New acceleration by Kragh and this could be an important moment! Stybar and Vanmarcke respond, Asgreen holds still and the three have a gap. Van Avermaet tries to react but Langeveld neutralizes immediately.
Reaching the Cysoing section, the three have already 20 seconds over their previous companions! Van Aert is making use of the cobbles to put the pressure back on, but they're not making up much because the cooperation in front is good.
Entering the final 20 kilometres, Camphin-en-Pévèle is coming right up. Instantly followed by the Carrefour de l'Arbre and the Gruson section. Certainly the Carrefour is a terrifying and notorious cobblestone passage where the race was often decided in the past.
OH VANMARCKE. Just when he is about to take the lead to turn up the speed, his bike is letting him down. His chain or gear seems to get stuck and he has to let Stybar and Kragh go. You can read the disappointment and despair on his face.
Poor Vanmarcke is overtaken now by Van Aert, who is dropping a huge bomb. Naesen follows, GVA hangs on, Asgreen is doing everything he can to keep contact. Pedersen, Garcia and Van Baarle are losing ground a bit but still resisting. Politt and Langeveld seem done, although the last one might wait for his unlucky teammate.
Meanwhile Stybar is unleashed and Kragh has to dig deep to keep his wheel. In the back it's Van der Poel who's putting his final cards on the table and solo making up ground fast. He passed Backaert and Vanmarcke and joins Langeveld and Politt.
Yes and no. In the early days, it were written stories in magazines and newspapers, so of course no feeling of 'live coverage'. But I get what you mean.
My dad's generation followed the Tour through radio broadcasts in the fifties and sixties. Back then televisions were not yet or rarely around. Radio coverage is exciting though, since it requires your imagination to create images to the words. I can still enjoy some live radio updates when it comes to sports, although livestreams on smartphone are kinda killing that too.
Coming out of the Carrefour and immediately linking up with the Gruson part, Stybar and Kragh have 18 seconds on Van Aert, Naesen, Van Avermaet and Asgreen. Shortly after them we see Pedersen, Garcia, Van Baarle and ... an unbelievably strong Van der Poel!
MVDP uses Gruson to finally get back in the running for a high placing. The Dutchman tows Garcia, Pedersen and Van Baarle back as well. Around 15 seconds behind them, a furious Vanmarcke nears again to teammate Langeveld and Politt, but only a miracle will let him battle for victory again.