Tune in at 8:00 AM ET for coverage of Stage Thirteen of the Tour de France. Rob Sturney will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
I'm Rob Sturney here with The Score's continuing coverage of the 99th Tour de France. We have a fairly long, flat stage today with a wall just before the finish. We've got a breakaway with several usual suspects in it. There are Frenchmen in there, of course. It looks like the stage might be one for the fast men however.
We're heading towards the Mediterranean Sea today. Matty Goss will be hoping to have a more satisfying end to his stage today. He was relegated to seventh behind Peter Sagan after he deviated from his sprint line and docked 30 green jersey points. He didn't get relegated to the back of the pack because he and Sagan were judged to be one second ahead of the rest. The gap is now Sagan 254, Goss 198, with Greipel 181 and Cav 129.
The breakaway: Pablo Urtasun (Euskatel), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Michael Morkov (Saxo), Roy Curvers (Argos-Shimano), Jerome Pineau (Omega Pharma), Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur), and Maxime Bouet (Ag2r).
This is Morkov's fourth breakaway, Urtasun's third and Bouet and Curvers' second. Morkov, Urtasun and Bouet were already in a break together on stage 1.
There are five Frenchmen involved in this escape. All the French teams are represented - except Europcar! Where's the green representative?
Sad to report that RadioShack's Tony Gallopin, the Frenchman who was going so well early in the race, has abandoned because of illness. His mates are still the top team with five riders in the top 17! Sky is second in the team competition. Guess who is 3rd? Astana.
117.5 km to go: Orica-GreenEdge has been helping to lead the peloton. The octet is in the Quissac feed zone.
The breakaway is 27.5 km from the intermediate sprint in Mas-de-Londres. They should be able to survive until then. The points left over might be contested by the bunch.
117 km to go: Sammy Dumoulin has won a stage before, Stage 3 of the 2008 Tour in Nantes.
114 km to go: As the breakaway gets down to the business of chewing while spinning, the peloton grabs the feedbags.
Tomorrow we start to get into the Pyrenees with a Cat. 2 and two Cat. 1's near the end. The Mur de Peguere comes 38.5 kilometres from the finish. Will Nibali attack?
112 km to go: Vacansoleil appears at the front of the field, working for Kenny Van Hummel. They've lost four riders so far in this Tour, same as Euskatel, the Basque team that might be given wings in the Pyrenees and snag a win. I'm sure Gorka Izagirre would like to match his brother Jon's stage win in the Giro.
109 km to go: How interesting: there have been four British stage winners in this Tour. Great Britain's Olympic cycling team is looking good. There have been three French winners too.
Here's a reminder of our jerseys:
Yellow: Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain/Sky)
Green: Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Liquigas)
Polka Dots: Fredrick Kessiakoff (Sweden/Astana)
White: Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC)
The winds as the riders scoot along the coast running southwest could make things very dicey. Add that wall called Mont-Saint-Clair and this stage might not go to form.
101 km to go: The break is about ten kilometres from the intermediate sprint, or as I like to think of it, the I'm-buying-tonight-lads 1500 Euros.
In honour of Bastille Day, let us consider the French terms la fringale - the bonk and to laché - to crack.
I mentioned earlier that RadioShack, Sky and Astana were the top three squads in the team competion. The last? Argos-Shimano.
97 km to go: The break is on a little rise not too far from the intermediate sprint. Orica-GreenEdge continues to toil at the front of the bunch.
IF the sprinters get to the finish intact after that little wall and those winds, I think Cav will get his second win. He worked hard delivering water bottles to his teammates yesterday, and I think that'll pay off today.
96 km to go: This Bastille Day vibe has me humming 'La Marseillaise' and Rush's 'Bastille Day'
We just heard from a camera in the Garmin car that Farrar isn't feeling good to sprint today. Van Summeren was so beaten up at the finish of the Metz Massacre that I was surprised he continued in this race. Boy, did Garmin ever need that victory yesterday.
90 km to go: Here's the intermediate sprint. Urtasun gets the round tonight. Urtasun made a hand gesture like, "C'mon, let me have this one, okay?"
Here's the field sprint. Sagan thwarted Goss quite easily this time. Greipel takes second.
Crash! Right after that sprint. Peter Velits is down. He got tangled up in the crash barriers.
Velits will carry on with teammate Devenyns to help bring him back. Velits is 24th on GC.
85 km to go: So now the plot turns to the run-down leading to whatever disturbances the little wall and the winds give the race.
83 km to go: Horner is drafting his team car to get back up to the field. I'm not sure if he had a mechanical or perhaps took a natural break.
82 km to go: Horner now joins the Omega Pharma boys bringing Velits to the front.
Horner is the second highest placed rider from the United States. Van Garderen is 7th, Horner 15th and Leipheimer 30th.
I reckon because it's Bastille Day we can do the same for the French riders:
9) Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
10) Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
14) Jerome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun)
28) Sandy Casar (FDJ)
78 km to go: That break's gap is coming down to become manageable for the peloton in case things get grippy near the end.
76 km to go: I expect the Kessiakoff/Rolland/Kiserlovski/Sorensen KoM fun to continue tomorrow. Look out for either Scarponi or Pinot to have a hot day in the Pyrenees and vault themselves into serious contention.
75 km to go: Peter Velits, with the help of his twin Martin, gets up to the peloton but has a visit to the team car.
74 km to go: The gap is approaching two minutes now. The peloton is obviously wary of possible dangers near the end to disrupt the field sprint.
72 km to go: The course has a few rollers, then it descends to sea level. But Mont-Saint-Clair, which French great Laurent Jalabert regards as a nasty little climb, could make things weird.
Christophe Kern is off the back and hoping to get back on now. He wants the camera motorcycle away from him.
70 km to go: Pineau had a flat in the break but enjoyed a pretty speedy change. He's back with his mates.
64 km to go: The break is beginning to split up. Pineau goes first. Morkov and Curvers reach him and then the octet reforms. The peloton is just two minutes behind.
63 km to go: Morkov comes out of that dicing with a pretty big gap. He wants to win for his deceased father who passed on this day a few years ago. He'll want to get himself a few more KoM points as well.
62 km to go: Sagan also had a fast wheel change. He grabs a bottle and will make his way up through the cars.
Morkov has a 27 second gap on his breakmate.