OT-Tour de France stage 19 (time trial)

Submitted by jmblue on July 21st, 2012 at 1:09 AM

The last real stage (for non-sprinters, anyway) is a long (52 km), flat time trial:

The podium appears to be set, but the rest of the top 10-20 is pretty fluid.  A lot of guys will have to gut it out on tired legs today if they want a high finish.  

I'm curious to see how Froome and Wiggins do.  Froome seemed to really want stage 17 and apparently wasn't allowed to leave Wiggins's side; will he go all out now to possibly win?



July 21st, 2012 at 2:38 AM ^

I really want to see Teejay go out there and smash it tomorrow. He's a great time trialist and he's said that he will empty the tank tomorrow. He has the potential to be the next great American cyclist.


July 21st, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Definitely.  This year's white jersey competition could be a preview of things to come in the future.  Van Garderen keeps getting stronger.  Pinot finishing in the top 10 in his first grand tour is remarkable.  Those two could be battling it out for years.

snarling wolverine

July 21st, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

Yeah, he looks like a star in the making.  I just hope NBC Sports doesn't go overboard with the hype in next year's Tour, giving us Tejay updates every 30 seconds like they did with Lance Armstrong.  ("Well let's see what Lance is doing.  It seems he's taking a natural break.  How about that!")  I know having a U.S. contender can mean better ratings, but they went nuts with the Lance worship.






July 21st, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

The next great American GT cyclist. Taylor Phinney (also of BMC) looks just as promising for Time Trials and classics--he rode a great race at Paris-Roubaix this year, and that's a race that you can't fake. And you have to be experienced to win, without exception.

We'll see how these two do in the future, I don't want to mount too many expectations on them. Only one man can win the Tour in any given year.


July 21st, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

...by Wiggins, who has proved himself a good sport and worthy champion.  

For the future of BMC, I'll be interested to see how Evans comports himself in the next few days.  As soon as his tour started sputtering, he began muttering to the press about Spanish fans, digestive distress, and mechanics.  In other words, he's sounding a lot like the pre-2011 Evans which must be exasperating for the team.  With Van Garderen finishing 4' ahead in the GC,  when will BMC start realigning towards TJ as Evans' successor?

snarling wolverine

July 21st, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

And, barring a surprise tomorrow, the coveted lanterne rouge will go to...

Jimmy Engoulvent of Saur-Sojasun.  

Jan Ghyselinck of Cofidis needs to find a way to lose 42 seconds to Engoulvent tomorrow to obtain this distinction.  



July 21st, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

In the end, the time gaps in the finishing order look pretty impressive. Wiggins wins easily, with only Nibali and Froome giving him any challenge in the mountains. 

A look at the top ten suggests that this Tour was hurt by prominent riders not competing. Not that they could have beaten Wiggins--only Alberto Contador has the tools that could have challenged him this year, and who knows if he could have gained enough time in the mountains to overcome TT losses--but there are some big time gaps in the top ten that could have been filled by prominent riders.

Andy Schleck would have lost four or five minutes to Wiggins in time trials at minimum, and perhaps more, but he would never have been dropped by the Sky train and could easily have gained some time. A five minute deficit at the end of the Tour is not at all unreasonable... and that would put him in third place.

I was pessimistic about Ryder Hesjedal's ability to do well in the Tour after winning the Giro, and we can never really know... but barring a serious collapse in form staying within 8 minutes of Wiggins for the Tour would have been a cinch, and that's a top five place. And a top five place for Ryder would've been fabulous this year. A shame he got hurt.

But cycling is not fair in this way, and indeed Wiggins' injury in last year's Tour suddenly looks all the more tragic now that we know how strong a rider he is. This just demonstrates how hard it is to succeed in cycling.


July 21st, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

Ugh, and thus the least exciting tour in recent memory ends. It really was the perfect combo of boring course meets boring riders meets boring tactics. Hope there's more fireworks next year. Congrats to Wiggins and sky, despite sucking the fun out of the tour, you gotta hand it to them for having the right team and the the right plan for this particular course. Their dominance was never in doubt after the first time trial.


July 21st, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

The Olympics do seem to suck some of the excitement out of the tour. But there was alot of new faces winning stages (and Sagan has locked up the Green Jersey). Oh, and Thomas Voeckler is always entertaining! Now if they could keep the flares, carpet tacks and dogs off the course, we can concentrate on teamwork and athleticism.