Sunday, 24 July 2011

#tdf stage 21 All over bar the sprinting

Today for most of the riders who are still in this years Tour de France it is a porocession. For some, those that struggled over the mountains often in the grupetto at that back there is one dream left to win the sprint on the Champs d'Élysées. Of course for two there is also the change of pulling on the last green jersey of the tour. Mark Cavendish is just 15 points ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas in that competition.

There are 20 points on offer for the winner of the intermediate sprint and 45 for the win on the line. That is one line that Cav has made his own in recent years in 2009, he was led out so well by Mark Renshaw that the Aussie crossed the line second despite celebrating and freewheeling for about 20 metres.

For commentary view here, the embeds have been disabled

Then last year with Renshaw kicked off the Tour Thor Hushovd launched the sprint, then Petacci came on the near side but wait, over at the far side the Manx Missile gets launched and wins so very easily.

Now there is one thing to consider from yesterday by predictions based on previous time trial times. How did they go from Friday night?

Here is what I said in black the actuals are in red.

1. Andy Schleck Cadel Evans
2. Cadel Evans +1'54" Andy Schleck +1'34"
3. Frank Schleck +2'27" Frank Schleck +2'30"
4. Alberto Contador +3'30" Thomas Voeckler +3'20"
5. Samuel Sanchez +4'32" Alberto Contador +3'57"
6. Thomas Voeckler +4'33" Samuel Sanchez +4'55"
7. Damiano Cunego +7'06" Damiano Cunego +6'05"
8. Ivan Basso +7'35" Ivan Basso +7'23"

As far as those times go most of the guys from 3rd down ended up reasonably as far down on the leader as I said they would. Of course the leaders have transposed they times, which shows how well Cadel Evans rode to win the Tour and haw poorly compared to last year Andy Schleck was, indeed he was more on a par with his perfomance in 2009, so more work needed there.

The shock was how well Thomas Voeckler did in the Time Trial, bunt not really a shock when you consider how he has ridden this Tour. Of course with Alberto Contador still only a provisional third pending his Court of Arbitration in Sport hearing next month he was riding in the hope of honour, which might still become reality, the other performer who did better than the form guide would have suggested was Damiano Cunego. 

But into Paris we ride with Cadel Evans in yellow, Samuel Sanchez in Polka Dots and Pierre Rolland in white all secure in the knowledge that they will keep those. Garmin Cervélo are also riding with the yellow numbers having been the best team over the course of the race. Mark Cavendish however rides in Green but wants just one thing, another stage win on this famous Avenue, this time in the Sprinters jersey and this time to keep it. 

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