Tony Martin rode a perfect time trial in the ideal conditions and maintained ten seconds of advantage over Bradley Wiggins who rode into yellow blue as he put a much stronger performance than the other GC contenders. The lead of the British champion on GC makes him the hot favourite for the overall win.
Martin in the lead early
It didn’t take a long time until Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) took the command of the classification, as he was the 45th rider to start, out of 175. He didn’t only better but he smashed the times of Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD). The Italian was very impressed when he heard the time of the German champion for time trial: 55.27, which means an average speed of 45.98km/h. As the newly crowned American champion David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervélo) crossed the line with a deficit of 58 seconds, it became clear that Martin had scored a winning time.
Boasson Hagen confirms his great condition
Norwegian time trial champion Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) proved that he was excluded from the first positions of the overall classification only because of the flat tyre he had when he and his team captain Bradley Wiggins were in trouble in the crosswinds yesterday. The Norwegian placed himself between Martin and Zabriskie with a satisfying time of 56.10, but he was unlucky again as he was one of the first riders to cover the final downhill under the rainy conditions. The road got only more slippery for the riders who followed Boasson Hagen.
Geraint Thomas was the next rider from Sky to score an impressive time, 57.03, provisionally the fourth best, until Dauphiné defending champion Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) bettered his time. The race for the yellow-blue jersey turned into the favour of Bradley Wiggins when the favourites entered in action and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) couldn’t find the same rhythm as the Englishman. The British champion for time trial even equalled Tony Martin at the second intermediate time check after 27.5km but the wet downhill prevented him from winning the stage. Wiggins finished ten seconds down on Martin who maintained his first position till the very end, with Boasson Hagen keeping his top 3 position at 43 seconds. Vinokourov finished 14th and dropped down to fourth on GC.
More than one minute lead for Wiggins
Wiggins became the new leader of the Dauphiné with 1.11 over Cadel Evans (BMC), 1.21 over Brajkovic and 1.56 over Vinokourov, while the new best young rider is now Rui Costa (Movistar) who stands in fifth place at 2.12. Wiggins also leads the points classification and Van den Broeck keeps the polka dot jersey.
“Tony Martin and I didn’t have the same weather conditions but that’s what time trial is about. It was just about GC for me today. I’m here for training for the Tour de France. I didn’t want to take unnecessary risks in the downhill, only for the stage win. I saved a bit because I knew that Vinokourov, Van den Broeck and the other GC guys were slower than me. This was a fantastic course, a very, very nice one for a time trial. I think it was even harder than it’ll be at the Tour in July. I’m in great shape but I’m still preparing for the Tour de France. I’ll keep riding the Dauphiné as well as I can. I will fight for this yellow jersey, whatever it takes. I want to get the best overall result possible on Sunday. Vinokourov and the other guys haven’t said their last word.”
“This was the big test for the time trial of the Tour de France. To win it is a really big confidence booster for me. I was the big favourite today and this is for sure a really nice test that I passed. I found a good rhythm. I’ll have to go a little bit faster at the Tour de France though. I’m here to improve my condition step by step. The first few days were really hard for me after my break. Now I’ll see how I can go in the mountains.”
“It was hard but I’m pretty satisfied. This morning, I looked carefully at the course, so I knew what to expect. It was humid on the road sometimes. I had to be cautious and not to take too many risks. This is encouraging for the Tour de France. I feel better and better. I’ll figure out in the next few days if it’s interesting to try and keep the polka dot jersey.”
Rui Costa: “I’ve had very good sensations today during the time trial. I’ve passed a good test for the Tour de France. It’s nice to be awarded the white jersey after that. This was my first long time trial this year and I can only be happy with the physical condition I have. I’m happy to be fifth in the general classification but it will be complicated to maintain this position. I hope for a top 10. This is a good objective for me to pursue.”
Alexandre Vinokourov finished 14th and Bradley Wiggins took over from him with 1.11 advantage over Cadel Evans. Brajkovic is 3rd at 1.21, Vinokourov 4th at 1.56 and Rui Costa 5th at 2.12.
1. Tony Martin, 55.27
2. Bradley Wiggins, at 0.10
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen, at 0.43
4. David Zabriskie, at 0.58
5. Janez Brajkovic, at 1.17
Bradley Wiggins can’t beat Tony Martin: he’s second at ten seconds but he’ll take the yellow-blue jersey.
1. Wiggins; 2. Evans, at 1.22; 3. Brajkovic, at 1.27; 4. Vinokourov, at 2.00; 5. Costa, at 2.11.
Race leader Alexandre Vinokourov has the 18th best time at km 27.5. He’s 2.11 down on Bradley Wiggins.