The top 10 appear to be:
1. Erik Zabel (Telekom)
2. Robbie McEwen (Lotto)
3. Oscar Freire (Mapei)
4. Jan Svorada (Lampre)
5. Sergei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo)
6. Baden Cooke (FDJ)
7. Thor Hushovd (CA)
8. Laurent Brochard (Jean Delatour)
9. Arvis Piziks (CSC)
10. Andrej Hauptman (Tacconi)
16:55 Zabels Gets The Stage!
Erik Zabel has won another stage of the Tour de France! His salute in the green jersey was in the centre of the road. On one side was Robbie McEwen, on the other Oscar Freire.
16:54 Hondo Leading It Out For Zabel
It'll be a sprint, there are Fassa riders up front, but now Hondo takes the final lead of the peloton before the sprint begins...
16:53 Lampre Also In The Mix
The pink and blue of the Lampre jerseys are now also mixed up with the head of the peloton. Now an FDJ rider is leading the pack... it's Fred Guesdon lead under the 1km to go baner.
16:52 Yellow Jersey Up Front
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is at the front of the pack with 3km to go. He has just been passed by the sprinters' teams with Mapei now driving the peloton.
16:51 4km To Go
Bonjour is now moving to the front, but their sprinter, Damien Nazon has been seen with the race doctor during the stage today... perhaps Simon is planning on trying an attack.
16:50 Rain Holding Off For Now...
The roads are dry at the moment. There are dark clouds hovering above the site of the finish, but for the moment the rain is holding off.
16:49 Lelli Punctures
As the sprint teams control the front of the pack, Cofidis' Massimiliano Lelli has suffered a puncture. He has a new back wheel and is now chasing to try and rejoin the peloton with 5km to go.
16:48 The Sprinters & Their Teams
Tom Steels may have abandoned yesterday, but there are plenty of other sprinters ready to try and catch up to his tally of nine Tour stage wins. The favourites for the stage must now include: Mapei's Oscar Freire, Lotto's Robbie McEwen, FDJ's Baden Cooke, Telekom's Zabel, AG2R's Kirsipuu, Credit Agricole's Stuart O'Grady... or perhaps Tacconi's Andrej Hauptman.
16:45 Pick Your Sprinter... Or Will Someone Do A Rubens?
At the moment it seems that we can expect to see a sprint finish. The Credit Agricole team is leading the stage alone with Telekom, Mapei and Lotto. There are 9km to go. A sprint is likely, but we saw in stage one this year, that a rider like Rubens Bertogliati can catch the sprint teams off their guard.
16:43 All Together Again
Okay, the sprint teams can now begin to do what they have been wanting to all day: prepare for the final rush to the line. Durand has been caught and the peloton is all together with 10km to go.
16:42 Most Aggressive Numbers Leading The Stage
The rider who has the red numbers as the Most Aggressive rider of the Tour, Durand, is now just 5" ahead of the peloton.
16:41 Only Jacky Up Front
The rest of the break has been caught, but Durand is persisting with his efforts at the front of the stage. He leads the peloton by 10".
16:40 15" Now
Durand is now at the back of the pack... at the front of the stage. He may be preparing to jump...
16:39 Lead: 20" For Six Escapees
The six riders are still persisting with their efforts up front. But their advantage is shrinking, with the latest check putting them just 20" ahead of the peloton.
16:38 Raining Now...
Rain has again started to fall on the peloton. There are a few drops falling at the site of the finish, but for the moment the roads in Alencon are still relatively dry.
16:35 Lead Down To 25"
The six escapees are now just 25" ahead of the peloton. They reached a maximum gain of 1'45".
16:33 Oriol Not Back With Peloton
One of the riders who was caught in the fall, Christophe Oriol, is at the back of the stage.
16:31 Peloton Less Than 20km From Finish
As the peloton pass under the 20km to go banner, they are 32" behind the six leaders.
16:30 All Coming Back Together...
The latest time check for the six leaders is 31". It seems that the work of the Credit Agricole, Lotto, ONCE and Mapei teams is going to capture the break which has been away for about 60km.
16:28 Lead Back Down To 40"
The lead of the six riders is now back down to 40" now that the ONCE team have started to help with the peloton's chase.
16:26 ONCE Joining In Work Up Front of Peloton
The ONCE team has now begun to cooperate at the front of the peloton's chase. They are currently 50" behind the six riders who escaped at the 115km mark.
16:25 Shefer Still Down
The Alessio rider, Shefer, is still lying on his back and receiving treatment from the Tour's medical team. He is moving his head a little, but Dr Porte is with him right now.
16:24 Some Of The Crash Victims' Names
Agnolutto, Oriol, Nazon and Shefer are some of the riders who were caught in the fall.
There has been another fall in the peloton. There is an Alessio rider on the ground, but we have no names of the riders involved...
16:22 Cooke Confident Of A Stage Win In His First Tour
The Australian rider who has finished the two sprint stages in 4th and 3rd (in stages two and three), Baden Cooke, has said that he's confident of taking a win in his first Tour. The FDJ Aussie is a competent sprinter, but he complained that he was undergeared with a 53-tooth chainring in stage two... he's now riding with a 54.
16:19 30km To Go
With 30km to go, the leading six riders are still 40" ahead of the peloton.
16:18 Pensec Predicts An Australian Win
The French rider who wore the yellow jersey for a few days in the 1990 Tour, Ronan Pensec, has said that he expects to see the Australian champion, Robbie McEwen win today's stage.
"Hey, yesterday we saw three Australians lead home the peloton," he said at the site of today's finish. "McEwen, Cooke and O'Grady... they will want to battle it out for the win today."
16:16 Lead Now 40"
The peloton is now just 40" behind the group of Wesemann, van Hyfte, Magnien, Durand, Apollonio and Zaballa.
16:15 Mapei, Lotto, Credit Agricole At The Front of Bunch
The teams of the sprinters continue to lead the chase of the six escapees. Mapei are working for the winner of stage 2, Oscar Freire; Lotto are working for the winner of stage 3, Robbie McEwen and Credit Agricole are working for last year's green jersey classification runner-up, Stuart O'Grady.
16:12 Results of the Courtomer Sprint
At the 3rd intermediate sprint of the day, the results are:
1. Massimo Apollonio (Tacconi) 6pts/6"
2. Emmanuel Magnien (Bonjour) 4pts/4"
3. Paul van Hyfte (CSC-Tiscali) 2pts/2"
The peloton were 50" behind at this stage.
16:10 Third Intermediate Sprint Due Soon
The leading group are now approaching the 3rd intermediate sprint of the stage. The Courtomer sprint comes with 35km to go in the 199.5km stage.
16:07 38km To Go
The race has settled again recently. The leading group of six riders appear to be destined to capture (with their latest lead 1'00"), but there are still 38km to go before the sprint teams really put pressure on the chase.
16:01 Lead Less Than One Minute Now
The chase of the sprinters' teams is now bringing back the advantage of the leading group of six riders. The latest time check had Wesemann's group 55" ahead of the peloton.
16:00 Mapei & Credit Agricole Lead The Bunch
'The Gladiator', Andrea Tafi, is now at the front of the peloton's chase. He is one of the Mapei riders swapping turns with Credit Agricole, Lotto and Telekom riders.
15:59 Millar Back With Dr Porte
David Millar was involved in a fall at the 12km mark of today's stage. He is now back with the race's doctor receiving treatment on his knee. The Cofidis rider who won the first stage time trial of the 2000 Tour appears to be okay after a brief time consulting Dr Gerard Porte.
15:56 Lead Back To 1'10"
The leaders have lost a little bit of their advantage in the last few minutes. The peloton is now 1'10" behind the group of Wesemann, Zaballa, van Hyfte, Durand, Magnian, and Apollonio.
15:54 Leading Group Maintain Their Advantage
The leading group of Wesemann, Zaballa, van Hyfte, Durand, Magnian, and Apollonio are now 1'20" ahead of the peloton. They have 50km still to race.
15:53 Indurain First Time Trial Win In Alencon
The first time Miguel Indurain won a time trial of the Tour de France was when the ninth stage of the 1991 race concluded in Alencon - the site of today's finish.
15:51 Gewiss The Last Winners In Alencon
The last time a Tour stage finished in Alencon, it was for the end of the 1995 team time trial. The winning squad was the Gewiss Ballan team, and the two-time Giro d'Italia winner, Ivan Gotti, inherited the overall lead as a result of the stage. Back in that year's race, ONCE was second and Banesto were third.
15:50 Carbon Bikes For ONCE
As the chase group's deficit plateau's around the 1'15"-1'20" mark, it's interesting to note that the overall leader, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, is riding a new carbon-fibre Giant bike. The Taiwanese manufacuturer was the first to introduce the 'Compact' frame into the peloton, but this is the first time the Spanish team has ridden the carbon version in the Tour de France.
15:42 Lead Back Down To 1'20"
The chase of the ONCE and Lotto teams is having an effect on the lead group now. The latest advantage of the Wesemann group is 1'20" - after reaching a maximum of 1'45".
15:40 US Postal Behind The ONCE Train
The peloton is now 1'30" behind the leading six riders. At the front are the Mapei, ONCE, Lotto, Credit Agricole teams. Just behind this lot is a collective of US Postal riders. The race is back on dry roads after a spell in the rain.
15:38 60km To Go
The leading six riders are now within the final 60km of the stage. At the front of the peloton is a mix of the Lotto and ONCE teams. Also up front are the sprint squads of Mapei and Credit Agricole. The peloton is strung out in one line because of the rapid pace today.
15:36 Lead 1'40" At Sprint
As the peloton passed the site of the 2nd sprint, the leading six riders were 1'40" ahead.
15:35 Average Speed For 3rd Hour
The average speed for the 3rd hour of racing today is: 46.9kph. The average for the three hours combined is: 44.0kph.
15:34 Results Of 2nd Sprint
The results of the sprint in Saint-Sulpice-Sur-Risle are:
1. Durand (FDJ) 6pts
2. van Hyfte (CST) 4pts
3. Appollinio (TAC) 2pts
15:31 Lead Up To 1'45"
The leading group are back on dry roads and about to contest the 2nd intermediate sprint of the day. Their latest advantage is 1'45".
15:30 Emmanuel Magnien: Not Gilles Maignan
It was reported earlier that the rider in the lead group was Gilles Maignan. He is not even riding this year's race. Sorry.
The Frenchman is actually Emmanuel Magnien. (D'oh!)
15:29 Four Countries Represented In Lead Group
Of the six riders at the front of the stage, there are four countries represented. There are two Spaniard (Zaballa and Apolloni), two Frenchmen (Durand and Emmanuel Magnien), one German (Wesemann), one Belgian (van Hyfte).
15:26 Lead Hovers At 1'44" With 70km To Go
The leading group is now 70km from the finish. They have an advantage of 1'44" on the peloton which is being led mainly by the ONCE team.
15:22 Lead Up To 1'30"
Wesemann, Zaballa, van Hyfte, Durand, Magnian, and Apollonio are now 1'30" ahead of the peloton which is being led by the ONCE team.
15:20 Lead Up To 1'10"
The six escapees are now 1'10" ahead of the peloton. Now ONCE are asking the Lotto team to chase. The Belgian team, however, are indicating that the Spanish team should chase. Eventually, they've agreed that they'll share the work. Lotto should chase to get a sprint scenario at the finish, while ONCE want to chase to minimise the lead group's time gains.
15:18 ONCE Abusing Domo Riders...
Some Domo riders have tried to attack while Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano was taking a toilet stop. The yellow jerseys team-mates then started yelling at the Domo riders. The sentiment was shared by some US Postal riders who joined in the screaming...
15:16 Toilet Stop For Igor
The willingness of the ONCE team to allow this break a leading margin is now clear. The overall leader, Gonzalez de Galdeano, has stopped (with his team-mate Nozal) to relieve himself. The leading group is now 1'00" ahead.
15:15 The Biggest Lead Today...
They group of Wesemann, Zaballa, van Hyfte, Durand, Magnian, and Apollonio are now 45" ahead of the peloton.
Finally, the bunch appears content to stop chasing down every surge. This is the biggest leading margin of the day, and ONCE are now looking a little less stressed at the front of the peloton.
15:13 Lead Finally Grows...
The latest attack group has pushed on to gain a lead of 30". The riders involved are: Stefan Wesemann (Telekom), Constantino Zaballa (Kelme), Paul van Hyfte (Lotto), Jacky Durand (FDJ), Gilles Magnian (Bonjour), and Massimo Apollonio (Tacconi).
15:11 Wet Roads Now
The leading six have been kept in check (surprise, surprise!). Their lead is now 18". One thing we can report - aside from the perpectual attack/chase scenario - is that it's now raining on the peloton.
15:09 Why Not Allow A Group Of 21 Riders A Lead?
Most of the small clusters which have escaped today have featured just one rider from each team. The chase is then instigated by the squads no represented. As the advantage of the latest group of six moves to 20", perhaps the only solution to this attacking scenario is to allow one rider from each team a to become a member of the break... that's about the only thing that will slow this current rush of action. Or so it seems.
15:06 The Latest Escape Group
Wesemann, Zaballa, van Hyfte, Durand, Magnian, and Apollonio are the six riders who are now on the attack. They have a lead of 10".
15:05 Attacks Continue
With about 85km to go, most of the stage today has resembled something akin to the finishing rush to the line. Just about every team has had a rider involved in one escape or another, but none with any success. There is a new group of six rider with an advantage of about 100 meters.
15:00 Mattan Frustrated
Mattan, who was part of the latest surge, has thrown his hands in the air in frustration. Why, he seems to be asking, won't the peloton (led by a mix of Telekom and ONCE riders) let a break get established?
14:57 Come on: Let Someone Go...
The peloton is a mix of riders who want to establish a break (like Kroon, Auge, and half the Bonjour team) and teams which are intent on keeping it all together. It's a cat and mouse scenario which is forcing a high pace, but it's achieving very little else. No escape has yet taken their advantage over 35".
14:55 Morin & Wesemann Now...
Morin has attacked the peloton. He has been chased down by Telekom's policeman, Wesemann. The peloton is all together again.
14:53 No Success For Escape
The attacks by Auge, Kroon and Beneteau have amounted to nothing. Right now Guesdon is leading the peloton, but it seems there are any number of riders interested in trying to escape the peloton... but no one has done so with much success.
14:52 Auge Caught
The attempt by Auge didn't last long. The peloton is now being attacked by an assortment of riders. Right now Kroon is trying (for the fourth time today) to get a small escape group established. He is joined by Beneteau from the Bonjour team.
14:50 ONCE Lead Peloton
No escapes have been allowed much of a leading margin today. Right now, the ONCE team is leading the peloton after exiting the feedzone (which was at the 96.5km mark).
14:46 Nazon Receives Treatment
The Bonjour sprinter, Damien Nazon is now back with the race doctor and receiving treatment on his left knee. His left leg is wrapped in bandage after being caught in a crash earlier in the Tour.
14:44 Escape Over
The Telekom chase has reeled in the six attacking riders with about 103km to race before the finish in Alencon.
14:43 Telekom Taking No Chances Today
The Telekom team has about six riders at the front of the peloton now. They are intent to keeping the stage together today after mistiming their chase of yesterday's escape group. They peloton is now just 10" behind the six leaders.
14:41 Kroon Finally Establishes A Lead Group
After attacking twice already today, Rabobank's Karsten Kroon has finally received some help with a break. The Dutchman is at the front of the stage with five others. They now have a lead of 22" on the peloton which is being led by ONCE, Telekom and Bonjour riders.
14:39 Lead Still 25"
The ONCE team is near the front of the peloton. They are joined by a Bonjour rider and a couple of Telekom riders. The main pack is 27" behind the six riders who are on the attack.
14:36 Lead Up To 25"
Robin, Kroon, Baguet, Sanchez, Brochard and van Bon are now 25" ahead of the peloton.
14:35 2nd Hour Average Speed
The average speed for the 2nd hour is 46.2kph. The average speed for the first two hours is 43.65kph.
14:34 Leading Six Are 15" Ahead
The escape group of six have a lead of 15" on the peloton.
14:33 Six Leaders Now
Robin, Kroon, Baguet, Sanchez, Brochard and van Bon are now at the front of the stage.
14:32 Brochard & Kroon Chasing
There are now four riders at the front of the pack. They are: Baguet, Robin, Kroon and Brochard.
14:31 A Lotto Attack
Serge Baguet is the latest rider to attempt an escape. The Lotto rider who won a stage last year has been joined by Jean-Cyril Robin.
14:29 Escape Over
The four rider who attacked around the 72km mark have been caught by the peloton.
14:28 No Overall Threat In Break
The best-placed rider of the foursome which is on the attack is Christian Moreni. He began the day in 74th place (3'43" behind Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano).
14:26 Lead Still 10"
The attacking foursome haven't been able to increase their margin over the past few kilometers. They are still 10" ahead of the peloton.
14:25 4 Riders; 4 Teams; 4 Countries Up Front
The break which is currently 10" ahead of the peloton is a diverse range of riders. A South African on an Italian team (Robbie Hunter, with Mapei), a Russian on a Belgian team (Guennadi Mikhailov on Lotto), a Frenchman (Stephane Auge, with Jean Delatour) and an Italian (Christian Moreni, with Alessio).
14:22 Four Lead By 10"
The group of four are now 10" ahead of the peloton. They are racing toward what has been a wet Alencon (although the rain has eased for the time being and the roads are currently dry when the race it at).
14:21 The Four Escapees
At the front of the stage are: Robbie Hunter, Guennadi Mikalov, Christian Moreni and Stephane Auge.
14:20 Four Riders With Small Advantage
A Lotto rider is now on the attack with a Mapei rider, an Alessio rider and a Jean Delatour rider. They have a small break of about 100 meters on the peloton. The names will follow...
14:17 Escape Attempt
After the 2nd climb, Halgand continued his effort at the front of the pack. He tried to establish a bit of a break, but for now the peloton is still all together.
14:15 Mengin Retains Polka-Dot Top For 7th Stage
After winning both climbs today (thus adding 10pts to his climbing classification tally), Christophe Mengin will start the 7th stage in the polka-dot jersey.
14:14 Results of Cote de Saint-Vigor
At the 2nd climb of the day, the results are:
1. Christophe Mengin (FDJ) 5pts
2. Patrice Halgand (DEL) 3pts
3. Tomas Konecny (DFF) 1pt.
14:12 Details of Cote de Saint-Vigor
The FDJ team continue to lead the peloton on the 2nd categorized climb of the day. The rise is 2.6km long at an average gradient of 4.0%.
14:10 FDJ Controlling The Peloton
As the peloton begins its climb to the summit of the Cote de Saint-Vigor, the FDJeux.com team of the current King of the Mountains, Mengin, is at the front of the peloton.
14:08 Green Jersey Details... (Continued)
As well as the points awarded during the intermediate sprints, the riders also receive points for the green jersey classification at the finish of each stage. The points at the finish vary depending on profile of the stage.
Flat stages offer points from 35 to 1 for the first 25 riders.
Rolling stages offer points from 25 to 1 for the first 20 riders.
Mountain stages offer points from 20 to 1 for the first 15 riders.
The time trial stages offer points from 15 to 1 for the first 10 riders.
14:04 Details Of Green Jersey Classification
Some readers of the Tour's website have asked just how the points for the green jersey work. At the moment, the lead in the sprint classification look as though they could change, so here is an overview of how the points are allocated:
The road stages of the Tour feature intermediate sprints (in towns and villages on the course). The first three riders at these primes earn 6pts, 4pts and 2pts, respectively. (They also receive time bonuses of 6", 4" and 2", respectively.)
[More to follow...]
14:01 Fan Mail Details...
If you want to send mail to the riders in the Tour de France, here are the postcodes and towns which you can send your mail to in the coming days:
16 July: 33000 Bordeaux
17 July: 33430 Bazas
18 July: 64000 Pau
19 July: 65300 Lannemezan
20 July: 09300 Lavelanet
21 July: Sunday - No Service
22 July: 84000 Avignon
23 July: 84110 Vaison la Romaine
24 July: 73210 La Plagne
25 July: 73210 Aime
26 July: 74300 Bourg en Bresse
27 July: 69430 Regnie Durette
This Is No Mail For Paris
14:00 Fan Mail For Riders In The Tour...
The organizers of the Tour de France have arranged a way for fans to send mail to their favorites cyclists during the event. You can simply address a letter to the rider and team care of the Tour de France Dynapost in towns near each days stage finish (ie: My Favourite Rider, His Team, CO/- Tour de France Dynapost, 61000 Alencon, France).
More details to follow...
13:58 Results Of Cote du Val d'Any
At the top of the first climb today, the points were won by:
1. Christophe Mengin (FDJ) 5pts
2. Michael Sandstod (CST) 3pts
3. Stephane Goubert (DEL) 1pt
13:56 Peloton Arriving At 1st Climb
The peloton is now on the climb to the Cote de Val d'Any. The 2.2km rise has an average gradient of 3.9 per cent and is one of two cat-4 climbs today.
13:55 Chavanel & Hontchar Now Attack
The latest attack has come from Sylvain Chavanel and Sergei Hontchar. Their attack has come at the same time that Seigneur has dropped off the back of the peloton.
13:54 Kroon's Attempt Lasted About 35"
Kroon's second attempt was quickly chased down by the peloton. He is showing signs of wanting to repeat the efforts of his team-mate Erik Dekker from the past few Tours, but Kroon hasn't been successful... yet.
13:39 Results of Les Andelys Sprint
The result of the first intermediate sprint of the day is:
1. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) 6pts
2. Jan Svorada (Lampre) 4pts
3. Erik Zabel (Telekom) 2pts
13:38 Approaching First Sprint Of The Day
The peloton is in the last 1,000m before the first sprint of the day (in Les Andelys, at the 47km mark).
13:36 Peloton All Together
The peloton is all together after one hour of racing. Rain is now starting to fall in Alencon...
13:30 A Bonjour Attack
A day after the Bonjour team announced that the Vendee region would assist the squad's sponsorship for 2003 (after Bonjour's contract concluded), there is a rider from the French team on the attack. He is yet to be named by race radio.
13:29 1st Intermediate Sprint Due In Less Than 10km
The Jean Delatour team is now showing signs of attacking intentions, for now however, the peloton is all together. They are around the 40km mark. The first of three intermediate sprints is due at the 47km mark.
13:27 Peloton All Together
The 18-man break has been caught by the peloton.
13:25 The 17 Riders...
Hincapie, Landis, Wesemann, Nozal, Pradera, Tauler, Sorensen, O'Grady, Basso, Casar, MaCGee, Mengin, Pinot, Renier, Turpin, Moreni, Halgand and Brochard are the riders involved in the escape group. They are still 10" ahead as they pass the 37km mark.
13:24 Escape Group Still 10" Clear...
The lead group now has 18 riders. None of the riders have been identified by race radio as yet. Their lead is just 10".
13:20 Lead Down To 10"
The riders in the break may not get a mention by race radio. Their lead is now just 10"...
13:19 17 Riders Leading Now
There are 17 riders at the front of the stage after a series of attacks. They have a lead of 15" at this stage. Names will follow shortly.
13:17 Brochard & Turpin Still Ahead
There has been no time check for the attack by Brochard and Turpin yet. But they are being chased by several other riders at this early part of the stage.
13:16 Seigneur & Oriol Off Back of Bunch
Two riders have been dropped by the peloton. It's likely that they were amongst the riders involved in the fall in the 11th kilometer of today's stage, although there is no confirmation of just which riders were in the crash.
13:15 Two Riders On The Attack.
Brochard (Jean Delatour) and Turpin are now on the attack. Turpin is from the AG2R team.
13:14 AG2R Showing Attacking Intentions...
Inspired by Jaan Kirsipuu's win in the fifth stage, the AG2R team are now sending riders up front to attack the peloton. No names (or times) have yet been given by the race radio, so we can assume that no one has been successful in escaping the fast-moving peloton yet.
13:10 Plenty of Attacks Now
The action is now heating up. There are plenty of riders attempting to establish an escape group, but none have been very successful yet.
13:09 Peloton At 23km Mark
The pace of the peloton has picked up. They are now at the 23km mark, and the speed has dropped Sergei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo).
13:08 All Together At 22km
All the attacks have been chased down by the peloton and the bunch is all together at the 22km mark.
13:07 Wauters & Zaballa Chasing Now
There are now two riders chasing the four leaders. They are Marc Wauters and Zaballa from the Kelme team.
13:06 Four Leaders Now
Casar has been joined by Nico Mattan and Stephane Auge at the front of the stage. They were quickly joined by Domo's Servais Knaven.
13:05 Millar Back In Peloton
With the help of Lelli and some other Cofidis team-mates, David Millar has rejoined the peloton after falling earlier in the stage.
13:03 Casar Leads By 10"
At the 17km mark, Casar's lead was just 10".
13:02 Casar The Lone Leader
The rest of the earlier attackers have been caught by the peloton. For the moment, however, Sandy Casar is insisting with his attack. He is alone at the front of the stage.
13:00 Casar Goes Alone...
As the peloton began to close in on the escaped quintet, Sandy Casar has pushed on ahead by himself.
12:59 Four Riders On The Attack
Fagnini, Morin, Casar and De Groot are now chasing Kroon at the front of the stage.
12:58 Kroon's Lead Up To 25"
Kroon is continuing with his attack. He is currently 25" ahead of the peloton after attacking at the 11km mark.
12:57 All Fallen Riders Okay
The riders who were involved in the fall are now all back on their bikes with no one seeming to be seriously hurt.
12:56 Millar Also Involved
One of the names of the riders in the fall is Cofidis' David Millar.
There has been a fall in the peloton including riders from Mapei, iBanesto and FDJeux.com riders.
12:54 First Attack
Karsten Kroon of the Rabobank team has launched the first attack of the stage. He jumped ahead of the peloton at the 11km mark.
12:53 Cipollini A Winner In The Town of Today's Start
Mario Cipollini, the Italian sprinter who isn't at this year's Tour, won a stage of the 1997 in the town which hosted the start of today's stage, Forges-Les-Eaux.
12:50 Peloton Still Together
After about 20 minutes of racing in the sixth stage, the peloton is still all together. The bunch has just passed the 10th kilometer.
12:49 Graham Jones' Forecast For The Stage Win...
The English rider who raced five Tours in the 1980s mostly with the French Peugeot team, Graham Jones, says that he thinks the winner today will be the Australian champion, Robbie McEwen.
"It's a bit of headwind today, so I don't think there'll be a big break," said Jones, who is on Tour commentating for BBC Radio. "It's good for Zabel too, but I think Robbie will take the win."
12:42 Peloton At Fifth Kilometer
The peloton is all together now. They have just passed the five kilometer mark of the 199.5km stage.
12:40 Weather At The Start
The sixth stage will be raced in overcast and cool conditions. With a temperature of 12 degrees Celsius (in the air) and 17 degrees at road level at the start, it's not exactly summer-time weather in the Seine-Maritime region today.
12:36 Pinotti To Return To Italy Today
One of the victims of the fall with 16km to race in stage five, Marco Pinotti, will leave the hospital in Rouen today and return to his house in Italy. He is a rider for the Lampre team and he was knocked out during the fall which also caused a broken nose.
12:27 Three Intermediate Sprints
The sixth stage has three intermediate sprints. They are in the towns of Les Andelys, at the 47km mark; Saint-Sulpice-sur-Risle, 133.5km; and Courtomer, 164.5km. Each offer points for the sprint classification and time bonuses for the first three riders across the line.
12:25 Two Category-4 Climbs
The sixth stage has two category-four climbs. Both come in the first half of the 199.5km stage. The first categorized rise is the Cote du Val d'Any (at the 61km mark), this is followed by the Cote de Saint-Vigor (at 71.5km). Both have poitns of 5, 3 and 1 for the first three riders over the summit.
The riders are now rolling through the neutral zone and are on their way to the site of the official start on the outskirts of Forges-les-Eaux.
12:18 Welcome To Stage Six Of The 2002 Tour de France!
The 199.5km sixth stage of the 89th Tour de France is scheduled to start at 12.20pm. There is a 4.6km neutral zone which will take the peloton to the site of the official start on the outskirts of Forges-les-Eaux.