OT - Tour de France stage 9 (time trial)

Submitted by jmblue on July 9th, 2012 at 11:29 AM

ITT time.  A pretty level course, fairly long (41.5 km).  

 

Tomorrow's a rest day, so the riders can lay it all on the line today.

Comments

wolpherine2000

July 9th, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

...but barring a crash or some mechanical mishap it is hard for me to see Evans making up that 1'53".  Nibali's climbing and descending skills may now be the biggest threat to Wiggins..

snarling wolverine

July 9th, 2012 at 12:20 PM ^

Well, this is going to have to lead to some fireworks in the mountains now.  Evans and Nibali are going to have to take some chances.  They may need to partner up in some stages against Wiggins/Froome.

 

AA2Denver

July 9th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

I never would have thought Wiggins could win but I'm now a believer. Mick Rogers, Gerrans, Froome are a sick group to have working as domestiques. 

I'm hoping Teejay can finish in the top 5.

reshp1

July 9th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

It's Wiggin's to lose now I think barring a major "bad day" in the mountains. He's yet to prove he can keep form late into a grand tour, but this year's race just isn't that hard. Realistically, the only chance the climbers have to make up time on him are Stage 12 and 17. I don't see him losing the 2 mins and even if he did, there's still 50+ km of time trialing on the penultimate stage for him to win it back. There won't be a tour so well suited to his talents for a long time to come and his team this year is just stacked to help him win.

There should be some fireworks for the other spots on the podium though. Froome could well go 1-2 with Wiggins with Evans grabbing third. I

stephenrjking

July 9th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

Unfortunately, neither Nibali nor Evans are the type of climber that can seriously hurt Bradley Wiggins; I have a sneaking suspicion that the best climber in the Tour this year is actually Chris Froome, and he's definitely not attacking. I hope I'm wrong, because successful suicide attacks from climbers are both exciting and about the only thing that will significantly change the result, but you need Andy Schleck or Alberto Contador to do that, and they aren't here.

To their credit, Sky knew this was a winnable Tour and they worked the plan to win it. They look awfully powerful, but in fairness the large budget that allows them to pay guys with known climbing ability like Rogers, Porte, and Froome to shepherd Wiggins through the mountains. And it looks like they're going to do it.

Unfortunately, as a seasoned cycling fan it's hard not to raise eyebrows as the positively... extraterrestrial performance of Sky today. Froome and Wiggins are good time trialists, but the best two times of the day? Crushing Fabien Cancellara? Time gaps that evoke Miguel Indurain, Jan Ullrich, and Lance Armstrong? (Big Mig hasn't actually been linked to doping, but read up on the era he dominated--hard not to believe he was the same as everyone else). These aren't positive indicators.

 

reshp1

July 9th, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

Sadly, doping suspicitions will be in the back of people's minds for quite some time, but I think today's performance was legit. I can't confirm, but the times seem to suggest perhaps a favorable change in wind conditions towards the end. All the last few guys (that aren't horrible TT'ers) did pretty well. Froome is a beast in his own right and probably can win the Tour this year had he been on another team. Wiggins has been putting down rides like this for a while now. Also, keep in mind Cancellera is coming back from injury and perhaps isn't quite the benchmark he was in years previous. I'm sure there will always be ways to stay ahead of the controls, but it seems with the biological passport it would be very difficult to gain a significant advantage by doping nowadays without triggering alarms.

snarling wolverine

July 9th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

Hey, I hope that is the case.  Don't take my comment to believe that I'm trolling here.  I love the Tour.

I did read somewhere that the amount of energy generated on the climb to the Planche des Belles Filles was significantly lower than what Armstrong and some others produced on similar climbs a decade ago, so that's a hopeful sign.

AA2Denver

July 9th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

Their times were amazing, but I'm not surprised they wen't 1-2. Look below, just off Martin's time and ahead of Cancellara is very impressive. I'm not saying they aren't dopers (I won't make that mistake again) but TTs are kind of their thing.

2011 Vuelta Stage 10 results

 

1  Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad         0:55:54   
2  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky            + 0:59   
3  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky               + 1:22   
4  Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek    + 1:27   
5  Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing         + 1:33   
6  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek       + 1:37   
7  Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack          + 1:54   
8  Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack        + 1:56   
9  Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank    + 2:02   
10 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek       + 2:06

 

reshp1

July 9th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

Yeah, I remember that stage. Too bad Froome was playing domestique to Wiggins in last year's Vuelta. I think he could of easily taken the overall had he been the protected rider from the beginning (hard to make that call since he was pretty unknown at the time). All while being sick with a stomach bug if I remember right. Even if Wiggins falters like he did in the Vuelta, Sky is still in good shape to take the GC.

petered0518

July 9th, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

I am jaded enough to never dismiss doping accusations, but this performance isn't unbelievable in my opinion.  Wiggins has been on of the better time trialers for a while and this was a long one.

Last year on stage 20 Tony Martin and Cadel Evans had similar gaps from everyone else in the world (including Cancellara) as Wiggins and Froome did today. 

As for Miguel Indurain, that is one guy who I think could have easily not been doping and still dominated the way he did.  Just read up on the typical tests for great endurance athletes (VO2 max, resting heart rate, lung capacity, etc.)  he tested off the charts in every category.

Sons of Louis Elbel

July 9th, 2012 at 10:09 PM ^

Man, that was just a stomping. Phil and Paul kept talking about how they thought the course suited Evans' strengths. Oops. Anyone can have a bad day in the mountains, but given how strong Sky has been, Wiggins has to be feeling really good about his chances. It's going to take a lot for Evans or Nibali to make things interesting, especially since there's another long time trial remaining.