Stage 10: Limoges to Issoudun

Team Columbia-HTC put on another bunch sprint clinic today in Issoudun, using a perfect leadout to propel Mark Cavendish to his third stage win of the 2009 Tour.

A four-man breakaway that included three French riders aiming for victory on Bastille Day was caught by the peloton around two kilometers to the finish. George Hincapie took the lead of the Team Columbia-HTC train inside the one-kilometer mark. As they drew closer to the line, Mark Renshaw took over as pacemaker. Cavendish was close behind him on his wheel, followed by Thor Hushovd in the green jersey and Garmin-Slipstream's Tyler Farrar.

But once Renshaw peeled away, Cavendish's speed was no match for Hushovd or Farrar. The Manxman earned his seventh career stage win in only his third Tour de France.

Stage 10 was marked from the beginning by a ban on race radios, a decision the Tour organizers, ASO, upheld despite protests from a fair number of riders and team directors. The communication disadvantage, however, did not seem to factor into the outcome of the race. Stage 13 from Vittel to Colmar is also scheduled to be run without radios.

Today's results created slight changes to the overall classification. Andr?as Kl?den pulled even with Astana teammate Levi Leipheimer at 54 seconds back, while Garmin-Slipstream's Bradley Wiggins lost 15 seconds to overall leader Rinaldo Nocentini and slipped from fifth to seventh, 1:01 back.

UPDATE: Race officials decided later in the day to reverse their decision on the time gap at the finish and award the entire peloton the same time. Therefore, the general classification remained unchanged from Stage 9.

Bastille Day St.10
A woman waves the French flag on Bastille Day as the pack passes through Montgivray during Stage 10. - AP Photo/Christophe Ena

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Stage 10 Results

  1. Mark Cavendish – Team Columbia-HTC – 4:46:43
  2. Thor Hushovd – Cervelo TestTeam +00:00
  3. Tyler Farrar – Garmin-Slipstream +00:00
  4. Leonardo Duque – Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne +00:00
  5. Jose Joaquin Rojas – Caisse d'Epargne +00:00
  6. Lloyd Mondory – Ag2r-La Mondiale +00:00
  7. Kenny Robert Van Hummel – Skil-Shimano +00:00
  8. William Bonnet – Bbox Bouygues Telecom +00:00
  9. Daniele Bennati – Liquigas +00:00
  10. Sa?d Haddou – Bbox Bouygues Telecom +00:00

Other U.S. Riders

  31. Christian Vande Velde – Garmin-Slipstream +00:00
  33. George Hincapie – Team Columbia-HTC +00:00
  46. Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:00
  77. Levi Leipheimer – Astana +00:00
  156. David Zabriskie – Garmin-Slipstream +00:00
  165. Danny Pate – Garmin-Slipstream +01:13

Overall Classification

  1. Rinaldo Nocentini – Ag2r-La Mondiale – 39:11:04
  2. Alberto Contador – Astana +00:06
  3. Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:08
  4. Levi Leipheimer – Astana +00:39
  5. Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +00:46

Click Here for More Overall Standings and Jersey Leaders

194.5K (120.9 miles) - July 14, 2009

• Limoges, which served as yesterday's rest day town, has hosted the Tour 13 times

• Issoudun is a first-time stage host

• Sprint Points at: Lauriere, Aigurande, Saint-Aout

• Mountain Passes: Cote de Salvanet located at 12.5 kilometers - 1.8km climb to 4.5 percent grade - Category 4; Cote de Saint-Laurent-les-Eglises at 27.5km - 2km climb to 5.3 percent - Cat. 4; Cote de Benevent-l'Abbaye at 58.5km - 1.8km climb to 3.4 percent - Cat. 4

St.10-Limoges-Issoudun
Image courtesy of www.letour.com


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