world’s greatest high-end suburban kitchen extension project.

Related: Andy’s welcome return enhances pleasure of Wimbledon’s day-tripping ultras | Barney Ronay

7.02pm BST

Heather Watson was serving for the match on Court No2, but Zanevska has broken back so it’s 5-5 in the second.

7.01pm BST

Ice! Knee! Wawrinka! The No5 seed has had some treatment from the physio on his left knee but he looks OK to continue. He and Medvedev are on-serve in the third.

7.00pm BST

Here’s Konta’s post-match thoughts: she’s happy, she’s fully recovered from injury and she’s going to try her best for the rest of the tournament. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff but those tunnel, just-off-court TV interviews are generally a pointless exercise in flim-flam for those on both sides of the microphone.

6.57pm BST

With a booming ace down the middle, Konta wraps up a comprehensive victory over Su-Wei Hsieh. Impressive stuff from the British No1, who eased through that in just over an hour.

6.51pm BST

Wawrinka has levelled it up at one-set all on Centre with a 6-3 second set.

6.50pm BST

Konta has stormed into a 5-1 lead in the second set. Hsieh is serving to stay in the match but it is a forlorn hope, you would think.

6.48pm BST

A blow for Bedene as Karlovic takes the third set tie-break 9-7. The big-serving Croatian leads two sets to one.

6.46pm BST

What have we got to look forward to tomorrow? Only Federer, Djokovic, Thiem, Raonic, Kerber, Pliskova, Kuznetsova and Radwanska!

Centre Court: Angelique Kerber (Ger, 1) v Irina Falconi (US); Martin Klizan (Svk) v N Djokovic (Ser, 2); A Dolgopolov (Ukr) v R Federer (Switz, 3)
Court No1: Milos Raonic (Can, 6) v Jan-Lennard Struff (Ger); Karolina Pliskova (Cz, 3) v Evgeniya Rodina (Rus); Dominic Thiem (Aut, 8) v Vasek Pospisil (Canada)
Court No2: Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg, 29) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (Aus); Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol, 9) v Jelena Jankovic (Ser); Jeremy Chardy (Fr) v Tomas Berdych (Cz); Ons Jabeur (Tun) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus, 7)

6.36pm BST

Jo Konta is cruising into the second round here. She has an early break in the second set.

6.31pm BST

The No26 seed Steve Johnson has begun his first-round match on Court 12 against Nicolas Kicker of Argentina, which I mention only because Nic Kicker is the best name you’ll see in SW19 this fortnight.

6.29pm BST

Having teased the prospect of a shock, Wawrinka has got himself going on Centre and is a break up in the second set.

6.25pm BST

After a slightly up-and-down start, Konta powers through four straight games to take the first set 6-2 on Court No1.

6.24pm BST

Brit-watch: the in-form Heather Watson has wrapped up the first set against Zanevska, 6-1, while Aljaz Bedene is on serve in the third against Karlovic. Naomi Broady is a break down in the opening set against Irina-Camila Begu.

6.22pm BST

Wawrinka has had five first-round exits in his 12 visits to Wimbledon, a ridiculous number for a player of his talents. He just doesn’t get on with the grass, while Medvedev loves the green stuff, as he showed by reaching the semi-finals in Eastbourne.

6.19pm BST

The No5 seed is in a bit of trouble here: Medvedev takes the first set 6-4. The highest men’s seed to go out today is the No20 Nick Kyrgios, but he had to withdraw through injury. Fernando Verdasco, the No31 seed, was also beaten by the big-serving Kevin Anderson but that’s it for the shocks today. There could be one on the cards here though.

6.12pm BST

Here’s Bryan Armen Graham on Venus Williams’ victory and her tearful press conference:

Related: Venus Williams breaks down in tears at Wimbledon over fatal car crash

6.10pm BST

With scant regard for newspaper deadlines, Hsieh has immediately broken back: 2-2. On Centre, though, Wawrinka is a set down against Medvedev, the 21-year-old world No49.

6.07pm BST

Jo Konta has her break and Hsieh is struggling to live with the British No1’s power as the shadows lengthen in SW19. She leads 2-1 in the first set.

6.05pm BST

In News From The Outside Courts, Mandy Minella was comprehensively beaten 6-1, 6-1 by Francesca Schiavone earlier today but has since revealed that she is four and a half months pregnant.

5.57pm BST

On No2 Court Britain’s Heather Watson has an early break against Maryna Zanevska of Belgium. The world No102 leads 3-0 in the first set.

5.55pm BST

No1 Court isn’t exactly packed as Hsieh sends down a pair of double faults to give Konta two break points in the first game. Hsieh recovers her composure though, and battles back to hold.

5.53pm BST

On Court No3, Aljaz Bedene has evened things up against Ivo Karlovic at one-set all. Again the set went to a tie-break.

5.52pm BST

Hello all. And welcome to the evening portion of today’s Wimbledon feast. Johanna Konta is indeed about to face Su-Wei Hsieh on Court No1, her conqueror at the French Open. Meanwhile, on Centre Court Stan Wawrinka, not exactly at home on the grass in general, is getting ready to face the awkward Daniil Medvedev.

5.46pm BST

That’s all from me. After a long day’s typing and looking I’mm off to lie down in a dark room, but my colleague John Ashdown is going to take over and monitor proceedings from Court No1, where Great Britain’s Johanna Konta is about to take on Su-Wei Hsieh, from Taiwan. Thanks for your time and … don’t touch that dial!

5.40pm BST

“I’m not in pain when I’m walking on the court,” says Andy Murray to the BBC when it’s put to him that he seemed to be limping between points during his match against Sasha Bublik. Laughing, he explains that he doesn’t have the most elegant gait at the best of times, before insisting he’s not suffering any pain.

5.38pm BST

Related: Andy Murray into second round at Wimbledon after beating Bublik

5.37pm BST

“There’s still time to get to 20 [double faults]!”

Murray sheds some light on his entertaining rain-delay chat with Bublik #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/h5oABWmaJq

5.36pm BST

The Spanish No4 seed has beaten Australia’s John Millman 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 and looks very pleased with life as he signs autographs on the way off the Court No1. Meanwhile on Court No2, the Croatian 11th seed Marin Cilic has triumphed in three sets over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.

“For everybody, for all the players it’s always special to play here,” says Nadal. “It’s always special to play here in London, at Wimbledon, so I’m very happy. I have an opportunity to compete here on grass and I’m looking forward to playing in the next round.”

5.15pm BST

Having become a British citizen in 2015 after a seven-year wait, Slovenian born 27-year-old Aljaz Beden is representing Blighty out on Court No3, where he is facing the giant Croat Ivo Karlovic. Bedene lost the first set 7-6 in a tie-breaker in a state of affairs that suggests he might well be able to turn his match around.

5.07pm BST

Facing a lawsuit after being reported by police to have caused a car crash in which one elderly man lost his life last month, Venus Williams became visibly distressed in her post-match press conference after beating Elise Mertens. The American has already offered her condolences to the family and friends of Jerome Barson, 78, who died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash and became tearful upon being asked if she had anything further to say on the matter.

“I’ve learned that I have no idea what tomorrow will bring,” she said, her voice quivering. “There are really no words to describe how devastating … [long pause] … I’m just completely speechless … [long pause] … I’m just …”

4.55pm BST

The Spaniard is looking lean and healthy in his match against John Millman, who he’s pummelling into submission with a series of brutal winners. At the times the Australian looks helpless in the face of the onslaught and he has it all to do if he’s to claw his way back into this game. Nadal leads: 6-1, 6-3 as the umpire calls for new balls.

4.44pm BST

Some latest scores of note – on Centre Court in the women’s singles, 11th seed Petra Kvitova leads Johanna Larsson by one set to nil, having won the opener 6-3. On No2 Court, Croatian 11th seed Marin Cilic is in control of his match against Philipp Kohlschreiber, which he leads 6-4, 4-2. Elsewhere in the men’s singles, it’s all square at one set apiece between Romania’s Marius Copil and Germany’s Peter Gojowcyczyk on Court No4.

4.33pm BST

There’s something of a summit going on between the ball boys and girls, the umpire and the tournament referee on No1 Court, but nobody seems to know why. It seems that one of the ball boys has either been taken ill or been injured and is currently being treated courtside by a trainer. If that is the case, we wish him well. Meanwhile, play continues.

4.30pm BST

The Spanish men’s No4 seed has raced into an early lead, taking the first set against Australia’s John Millman 6-1. Nadal leads two games to one in the second set, where it’s going with serve.

4.16pm BST

Related: Andy Murray into second round at Wimbledon after beating Bublik

4.14pm BST

4.09pm BST

4.03pm BST

The Ukrainian fourth seed is though to the second round after beating Australia’s Ashleigh Bartley in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (8).

3.56pm BST

Johanna Larsson (Swe) v Petra Kvitova (Czech Rep) (11)

3.46pm BST

Murray on Bublik: “I was chatting to him in the rain delay about Centre Court & the match, which is pretty rare. He’s a bit of a character” pic.twitter.com/yRYp6KVQcC

3.39pm BST

The reigning champion packs up his belongings and walks off the court, throwing a sweaty towel to some lucky member of the crowd, before stopping to sign autographs.

3.37pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray* 6-2 Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Murray races to 40-0, loses the next point and yet another ill-advised, wafting drop shot from his opponent secures his passage to the second round, where he will face Jamaican-German Dustin Brown. Murray wins 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

3.33pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray 5-2 Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Murray will serve for the match after breaking Bublik again. A 135mph serve is swatted back contemptuously by the Scot to win yet another game in which Bublik’s questionable shot selection cost him dearly. That poorly judge drop shot from the baseline he loves so much needs to be cut from his repertoire immediately, if not sooner.

3.31pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray 4-2 Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Murray holds serve to extend his lead, while Women’s No4 seed Elina Svetolina leads Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 4-3 on Court No3.

3.27pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray 3-2 Alexander Bublik* 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Bublik holds serve, while out on No1 Court, Venus Williams has seen off Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 to advance to the second round. On No2 Court, Men’s No7 seed Marin Cilic is warming up with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

3.24pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray* 3-1 Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

It’s worth noting that Murray appears to suffering slightly from his hip injury, limping slightly when the ball is not in play. When it is in play, he seems to be showing no adverse effects.

3.18pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray 2-1 Alexander Bublik* 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

After our second rain delay, the players return and Bublik races to 40-0. Murray gets it back to 40-30, helped along the way by Bublik’s 12th double-fault of the match. The Russian serves out the game with his 11th ace.

3.07pm BST

The Wimbledon announcer tells the Centre Court crowd “This intermittent light rain is expected to continue for the next half-hour. We will continue to update you with further developments”. If only there was some sort of roof with which Wimbledon officials could cover Centre C … oh.

2.50pm BST

2.47pm BST

The 37-year-old American is a set and a break up against Elise Mertens on No1 Court, where play has also been suspended. 7-6 (7), 5-3 is the score there, with Mertens serving to stay in the match.

2.46pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray* 2-0 Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Andy Murray and Alexander Bublik return after a short rain delay and get straight back to action without so much as a warm-up. Murray holds serve with a minimum fuss, showing no adverse affects after their brief interruption. And what’s this? It’s raining again – quite heavily this time – and we’re going to have another delay as the covers are dragged back across the court.

2.42pm BST

The women’s second seed from Romania races through her first round match against New Zealander Marina Erakovic , winning 6-4, 61.

2.32pm BST

The covers are pulled across the Centre Court as it begins to spit rain. Murray returns to the locker room two sets up and a break to the good in what looks like being the final set. I don’t think this delay will last long.

2.31pm BST

Third set: Andy Murray 1-0 Alexander Bublik* 6-1, 6-4 (* denotes server)

Another break point costs Bublik dearly – when you’re a break point down at least make your opponent work for the win.

2.23pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray* 6-4 Alexander Bublik (6-1) (* denotes server)

Bublik races into a quick lead securing himself three break points at 0-40, only for Murray to rescue all three. He takes advantage with a marvellous cross-court forehand after being forced wide off the court, then wraps up the second set with his fifth consecutive point as Bublik can only return his second serve into the base of the net.

2.19pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray 5-4 Alexander Bublik* (6-1) (* denotes server)

The players exchange games, while the Guardian’s golf correspondent tweets.

Tremendous obsession with creating a Murray legacy. Which clearly doesn’t exist. British tennis in a dire state.

2.12pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray 4-3 Alexander Bublik* (6-1) (* denotes server)

Bublik holds to keep himself a chance of saving the set. Meanwhile on No1 Court, Venus Williams is a set up against Elise Mertens, but a break down in the second where she trails 2-0.

2.09pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray* 4-2 Alexander Bublik (6-1) (* denotes server)

An improving Bublik takes Murray all the way, but for all his fist-pumping is unable to prevent the defending champion holding serve.

2.04pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray 3-2 Alexander Bublik* (6-1) (* denotes server)

Bublik wins the longest game of the match thus far, again just about, but he won’t mind that. He’s very talented and a big personality, but crikey he could do with a good coach.

1.57pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray* 3-1 Alexander Bublik (6-1) (* denotes server)

Murray holds serve, taking it to 40-15 and sealing the game with a violent smash.

1.52pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray 2-1 Alexander Bublik* (6-1) (* denotes server)

The spindly Bublik is doing his best to gift this set to Murray through a succession of double-faults and unforced errors. His shot selection is occasionally woeful, a state of affairs the BBC commentary team suggest might be down to the fact that he “seems to have four or five different options for every shot when only one might be suit him better”. Regardless, he holds serve here, just about, to give himself a much needed confidence booster.

1.46pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray* 2-0 Alexander Bublik (6-1) (* denotes server)

Murray holds serve with zero fuss whatsoever, winning to love.

1.45pm BST

Second set: Andy Murray 1-0 Alexander Bublik* (6-1) (* denotes server)

Bublik gifts the first break of the second set to Murray with a double-fault (his fifth of the match already), an unforced error and a diabolical drop shot. Having started well, he’s letting this match get away from him very quickly.

1.42pm BST

First set: Andy Murray* 6-1 Alexander Bublik (* denotes server)

Murray serves out comfortably to take the first set with a scoreline that doesn’t entirely do his opponent justice. Bublik will be concerned that Murray has looked stronger and stronger as the set progressed. Meanwhile on No1 Court, it’s now 4-4 in the first between Elise Mertens and Venus Williams, with the Belgian having been 3-0 down at one stage.

1.38pm BST

First set: Andy Murray 5-1 Alexander Bublik* (* denotes server)

Bublik’s first serve is called out and he challenges the call. Hawk-Eye shows the ball bounced a couple of inches long. Bublik loses the point and has only two challenges remaining. A sumptuous backhand lob lays the foundation for Murray’s next break-point, which Bublik saves. We get to advantage Bublik, which Murray saves with one of the game’s more entertaining rallies, before earning himself break point with a sliced backhand down the line. Having embarrassed the umpire with a challenge that proved correct, Murray secures his double-break. This match is going his way, but he’s showing visible signs of discomfort on the rare occasions Bublik is able to give him the run-around.

1.29pm BST

First set: Andy Murray* 4-1 Alexander Bublik (* denotes server)

He’s certainly talented, the boy Bublik, but a few loose shots waft wide of the line to ensure Murray holds serve. He’s not looking totally comfortable, but there are signs that his hip injury is bothering him just a little.

1.25pm BST

First set: Andy Murray 3-1 Alexander Bublik* (* denotes server)

A lazy attempt at a drop shot from the baseline costs Bublik a cheap point and gives Murray two break points at 15-40. Bublik saves both, the second with a mighty serve measured at 133mph. Another 122mph effort follows to give him advantage, but consecutive double-faults return it to Murray. A marvellous passing shot from Murray leaves Bublik completely wrong-footed and Murray gets the break.

1.22pm BST

First set: Andy Murray* 2-1 Alexander Bublik denotes server)

Murray holds serves easily to edge ahead in the first set. Elsewhere, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has eased past Britain’s Cameron Norrie in straight sets, while Venus WIlliams has raced into an early 3-0 lead against Elise Mertens on No1 Court.

1.18pm BST

First set: Andy Murray 1-1 Alexander Bublik* (* denotes server)

Murray opts to challenge at 30-30 and Hawkeye proves it was an unwise decision. Bublik serves out to win the game. It’s a confident start by the Russian, who appears to have settled very well.

1.14pm BST

First set: Andy Murray* 1-0 Alexander Bublik (* denotes server)

Early signs suggest Andy Murray is not going to have it all his own way against his 20-year-old opponent. A double fault gives the Russian two break points, but Murray gets it back to deuce and wins the next two points to hold serve and take the first game of their match. An intriguing start.

1.09pm BST

The Scot is out on Centre Court, bashing up against “lucky loser” Alexander Bublik, who didn’t actually qualify for this competition but got in through the back door anyway. A Kazakhstan-based Russian who speaks with an American accent, Bublik seems like a good laugh and seems decidedly unphased at the prospect of making his Wimbledon bow on Centre Court against the defending champion. “Why would I be?” he tells the BBC. “It’ll give people a chance to see my trick shots. I’m doing them all the time and nobody ever sees them.”

12.52pm BST

After going two sets down against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Nick Kyrgios has finally succumbed to the injury that was clearly hampering his movement and announced he is not fit enough to continue. The 20th seed is out of this year’s Championships.

12.50pm BST

Laura Robson leads the annual exodus of Britons out of Wimbledon at the earliest opportunity, losing 6-4, 6-2 to Beatriz Haddad Maia in little over an hour. Robson saved four match points in the final game as her opponent struggled to get over the line, but the 21-year-old from Rio eventually prevailed at the fifth time of asking.

Despite all her injury problems, Robson asked few questions of Haddad Maia and the queries now will regard where her career goes from here.

12.42pm BST

Clearly struggling with a hip injury, Nick Kyrgios goes two sets to love down against Pierre-Hugues Herbert. It’ll be interesting to see if the Australian will continue … or indeed what can be achieved by him continuing. He looks a beaten docket, his movement is clearly impaired and struggling on is only likely to exacerbate his injury. For the time being, he’s sitting quietly in his chair with a towel over his head while his opponent heads to the bathroom for a comfort break.

12.39pm BST

Already a set down, Laura Robson’s Wimbledon looks to be over as she goes a double-break down against Beatriz Haddad Maia. The Englishwoman looks thoroughly fed up and disillusioned with life out on Court 18.

12.37pm BST

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took the first set against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3 and leads 3-2 in the second.

12.27pm BST

The big-serving Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia produces an ace to win the first set of her match against Laura Robson 6-4 and then breaks at the first time of asking to take a stranglehold on this match. Laura Robson has been through an awful lot in the past three years, suffering from serious wrist injuries, and looks to be struggling to settle into any sort of rhythm in this match. Robson was swatted aside by Angelique Kerber in the first round of Wimbledon last year and also looks set for a first round exit this time around.

12.20pm BST

In the battle of the two lefties, Laura Robson’s match against Beatriz Haddad Maia, Hawkeye is called upon to settle a disputed line-call and those in charge clearly look at the wrong ball.

12.18pm BST

12.16pm BST

Having suffered a hip injury from a big fall at Queen’s, the Australian No20 seed Nick Kyrgios has gone a set down (6-3) against the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert out on No3 Court and looks to be struggling badly with his mobility.

12.07pm BST

The Portuguese right-hander, ranked 62 in the world, wins the first set of these championships: 6-3 against Dustin Brown, the dreadlocked Jamaican-German who famously knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon two years ago.

12.03pm BST

British wildcard Cameron Norrie, 21, is up against two-time semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Court No2 and will be pleased with the way he’s started. He leads 3-2 in the first set with the games going with serve.

11.59am BST

On Court No18, the Briton gets off to as shaky start against Beatriz Haddad Maia, losing her opening service game. She regains her composure to hold her second and trails 2-1.

11.55am BST

The American 17th seed is broken in her first service game and trails Japan’s Nao Hibino 2-0 on Court No12.

11.49am BST

The player’s in the 11.30am (BST) matches have completed their warm-ups and pre-match formalities and the action is under way. Stay with us as we meander around the courts and see what’s going on.

11.47am BST

11.39am BST

Among the big names getting their campaigns under way early doors are Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Britain’s Laura Robson.

11.30am BST

11.17am BST

Labeled excessive by many and “ridiculous” by mild-mannered seven-times Swiss champion Roger Federer, the Wimbledon players’ dress code stresses that players should dress “almost entirely in white” has led to some farcical scenes over the years. Ivo Karlovic was once forced to paint a rogue bit of trainer white, while Eugenie Bouchard was once handed a dress code violation when spectators were greeted with the quite frankly horrific sight of a small bit of black bra strap poking out from beneath her white vest.

According to the Wimbledon rulebook, Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely in white and this applies from the point at which the player “enters the court surround”. While colour trims are permitted, they must be no wider than 1cm. Patterns are permitted but any solid mass of colour must be no wider than 1cm. So now you know.

10.45am BST

Related: Wimbledon organisers criticised over male bias on top two show courts

10.44am BST

10.38am BST

While Serena Williams is a conspicuous absentee from this year’s Championships, her sister Venus begins her assault on the women’s title against Elise Mertens on No1 Court at 1pm (BST). Williams has had a troubled build-up to this year’s Wimbledon, having been involved in a fatal car accident in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on 9 June.

Jerome Barson, 78, died two weeks later as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. His wife, Lisa, sustained serious injuries to her right arm and hand and the family’s attorney, Michael Steinger, says she is “physically and emotionally devastated”.

10.38am BST

10.38am BST

9.18am BST

Greetings one and all and welcome to the first day of the Guardian’s rolling coverage of this year’s annual jamboree of lawn tennis, jovial queuing, Pimm’s, strawberries and cream, intermittent rain and unfunny cries of “C’mon Tim!” that is The Championships, Wimbledon.

The weather is currently hot and sunny at the All England Club and with the queues for Centre and No1 Court already full and many of our readers office-bound anyway, stay tuned for all the build-up, news and action on a day when Britain’s Andy Murray begins the defence of the title against the 20-year-old Russian, Alexander Bublik. Women’s singles champion, Serena Williams, will not be defending her crown as she is expecting her first child.

Related: Andy Murray’s ability to overcome adversity faces ultimate Wimbledon test

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/03/wimbledon-2017-andy-murray-and-jo-konta-in-action-on-day-one-live

Jul 01

Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas wins stage one time trial – as it happened

Sky’s Geraint Thomas was the surprise winner of the opening ITT on a very damp day in Dusseldorf

6.25pm BST

Related: Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas wins stage one to earn yellow jersey

6.18pm BST

6.12pm BST

“It’s unreal,” said the Welshman, who was forced to withdraw from this year’s Giro d’Italia with a shoulder injury. “The start of my eighth Tour, my 12th Grand Tour and my first stage win. It’s been a long time coming and it’s just an amazing feeling. I didn’t even dream about it last night.

“It’s been a rough time on the bike this year and it’s nice to finally… it certainly makes up for most of the Giro, and back home as well. With my mum and my wife I’ve had a bit of a rough time recently so it’s nice to get this win. It’s unbelievable. I’m lost for words.
I’ve got a tendency to go about a bit hard but I’m getting older now and I’m learning my lessons, and today couldn’t have gone any better.”

6.09pm BST

Loss of time by contenders on Froome in sec: Yates 25, Porte 35, Quintana 36, Bardet 39, Aru 40, Contador 41, Fuglsang 42

6.07pm BST

Geraint Thomas won his first career Tour de France stage and took the yellow jersey as Team Sky enjoyed a dream start to the 2017 edition on the soaking streets of Dusseldorf.

Welshman Thomas completed the opening 14 kilometre time trial in 16 minutes and four seconds to win by five seconds from BMC Racing’s Stefan Kung. His team-mate Chris Froome finished sixth, 12 seconds down, as he opens his bid to win a third straight Tour crown and fourth overall. Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka and Michal Kwiatowski also recorded top ten finishes on a good day for Sky.

5.59pm BST

Thomas eighth Briton to wear yellow after Simpson, Boardman, Yates, D Millar, Wiggins, Froome, Cavendish

5.56pm BST

Having beaten his own team leader and all the specialist time trialists in the race in what was a very surprising turn-up for the books, Geraint Thomas will wear the yellow jersey in tomorrow’s second stage from Dusseldorf to Liege. “I’m getting old now and I’m learning my lessons,” says Thomas. “I’m pacing myself better.”

5.52pm BST

Top-10 on Stage 1 #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/tpqWpxRTcV

5.51pm BST

Chris Froome finishes 12 seconds off the pace in sixth place, the best of the main GC contenders, but it’s his team-mate Geraint Thomas who wins the stage.

5.48pm BST

Having seen off Fabio Aru and Stefan Kung, it’s looking increasingly likely that Geraint Thomas will win today’s time-trial for Sky, who have been embarrassingly dominant in today’s opening stage. This is an outcome that’s going to raise plenty of questions about a team that is rarely too forthcoming with its answers.

5.40pm BST

Having targeted this year’s opening ITT all season, Tony Martin comes up short with a time of 16min 12sec that is only enough to put him in third place. Sky’s Geraint Thomas remains the clubhouse leader with a time of 16min 04sec. I can see that Twitter is already lighting up with assorted views from assorted Sky fans and those who aren’t as favourably disposed towards Sir David Brailsford’s operation.

5.36pm BST

Movistar have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde is out of this year’s Tour after his dreadful crash a few minutes ago.

5.34pm BST

Shortly after Tony Martin passed the checkpoint in 9min 19sec, the best time of the day so far, Chris Froome rolls down the ramp to get his title defence under way.

5.32pm BST

The Cannondale-Drapac rider finishes 16 seconds off the pace. It’s a good effort by any standards, but one that is outstanding for an athlete who was told he might never walk again after smithereening his left leg in a horror-crash three years ago.

5.25pm BST

The rain continues to pour down as German Katusha-Alpecin rider Tony Martin sets off down the ramp with Geraint Thomas’s time of 16min 04sec in his sights. Further up the course, Richie Porte finishes 46 seconds off the pace after a conservative ride. As Alejandro Valverde seems to have proved, you can’t win the Tour today, but you can certainly lose it. He hammered into the barrier after his crash and appeared to hit his head. After some idiot had attempted to move him before he’d been inspected for injuries, the Spaniard showed no sign that he’d be getting back on his bike and shook his head in a manner that suggested that, as far as this year’s Tour is concerned, the jig is up for him already. Here’s hoping he is OK.

5.21pm BST

that could be the end of Valverde’s Tour, nasty one very hard into the barriers

5.19pm BST

Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde overshoots a corner, touches his brakesand his back wheel goes out from under him. He hits the deck, aquaplanes across the road and slams into into a barrier. It looks like his Tour is over.

5.12pm BST

These new Sky white wet weather skinsuits are going a good job: three riders in the top four with Thomas setting the new benchmark #TDF2017

Yep, it’s the skinsuits. That’s the reason.

Skin suits. https://t.co/9FzsKOvusG

5.09pm BST

La sensation @GeraintThomas86 qui prend la tête provisoirement / What a ride! @GeraintThomas86 takes the lead for now #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/SQEsFIx7Qp

5.07pm BST

As Tony Gallopin suffers what looks like a very unpleasant crash on a corner that has got the better of several riders, Chris Froome is out pedalling on his stationary bike ahead of his start time in just under 30 minutes. Out on the course, Sky rider Geraint Thomas has just taken the lead, having finished the course in a time of 16min 04sec. That’s a terrific ride by a man who went completely ignored by the TV cameras until just before he crossed the finish line. In Thomas, Vasil Kiryienka and Michal Kwiatkowski, Sky have three men in the provisional top four. BMC team leader Richie Porte has just set off on the course. One of the race favourites, it will be interesting to see how he approaches today’s challenge on a surface that’s ridiculously slippery.

4.59pm BST

A decent effort from Simon Yates: The GC contender from Orica-Scott finishes 34 seconds off Vasil Kiryienka. He’d never have considered himself a contender for today’s stage, but won’t find too many of his fellow cyclists who are looking for a Top 10 finish doing a much better time than that.

4.52pm BST

With 156 different riders having started and just 42 left to go, here’s your top three …

4.48pm BST

Well sign up here and you won’t be disappointed. I can almost certainly guarantee that this rolling report won’t be flagged up in the next version!

Related: The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage

4.45pm BST

I stand corrected: Jonathan Castroviejo comes up 16 seconds short to finish in seventh place provisionally. Meanwhile in the ITV studio, Cavendish’s team-mate Bernie Eisel explains that he was so confident of doing badly in today’s time trial that he stayed in bed this morning rather than going for a training spin. “I think it’s fair to say I didn’t look to good out there,” he says with a laugh, before explaining that, like many other riders, today was all about negotiating this seriously slippery, rain-drenched course safely.

4.42pm BST

Mark Cavendish sets off: The Team dimension Data rider, who has 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name, rolls down the ramp. He won’t be winning this time trial and has been playing down his chances of winning any of the nine potential sprint finishes in this Tour after sitting out several months this year with glandular fever.

Related: Mark Cavendish admits he may not win a single Tour de France stage

4.34pm BST

Thomas Voeckler finishes: Riding in his final Tour de France at the age of 38, the ungainly Frenchman who likes to ride with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth won’t be troubling the podium today and won’t have been expecting too. He has, however, announced that he will be appearing in a popular French soap opera when he hangs up his cleats.

4.26pm BST

Vasil Kiryienka remains in the lead His Polish team-mate finishes the course in a time of 16min 19sec, eight seconds the leading time of 16min 11sec. Back at the starting ramp, Movistar rider Jonathan Castroviejo, who is an excellent time trialist, has just rolled on to the sopping wet asphalt. Barring an accident, he’ll be in the shake-up.

4.19pm BST

An email from Marie Meyer, all the way from Sante Fe. “’“Kraftwerk on a bike’ = awesome new expletive!” she says. “TTs should be on Wednesdays, not Saturdays,” she adds. “And having one on the first day is like an ODI with the boring bit in the middle bumped up to the start.”

Meanwhile back in Dusseldorf, Chris Froome is in the Sky Car following his team-mate Michel Kwiatkowski in a bid to inspect the course and pick up a few pointers for when he goes out in a little over an hour.

4.15pm BST

The Sky rider is approaching the checkpoint at 8.1km and matches the time of 9min 20sec set by his team-mate Vasil Kiryienka, the provisional leader.

4.06pm BST

Le classement provisoire pour le moment / The provisional classification for now #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/UjMovCQh98

4.05pm BST

@bglendenning here’s my t-shirt with Kraftwerk on a bike pic.twitter.com/dfIslHqAyQ

4.04pm BST

Chatting to ITV, the Irish BMC rider explains that he crashed while braking ahead of some tram lines and says he took it easy from there on, bar the final two kilometres in which he went full gas “for ego purposes”.

4.02pm BST

An email from Guy Hornsby: “Here we are again,” he writes. “And the Brits seem to have brought the weather with them today. Who’d be a cyclist today? One slip and your Tour could be over. Just ask Chris Boardman about 1995’s Prologue. With the time trials so short this year the race could be favouring the all-rounder, but really they’ll just want to get round unscathed today. There’s so much racing to come.”

4.00pm BST

Nice one Kiry! Vasil Kiryienka sets the quickest time so far in Dusseldorf. That effort of 16′ 11″ puts him on the early hotseat #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/DxNJ5OirnI

3.59pm BST

Good news for Zack Gomberts-Mitchelson: Having survived a wobble while negotiating a bend, Vasil Kiriyienka has just passed his one-minute man (the bloke who started before him) and is headed for the finish line. He clocks a massively impressive time of 16min 11sec to take the lead.

3.54pm BST

The magnificently monikered Zack Gomperts-Mitchelson writes in again: “One of the joys of road cycling as a sport is due to it’s diversity of rider types but universal requirement for pain tolerance in the name of extremely infrequent personal reward is it’s remarkable concentration of laconic weirdos,” he says. “My favourite of whom just came off the ramp. Vasil Kiriyienka rides at incredible speed in the middle third of flat stages and the front third of hilly stages. Usually the cameras will come on and there he will be, before tapping off before anything gets too exciting. The pain he must put himself through is indescribable, just, unimaginable but talk to him about it and he’s ‘like yeah, is cool job, love to cycle’. Anyway, more importantly, is he a train? I think he might be a train. Big one.”

3.51pm BST

Matteo Trentin, ostensibly a sprinter with Quick-Step Floors, has crossed the line in a time of 16min 14sec, which puts him in the lead. Just before him, Peter Sagan finished in a none-too-shabby 16min 29sec.

3.38pm BST

Will Fotheringham is in mischievous mood in Dusseldorf.

Pinot finishes respectably without falling off. I can hear a collective sigh of relief coming from across the French border

3.37pm BST

An email from Luke. Semi-unprofessional Espresso Library Race Team Domestique. “Many thanks for sharing your virtual coach as I get more excited than is appropriate by men in tight wet clothing,” he begins. “On what basis is the start order created for this Time Trial? Normally it would be the reverse of the GC position but that hasn’t happened yet. I can’t imagine it’s based on previous form/UCI points this year as Froome hasn’t really raced. Is it simply at the organisers’ discretion?”

As far as I know, Luke, the teams submit the preferred times they’d like their riders to go and it is then decided at the discretion of the organisers: youngest rider first, reigning champion last etc, and so on. Most of the main contenders for today’s stage are going out between now and 5.28pm (BST). Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka goes out at 3.42pm (BST) and Stefan Kung goes out at 5.28pm (BST). Froome is last man out four minutes later. At the moment, Peter Sagan is negotiating the course and has just overtaken a tram. He’s looking for his fifth consecutive green jersey this year.

3.21pm BST

Movistar climber Carlos Betancur sets off. The Colombian has a little slip as he exits the starter’s hhut, but doesn’t come a cropper. He’s the 64th rider out this afternoon – just the 134 to go. Germany’s Nikias Arndt remains the virtual leader of this year’s Tour, having posted a time of 16min 20sec for the 14-kilometre course.

3.15pm BST

An email from Conor Lundy: “I’ve stuck a fiver on Contador for the overall,” he writes. “He’ll give it a proper go and isn’t afraid to try a long one. Unlike Nairo ‘wait for the set piece mountain stage, make a token attack, cite a mysterious fever afterwards’ Quintana. Unfairly harsh? Yes, but I’ve been blue-balled too many times.”

3.14pm BST

3.11pm BST

@bglendenning Most fun to be had trying to spot famous cycling enthusiast and Düsseldorf native Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk in the crowd

3.08pm BST

On a filthy day in Dusseldorf, Nikias Arndt from Team Sunweb is the virtual leader with his time of 16min 20sec. From Buchholz in der Nordheide, about 25 kilometres from Hamburg, the German will be a popular leader. In other news, Rafal Majka, the first rider on my List O’Big Names To Look Out For will be tackling the course in a minute or so. He won’t win this time trial, but he is the reigning King of the Mountains.

3.02pm BST

Presented from today’s Guardian, without comment.

Related: Shaun Ryder: ‘It was cycling that got me off drugs’

2.58pm BST

“No particular thought to share, just wanted to establish VeloBaz as your TdF moniker for the next three weeks,” writes Zack Gomperts-Mitchelson. “If that’s amenable of course.”

VeloBaz? I have no problem with that as I’m regularly called a lot worse, but I’m not sure exactly how much of this year’s Tour I’ll end up live-blogging. But on the days that are pertinent, VeloBaz is alright with me.

2.55pm BST

Lotto NI Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen suffers the painful ignominy of becoming the first rider to hit the deck in this year’s Tour. There aren’t many tight bends in today’s course, but his bike went from under him as he negotiated one of them and he proceeded to aquaplane from one aside of the road to the other. He’s put back on his bike and looks fit to continue, but is likely to have a nice dose of road-rash to endure when the field set off on their first “proper” stage tomorrow.

2.51pm BST

The Astana rider has thrown down what looks like the first serious of the marker of this year’s race, chipping 15 seconds off the previous best time with his 16min 21sec. He was the 17th rider to take off today.

2.48pm BST

The Belgian Lotto-Soudal rider has matched Sonny Colbrelli’s time of 16min 36sec to the hundredth of a second. Intriguingly, both riders also posted identical times at today’s checkpoint, which is at the 8.1km mark.

2.41pm BST

1er temps de référence pour Elie Gesbert / Elie Gesbert sets the 1st best time #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/1MBmIeIz2M

2.38pm BST

In intensifying rain, Bahrain-Merida rider Sonny Colbrelli is the new clubhouse leader, having completed the course in 16min 36sec.

2.37pm BST

Riding in his first Tour, the 22-year-old, who was first man down the ramp, posts a time of 17min 24sec on a greasy course. Behind him, 21 of the 198 riders have started the course.

2.34pm BST

Riding in his first Tour De France and a relative newcomer to the WorldTour ranks despite being 27 years old, the Slovenian former ski-jumper is among the favourites for today’s time trial after winning individual time trials at the Tour De Romandie, the Tour of the Basque Country and Ster ZLM this season.

2.24pm BST

“It’s on!” he writes. “Christmas Day for people whose bicycles costs more than their car. Whose your money on? I think Froome again – that’ll mean four more Tours de France than Lance Armstrong. Pessimistic about Cav though, even with his Clark Kent look…it would be truly superhuman.”

2.22pm BST

Elie Gesbert has begun tackling the course in today’s 14-kilometre time trial and is doing so in quite heavy rain that’s rendered him something of a blur as he sits hunched over his handlebars. The fog or mist has made it nigh on impossible for the helicopters to give us the aerial views the burghers of Dusseldorf were almost certainly hoping for. The riders will go out at one-minute intervals today and French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, seventh on the start list, has just set off. A rather combustible character, last year he missed out on the Tour after injuring his hand in a fight at his team’s hotel.

2.16pm BST

2.11pm BST

2.10pm BST

2.09pm BST

It’s currently raining in Dusseldorf, which will make the city-centre circuit a little greasy and more difficult to negotiate. The 14 kilometre takes the riders out (and subsequently back) from the Messe conference hall for 10 kilometres along the bank of the Rhine, where two different suspension bridges will have to be negotiated. Here’s what Will Fotheringham, our man on the spot, has to say about it …

Apart from a quick incursion into the city centre, most of this is alongside the river Rhine, dead flat and dead fast. It is an early chance for the favourites to figure out who is where, and being relatively long for a first-day time trial, stronger time triallists like Chris Froome could gain some useful seconds.

2.00pm BST

French Team Fortuneo-Oscaro rider Elie Gesbert, the youngest competitor in this year’s race, will be limbering up outside his team coach ahead of his start-time at 2.15pm (BST). A former winner of the French National Junior Road Championships winner, he won stage six of this year’s Tour De Bretagne and lines up for his maiden Tour De France today at the age of 22.

12.48pm BST

Want to see the best of the 2016 race condensed into one beautifully presented video package lasting just 12min 49sec in length? Of course you do.

12.44pm BST

12.29pm BST

Related: Mark Cavendish admits he may not win a single Tour de France stage

12.16pm BST

Elie Gesbert has the honour of getting this year’s Tour under way and the French Fortuneo-Vital Concept rider will roll down the ramp at 2.15pm (BST) and will pedal his way around a flat track with few inclines or tight bends to trouble the 198 competitors. As ever, our friends from the Global Cycling Network have been to Dusseldorf to do a reconnaissance mission and you can view the informative fruits of their labours in the accompanying video. Here are their idea of the main contenders in today’s time-trial.

12.16pm BST

Related: Tour de France 2017: stage-by-stage guide

12.15pm BST

12.35am BST

The German city of Düsseldorf hosts this year’s opening stage of the Tour De France, in which 198 riders from 22 different teams will negotiate just 14 of the 3,540km that comprise this year’s race. Today’s time trial will establish who wears the iconic maillot jaune in tomorrow’s second stage from Düsseldorf to the Belgian city of Liege.

A four-time world time trial champion, Tony Martin will enjoy no end of home support as he attempts to win the first yellow jersey of the Tour after several failed attempts in Rotterdam (2010), Utrecht (2015) and Liege (2012). Martin has not yet won a “race of truth” this season, but is believed to have focussed his entire season on taking yellow today.

Related: German Grand Départ may be an omen for tightest Tour de France in 28 years | William Fotheringham

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/01/tour-de-france-2017-stage-one-time-trial-live

May 02

The Jester smiles at last: Mark Selby steps out from Leicester City’s shadow | Barry Glendenning

Last year’s world title win at the Crucible was overshadowed in the world No1’s home town by the achievements of Claudio Ranieri and co. Not this time around

Few nicknames are more unsuitable than that with which Mark Selby has been saddled for reasons of rhyming convenience. It’s not that the “Jester from Leicester” is not funny, but the image of him prancing about in a harlequin hat festooned with bells is little short of ludicrous.

Polite and likeable, he is a difficult read and when it’s put to him that his win in last year’s world snooker championship was rather overshadowed by his local football team winning the Premier League on the same night, he couldn’t agree more.

Related: Mark Selby retains world title after gritty victory over John Higgins

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/02/mark-selby-jester-world-snooker-championship-leicester

Apr 19

Lions 2017 squad announcement: Warburton captain, no place for Hartley – as it happened

  • No place for Dylan Hartley or Joe Launchbury in Lions squad
  • Sam Warburton named as captain for second time
  • Sixteen English players picked, but just two Scots
  • Gatland criticised for “favouritism” towards Welsh

4.06pm BST

Related: Sam Warburton to captain Lions but England’s Dylan Hartley misses out

3.54pm BST

For one last time, here’s who made the cut. Warren Gatland’s selection policy has proved predictably controversial, with many feeling that several in-form Scottish players have been left out in favour of ageing Welshmen who have been picked on reputation rather than Autumn international or Six Nations form. Shades of Clive Woodward in 2005 there, methinks and look at the drubbings that lot took from the All Blacks. No doubt some players will succumb to injury between now and June, so there will be inevitably be new additions to the squad as various unfortunate players are forced to pull out.

3.48pm BST

OK, folks – we’re going to wind down this blog now, but please feel free to continues discussing Warren Gatlland’s selections in our comments section. Thanks you all for your contributions and stay tuned for incoming analysis and comment from our rugby writers Rob Kitson, Paul Rees, Gerard Meagher and Andy Bull.

3.36pm BST

And in my opinion it’s difficult to disagree with much of what he says. “You can argue some marginal calls that have favoured Welsh players derive from national bias or nepotism, but as others have pointed out the so-called controversial picks like Leigh Halfpenny have been players short of serious competition elsewhere,” he says.
“Such debate is, in my view, missing the point. The squad can be exciting or as predictable as the coach makes it, and in selecting Farrell as a 10, it is the style of play that concerns me most. Farrell and Sexton in tandem could be an axis of glorious creativity, spinning webs even the All Blacks may struggle to master. Boshing it up with the middle with any combination of Te’o, Henshaw or Jonathan Davies will be anything but.
“In his immediate post-announcement interview, Gatland has already earmarked Te’o as a potential 12, rather than 13. Given Wales’ record v New Zealand employing similar stick-it-up-the-jumper tactics, a foreboding omen.”

3.34pm BST

“I think the issue is that Gatland has picked a squad that will play one way and if that doesn’t work there will be no Plan B,” he or she says.

Sadly the squad looks pretty much as expected. I think the issue is that Gatland has picked a squad that will play one way and if that doesn’t work there will be no plan B. I would have liked to see more players in there who have the flair and the ability to do the unexpected, like Russell. Yes, he and some others would have been a risk, but playing it safe with crashball will at best end in a 2 – 1 defeat, possibly a 3 – 0 loss.

3.20pm BST

I will spare this particular simple Simon’s blushes by not publishing his surname, but his email is a belter. “What I know about rugby you could write on the back of a Serge Blanco fag packet, but 12 Welshmen and only 2 Scots seems a bit lopsided?” he writes. “And why no French or Italians?”

On the British Irish Lions? Who wants to tell him?

3.17pm BST

Somebody in the BT Sport graphics department seems to have had a bit of a nightmare, although I should point out the minor error of obliterating most of Ireland has since been rectified. My own home town of Birr, Co. Offaly was originally wiped out of existence, along with the rest of the Republic of Ireland …. which was rather worrying.

A few geography lessons needed @btsportrugby pic.twitter.com/JNm5M4PoRs

3.10pm BST

“It has been interesting and predictable reading the feedback and responses to the selections Gatland as chosen especially the size and players chosen from the Welsh sector,” he says. “For me I am both surprised and pleased, being Welsh and disappointed in the performances in the six nations of Wales I would hate to have seen only a small of Welsh players taken on this tour and totally ignored the stupid idea of taking Jamie Roberts who is well passed his best and he would be the first to accept that.

“For all those who disapprove ask yourself in a non-biased way why Gatland has selected these actual players and then compare their counterparts in other countries. Do they have the same pedigree, length of experience and international proven record? Yes their form may not be the best but also look at what they were asked to do in the six nations under Robert Howley, whose lack of judgement and inexperience was clearly shown against Scotland but proven against Ireland. Thus the latter was the main reason for selecting these particular Welsh players in that they knew what they had to do to win at all costs.”

3.03pm BST

I really like the squad chosen overall, some unlucky players but you can’t take everyone. Don’t understand what JD2 and Halfpenny have done to get into the team but oh well.

I see a lot of people are complaining about Kruis, the guy is the best line out caller and scrummager in the NH and has been unlucky with injuries. If he is fit, launchbury will not start in the england team as eddie jones has shown. I think it came down to lawes and launchbury and lawes has massively improved his ball carrying while, being considerably better at the line out and restarts than launchbury.

2.59pm BST

Just a reminder of who has been picked for Warren Gatland’s squad.

2.54pm BST

With several of the players named today involved in the Aviva Premiership playoffs and Pro12 latter stages, will those picked for the Lions go into self-preservation and injury-avoidance mode?

I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on how this announcement will affect the players who may be involved in the Aviva Premiership playoffs? Austin Healey wrote the other day that it is possible that once given the nod for the Lions some players may go into a self-preservation mode to avoid injury. Given the number of Saracens players now involved, I wonder is this has offered some marginal benefit to say the Chiefs. Conversely, will the non-selection play on the minds of some of the wasps players such as Haskell and Launchbury? I have a feeling they are far too professional.

2.50pm BST

My gratitude goes out to each and every one of you who have posted, but James 221 will always have a special place in my heart for reading them all and condensing the general mood into this bite-sized comment.

Consensus of comments below so far:
Luckiest players to be on plane – Biggar, Davies & Halfpenny
Unluckiest player to miss plane – Launchbury

2.47pm BST

Just to put this video in context, the most noteworthy thing to ever happen me in a supermarket car-park involved me hitting myself in the face with my own car boot door, prompting my nose to start pouring blood. Due to my not having any tissues or hankies to hand, I ended up trying to staunch the flow and clean my face with an oily rag and driving home looking like an extra from the Walking Dead. Warburton 1-0 Glendenning.

2.43pm BST

Readers Redxabi Brady and Bayviewdreamer are displeased with Warren Gatland’s selection. Very displeased.

Disgraceful selection. I guess I will be rooting for the AB’s. They have more players with Scottish heritage on that team.

12 Welshmen and two Scots. Scotland beat Wales in the 6N and finished above them. They also beat Ireland. England were the best team alot of the time but not always , Ireland beat them and the French should have . Gatland and Co must really hate the Scots. I think both Hogg and Seymour should not bother going as they are unlikely to be chosen. Ridiculous choice of captain, should have been Best. I for one along with many others will not be watching the games All Blacks and midweek teams to beat the Lions. Gatland has no tactical nous

2.31pm BST

Gregor Paul, the New Zealand Herald on Sunday’s rugby writer says “big pats on the back will be coming for Warren Gatland after he unveiled a Lions squad that has equal parts conservatism, boldness, adventure and graft”. In a state of affairs that suggests he may not have accurately guaged the mood round Northern Hemisphere way, Paul goes on to say that Gatland “has balanced his nationalities in proportions that should prevent accusations of favouritism”.

“Has he picked a squad that is good enough to win the test series?” asks Gregor. “Does he have the players at his disposal to beat the All Blacks in two tests in their own backyard? That’s where it gets a little harder to be so enthusiastic about the Lions.”

2.21pm BST

Some interesting analysis from Jarwen7. Warren Gatland said that the centre and second row positions provided the biggest selection headaches and prompted the most lively discussion among him and his fellow selectors.

Happy the rumours proved false, very strong squad picked with a few marginal calls here and there that could have gone either way, however some questions to be had with out-of-form Welsh backs;

-Props look very good, though Cian Healy might go but Marler edges him
-No surprises with selection at Hooker. Thought Hartley should go for his set piece but probably wouldn’t have started the tests anyway, nor would Fraser Brown.
-Would like to see the Itoje-Kruis partnership in the Tests, but I can see Gatland going for AWJ. Jonny Gray and Launchbury unlucky not to tour but 2nd Row was probably the most competitive position.
-Pleased for Moriarty, excellent against England, but Hamish Watson is unlucky not to be touring (though Haskell could sneak in, but he unlikely to have featured in the tests anyway).
-Billy V and Faletau the standout 8s, no other eligible 8s really pushed for selection.
-Murray and Webb the strongest Scrum Halves, agree with Youngs as 3rd choice also for his kicking game. Care not really needed when Webb is in there.
-Sexton and Farrell the two easy choices at 10. Don’t think Biggar has shown enough form recently, would have chosen Russell ahead of him as 3rd choice, and possibly Ford though he’s not been at his best either.
-Expected Zebo to be included but the Wingers are all very good, and whilst North hasn’t been firing on all cylinders consistently recently he’s world class on his day and warrants inclusion. Though I would liked to have seen Wade sneak in as a bolter.
-Think that Henshaw and Joseph will be starters for the Tests. Not sure what JD2 has shown recently to be included, Ringrose would have been my choice ahead of him at Outside Center. Would have chosen Huw Jones ahead of both but for injury.
-Hogg should be inked into the starting XV, way out in front at Fullback. Halfpenny has not been in the greatest form but there isn’t really anyone else who put their hand up for inclusion in my opinion.
-Unsure if Daly will play on the Wing or at Outside Centre but I think he will feature at some point in the Tests, fully deserved.

2.03pm BST

BohemianGirl thinks he’s missing the point and here’s why …

Moore misses the point. He says we all need to get behind the Lyons squad and stop bi*ching that players from our own nations have not been picked.

But it’s precisely because we ARE square behind the Lyons squad that we’re unhappy. I am Irish and my second fav team is Wales. But it’s a downer to know that the Lyons squad being sent to NZ comprises many of Gatland’s favourite people and not the cream of the crop of actual players on these islands. Scotland is way ahead of Wales in world rankings as well as in player quality as displayed in the 6N. It’s a joke that so many tired and jaded Welsh players will represent us alongside only two Scottish.

1.59pm BST

The son of a Samoan father and an English mother, the Worcester and England outside centre was a bit of a surprise selection and says he’s “a bit relieved” and “really proud to have the opportunity to play for the British and Irish Lions”. He says he will bring a bit of physicality and strong ball-carrying to the party and isn’t sure whether the fact that he was born in New Zealand and spent much of his life there will be any help to him when he goes on tour with the Lions. He has some previous with his Lions captain Sam Warburton, who might want to discuss this at their first training session. Hard but fair, as the saying goes. Very hard.

1.49pm BST

Stoveboy has a theory regarding the absence of all but two Scots from Warren Gatland’s squad.

Hello, I feel our capitulation st twickenham was telling. A pressure cooker environment with an in form team. Had it been close a few more scots would be on the plane. I have no idea why lauchbery isn’t going but the other big omissions English wise are based on temperament or being seen as a potential liability in the heat of NZ rugby.

1.46pm BST

Thanks for all the extremely kind messages. Amazing honour to captain the @lionsofficial again. Squad looks very very strong! #AllForOne

1.44pm BST

Peter reckons that … well, see for yourself. A genuine grievance? An unlikely conspiracy theory? Or a little from Column A and a little from Column B? I think Peter makes some good points, which are undermined by his apparent certainty that Gatland picked his squad with one eye on what will happen once the tour ends and he goes back to his day job with Wales.

Glendinning misrepresents the reaction to the squad announcement by implying that supporters of all nations are having a moan about something or other. I know he has to listen and type and I only have to read, but it’s obvious that the consensus is that Wales players have been systematically favoured in marginal calls and that this has disproportionately impacted on Scotland’s representation in the squad.

This was fairly predictable – as Wales coach Gatland quite naturally has one eye on the post-tour world and has a vested interest in keeping his key players on-side. And it’s only natural that he will feel more secure working with players that he knows and who know him and how he likes to play. But quite apart from being unfair on individual players, the broader consequence of this self-interest is to undermine support from Scotland fans, which is damaging to the whole Lions concept.

1.37pm BST

Brian Moore has a message for people bellyaching about who has and hasn’t been included in the squad.

Lions – you aren’t a true fan if there are terms on your support (.ie. pick my players)- all in it together or not: bitch when it’s over.

1.28pm BST

Congrats to all those selected for the British & Irish lions!

1.26pm BST

William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly was first out of the traps with some odds for the forthcoming Lions tour. His firm make New Zealand white-hot 1-4 favourites to win the series, with a 3-0 series win priced up at 4-5. The Lions are 3-1 to win the series with the most likely score if they do being 2-1 offered at 6/1.

“Gatland has named a strong squad despite a couple of notable absentees but despite this, we think that All Blacks will be far too strong and it would be a success to even win one Test,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

1.21pm BST

He says he appreciates that some Scottish folk will be very annoyed with him, but says picking the squad was not about filling national quotas. He says that he and his fellow selectors went through the squad position by position and picked who they thought were the best players to fill each one regardless of nationality.

1.18pm BST

“We know we’re going to the toughest place in the world to play and to tour. Culturally as well, we’ll need to adapt, he says, going on to joke that there’ll be plenty of choir practice in the coming weeks. On Owen Farrell: “Don’t discount Dan Biggar,” he says, when asked if it will be a straight battle between Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell for the out-half position on the Test team. He confirms that Farrell could play elsewhere in the team.

1.15pm BST

On Dylan Hartley’s omission: “I think it was a discussion that Dylan’s done a great job for England since he started captaining the team, but we felt like we couldn’t leave out Jamie George. Rory Best and Ken Owens had great Six Nations as well … Dylan is very unlucky not to be in the squad, but somebody else would have been very unlucky if he had been included.”

1.12pm BST

The Lions head coach says the midfield and the second rows were the toughest selections to make. He reveals that leaving Joe Launchbury out was a very difficult decision and says that taking Ben T’eo was a big call. “There was some lively discussions about the second rows, the hookers and the midfield,” he reveals. “Sam has got the honour of captaining the team on topur, but if somebody else is playing better than him we’ll have no problem selecting them ahead of him in the Tests,” he says of his captain.

1.07pm BST

Despite having 16 players in the squad, some England fans are ticked off because Joe Launchbury, George Ford, Dylan Hartley and others have not been picked. The Irish are fed up because Munster and Ireland flanker Donnacha Ryan hasn’t been picked. The Scots are unhappy because they’ve only got two players in the squad and the Welsh are unhappy because Gatland has defied expectations by naming some players in his squad who are English, Irish and Scottish.

1.01pm BST

Wow! Warren Gatland definitely seems to have put the cat among the pigeons with his announcement. Melonforce makes an interesting point …

Well, it’s Gatland’s call, and he better hope these guys like Halfpenny, North, Warburton, AWJ, Davies and Biggar come good for him, because if they don’t he’s going to get absolutely slaughtered (and so are they to be fair). There are better players than them right now who will be sitting at home, so he must think he can get something out of these guys that none of them have shown over the last year or so. It’s a bold call to say the least.

12.56pm BST

Captain: Sam Warburton (Wales)
Coach: Warren Gatland (Wales coach, nationality New Zealand)
Original squad (refers to players initially selected – replacement players not included): England 10 players, Ireland 9, Scotland 3, Wales 15.
Test selection: England 20 appearances/9 starts, Ireland 14/11, Scotland 1/0, Wales 29/25.
Wales’ back-to-back Six Nations champions – Grand Slam winners in 2012 – provided 15 of the 37-man squad and more than half of the players in the starting line-ups under their established coach and captain. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny was the chief inspiration for a 2-1 series win and a record 41 points in the deciding third Test. Coach Gatland and captain Warburton remain in charge for 2017.

12.50pm BST

Related: A hell of a job: why the Lions selection process is almost as tough as the tour

12.47pm BST

“It’s a very surreal thing to experience,” he says of taking the call from Gatland. “It’s an amazing honour even though he’d asked me to do it before. I didn’t see myself as a contender for the captaincy, but now in hindsight it’s a real thrill.” He goes on to say that Gatland first inquired about his injured knee and then had a general chat before asking him to captain the side. Despite no longer captaining Wales, he is happy to take on the role of Lions captain. “It’s very difficult to lead a side when you feel you’re not hitting your straps,” he says of his decision to relinquish the Wales captaincy and focus on returning to form.

12.41pm BST

It’s fair to say they’re not buzzing about their man’s omission …

All gobsmacked here that Joe Launchbury wont be with @lionsofficial. 2 motm’s in a 6 Nations winning campaign & player of the comp nominee

12.37pm BST

At various points this morning we heard that Jonathan Joseph would not be included in Warren Gatland’s squad and that Jamie Roberts definitely would. Both leaks have turned out to be complete cobblers. Rumours regarding the omission of Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury, George Ford and Mike Brown turned out to be true.

12.34pm BST

It seems that Warren Gatland has said it will be a straight-up contest between Owen Farrell and Jonny Sexton for the out-half position in the Test team. Whether or not that means Farrell will not be considered as a centre remains unclear.

12.32pm BST

And here are the chaps who’ll be playing behind them.

12.30pm BST

Here are the bulldozers Warren Gatland will be bringing to New Zealand.

12.28pm BST

Warren Gatland has picked 16 Englishmen, 12 Welshmen, 11 Irishmen and just two Scots. On Sky Sports News, Will Greenwood is making the very salient point that anyone who has missed out on selection should button their lips and complain to nobody other than their mums. There will almost certainly be players named in this squad who won’t make the plane to New Zealand and replacements will be needed.

12.23pm BST

Backs: Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben T’eo (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England)

Forwards: Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Billy Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt).

12.21pm BST

As expected, Dylan Hartley has been omitted from the British and Irish Lions squad and becomes the third successive England captain to miss out on selection, along with Chris Robshaw and Steve Borthwick.
Head coach Warren Gatland has selected a 41-man squad for the 10 fixtures culminating in a three-Test series against New Zealand, including surprise call-ups for Ireland full-back Jared Payne, England wing Jack Nowell and Wales back row Ross Moriarty.

12.17pm BST

“The competition for places … there’s going to be some players fighting for Test spots and there’s no stand-out number one contender for several positions,” he says. “We need to make sure we’ve got the depth and quality in the squad to face the challenges.”

12.16pm BST

“It’s an immensely strong squad,” he says. “It gives me a tremendous amount of confidence.”

12.15pm BST

“We’ve picked the toughest competitors,” he says. As various members of Warren Gatland’s backroom team speak, there seems to be an air of genuine excitement. “They want to be on a winning tour,” says Andy Farrell.

12.13pm BST

“It’s hard to put it into words really,” says the captain. He reveals he found out last Thursday in a supermarket car-park while waiting for his wife to buy some bread and milk. “There’ll be no doubt I’ll be 100% fit for the start of the tour,” he says when asked about any injury concerns he might have.

12.11pm BST

Rory Best, Dan Cole, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Ross Moriarty, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton (captain).

12.08pm BST

Backs: Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Jonathan Joseph, Conor Murray, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Seymour, Ben Te’o, Anthony Watson, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams, Ben Youngs

12.06pm BST

The Lions Tour manager was a member of the only British and Irish Lions squad to beat New Zealand.

12.05pm BST

Warren Gatland and his backroom team have been introduced and have taken their places on the stage. Gatland announces that “after some pretty lively debate” they settled on the final squad late yesterday afternoon. “As a coaching team we’re really excited by the quality and talent we’re bringing on tour.”

12.02pm BST

The gentlemen of the press have taken their seats and are waiting to hear who is in and who is out. It seems a certainty that Jamie Roberts will not be included, despite no end of speculation to the contrary.

11.57am BST

More rumour and speculation, but we’re hearing that New Zealand-born Ireland international back Jared Payne will be getting a free trip back to his old home. His fellow Irish internationals Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan will not be joining him.

11.46am BST

The word coming out of the Hilton London Synon Park is that Jamie Roberts will not – repeat not – be in the squad. As Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman famously said, nobody anywhere knows anything. We’ll find out soon enough.

11.40am BST

They report that Paul Stridgeon, the Lions head of strength and conditioning, has said his players will need to be at least 10% fitter than they were in Australia in 2013. Stridgeon has taken over from Adam Beard as the fitness guru and will begin whipping is charges into shape at two training camps at the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales and Carton House in Ireland.

11.28am BST

Lilaitomniweotawicha sets the early tone for what could be a very entertaining and amusing day below the line.

apparently, Jamie Roberts has also been pencilled in for the 2021 and 2025 tours.

11.23am BST

Rumours on Planet Rugby suggest the Ireland skipper Rory Best will be included in Warren Gatland’s squad at the expense of Dylan Hartley. Best, Ken Owens and Jamie George will make up the trio of hookers travelling to New Zealand. While the England captain is likely to be one of several high profile England omissions, Ben Te’o, Elliot Daly, Joe Marler and Maro Itoje are all expected to become first-time Lions. Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip and Scotland lock Jonny Gray are also expected to miss out, while 91 times-capped Wales centre Jamie Roberts, who toured with the Lions in 2009 and 2013, could be a surprise inclusion despite starting just two Tests for Wales this season and spending the entire Six Nations campaign opn the bench. New Zealand-born Te’o, who has made one England start in eight appearances, is believed to have earned his passage to New Zealand with an eye-catching performance for Wrocester against Bath in the Aviva Premiership four days ago.

11.07am BST

Related: Warren Gatland can give Lions nous and substance for All Blacks challenge | Robert Kitson

11.05am BST

One hour to go….#AllForOne

Live blog: https://t.co/MvLyanu35c
Live stream: https://t.co/I9cTGbUs2c pic.twitter.com/KeXiFJl4HR

11.04am BST

Warren Gatland was appointed head coach in September last year and the 52-year-old immediately went on sabbatical from his position as Wales head coach to focus on this, his second stint in charge of the Lions. Four years ago, he masterminded a 2-1 series win over Australia, an experience he described as “a real career highlight”. This tour is likely to be tougher, with the Lions having won just one series in 11 previous trips to New Zealand. In 1971, Welshman Carwyn James was in charge when his compatriot John Dawes captained the Lions to a 2-1 series win over the All Blacks.

“Coaching the Lions is a great privilege,” said Gatland at his unveiling. “The 2013 tour was a real career highlight for me and I’m honoured to be offered the role again. For the All Blacks a Lions series is the ultimate test, but I’m 100% confident that we can go and win in New Zealand. The chance to work with the best players from the four Home Nations is a coach’s dream and we have some outstanding talent to select from.”

11.04am BST

At midday (BST), tour manager John Spencer will reveal the names of the players who have been selected and confirm the worst kept secret in rugby – that Sam Warburton will be captain. After the announcement, Warren Gatland and his coaching party will field questions from the media – including the Guardian’s crack team of rugby union reporters Robert Kitson, Paul Rees and Gerard Meagher – and our writers will get tip-tapping on their laptops to bring you their take on the squad: omissions, inclusions and any other news lines that arise. Gatland’s squad selection is bound to prompt no end of debate and quite a bit of parochial bellyaching, so we’d love to hear your thoughts and musings in the comments section below.

As an aside, Guardian rugby enthusiasts will be painfully aware that the late, great Dan Lucas should really be helming this rolling blog and on a day that marks the announcement of the Lions squad and the 30th anniversary of his favourite TV show, The Simpsons, please feel free to take a moment to remember a top bloke who left us far too soon. See you on the other side, comrade.

Related: Dan Lucas, Guardian cricket and rugby union writer, dies aged 31

10.57am BST

As Robert Kitson has written in his selection preview, Wales Centre Jamie Roberts is likely to be a surprise inclusion at the expense of England’s Jonathan Joseph. Rumoursa from the England camp suggest Joseph is one of several high profile England players likely to miss out, along with George Ford, Mike Brown, Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Chris Robshaw. England captain and hooker Dylan Hartley may also be a conspicuous absentee from the squad touring his native New Zealand, with Ireland’s Rory Best and Wales’s Ken Owens the favourite to squeeze him out of contention. If these rumours prove correct, it would appear that Gatland sees power and strength, rather than subtlety, as the key to beating New Zealand this summer.

10.57am BST

The British and Irish Lions will play 10 matches in all on their first tour of New Zealand since 2005, including three Tests against the All Blacks.

Related: Wales centre Jamie Roberts set to make cut in Gatland’s Lions squad

8.59am BST

After months of debate and speculation, Warren Gatland will name his squad for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand at noon (BST) today, identifying the 40 or so players who will be tasked with securing a series win over the All Blacks for the first time in four attempts since 1971. Gatland will make his announcement at the Hilton London Synon Park, where the early evidence suggests that Cardiff Blues and Wales flanker Sam Warburton will be named as captain for a second successive Lions Tour.

What a lovely photo of a great Cardiff player. A very, very special player. Congratulations, Sam pic.twitter.com/faG5EtlM0C

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/apr/19/lions-2017-squad-announcement-live-british-irish-rugby-union-new-zealand-all-blacks

Apr 15

Southampton v Manchester City: Premier League – as it happened

Goals from Vincent Kompany, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero moved Manchester City into third place

7.24pm BST

The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield can type so fast that it probably took him less time to write this very long article about Antonio Conte than it will take you to read it. It’s a belter, so enjoy. And have a happy Easter.

Related: Antonio Conte: the making of Chelsea’s managerial maestro | Dominic Fifield

7.22pm BST

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeep! It’s all over. Manchester City take the points courtesy of goals from Vincent Kompany, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero. They go third in the table ahead of Liverpool, having played the same number of games.

Related: Vincent Kompany sets Manchester City on way to win at Southampton

7.21pm BST

90+2 min: Manchester City’s players try to run down the clock, passing the ball around amongst themselves as Southampton’s players mentally imlore the referee to put them out of their misery. This was a tight game until Manchester City scored their second goal, but they’ve run out easy winners in the end.

7.18pm BST

90+1 min: We’re into the first of four suggested minutes of added time.

7.17pm BST

89 min: BT co-comms man Steve McManaman decides Vincent Kompany is his man of the match and who’d begrudge the Belgian the accolade after the miserable season he’s had. He opened the scoring for City and has added some much-needed backbone to their defence this evening.

7.16pm BST

87 min: Man City substitution: Sergio Aguero off, Kelechi Iheanacho on. The scorer of City’s third goal makes his way off the pitch and gets a big hug from Pep Guardiola.

7.13pm BST

86 min: Man City substitution: Raheem Sterling on for Leroy Sane.

7.12pm BST

85 min: I should add that the exchange between Long and Black didn’t look heated. Claude Puel was listening in with the air of a man who had no idea what was going on.

7.11pm BST

82 min: Manchester City substitution: Pablo Zabaleta on for David Silva. Southampton substitution: Shane Long, who came on earlier, goes off again. He heads down the tunnel after an exchange with Claude Puel’s assistant Eric Black. I presume he’s injured, as he was upended in a challenge moments before leaving the field. Jay Rodriguez replaces him.

7.08pm BST

Aguero! Sergio Aguero gets between two defenders and leaps to get on the end of a Kevin De Bruyne cross from the right and head home from five yards.

7.06pm BST

Sane! A lightning fast Manchester City ends with Kevin De Bruyne side-footing to Leroy Sane, who slots home from about seven yards. That was an excellent goal.

7.02pm BST

74 min: Yoshida rises highest to meet a cross in the penalty area, but doesn’t get ewnough on it and skims his effort wide off the head of Otamendi. Corner for Southampton. From that one, they win another but nothing comes of it.

7.00pm BST

73 min: Dusan Tadic shimmies this way and that before crossing from the left. Unmarked at the back post, Maya Yoshida heads straight at Claudio Bravo.

6.59pm BST

72 min: Southampton corner. Kompany clears with a towering header.

6.59pm BST

71 min: Into the final 20 minutes we go, with Manchester City leading but looking far from convincing. Sergio Aguero tries to weave his way through the Southampton defence and double his team’s lead, but Jack Stephens takes the ball off him with a well-timed challenge in the penalty area.

6.57pm BST

69 min: It’s heart in mouth time for Man City fans as Bravo makes a mess of an attempt to play the ball out from his own six-yard box. He gets away with it, despite giving the ball away. Boufal puts the ball out for a goal-kick.

6.56pm BST

69 min: Navas is fit to continue and play resumes with the ball being thrown back to Claudio Bravo.

6.55pm BST

67 min: Jesus Navas goes down injured and is in obvious distress. He looks decidedly unimpressed when somebody passes the ball his way and passes it out of play for a Southampton throw-in that won’t be taken until he has received treatment.

6.54pm BST

66 min: Ryan Bertrand stands a cross from the left up on the edge of the six-yard box, but Nicolas Otamendi clears under pressure from Bertrand.

6.53pm BST

63 min: Jack Stevens dives in to block a David Silva shot from just inside the area, with Fraser Forster marooned on the ground after diving at the feet of Aguero to stop the City striker getting on the end of a Kevin De Bruyne cross.

6.49pm BST

61 min: Kompany attempts to double his tally, but his poke from close range is blocked.

6.47pm BST

60 min: Southampton double substitution: James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini off, Shane Long and Soufiane Boufal on.

6.45pm BST

57 min: A timely goal from Kompany in a game that was looking as if it might slip away from Man City. It’s far form over, but City have the lead courtesy of a powerful header from a delighted Vincent Kompany. It’s his first goal since August 2015.

6.43pm BST

Kompany! From a corner, Vincent Kompany outjumps Maya Yoshida to score from close range with a downward header.

6.43pm BST

55 min: Man City win a free3-kick wide on the left, but Kevin De Bruyne’s delivery is poor and cut out by the first defender. Jesus Navas pounces on the clearance and shoots goalwards. Forster saves theatrically for the cameras.

6.41pm BST

53 min: Yaya tries to split the Saints defence with a through-ball to David Silva, who was lurking with intent. It’s cut out.

6.40pm BST

51 min: Free-kick for Southampton wide on the left, near the angle of the penalty area. James Ward-Prowse whips the ball a few yards wide of the near upright. Bravo had it covered, which is no guarantee he would have stopped it.

6.38pm BST

49 min: Redmond gets the better of Navas and sends in a cross. Vincent Kompany clears.

6.35pm BST

48 min: The ball drops for Yaya Toure on the edge of the Southampton and he fires his goalwards. His shot is weak and Forster gathers comfortably. A bright start to the second half by City.

6.34pm BST

47 min: Nathan Redmond tries to jink his way down the left flank and passes two players but Jesus Navas puts a stop to his gallop, booting the ball off the bearded winger’s toe.

6.33pm BST

46 min: Play resumes in the second half with no changes on either side.

6.31pm BST

Fraser Forster did get a touch – a very faint one – on the ball as Leroy Sane attempted to go around him. BT Sport’s refereeing

expert
consultant has seen it several times on video replay and is sticking to his guns, saying the goalkeeper didn’t touch the ball. He’s wrong.

6.22pm BST

Peep! The teams go in for the break with the deadlock unbroken. It’s been reasonably entertaining, without ever getting too exciting. Both sides have had their chances – Southampton had the best of them, but City had more. They’ll feel aggrieved not to have won a penalty when Leroy Sane looked to have been brought down by Fraser Forster as he tried to round the giant goalkeeper.

6.18pm BST

45+1 min: With Southampton’s players backing off, Fernandinho unleashes a pile-driver from the edge of the area which Maya Yoshida stops with his face. Rather him than me.

6.15pm BST

45 min: David Silva pulls a low drive wide of the upright from outside the penalty area.

6.15pm BST

44 min: Wincing with pain, Sergio Aguero hobbles to the sideline and awaits permission to return to action from the referee.

6.14pm BST

43 min: Sergio Aguero goes down holding his achilles after being trod upon by Ryan Bertrand. That hurt and he’s still down. Enter the physio.

6.12pm BST

42 min: Cedric gets booked for a late tackle on Fernandinho.

6.12pm BST

40 min: Hmmmm … another replay shows Forster might have got the faintest of touches on the ball as Leroy Sane tried to take the ball around him. I’ve seen it in real time and three replays and still can’t be certain.

6.09pm BST

39 min: Southampton win a corner after good work from Bertrand down the inside left channel. James Ward-Prowse sends the ball into the penalty area, where Claudio Bravo punches towards the far touchline.

6.08pm BST

37 min: Leroy Sane is put through on goal and Fraser Forster rushes off his line and dives at his feet. The goalkeeper doesn’t get the ball, but trips Sane with his hand. The refereee awards a corner, but the penalty Manchester City should have had. Replays show there was no doubt whatsoever that Forster tripped Sane. Nothing comes of the corner.

6.06pm BST

37 min: Sergio Aguero shows quick feet to pick out David Silva with a deft cross to the far post. The Spaniard volleys into the side-netting.

6.06pm BST

34 min: Claudio Bravo is forced off his line to punch a high ball clear. It drops for Cedric, who drills it back into the mixer. City clear. southampton attack down the right flank and Steven Davis heads over.

6.04pm BST

33 min: Steven Davies plays the ball forward to Manolo Gabbiadini and Southampton’s runners get some runners up in support. City win possession back and bring play up the far end of the pitch. Aguero is robbed of possession on the channel between left touchline and penalty area as he waited for Gael Clichy to get up in support.

6.03pm BST

32 min: Possession so far: Southampton 30%-70% Man City. FOr all City’s dominance in possession, Southampton have had the best chance of the match so far, although neither goalkeeper has actually made a save yet.

6.01pm BST

31 min: Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg is booked for a late challenge on David Silva.

6.00pm BST

30 min: Foul throw! Jesus Navas is penalised for a foul throw deep inside his own half, prompting much mirth among Southampton fans. He’s not used to playing full-back, so he probably hasn’t taken many. Still, though.

5.59pm BST

28 min: Otamendi and Aguero exchange passes on the edge of the Southampton penalty area before playing the ball wide to Kevin De Bruyne. His first touch is poor and means his shot is delayed. Ryan Bertrand is able to block.

5.57pm BST

25 min: A good decoy run from Leroy Sane leaves David Silva in acres of space to pick up a Kevin De Bruyne pass on the edge of the penalty area, left side. He stands it up at the far post, but there’s nobody in a City shirt there to do anything with the ball.

5.54pm BST

24 min: Another corner for City. Silva sends it high towards the middle of the penalty area, where his target Nicolas Otamendi is unable to leap high enough to get his head to the ball.

5.53pm BST

21 min: Manchester City get themselves in a bit of a defensive dither before breaking up the field. Southampton rush back in numbers and the attack breaks down. Cue: much passing between various City players a few yards either side of the halfway line.

5.51pm BST

19 min: From the edge of the Saints penalty area, Kevin De Bruyne curls the ball across the edge of the six-yard box. Jack Stephens heads clear and the ball comes back to KDB, whose next delivery is put out for a corner. Nothing comes of it.

5.49pm BST

18 min: Claudio Bravo receives a backpass and plays the ball out under pressure from Dusan Tadic, electing to lump it forwards when it looked in danger of being caught in possession.

5.46pm BST

15 min: A dreadful miss from Dusan Tadic, who fires over the bar from about 14 yards with a wild swipe after being teed up by Manolo Gabbiadini. It was a great move from Southampton, with Redmond picking out Gabbiadini with a beautiful pass up the inside left channel. It was the chance of the game so far and Tadic snatched at it when he had all the time in the world.

5.44pm BST

14 min: A momentary lull, with play focussed in the middle third of the pitch as nothing much happens for three consecutive minutes.

5.41pm BST

11 min: Dusan Tadic commits another foul, this time tugging Vincent Kompany’s shirt as the central defender tried to run the ball out of defence.

5.40pm BST

10 min: Southampton attack down the left wing, but concede a throw-in when Nathan Redmond is put off his stride by Kevin De Bruyne.

5.39pm BST

9 min: Kevin De Bruyne’s outswinger finds Sergio Aguero on the edge of the Southampton penalty area, from where he shins a volley wide. It was a difficult chance, but a chance nonetheless.

5.38pm BST

8 min: Fernandinho, Navas and De Bruyne swap passes down the right touchline and City win a throw-in, followed by the first corner of the game.

5.37pm BST

6 min: David Silva picks up the ball on the halfway line and plays it left to Gael Clichy. Play switches to the opposite touchline, where Jesus Navas and Kevin De Bruyne exchange passes. Manchester City continue to pass around inside their own half … move along, nothing to see here.

5.35pm BST

5 min: Another Aguero chance goes begging. Kevin De Bruyne finds him with a pass from the right touchline put the Argentinian pulls his low diagonal shot wide of the far upright.

5.34pm BST

4 min: Manchester City attack down the left flank, with Leroy Sane, David Silva and Gael Clichy combining well. Clichy gets a fine corss in and Sergio Aguero stretches every sinew to try and kung-fu kick the ball goalwards. It’s a mite too high for him – might he have headed it?

5.33pm BST

3 min: Redmond robs Kevin De Bruyne halfway inside the Manchester City half and tries to pick out Dusan Tadic. Yaya Toure intercepts and is off, but Tadic brings him down.

5.32pm BST

2 min: Southampton enjoy an early spell of possession until Maya Yoshida overhits a pass out to Nathan Redmond on the left touchline. Throw-in for City and a chance for their players to get a foot on the ball.

5.31pm BST

1 min: Manchester City get the ball rolling, with their players kitted out in their usual light blue kits. Southampton’s wear red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red and white socks.

5.30pm BST

The Manchester City keeper, who has let in the past seven shots fired his way, is wearing white kit. It just looks wrong.

5.29pm BST

The teams are in the tunnel: Actually, they’re no longer in the tunnel. They amble out on to the Saint Mary’s pitch and line up for the last of the pre-match formalities: handshakes and the coin-toss. Kick-off is a couple of minutes away.

5.23pm BST

On BT Sport, Jake, Stevie G and Ian Wright are discussing Southampton’s excellent player recruitment policy, which is headed by Les Reed.Only a decade or so ago, Les was an object of ridicule during a six-week spell as manager of Charlton Athletic, with whom he won just one game. Like Alan Partridge, needless to say he’s had the last laugh.

5.11pm BST

Pep Guardiola brings in Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in place of Aleksander KOlarov and John Stones. Pep has just told BT SPort’s Des Kelly that Stones is injured, but didn’t elaborate on its nature. In midfield, Fernandinho comes in for Fabian Delph and Kevin De Bruyne replaces Raheem Sterling, who is on the bench. As expected, Southampton welcome back Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini from injury.

4.40pm BST

Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond, Gabbiadini.

Subs: Clasie, Long, Rodriguez, Caceres, Martina, Boufal, Hassen.

4.25pm BST

4.04pm BST

To Saint Mary’s, where a win for Manchester City will help them leapfrog Liverpool – who have played one match more – into third place in the Premier League table and boost their chances of a top three finish. Southampton have little to play for, but are looking for their third consecutive win following victories over Crystal Palace and West Brom. Kick-off is at 5.30pm BST, but stay tuned for team news and build-up.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/15/southampton-v-manchester-city-premier-league-live

Apr 15

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Bournemouth: Premier League – as it happened

Tottenham closed the gap on Chelsea to four points for at least one day with an imperious and energetic performance against Bournemouth

2.35pm BST

David Hytner was the Guardian’s devilishly handsome man at White Hart Lane and one of his winged monkeys was just spotted tapping on the window of Guardian Towers bearing this on-the-whistle report after making the short trip from Spurs.

Related: Tottenham keep pressure on Chelsea with hammering of Bournemouth

2.28pm BST

Today’s win makes it seven on the spin for Tottenham, who haven’t won as many consecutive matches since Bill Nicholson’s double-winning year of 1961. They’re also unbeaten in 16 matches at home, their last defeat having been against Bayer Leverkusen in a match that was played at … er, Wembley.

2.25pm BST

The team news is flooding in and Simon Burnton has it all ahead of today’s 3pm kick-offs the length and breadth of the UK.

Related: Sunderland v West Ham, Crystal Palace v Leicester and more: clockwatch – live!

2.24pm BST

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeep! It’s all over and Spurs have absolutely demolished Bournemouth to close the gap between themselves and Chelsea to four points. Mousa Dembele, Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen scored the goals in a match that Bournemouth can consider themselves very lucky to have only lost 4-0.

2.21pm BST

JANSSEN! NO, REALLY! The substitute rifles home from close range to score his first goal from open play for Spurs. He, his manager, his team-mates and Tottenham’s supporters are all delighted – you can’t fault his effort, but it hasn’t really happened for him this season.

2.17pm BST

88 min: The game enters its knockings, with Bournemouth trying to get forward to no avail under relentless pressing, even at this late stage, by Spurs. Deep inside his own half, Danny Pugh is harrassed into submission by Victor Wanyama down by the corner flag.

2.15pm BST

86 min: Tottenham substitution: Christian Eriksen off after another impressive performance. Vincent Janssen on in his stead.

2.12pm BST

83 min: Charlie Daniels pounces on a Danny Pugh cu-back to send a wild right-footed shot high and wide of the Tottenham goal. Spurs substitution: Moussa Sissoko on for Dele Alli.

2.10pm BST

81 min: Harry Arter goes close … to scoring into his own net, before Son’s shot from the edge of the six-yard box is blocked by some desperate last-ditch defending. That Bournemouth goal is leading a charmed life.

2.07pm BST

79 min: Tottenham Hotspur substitution: Victor Wanyama on for Harry Kane.

2.06pm BST

78 min: From the right wing, Harry Kane plays a wonderful cross in for Son, who wasn’t on the same wave-length and didn’t make the run that would have almost certainly guaranteed him a goal.

2.05pm BST

77 min: Bournemouth substitution: Benik Afobe off, Lys Mousset on.

2.05pm BST

76 min: Josh King picks up a cross from Harry Arter on the edge of the penalty area and shoots over from distance with Charlie Daniels screaming for the ball on his outside.

2.03pm BST

74 min: Bournemouth have a shot! On target! It’s straight at Hugo Lloris from Charlie Daniels, but a shot on target nonetheless. “We’ve had a shot! We’ve had a shot!” sing Bournemouth’s fans once the sarcastic cheers of their Tottenham counterparts dies down.

2.00pm BST

72 min: From close range with the ball bouncing at his feet after a Dele Alli miscue, Son drags the ball wide of the far post when scoring looked easier. He was offside anyway, so it matters not.

1.59pm BST

70 min: Ryan Fraser’s first contribution is to clatter Ben Davies with a late challenge that earns him a yellow card.

1.58pm BST

69 min: Spurs continue to pepper the Bournemouth goal from distance. Son tries his luck again, but Boruc gets down low to save.

1.57pm BST

68 min: Bournemouth substitution: Ryan Fraser on for Junior Stanislas, who has been Bournemouth’s most creative player. That’s not saying a great deal, mind. They’ve barely got a look-in here and are getting a real pasting.

1.55pm BST

66 min: Ouch! Son tries a shot from distance and fires straight into the face of Charlie Daniels. That’s gotta hurt! Moments previously, Eriksen had tried with a low shot from outside the area which Boruc parried to his left.

1.53pm BST

65 min: Good play from Harry Arter, who recovers well after Eriksen gave him the slip to make a recovering tackle.

1.53pm BST

64 min: A long ball from Arter picks out Stanislas running up the right flank. He cuts inside and shoots but his effort goes out for a throw-in.

1.52pm BST

62 min: Eric Dier engages in an impromptu game of keepy-uppy in the Bournemouth box before seeing his shot deflected over the bar for another corner. Nothing comes of it.

1.50pm BST

61 min: Another chance for Kane. This time his low drive from the edge of the Bournemouth penalty area is too weak to trouble Boruc unduly.

1.48pm BST

@bglendenning … 3-0 .. boo! pic.twitter.com/vuUhNUe5k1

1.48pm BST

59 min: Tottenham Hotspur win a free-kick just outside the Bournemouth penalty area in prime Christian Eriksen real estate. He shoots straight into the Bournemouth wall.

1.46pm BST

55 min: Bournemouth substitution: Lewis Cook on for Jack Wilshere. Before the substitution, Steve Cook was caught in possession deep inside his own half by Kane, who crossed for Alli. Simon Francis was on hand to spare his team-mate’s blushes. That was a case of Cook attempting to overplay the ball when booting it as far as he could up the pitch was probably the better option. We have two Cooks on the pitch for Bournemouth now, here’s hoping they don’t spoil the broth.

1.43pm BST

55 min: There’s raucous applause from Tottenham’s fans as Jack Wilshere goes down injured and requires treatment. Moments later, they cheer even louder as the midfielder is forced to hoist the white flag and hobble off the pitch.

1.42pm BST

54 min: Kane goes close again, with Spurs attacking in numbers on a lightning fast counter-attack. The ball’s played to Kane on the left side of the Bournemouth penalty area, but his low diagonal drive is saved by Boruc.

1.41pm BST

52 min: He almost gets his second after a mistake by Steve Cook leaves him unmarked with the ball at his feet in the penalty area and only Boruc to beat. He fails to lift it over the onrushing Pole, shooting straight into his breadbasket. A poor effort by Kane’s high standards.

1.39pm BST

51 min: That’s Harry Kane’s 20th Premier League goal of the season, seeing as you asked. He might bag a couple more before the afternoon is out the way Spurs playing here.

1.37pm BST

KANE! After good work from Alli and Eriksen down the right, the ball is played to Kane in the penalty area. He has plenty to do, with Simon Francis all over him like a cheap suit, but Kane manages to dig the ball out from under his own feet, make space for a shot and fire past Boruc into the bottom left-hand corner.

1.35pm BST

47 min: Bournemouth win a throw-in deep in their own half and Spurs win possession from it. Alli and Eriksen combine down the right, pick out Harry Kane and he scores.

1.33pm BST

46 min: Bournemouth get the second half started with a lot of work to do if they’re to avoid a drubbing. The pressing from Spurs’ midfield has been ridiculously effective, their suffocation of Bournemouth’s midfield making it nigh on impossible for Eddie Howe’s side to get their foot on the ball and try to work openings further up the field. Bournemouth right-back Adam Smith has come out for the second half, despite hobbling off at the interval.

1.28pm BST

In response to my assertion that Christian Eriksen was unlucky to miss out on a PFA Player of the Year Award, he has this to say: “Of all the diminutive, No10-style so-called ‘luxury’ players at the top clubs, I’d take him over the likes of Ozil, Mata and Coutinho, perhaps even Silva in terms of overall importance to the team. Only Hazard is more effective.”

1.19pm BST

Peep! It’s been an entertaining first half in which Tottenham were superior throughout. They lead by goals from Mousa Dembele and Heung-min Son and could have had more in a 45-minute spell in which Bournemouth were second best throughout.

1.18pm BST

45+1 min: We’re in the first of two suggested minutes of added time. Bournemouth win a free-kick not too far inside the Spurs half. Stanislas plays it long, Spurs win the aerial duel and attack on the counter courtesy of Harry Kane. Despite having Eriksen up in support, the pair run down a blind alley.

1.16pm BST

44 min: Smith stays on but is clearly struggling. I don’t think we’ll see him out for the second half, which could prompt the reintegration of Tyrone Mings into football society after a five-match spell on the Naughty Step.

1.14pm BST

43 min: Adam Smith goes down injured after contesting a high ball with Dele Alli and landing awkwardly. He’s holding his right ankle and there’s a break in play while he receives treatment.

1.12pm BST

41 min: Bournemouth’s goal is under siege and Son is next to go close, getting on the end of an Eriksen pull-back only to fire straight at Boruc from just inside the penalty area.

1.10pm BST

40 min: Eriksen fires a bouncing ball over the bar from about 15 yards out after great set-up play by Son in the channel. His sublime touch under pressure gave Eriksen a clear sight of goal and he should have done better.

1.09pm BST

38 min: Spurs win a throw-in deep in Bournemouth territory. The ball’s chucked towards Kane, whose return pass to Ben Davies is intercepted by Junior Stanislas, who wellies it unceremoniously up the park.

1.08pm BST

36 min: A delightful first touch from Harry Kane tees up Christian Eriksen, whose shot from seven yards is turned around the upright by notoriously holy goalie Artur Boruc, for whom Easter must be a special time of year.

1.05pm BST

34 min: Dele Alli plays the ball wide to Kyle Walker on the right touchline, but Bournemouth win possession and attack on the break with Charlie Daniels galloping down the same touchline. With Walker caught out of position, Eric Dier gets across to close down Daniels before he can pick out Benik Afobe.

1.04pm BST

33 min: The camera cuts to Mauricio Pochettino, who is looking very animated on the touchline. He’s roaring encouragement at his players.

1.03pm BST

32 min: Eriksen tries to pick out Harry Kane with a delightful ball in behind the Bournemouth defence which Francis stretches to cut out. So close! Brilliant vision from a great Dane.

1.02pm BST

29 min: Sloppy play from Bournemouth, whose goalkeeper gifts Spurs possession halfway inside the visitors’ half with a dreadful clearance. Tottenham’s front four converge on the Bournemouth penalty area like a swarm of angry bees, but Eriksen’s cross for Dele Alli is headed clear by Simon Francis. Crisis averted.

12.58pm BST

26 min: Bournemouth win a throw-in deep in Spurs territory, which Cook takes long. The ball finds its way to Stanislas on the right flank and he plays a wonderful cross to the far post. It’s just this much too far in front of Benik Afobe for the striker to poke home.

12.56pm BST

25 min: Just before that Bournemouth corner, Josh King was unlucky not to get on the end of a good Junior Stanislas cross from the right.

12.55pm BST

24 min: Bournemouth win their first corner and Bournemouth’s players queue up in the penalty area before dispersing like flies off a cow-pat when the ball is lofted into the penalty area. Steve Cook leaps highest, but can’t get over the ball and sends his header too high.

12.54pm BST

23 min: A replay of the incident leading up to the goal from which Spurs scored their first goal suggests it was Harry Arter who put the ball out of play. Simon Francis had plenty of time to remove all doubt by walloping the ball into the stands, but elected to let it run out of play thinking it was going for a goal kick.

12.52pm BST

21 min: “Wilshere! Wilshere! What’s the score? Wilshere! Wilshere!” sing Tottenham’s fans, who are having a very pleasant Easter.

12.50pm BST

SON! Steve Cook is left in Son’s slipstream as the South Korean takes a pass from Harry Kane, skins him down the right side of the Bournemouth penalty area and rifles a low diagonal drive into the back of the net. Spurs lead 2-0.

12.49pm BST

18 min: A replay of the incident in which Harry Arter was adjudged to have put the ball out of play for a corner, rather than a replay of the match, that is.

12.47pm BST

DEMBELE! Mousa Dembele scores his first of the season from a corner I’m not sure Spurs should have been given. The ball was swung into the area by Eriksen and Dembele couldn’t miss when the ball landed at his feet in the six-yard box. Woeful defending from Bournemouth, but should it have been a corner? Hopefully we’ll get a replay.

12.45pm BST

14 min: Adam Smith is penalised on the edge of his own penalty area for a little shoulder that fells Christian Eriksen. Free-kick for Spurs, more or less in line with the left side of the Bournemouth penalty area. Nothing comes of it.

12.44pm BST

13 min: Mousa Dembele pounces to fire a shot on target from the edge of the Bournemouth penalty area, but Artur Boruc saves well down to his left.

12.43pm BST

12 min: Junior Stanislas attempts to release Josh King with a penetrative pass through the centre, but it’s cut out by Alderweireld.

12.41pm BST

11 min: Bournemouth enjoy a little period of sustained pressure in the final third, but are eventually forced backwards. The ball is worked back to goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who clears it back up the field.

12.40pm BST

9 min: Son plays the ball to Kane on the edge of the area and he plays it wide to Walker. He combines with Eriksen, but Bournemouth win possession and get forward. Good hold-up play from Josh King, who gets his foot on the ball and waits for reinforcements to arrive. They come in the form of Jack Wilshere, the on-loan-from -Arsenal midfielder who is booed mercilessly by the home fans.

12.38pm BST

6 min: Son shoots into the side-netting from a tight angle. Soon after, Kane goes close from close range but Boruc blocks his effort. It wouldn’t have counted anyway as Kane was offside. It’s all Spurs at the moment, with Bournemouth camped in their own half and unable to find a foothold in these early stages.

12.36pm BST

5 min: Christian Eriksen plays the dead ball to Kyle Walker at the angle of the penalty area and receives it back before drilling a cross towards the near post. It’s blocked and Spurs have another corner.

12.34pm BST

4 min: Harry Kane attacks a dropping ball on the edge of the Bournemouth penalty area, but Steve Cook blocks his volley. Corner for Spurs.

12.34pm BST

3 min: Spurs get forward, with Dele Alli picking out Ben Davies on the left flank. The ball finds its way back to the feet of Toby Alderweireld when no opening can be found.

12.33pm BST

2 min: Bournemouth win an early throw-in just inside their own half, but Spurs soon regain possession with play concentrated in the middle third of the pitch. Jan Vertonghen gets an early touch out by the touchline, before sending a pass zinging backwards towards Toby Alderweireld.

12.31pm BST

1 min: The home side get the ball rolling with their fans in great voice.

12.30pm BST

It’s a crisp but sunny day in North London and the team’s are going through the last of the pre-match formalities. Both sets of players wear their first-choice kits, with Spurs in white shirts and Bournemouth in red and black stripes.

12.23pm BST

Following Kelvin McKenzie’s hatchet job on Ross Barkley in yesterday’s Sun, Everton have banned the paper and its reporters from the club. On the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, they’ve announced that the tabloid is now “banned from Goodison Park, the USM Finch Farm training ground and all areas of the Club’s operation”.

A club statement read: “Whilst we will not dignify any journalist with a response to appalling and indefensible allegations, the newspaper has to know that any attack on this City, either against a much respected community or individual, is not acceptable”. Good for them.

12.11pm BST

Christian Eriksen and Steve Cook line up against each other and in my humble opinion, both can consider themselves unlucky not to have made the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year Award. Both have been outstanding in very different positions throughout the season, but their contributions seem to have curiously unnoticed by anyone but their own club’s fans.

11.55am BST

11.51am BST

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

11.48am BST

To nobodfy’s great surprise, Harry Kane starts in Tottenham’s line-up, while Kieran Trippier can consider himself unlucky to have been dropped to the bench following his excellent performance against Watford. Victor Wanyama will be sitting nearby, presumably having failed to reach full fitness.

Despite having served his ban, Tyrone Mings is among the Bournemouth substitutes. Eddie Howe makes one change from the team that lost at Chelsea last weekend, with Junior Stanislas coming in for Ryan Fraser in midfield.

11.39am BST

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane.

Subs: Janssen, Wanyama, Trippier, Sissoko, Onomah, Wimmer, Pau Lopez.

11.36am BST

Harry Kane is likely to return to Tottenham’s starting line-up after coming off the bench against Watford last weekend. Victor Wanyama may also return after picking up a niggle in the warm-up of that game. Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and Danny Rose remain sidelined, while Mauricio Pochettino may replace Kieran Trippier with Kyle Walker, despite the replacement full-back’s excellent performance last week.

Callum Wilson and Andrew Surman remain among the ranks of Bournemouth’s long-term lame and halt, while Dan Gosling’s participation today is in doubt after a setback earlier this week. Defender Tyrone Mings is available for selection after serving his five-match ban for violent conduct after wiping his feet on Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

11.26am BST

Related: Christian Eriksen is our Special One, says Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino

9.48am BST

The TV schedulers have given Tottenham Hotspur another opportunity to close the gap between themselves and Premier League-leaders Chelsea to four points for a day at least, as they take on Bournemouth at White Hart Lane in the weekend’s early kick-off. The Cherries have never won there and are unlikely to get another opportunity to do so before Spurs move to the swanky new stadium they’re building next door. Kick-off is at 12.30 BST, but stay tuned for team news and build-up.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/15/tottenham-hotspur-v-bournemouth-premier-league-live

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