Monday, 4 July 2011

#TDF Stage 2 The Teams have spoken

The second stage of this year's Tour was the Team Time Trial. You only had to get five men to the line together to set a time, but each of your other riders had to be within 30% of that time.
The team of Alberto Contador Saxobank were first out of the gate, because they had held back on stage one to prevent their leader losing too much time after that crash. They set a time of 25'16" with six of their team of nine still together. Which some of the other early teams could only dream of.

Then came Rabobank who were the first team to lay down a serious challenge they still had eight of their team together in the closing stages and set a new fast time of 25'00". The key seemed to be to keep your team together as long as possible.

Garmin-Cervélo were the first of the teams that were being talked about as potential winners of the Team Time Trial, 9th out of the gate. They were up at the 9km split 7 seconds on Rabobank and 10 on Saxobank. Again that gap was now 13 on Rabobank and 16 on Saxobank at the second time check. They came in with the Polka Dots proudly being worn by Thor Hushovd 24'48 setting a new target for the other teams to aim at. However, their speed had dropped two of their number off the back just after the first time check. So the rule of keeping it all together seemed to have changed.

The next big team looking to challenge were Sky. Out 15th they got off to a scorching start with the white Jersey of Geraint Thomas leading them out and the national time trial jersey of GB on Bradley Wiggins doing the longest stints on the front they powered throug the first check in the fastest time. A whole second ahead of Garmin. But they too lost two of their squad soon after setting that time. By the second check they had dropped to 4 seconds behind. But in the final run in they were really pushing it and did the same time as Garmin to end up 4 seconds back. Ben Swift was 6th man with 2 km to go but having problems hanging on to the back. He just about did until the final push for the line, but as the time is on the 5th man that was irrelevant.

Soon after Sky, Radioshack, then HTC-Highroad, the Schleck's team Leopard-Trek and BMC Racing were all on the route at the same time. Radioshack hit the first check in 5th place at the time, then HTC came out but lost Bernie Eissel at the first bend, but equalled Radioshack's time.

At the second check Radioshack had moved up one spot as the Astana team had slowed at that point, HTC pulled out a second on them, but down the road, the news was that Leopard-Trek were in third at the first check only 7 seconds down, they were to drop only when BMC went through 7 minutes later but 5 seconds faster.

Radioshack hit the line 10 seconds behind the time of Garmin, but HTC with Cavendish on fire ended up only one second shy of Sky 5 seconds back. Down the road meanwhile Leopard-Trek were 8 seconds down at the second check, but where again beaten there by BMC who were 2 seconds faster.

Leopard-Trek with the Schleck's on board were given the same time as HTC at the line and BMC eventually came in a second ahead, officially in second mere tenths ahead of Sky but given the same time.

The yellow jersey on the back of Philippe Gilbert came out behind BMC, but was slipping away at the first time check, 16 seconds down, then 35 at the second crossing the line 39 seconds behind.

Thor Hushovd started this race in the rainbow jersey of the world champion, he wore the Polka Dots jersey of King on the Mountains as Gilbert had Yellow, Green and Polka dots and Hushovd was third in all three, but he pulled on the Yellow at the end of the day.

Final standings:

  • 1 Garmin - Cervélo 24'48"
  • 2. BMC 24'53" @4"
  • 3. Sky 24'53" @4"
  • 4. Leopard-Trek 24'53" @5"
  • 5. HTC - Highroad 24'54" @5"
  • 6. Radioshack 24'59" @10"
  • 7. Rabobank 25'00" @12"
  • 8. Saxo Bank Sungard 25'16" @28"
  • 9. Astana 25'20" @32"
  • 10. Omega Pharma-Lotto 25'28 @39"
  • 11. FDJ 25'34" @46"
  • 12. Europacar 25'38" @50"
  • 13. AG2R La Mondiale 25'42" @53"
  • 14. Quick Step 25'45" @56"
  • 15. Liquigas- Connondale 25'46" @57"
  • 16. Saur-Sojasun 25'50" @1'02"
  • 17. Lampré-ISD 25'53" @1'04"
  • 18. Katusha 25'53 @1'04"
  • 19. Movistar 25'58" @1'09"
  • 20. Vacansoleil-DCM 26'03" @1'15"
  • 21. Cofidis 26'08 @1'20"
  • 22. Euskaltel-Euskadi 26'10" @1'22

It does make some interesting reading of the overall standings (Brits in Bold).

1. Thor Hushovd GRM
2. David Millar GRM @0"
3. Cadel Evans BMC @1"
4. Geraint Thomas SKY @4"
5. Linus Gerdemann LEO @4"
6. Frank Schleck LEO @4"
7. Fabian Cancellara LEO @4"
8. Edvald Boassen Hagen SKY @4"
9. Manuel Quinziato BMC @4"
10. Andy Schleck LEO @4"

12. Bradley Wiggins SKY @4"
14. Tony Martin HTC @5"
18. Mark Cavendish HTC @5"
20. Andreas Klöden RSH @10"
21. Chris Horner RSH @10"
22. Levi Leipheimer RSH @10"
23. Janez Brajkovič RSH @10"
24. Ben Swift SKY @11"
25. Robert Gesink RAB @12"
27. Alexandre Vinokourov AST @32"
31. Jurgen Van Den Broeck OMO @39"
41. Nicolas Roache AG2 @53"
47. Ivan Basson LIQ @59"
75. Alberto Contador @1'41"
104. Samuel Sanchez EUS @2'36"

No comments:

Post a Comment