Le Tour- Stage 20

Grenoble to Grenoble 27 miles

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

So what happened yesterday?  It became a 3 person race.

Contador attacked the moment they started going up hill and for the first two climbs seemed well on his way to duplicating Andy Schleck’s surprise performance on Thursday.  However on the long descent from the Col du Galabier all the prime contenders caught up and it was basically a sprint up the Alpe-d’Huez.

It’s not that Contador finished badly (in 3rd, only 23 Seconds off) it’s that he needed a spectacular one and didn’t get it with Evans and the Schlecks just 34 Seconds behind.  The person hurt worst was Voeckler, 3+ Minutes behind, losing the lead he had kept against all expectations for 10 days equaling his 2004 performance.

But there are only 2 Stages left, today’s Individual Time Trial and the Sprint and parade up the Champs Elysees

Rank Name Team ET delta
1 Andy Schleck Leopard Trek 82h 48′ 43″
2 Frank Schleck Leopard Trek 82h 49′ 36″ + 00′ 53″
3 Cadel Evans BMC 82h 49′ 40″ + 00′ 57″
4 Thomas Voekler Europcar 82h 50′ 53″ + 02′ 10″
5 Damiano Cunego Lampre 82h 52′ 14″ + 03′ 31″
6 Alberto Contador Saxo Bank 82h 52′ 38″ + 03′ 55″
7 Samuel Sanchez Euskaltel 82h 53′ 05″ + 04′ 22″
8 Ivan Basso Cannondale 82h 53′ 23″ + 04′ 40″
9 Tom Danielson Garmin 82h 55′ 54″ + 07′ 11″
10 Rolland Pierre Europcar 82h 57′ 40″ + 08′ 57″

Is it all over but the shouting?  Yes and no.  Being extremely generous as many as 6 riders still have a shot at the malliot jaune, but the farther down the list you go the more riders have to choke to put you at the top no matter how spectacular a Time Trialist you are.

On the outside fringe of realism is France’s hope Voeckler in fourth, but he has to make up over 2 Minutes.  This is actually a 3 person race now, Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers are under 60 Seconds apart.  The rap on the Schlecks is that they’re terrible trialers, but last year Andy went head to head against Contador who’s reputed to be one of the best.  Evans has his work cut out for him especially since he’ll be starting ahead and the Schlecks will know exactly what time they have to beat.

In the Individual Time Trials what happens is the riders go off individually at intervals in reverse order of standing so that the last placed of the 167 riders remaining starts first.  There is overtaking, but no help from your team.  As flat as this stage is the 2 bumps are thought to favor the Schlecks.

King of the Mountains (Polka Dot Jersey) is Samuel Sanchez.  There are no more Mountains.  Garmin is almost certain to be top Team with a 12 Minute advantage over Leopard Trek.  The White Jersey (Youth) could be won by Pierre Rolland (boosted by Friday’s Stage victory at the Alpe-d’Huez) or Rein Taaramae 1:33 behind.

Sprinting is complicated, I’ll let BruceMcF explain it

Nobody expects Mark (Cavendish) to lose the Green Jersey with 15 points ahead of JJ Rojas, who is not expected to be within three or four places of Mark on the line on Sunday.

However, the Champs Elysee is the last Flat Sprinty Sprint Sprint stage, with the famous bunch sprint still ahead to decide the most prestigious of the stage winners. Though Tyler Farrar and Andre Griepel long ago gave up hopes of the Green (Jersey), they will both be looking for the stage winner of the last day.

The Mad Manx once again finished behind the elimination time of 25 Minutes, but once again so did 83 others (this time including his closest rival JJ Rojas) and once again Tour organizers evoked the escape clause (Santity Clause?  You-a doan fool-a me.  There ain’t no Sanity Clause) and invoked a 20 point penalty rather than drop half the field.  An interesting intellectual exercise would be to figure out the Sprint winner had the rule been enforced (hint- Cadel Evans).

Anyway the penultimate coverage starts on Vs. at 8 am conflicting with Nurburgring Qualifying on Speed.  Tomorrow I’ll be able to pay exclusive attention to the Champs Elysee stroll also on Vs. at 8 am since the tape delayed Formula One will be on Fox at noon.


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  1. Some riders already on track.

    If there was a pick I missed it.  But I only missed 10 minutes.

    Had to reboot.

  2. The Pick.

  3. Bob- Cancellara (pick the leader why not)

    Paul- Contador (kiss of death)

    Phil- David Miller (is he still in the race?)


    Bob and Paul, Andy.  Phil?  Cadel.

    • TMC on 07/23/2011 at 15:43

    The time trial begin and end in Grenoble

    Grenoble (Arpitan: Grenoblo) is a city in southeastern France, situated at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère. The proximity of the mountains has led to the city being known as the “Capital of Alps.”

    Grenoble’s history encompasses a period of more than 2,000 years, and the city has been the capital of the Dauphiné since the 11th century. Grenoble experienced a period of economic expansion in the nineteenth and 20th centuries, which is symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city is now a significant scientific center in Europe.

    Grenoble is surrounded by mountains. To the north lies the Chartreuse, to the south and west the Vercors, and to the east the Belledonne range. For the French, Grenoble is the capital of the Alps.

    Grenoble is exclusively built on the alluvial plain of the Isère River and the Drac River at an altitude of 214 metres (702 ft). Mountain sports are an important tourist attraction for the city, both in summer and in winter. Twenty large and small ski stations surround the city, the nearest being Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse, which is about a 15 minute drive away.

    Historically, both Grenoble and the surrounding areas were sites of mining and heavy industry. Abandoned mills and factories can be found in small towns and villages, such as the coal mine at La Mure.

    Stage town on 38 previous occasions

    Thanks to its location at the heart of the Alps, and so surrounded by mountains, lovers of outdoor sports and activities will find the perfect base in Grenoble. The birthplace of Stendhal, the ‘inventor’ of the guide book concept, Grenoble is a city where you are reminded of his quote that “there is a mountain at the end of every street.” Boasting a dense and diverse heritage, stretching from the Gallo-Roman period to today’s sustainable-living environment, the city is a destination for visitors attracted by the charm of its narrow streets and squares, bustling year-round with students and a number of festivals. There is plenty to discover, too, such as Grenoble’s museum, the MC2 Culture Centre and the National Centre of Contemporary Art, Le Magasin. Or head off for a high-altitude adventure by taking the urban cable car up to the Bastille, which offers one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the French Alps. So come to Grenoble – a city that goes beyond!

    A Tour stage town since 1905, Grenoble has a special place in its history for having hosted an event of which the impact was insignificant at the time. In 1919, at the start of the 11th stage, a new kind of ceremony was held, as a yellow jersey, which had been created to identify the leader of the general classification in the peloton, was handed over to Eugène Christophe. The innovation which was going to change the face of cycling was lavishly praised by a ten-line news item in L’Auto (the daily sports paper). Since then 267 champions have put on the famous garment.

  4. 3 minutes between riders.

    • TMC on 07/23/2011 at 15:49


    • TMC on 07/23/2011 at 15:56
  5. People booing the Dope.

  6. Did he just finish?

    Confusing coverage.

  7. Actually hard to tell.

  8. Who knows?

  9. So what was that about Cunego?

    This coverage is fucked up.

    • TMC on 07/23/2011 at 16:54
  10. 2nd fastest on stage.

  11. He wins the pool.

  12. I’m not disappointed, just tired, and the details will take a while to sort out.

  13. Ozzy!




    Ozzy!  Ozzy!  Ozzy!

         Oy!     Oy!     Oy!


    Tremendous display of Grinta ~ chase for the stage win and let the Yellow Jersey wearer find out if he can defend it.

    So one American team wins yellow, on the back of an Australian rider.

    One American team almost certainly wins the Green Jersey, on the back of a UK rider, Manxman Mark Cavendish, and the Team race, Garmin Cervelo, in this stage partly on the back of a UK rider, Scotsman Tony Martin.

    A Basque Team wins the King of the Mountain on the back of a non-Basque Spaniard (and isn’t King of the Mountain the real Euskaltel Euskadi aspiration, after all?)

    The White Jersey goes to a Frenchman.

    And the Stage Finish on the Champs Elysee comes tomorrow ~ it’ll be a parade onto the Champs Elysee, but then the circuit racing will take over.

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