Saturday, July 23, 2011

2011 Tour de France, Stage 20

Cadel Evans (BMC) shattered Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek) on the roads of Grenoble in the 42.5 km individual time trial and will wear the yellow jersey going into Paris tomorrow. “It’s not over until I cross the finish line in Paris, I hope it’s not raining,” Evans said after the finish.

Evans had a deficit of 57 seconds to Andy Schleck and 4 seconds to Fränk Schleck before the start of the stage. By the end of the day it was Evans in the lead and the deficits belonged to Andy at 0:01:34 and Fränk at 0:02:30. Evans was fast enough to almost win the stage, coming in 2nd to Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) by 7 seconds.

Both Thomas Voeckler and Alberto Contador had phenomenal time trials, Voeckler able to retain his 4th position on GC and Contador moving up into 5th.

Both Damiano Cunego and Ivan Basso had poor time trials. Cunego lost two positions on GC, from 5th to 7th, while Ivan Basso remained in 8th.

Congratulations also to George Hincapie who will become part of 9 winning Tour de France teams, assuming nothing unusual happens tomorrow.

Top 10 GC:
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 83:45:20
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:01:34
3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:30
4 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:20
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:03:57
6 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:55
7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:06:05
8 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:07:23
9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:08:15
10 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:11

Stage 21, Sunday:

The TdF official analysis of this stage:
"It has been the tradition since 1975 for the Tour de France to end with a prestigious stage finish on the Champs-Élysées. At the start in Créteil, we will remember Laurent Fignon, who held a licence with the local club. In 1989, his duel with Greg LeMond maintained the suspense right to the finish, where Fignon was sure that he would be the winner. That was the only occasion that the final stage was run as a time trial. Every other time, it has been a road stage that has been decided in a bunch sprint, except on four occasions. Those exceptions were the victories taken by Alain Meslet in 1977, Bernard Hinault in 1979, Eddy Seigneur in 1994 and Alexandre Vinokourov in 2005. It is incredibly hard to get a telling gap on this stage when breakaway riders are always within sight of the peloton."

Photos: Bettini

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