SAN DIEGO, July 9, 2012 – The time trial in cycling is called “The Race of Truth.” It is a single rider against the clock, one of the most elemental contests in sport. It often decides who will eventually win or lose cycling’s most prestigious event, the Tour de France.
In the 2012 race, the inclusion of a lengthy 26-mile time trial at an early stage signaled to the competitors that time trial skills would be critically important and could decide the overall outcome of this year’s Tour.
It proved true as overall leader Bradley Wiggins of Sky smashed through the best time set by his Sky teammate Chris Froome riding ahead of him, having a marvelous Tour de France. Froome was a big surprise when he beat the time of world champion time trial rider Fabian Cancellara, who set the time to beat early in today’s stage.
The top finishers were:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling) 51:24
2. Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling): 35
3. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek): 57
4. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) 1:06
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 1:24
6. Cadel Evans (BMC) 1:43
7. Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 1:59
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2:07
9. Denis Menchov (Katusha) 2:08
10. Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) 2:09
Cancelllara lost his race radio early on the stage, so he didn’t know where his time stood against the leader to that point, German Tony Martin, until he finished. But he easily set the pace. Cancellara said he felt he had done all he could do and was happy with his performance.
American Tejay van Garderen gave Cancellara a scare, coming in just eight seconds behind him. But as the leaders hit the course, it was Froome who put in a surprising performance, beating Cancellara by 22 seconds. It was then up to the leaders and rivals for the Tour this year, Cadel Evans of BMC and Froome’s Sky teammate Wiggins to see what they could do. By far the more important goal for both was for them to build up time against each other, less so than winning the stage.
Evans came in at fifth place, one minute and eight seconds behind Froome. It was then up to Wiggins and he put in a picture perfect ride, winning the stage and gaining another 1:33 over Evans.
After the time trial ride, Wiggins said “I had a great day today. I knew from the first pedal rev that I was on it. Everything felt fantastic. I kept cool and that type of race is my forte… Today is just one day in the Tour de France and I just happened to end it in a fantastic position.” Wiggins called it “the stuff of dreams” and said the noise when he rolled off the start ramp was “incredible.”
Wiggins needs every second he gained, because Evans has the capacity to get it all back and build a lead as the riders head for the higher mountain stages in the Alps in the coming days.
The overall leaders list after Stage 10:
1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) Team Sky
2. Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC (1:53)
3. Chris Froome (Great Britain) Team Sky (2:07)
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Liquigas-Cannondale (2:23)
5.`Denis Menchov (Russia) Katusha (3:02)
6. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (3:19)
7. Maxime Monfort (Belgium) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (4:23)
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC (5:14)
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto-Belisol (5:20)
10. Nicolas Roche (Ireland) AG2R (5:29)
In the jersey competitions, Tejay van Garderen’s good ride today won him back the best young rider’s white jersey. The rest remain in the same hands: Thibaud Pinot has the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey. The green sprinter’s jersey remains with Peter Sagan.
No one abandoned the race today, but expect Tony Martin of Omega-Pharma-QuickStep to call it a day. Consider he has been riding with a broken wrist and he had a flat tire today as well as in the prologue time trial, his performance has been remarkable. There are still 178 of 198 riders in the Tour.
Tuesday is a scheduled rest day for the riders on the Tour. They will need every minute of it, because Stage 10 from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine on Wednesdaay takes the riders back into the mountains for the first really tough climb, the first HC (beyond category) climb up a classic route, the Col du Grand Colombier. Serious fans live for these dramatic contests.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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