- The race 2011
- Key moments
- All about the race
The anticipation was high at the start of the stage and now, finally, we have the answer of who the winner of the 98th Tour de France is going to be. The top 10 after 20 stages is: 1. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 2. Andy Schleck (LUX) LEO at 1’34" 3. Frank Schleck (LUX) LEO at 2’30" 4. Thomas Voeckler (FRA) EUC at 3’20" 5. Alberto Contador (ESP) SBS at 3’57" 6. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) EUS at 4’55" 7. Damiano Cunego (ITA) LAM at 6’05" 8. Ivan Basso (ITA) LIQ at 7’23" 9. Tom Danielson (USA) GRM at 8’15" 10. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) ALM at 10’11"
With all the riders at the finish of the time trial in Grenoble, the top 10 for the stage is: 1. Tony Martin (GER) THR - 42.5km in 55’33" (45.9km/h) 2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 7" 3. Alberto Contador (ESP) SBS at 1’06" 4. Thomas De Gendt (BEL) VCD at 1’29" 5. Richie Porte (AUS) SBS at 1’30" 6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) ALM at 1’33" 7. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) EUS at 1’37" 8. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) LEO at 1’42" 9. Peter Velits (SVK) THR at 2’03" 10. Rein Taaramae (EST) COF at 2’03"
Frank Schleck has finished 2’47" behind Tony Martin (THR). The German has won his first Tour de France stage with a time of 55’33" (45.9km/h). The winner of the Tour is going to be Cadel Evans (BMC).
Cadel Evans was the first Australian to lead the Giro d’Italia (in 2002), he was the first form his country to win a long time trial at the Tour de France. There are a multitude of things that he has done for the first time: The first Aussie world road race champion... is now going to be the first Australian winner of the Tour de France.
Frank Schleck is going to lose his second place in the general classification. The Luxembourger has arrived at the finished his time trial with the 19th best time. He is 2’40" behind Tony Martin.
Cadel Evans has had numerous set backs over the years but he is the finest cyclist in the world. He was born with a broken nose, three weeks past his due date but at 34 years of age, he is going to become the first Australian to win the Tour de France. At the age of eight he was kicked in the head by a horse, fracturing his skull and putting him in a coma for weeks. Doctors didn’t expect him to walk again after that accident but he has done a lot more than that. In Grenoble he was a dominant force. He became the virtual leader of the Tour de France before the halfway mark of the 42.5km time trial of stage 20 and, by the 27.5km mark, he had more than double the time he needed to win the title. He has lost the stage by seven seconds but the title will be his... possibly by more than a minute.
Frank Schleck is going to slip down the rankings again after the final time trial. He is inside the final 3km but his brother is going to take over the second place position after 20 stages of the 2011 Tour de France.
Evans’ time trial is the second best of the day. He finished the 42.5km course in 55’40" and he’s going to win the Tour de France but Tony Martin will take the stage victory in Grenoble.
With Andy Schleck yet to arrive at the second check, Evans has taken back more than twice the time he needed to in order to win the Tour de France. The Australian is going to create history by becoming the first from his country to win this race. Phil Anderson first wore the yellow jersey in 1983, then came the ’new generation’ of riders like Stuart O’Grady, Bradley McGee and Robbie McEwen, who all won stages and wore the yellow jersey at the Tour. McEwen was the first Australian to win the green jersey (something he did three times) but now it’s time for an Aussie to take the yellow jersey to Paris. Take a bow Cadel... he might not win the stage but he’s going to win the Tour de France!
Unless he crashes, it appears as though Cadel Evans is going to win the Tour de France. The Australian has taken 1’41" from the Luxembourger after 27.5km of racing.
Tony Martin continues to lead the stage. Alberto Contador has the second fastest time at the finish: 56’09".
The virtual leader of the 2011 Tour de France is yet to reach the third check but according to GPS data, Cadel Evans is now 37" ahead of Andy Schleck in the general classification. The Australian only had to make up 58" to win the Tour but it appears as though he’s going to finish more than twice that ahead of his rival in the general classification.
At the second time check, Frank Schleck is 1’43" down on Cadel Evans.
Evans is only seven seconds behind Tony Martin at the 27.5km mark. The Australian looks like he’s going to win the Tour de France. Andy Schleck is yet to reach the second check but the figures show that the BMC rider is over half a minute clear of the Leopard-Trek leader.
Andy Schleck appears to be losing the Tour de France. He is now 1’17" behind Cadel Evans.
Pierre Rolland has finished 35" behind Taaramae today the the Frenchman who won at Alpe d’Huez has kept his white jersey after today’s stage.
With 20km to go in the stage, Evans has become the virtual leader of the 98th Tour de France. The 34-year-old needs to finish more then 57" ahead of the Luxembourger to become the first Australian to win the Tour de France. Evans was 8th in his first Tour, 4th in his second, then 2nd by just 23" in 2007 and 2nd in 2008 by just 58".
Before the 27.5km mark, we can report that Cadel is one equal time to Andy... it’s a virtual reading but the Australian has already taken 57" out of Andy’s advantage of 57".
Contador has the third best time at the second time check. He is 42" behind Martin.
Evans is just 5" behind the yellow jersey according the GPS information given from the riders in first and third overall.
Evans has never been ranked lower than fourth overall in the 2011 Tour. He’s currently only 11" behind the yellow jersey. Andy posted the 17th best time at the 15km mark; Cadel has the second best time...
Cadel has gained 41" on the rider in second overall with 25km to go...
At the first check Andy Schleck has clocked a time of 21’09". Evans did the same distance in 20’33".
Frank Schleck has ridden the first 15km in 21’07". That means that Cadel Evans has moved ahead of the Luxembourger in the general classification. A time check has just suggested that Cadel is 30" ahead of Andy who is yet to reach the 15km mark.
Taaramae has gained 24" on the new leader of the youth classification, Pierre Rolland. The Frenchman is holding on to his white jersey.
With only one man yet to pass the 15km mark, the top five is: 1. Martin (THR) 15km in 20’12" 2. Evans (BMC) at 21" 3. Contador (SBS) at 21" 4. Boasson Hagen (SKY) at 22" 5. De Gendt (VCD) at 25"
The BMC team leader is almost at the first time check. Evans is on dry roads and he has posted the second best time - almost equal with Contador.
At the first check, Voeckler has managed the 15th best time of the stage. He has surrendered 57" to Martin after 15km.
Andy Schleck has lost 12" of his 57" advantage over Cadel Evans before either rider reach the first intermediate check...
At the 15km mark, Contador has the second best time of the day. He is 21" slower than Tony Martin.
The HTC-Highroad GC guy, Peter Velits has finished with the fifth best time. He is 7" ahead of Boasson Hagen and 2’03" behind his team-mate Martin. The twin brother of another member of the HTC team (Martin) won the final time trial of the Vuelta a España in 2010.
At the first check, Rolland is 16" behind Taaramae. For the moment, it looks like Rolland will be the first Frenchman to win the white jersey since Benoit Salmon in 1999.
In 2008, Cadel Evans (BMC) first wore the yellow jersey. He had a lead of just one second over Fränk Schleck for five days. Then, at Alpe d’Huez the Luxembourger passed the yellow jersey on to his team-mate Carlos Sastre. Evans was still considered the favorite for the title as there was a 53km time trial to St-Amand Montrond to follow. The Australian was 1’34" behind the Australian... but Evans finished 7th in the final time trial while Sastre was 12th. By the end of the day, there was 1’05" between first and second overall... with Sastre the rider in the yellow jersey.
Voeckler has recently departed Grenoble and is currently on his way to Vizille. There are now just three men to start the time trial: Evans (BMC), Schleck (LEO) and Schleck (LEO). There has been no change to the top five at the finish since the arrival of Tony Martin. The German has the best time, 1’29" ahead of De Gendt (VCD), 1’30" ahead of Porte (SBS) and 1’42" better than the winner of last year’s two Tour time trials Fabian Cancellara (LEO).
Pierre Rolland (EUC) currently leads the youth classification but the Frenchman was significantly slower Estonian who used to wear the white jersey in the 42.5km time trial of the Criterium du Dauphiné... Taaramae has the seventh best time at the 15km mark. Rolland is yet to arrive there...
Just ask the count-down hit zero for Alberto Contador, the rider pulled his left foot from the pedal. It wasn’t a crisis as the Spaniard quickly remedied the situation and he is already tucked into the aero position...
Samuel Sanchez (EUS) has just left the start house. He won the final time trial in the Vuelta a España in 2007 when he finished third overall. He was 3’56" behind Denis Menchov in the Spanish Grand Tour four years ago and 10" ahead of Cadel Evans in the overall standings.
Contador has his TT helmet on and is pacing around behind the start house. He is talking to his team’s directeur sportif Brad McGee - the first Australian to lead all three Grand Tours. McGee will be calling the race for the Spaniard who won the final time trial of the 2009 Tour.
The rider who was third in the prologue of the 2003 Tour, Haimar Zubeldia is the latest to reach the 15km mark. His time is 1’51" slower than Martin in Vizille.
Gorka Verdugo - the rider who Cadel Evans blamed for causing him to crash in 2008 in the stage to Hautacam - has just reached the second intermediate check in 26th place. That was, according to the Australian, one of the reasons why he lost the title of the Tour by just 58".
Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM) has just started the TT. He is 11th in the overall rankings which means only 10 more men are yet to start the 20th stage of the 98th Tour.
F. Schleck (LEO)
A. Schleck (LEO).
Peter Velits has pushed his way into the top five at the first check. The HTC rider is 34" behind his team-mate Tony Martin at the 15km mark.
Philppe Gilbert averted a crisis after his chain slipped and he almost came crashing down. Somehow he saved it, but only after thudding his crutch onto the top tube of his bike. He had to unclip from the pedals and lost a bit of time but he was well behind the standard set by Martin...
Tony Martin (THR) has just offered a few comments about his ride today. "I didn’t go too hard on the climbs," said the German who has the best time so far. "I tried to save a little bit of power because I wanted to go really fast on the last descent."
With 124 riders having finished the time trial today, there is over 11 minutes between first and last - Martin (THR) finished the course in 55’33" while Jeremie Galland (SAU) took 1h06’52".
As Cadel Evans - one of the favorites for the stage rides the wind trainer for warm up - he’s been getting some tips from Steve Morabito from the BMC team. The Swiss rider was the 119th starter today. He finished the course in 69th place over 12 minutes behind the time set by Martin.
Hesjedal (GRM) is the latest to start the stage. This means there are now just 16 men to start the time trial. The order, of course, is the reverse of the positions on general classification and Andy Schleck is due to start at 4.18pm.
Martin’s time is just five seconds slower than what he rode to win the time trial of the Criterium du Dauphiné in June.
Martin’s average speed is 45.9km/h. He has obliterated the previous best times. The German now leads by 1’28".
At the third check, Martin (THR) is 1’06" ahead of the Belgian from Vacansoleil, Thomas De Gendt. The German is inside the final kilometer and is destined to get the best time of the day in Grenoble.
Martin is inside the final 3km of the stage but we don’t yet have his intermediate check for the 35.5km mark. He was, however, 38" ahead of his nearest rival at the 27.5km mark.
Gilbert (OLO) is the 14th fastest at the first time check. He is 1’04" behind Martin (THR) in Vizille.
Roche (ALM) is the latest to leave the start house. There are another five riders to begin the time trial at two-minute intervals and, from Rob Ruijgh onwards they will be separated by three minutes.
Martin (THR) has done the first 27.5km in 40’26" - that’s 38" better than Thomas De Gendt (VCD). The German’s average speed for the first phase of the stage is 40.8km/h.
Tony Martin has dominated the early phase of the time trial. He is 22" faster than any other after 15km of racing. The German who was second (to Cancellara) in both time trials of the 2010 Tour de France will arrive at the St-Martin-d’Uriage time check soon...
Voigt (LEO) has been interviewed by France Televisions at the finish. He believes that, the battle for the yellow jersey, Andy Schleck has a "60 per cent chance of winning the Tour in 2011..."
Alas, bike problems on the course means that we won’t know if Boasson Hagen could have challenged De Gendt. He is home in 57’43" - the fourth best time of the day but mechanical issues certainly hindered his chances.
Geraint Thomas (SKY) is about to leave the start house. He was seventh in the third stage of the Dauphiné (on the same course as that used today).
Boasson Hagen had a good start to the stage but the Norwegian TT champion has had to stop to swap bikes just after the third check where he was just 36" behind the best time of Thomas De Gendt.
Boasson Hagen (SKY) had the second best time at the 15km mark (20.34") but by the 27.5km check he is fifth, 48" behind De Gendt.
Martin has caught and passed Xavier Zandio before the 27.5km mark. The German is riding a rear disc wheel and pushing an enormous gear. He covered the first 15km at an average speed of 44.55km/h.
Martin is at the 15km mark in 20’12". He has the fastest time in Vizille, 22" better than Boasson Hagen, 25" ahead of De Gendt and 30" ahead of Cancellara. The German from HTC-Highroad covered the same distance in 19’25" at the Criterium du Dauphiné in June... a little slower than today but he’s still the best by far in the 20th stage.
De Gendt (VCD) has the best time of the day. He’s beaten Porte (SBS) by just one second.
At the third time check, Thomas De Gendt is continuing to prove that he’s getting better the longer the Tour goes on. The Belgian was sixth at Alpe d’Huez and he’s got the fastest time of the stage at the 35.5km mark. He leads Porte (SBS) by 18".
"It hurt!" That was the first thing that the rider with the best time of the stage so far said after he crossed the line in Grenoble. "I’m pretty motivated for this and I think it’s a good course for me obviously because I’m a bit of a smaller guy. I had Brad behind me for inspiration and I guess it’s a long way from the finish but I’m happy with my ride. "I thought I would have been quicker than Fabian at the start but I think I climbed well and we didn’t really go after the intermediate times that much. "I was lucky on the descent because I almost crashed a couple of times but I managed to hold it up. It’s worse the way that it is - wet and dry. I’m not making any excuses but maybe it’ll get a bit drier in the afternoon but hopefully the GC battles has taken a bit more out of the big guys and I can pick up a stage win today."
The average speed of the best time so far is 44.70km/h. That’s what Richie Porte - fourth in the final stage of the Giro d’Italia this May - covered the 42.5km course in.
Richie Porte (SBS) has just posted the best time of the stage so far. LeTour.fr spoke to him at the finish and he said that he was difficult but that he was happy with this race. "It’s a little tricky because the road is wet in some places and dry in others. I almost came down on one section but I’m pleased with my ride. "I had Brad McGee in the car behind me and he is the best at calling a stage like this."
The rider with the best time in Vizille is Thomas De Gendt who is five seconds ahead of Cancellara’s time. The Belgian’s average speed for the first 15km is 43.65km/h.
Porte (SBS) has improved for the second part of the TT today. The Tasmanian was 32" behind Cancellara after 15km but at the 27.5km he is just one second shy of the best time.
At the 15km mark Thomas De Gendt (VCD) who was sixth at Alpe d’Huez has posted a better time than the time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara. The Belgian is 5" faster than the Swiss Leopard-Trek rider!
After 42.5km, Roy (FDJ) is 1’41" slower than Cancellara. The Frenchman was third in the stage to Lourdes, the second time that he was voted the winner of the ’Fighting Spirit’ award in the 2011 Tour de France.
David Millar has the 14th best time at the 15km mark. He was the winner of the final time trial of the Giro d’Italia. He beat Alex Rasmussen by seven seconds and Alberto Contador (3rd in the TT and first overall) by 36".
The rider who finished fourth in the final time trial of the Giro d’Italia, Richie Porte (SBS), has just reached the 15km time check in seventh place so far. He is 32" behind the time of his former team-mate Fabian Cancellara.
Rein Taaramae (COF) lost the white jersey at Alpe d’Huez but the Estonian is still in contention for the victory of the youth classification. He is 1’33" behind Pierre Rolland in the general classification but when the two riders contested the Dauphiné this June, Taaramae finished 9th in the time trial (on the same course as the one used today). Rolland was 92nd - 2’57" behind Taaramae in the 42.5km stage.
The Saxo Bank-SunGard team has netted fifth place so far thanks to the efforts of Nicki Sorensen who is 2’09" behind his former team-mate, Cancellara.
At the second time check, Koren (LIQ) is just 17" behind Cancellara and 9" ahead of the previous second-best at the 27.5km mark, Malori (LAM).
At the second time check, the Italian time trial champion Adriano Malori (LAM) is 26" behind Cancellara. That’s the second best time of the day so far.
The final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico this March, was a 9.3km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. The overall winner of that one-week stage race was Cadel Evans (BMC). The Australian finished 12th in the time trial, 31" behind the winner of the stage Fabian Cancellara (LEO). Andy Schleck also contested that race. He finished the time trial in 73rd place, 37" behind Evans.
In his second appearance at the Tour de France, Stuart O’Grady led the race for three days and also won a stage. He is the second Australian to wear the yellow jersey (after Phil Anderson) and also the second Aussie to win a stage of the Tour de France (Anderson was also the first to do that). O’Grady is a member of the Leopard-Trek team this year but in 1998 he was part of the French Gan squad. He outsprinted Guiseppe Calcaterra for the win and the Italian was later relegated from second to sixth (the last of the escape group) because he headbutted O’Grady in the final few meters.
Jesus Hernandez (SBS) is the latest rider to pass the first check. He covered the opening 15km in 22’24" - 2’02" slower than the TT master, Fabian Cancellara...
Kristjan Koren (LIQ) now has the second best time at the first check. He is 10" behind Cancellara, and 10" ahead of the next best rider, Adriano Malori (LAM).
The winner of the final time trial of the 2003 Tour, David Millar is scheduled to start at 1.28pm. He is one of six former TT winners from the Tour who are still in the race today... the other five are: Cancellara, Hushovd, Leipheimer, Contador and Evans.
The sun is starting to break through the clouds in Grenoble. The roads are dry for the start and the finish but there has been rain early today out near St-Martin-d’Uriage... Jean-François Pescheux, the director of competition, has just told LeTour.fr that he followed Cancellara for his time trial and it was raining heavily when the Swiss rider blasted around the course to post the best time of the stage so far.
This is the fourth Tour de France that Andy Schleck has contested. He is currently leading the race but the yellow jersey is far from secure. The Luxembourger leads Australia’s Cadel Evans by 57” after 19 stages. Here are the results of Schleck’s time trials at the Tour in the past: Stage 4, 2008: 20th place - 1’29” behind the winner, Schumacher (1’02” behind Evans) Stage 20, 2008: 30th place – 4’02” behind the winner, Schumacher (2’00” behind Evans) Stage 1, 2009: 18th place – 1’00” behind the winner, Cancellara (37” behind Evans) Stage 18, 2009: 21st place – 1’41” behind the winner, Contador (34” behind Evans) Prologue, 2010: 122nd place – 1’09” behind the winner, Cancellara (30” behind Evans) Stage 19, 2010: 44th place – 6’14” behind the winner, Cancellara (4’41” ahead of Evans)
Tony Martin of the HTC-Highroad team won the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné in June this year, beating Wiggins (SKY) 11". The German did the time trial in dry conditions while Wiggins - who would win the overall title (and take yellow thanks to his second place in Grenoble) - did the course in wet conditions. The Brit’s time in June was 55’38"... over a minute faster than Cancellara’s effort today.
With 40 riders at the finish, there is 9’37" between the fastest (Cancellara) and the slowest (Galland).
The best time of the day is held by Fabian Cancellara: 57’15". He is 57" ahead of Westra thanks to an average speed of 44.54km/h.
Although it’s relatively dry in Grenoble, it’s raining on some part of the 42.5km course that loops out of the capital of the Isère and aims in a southerly direction before turning north again and going over the climbs near St-Martin-d’Uriage.
At the 35.5km mark, the average speed for the best time so far - Fabian Cancellara (LEO) - is 41.466km/h.
At the third check, Cancellara has eclipsed the time of Westra by 51".
The best time at the 27.5km mark is still held by the rider racing in the rainbow jersey today: the TT world champ, Fabian Cancellara. His average speed for the first 27.5km is 39.79km/h.
It’s cloudy in the Isère department but it hasn’t exactly been raining during the early phase of the time trial. There are a few drops falling but the roads are essentially dry at the moment.
The two Schleck brothers are currently following the rider who has set the fastest times at the first and second checks, Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider covered the first 27.5km in 41’29" - 26" faster than Westra.
Lieuwe Westra has the best time of the stage so far but let’s remember the race on the same course in June when he was 28th in the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. His time in June was 58’29"... he currently leads the stage with a time of 58’12" - ie. 17" faster today than he was in June.
At the finish of the 42.5km time trial, Westra (VCD) has posted an average speed of 43.81km/h.
The nickname that LeTour.fr has given Lieuwe Westra is ’The Beast’ and the Dutchman is living up to his title... he has posted the best time of the day so far, beating Pate at the finish by 51"!
So far only three riders have finished the 42.5km stage in less than an hour: Pate, Bodnar and Bak. Pate’s average speed for the fastest time so far is: 43.18km/h.
With 27 riders at the finish, Pate (THR) still has the best time. He is 5’33" faster than Lampre’s Denys Kostyuk after 42.5km of racing.
The best time at the second check is held by Westra (VCD). He covered the first 27.5km with an average speed of 39.38km/h.
At the Vizille time check, Fabian Cancellara (LEO) has the best time of the day so far. He covered the 15km in 20’42". In June, the winner of the Dauphiné TT, Tony Martin (THR), covered the same distance in 19’25". Of course it’s worth remembering that the the TT of the one-week Dauphiné was held on day four... and today’s stage comes after three hard weeks of racing.
The average speed for the world champion’s first 15km in stage 20 is 43.48km/h.
The world champion is speeding around the course: at the 15km mark he has the best time by 22"! Cancellara took just 20’42" to reach Vizille.
Westra has beaten Bodnar’s time by 36" at the 27.5km mark.
The Polish rider who leads at the first two checks, is 5" behind Pate at the third check (35.5km). Bodnar is less than 5km from the finish...
The rider with the best times at the 15km and 27.5km mark is Maciej Bodnar (LIQ). He won his first national championship in the under-23 time trial in 2006. He successfully defended that title in 2007 and was second in the elite division in 2008. In 2009, his third season with Liquigas, he won the elite time trial title in the Polish championships (beating Bartosz Huzarski and Mateusz Taciak).
At the second check, Bodnar (LIQ) has beaten the time of Pate (THR). The Polish rider is 9" ahead of the American at the 27.5km mark.
At the 15km mark, Lieuwe Westra (VCD) is just 7" behind the best time set by Bodnar (LIQ). It’s enough to put the Dutchman into third at the Vizille time check.
There are six riders who have previously won an individual time trial at the Tour de France still in the race. Here are their names and their start times for the 20th stage:
Fabian Cancellara (LEO): start at 11.48am
David Millar (GRM): start at 1.28pm
Thor Hushovd (GRM): start at 1.44pm
Levi Leipheimer (RSH): start at 2.56pm
Alberto Contador (SBS): start at 4.03pm
Cadel Evans (BMC): start at 4.12pm
Fabian Cancellara (LEO) is about to start his time trial. He is the first of the former Tour TT winners to begin the 20th stage.
If Cadel Evans is to become the first Australian to win the Tour de France he has to finished over 57" ahead of Andy Schleck. The Luxembourger didn’t contest the Criterium du Dauphiné in June but it’s worth noting that in the third stage of that race - contested on the same course as the one used today - Evans (6th) beat Vinokourov (14th) by 58"... The question posed by this bit of trivia could be: Is Andy better than ’Vino’ in the time trial?
The Polish team-mate of Ivan Basso, Maciej Bodnar has beaten Pate’s time at the 15km mark. He is 4" better than the American at the first check.
The third stage of the 2011 Critierum du Dauphiné was contested on the same course as today’s time trial. The winner of that stage on 8 June was Tony Martin (THR). The top 10 of that race was: 1. Tony Martin 2. Bradley Wiggins at 11" 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen at 43" 4. Dave Zabriskie at 58" 5. Janez Brajkovic at 1’17" 6. Cadel Evans at 1’20" 7. Geraint Thomas at 1’36" 8. Christophe Riblon at 1’37" 9. Rain Taaramae at 1’56" 10. Rui Alberto Costa at 2’00" Of this selection seven are part of the race today (Wiggins, Zabriskie and Brajkovic were all at the start of the 98th Tour de France but had to abandon because of injuries sustained in crashes in the first week).
The first three to start the time trial have reached the finish. The best time is for Pate who is 3’39" faster over 42.5km than Amador (MOV).
Pate has the best time at all checks so far. With less than 3km to go in the stage, he has already caught the two men who started ahead of him. He leads Amador (MOV) and Sabaini (LIQ) by 3’17" and 4’04", respectively, at the 35.5km mark.
The time trial world champion is ranked 126th overall after 19 stages of the 2011 Tour de France. Fabian Cancellara is therefore the 42nd rider to start today’s stage. The Swiss quadruple winner of the TT world title won both time trials in the 2010 Tour - the prologue in Rotterdam and the penultimate stage to Paulliac. Cancellara is a favorite for today’s stage win.
The Russian who finished third in the Lake Annecy time trial of the 2009 Tour, Mikhail Ignatiev (KAT) is passed the 15km check 16" slower than Pate. It’s good enough for the third best time of the day so far. Ignatiev’s third place two years ago was behind Alberto Contador and Fabian Cancellara. The 2002 under-23 TT world champion was 15" slower than the eventual winner of the 2009 race in Annecy.
The question for readers of the official site of the Tour de France - LeTour.fr - today is:
Who will have the yellow jersey after the time trial in Grenoble?
These are the riders in the top five overall after 19 stages. With almost 10,000 votes so far, the consensus is that Cadel Evans will take the yellow jersey in Grenoble; he has 53 per cent of the votes so far.
Another rider saving himself for tomorrow is André Greipel. The winner of stage 10 (in Carmaux) is 1’59" behind Pate at the 15km mark. The German from the Omega Pharma-Lotto team has the slowest time in Vizille.
The first two riders in the time trial have reached the 27.5km mark. Fabio Sabatini’s time is 3’09" behind Danny Pate at the second check.
Lars Bak (THR) has just reached Vizille. He has the second-best time of the stage: 14" behind his team-mate Danny Pate.
During the course of this time trial there will be references to three intermediate time checks. They are in:
Vizille at 15km
St-Martin-d’Uriage at 27.5km
Gières at 35.5km
At the 15km mark, the Lithuanian champion Ramunas Navardauskas (GRM) has the second best time of the day, 25" behind Pate. Navardauskas is a member of the Garmin-Cervélo team that won the second stage. He did not, however, finish with the five who posted the best time. He did a big effort before dropping out of his team’s paceline on the 23km course in Les Essarts on day two. He finished 1’01" behind his team-mates but stood on the podium to receive the applause as part of the winner formation that day.
There is a time limit to consider but some riders are going to do the bare minimum in the race today in the hope of saving as much energy as possible for the final stage. One of those men is Mark Renshaw - a key lead-out rider in the HTC-Highroad Express. The Australian is passed the 15km time check with the slowest time to date: 1’57" behind Pate. Renshaw finished second in the final stage of the Tour two years ago when he did such a lead-out for Mark Cavendish that he could salute his team-mates victory and still finish runner-up in Paris.
Of the riders in the top 10 overall, only two have previously won a time trial at the Tour de France. Cadel Evans (BMC) was the winner of the 13th stage in 2007 – when Alexandre Vinokourov was actually the fastest in the race around Albi, but he was stripped of the win retrospectively because of a positive doping control, and so the Australian was later declared the winner. Evans is currently ranked third overall. Alberto Contador (SBS) won the final time trial of the Tour in 2009 when he beat Fabian Cancellara by three seconds in a race around Lake Annecy. Contador is currently ranked sixth overall.
After 15km, the winner of the stage 18th stage of the Tour in 2008 Marcus Burghardt (BMC) is 50" behind Pate. The German has been one of the key men working for Cadel Evans during the 2011 Tour. It’s common for the teams of the GC contenders to use team-mates as a yard-stick; some riders who are vying for the yellow jersey may even follow another from their team in the car to see how the course is on the day of the race. If they don’t follow, they will at least get feedback from their colleagues who start well beforehand...
The first three men to start the time trial have passed the time check at Vizille (15km). The best so far is the 2001 under-23 TT world champion Danny Pate (THR) with a time of 21’08". He already has an advantage of 1’49" on the first man to start the 20th stage, Fabio Sabatini (LIQ). The former ’Lanterne Rouge’ Andrey Amador (MOV) has passed the 15km mark 1’53" slower than Pate.
Bjorn Leukemans (VCD) is the one rider who has been eliminated from the Tour because his finishing time was too far behind the winner at Alpe d’Huez. The Belgian finished 33’23" behind Pierre Rolland yesterday and is outside the time limit. There were 83 riders actually behind the time cut 82 have been penalized 20 points but remain in the race (as part of a regulation that stipulates that if over 20 per cent of the peloton is outside the time limit, then the organizers can reinstate them - but with a 20 point penalty in the points classification).
The third man to start the 20th stage is Danny Pate (THR) who is 3h43’00" behind Andy Schleck in the general classification. The American was the winner of the under-23 time trial world championship 10 years ago when he beat Germany’s Sebastian Lang (OLO) and South African James Perry in Lisbon, Portugal. No riders have yet reached the first time check.
The final rider to start the time trial will be the man in the yellow jersey, Andy Schleck. He begins the 42.5km race at 4.18pm.
The winner of the stage to Alpe d’Huez moved up from second in the youth rankings to first place. Pierre Rolland (EUC) is likely to become the first Frenchman to win the white jersey since Benoit Salmon in the 1999 edition of the Tour de France. The Europcar rider who spent the best part of the three week race at the service of his team leader Thomas Voeckler is now 10th overall (8’57” behind Andy Schleck) and 1’33” ahead of the next best rider for the young rider classification, former leader Rein Taaramae (COF). Another Frenchman, Jérôme Coppel (SAU) is third at 7’52”.
With no categorized climbs on the itinerary for the next two days, the mountains prize has been decided after 19 stages. All Samuel Sanchez (EUS) has to do to win the polka-dot jersey is survive the next two days of racing – the 42.5km time trial in Grenoble and the short 95km Parisian stage on Sunday. The Spaniard who won at Luz Ardiden and was second at both Plateau de Beille and Alpe d’Huez has a commanding lead in the climbing classification: 108 points, versus 98 for Andy Schleck (LEO) and 74 for the former leader of this category Jelle Vanendert (OLO).
The first three men have started the time trial. It’s trying to rain in Grenoble but it’s little more than a drizzle. Danny Pate (THR) is the latest to begin the 42.5km race.
The battle for yellow is on today but it should be settled in the time trial and then the fight for the green jersey will be back on in earnest. Mark Cavendish (THR) has survived the mountains and is going to make it to Paris for the third time in his Tour career (when he has won the final stage both times). The Manxman leads the points classification with 280 points, 15 more than José Joaquin Rojas (MOV) and 50 more than Philippe Gilbert (OLO).
After 19 stages of the 2011 Tour de France we have a new leader of the general classification. Until now, three men – Philippe Gilbert (OLO), Thor Hushovd (GRM) and Thomas Voeckler (EUC) – have worn the yellow jersey in the 98th edition. The winner of the ‘Queen Stage’ to the col du Galibier, Andy Schleck (LEO), now leads the overall rankings with a lead of 53” over his brother Fränk (LEO) and 57” over the Australian Cadel Evans (BMC). These are the three men who are realistically within striking distance of the yellow jersey as the former race leader, Voeckler, is now in fourth place at 2’10” but he’s not known as a strong time trial rider so his chances of regaining the ‘maillot jaune’ in Grenoble are slim.
The 20th stage of the 2011 Tour de France is scheduled to begin at 10.26am with riders starting the time trial that starts and finishes in the capital of the Isere department, Grenoble. The first man to leave the start house for the 42.5km time trial on an undulating course is the last rider in the general classification Fabio Sabatini (LIQ). Riders will start at two-minute intervals until the final 21 who are to be separated by three minutes. The live coverage of the stage will commence shortly.