Narbonne – Nîmes (182 km) Click for route map
We discovered some amazing places in the Cevennes last year, but we did not manage to get as far as the Cirque de Mourèze with its dolomitic limestone rock formations, though we did picnic en route at one place were we were surrounded by similar outcrops (just off the A75 south of Millau). Viewed from the air this lunar landscape looks fascinating and definitely worth a visit. Two places, seen from the helicopter following this year’s tour, that we did go to were the Pont du Diable on the Gorges de Hérault, where the water was shades of deep turquoise blue and jade green and the St Guilhem le Desert. Unfortunately we were unable to stop at this ancient village as we were unable to find anywhere to park. Another good reason to visit this region again.
We had a good view of the ruins of the Chateau de Montferrand perched on top of the Pic St Loup.
The end of the race provided some wonderful aerial shots of the ancient city of Nîmes with its ampitheatre, forum and other Roman remains. It is many years since I visited and it was just too far last year, but I would love to go back again.
After yesterday’s news that Ricco had tested positive for doping, today we were told that the winner of stage 10 at Hautacam, Piepoli, had also failed a drug test. Both riders have been sacked by Team Saunier Duval – Scott, who saw no option but to withdraw their entire team from the remainder of the race before the start of Stage 12. Words fail me – these two have let the whole team down, especially their team mates who were clean.
RESULTS (British riders in italics)
Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia)
2nd Robbie McEwen – 3rd Romain Feillu
YELLOW (individual) – Cadel Evans (Silence – Lotto)
2nd Frank Schleck – 3rd Christian Vandevelde
GREEN (points) – Óscar Freire (Team Columbia)
2nd Mark Cavendish – 3rd Thor Hushovd
POLKA DOT (climber) – Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner)
2nd Bernhard Kohl – 3rd Frank Schleck
WHITE (under 25) – Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)
2nd Maxime Monfort – 3rd Roman Kreuziger
COMBATIVE – Niki Terpstra (Milram)
LEADING TEAM – Team CSC Saxo Bank