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Tour de France 2011 – Stage 20

Grenoble to Vizille then back to Grenoble – An Individual Time Trial – 42.5 km

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Tour de France 2011 Stage 20 - Map



Individual time-trial – A sporting perspective
A strong man rather than a specialist

“This is the race’s only individual time trial, as the one in the first week was a team time trial test, while putting another one into the middle of the race didn’t really serve any great purpose. The profile is rolling and the road does climb, although there aren’t any cols as such. Victory won’t automatically go to a specialist because the final time trial of the Tour is a very physical test that suits a strong man – last year’s Bordeaux-Pauillac test won by Cancellara was an exception. In this solitary exercise, there is no way a rider can bluff or hide in the wheels of their team-mates. But I think that the Tour will have been decided before Grenoble. It is often the third place on the podium, the best young rider classification or the team prize that is decided on this stage.”


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Tour de France Stage 20 - Profile

Each rider leaves the Start area individually every 3 minutes. The order they go in is based on the Overall Classification after yesterday’s Stage 19.

Ryder Hesjedal has just completed the coarse, he’s in 17th place overall so there are 16 riders left to come. Ivan Basso is waiting for the Start Official to give him the Go sign. From the Live widget it appears that – because of the speed each rider is travelling the coarse – seven riders are on the coarse at any given time.

Hesjedal finished in a time of 21 minutes, 43 seconds, 1:31 slower than the best time so far recorded – that puts him in 37th place at the present time. Tony Martin has posted the best time so far, 20 minutes and 13 seconds! Martin was 47th in the General Classification after Stage 19, of 167 racers still in this year, thus he started 120th today.

We’re down to the last four riders still waiting their turn to start. They and the riders on the coarse right now are the who’s who of the race this year. Thomas Voeckler has just embarked – but I don’t know if that means they’ll be anybody in this kind of test or not. Cadel Evans is off, so it’s Evans, Voeckler, Cunego, Contador, Sanchez, Basso and Danielson are on the coarse. Yesterday’s winner and young upstart of this years race sporting the White Jersey, Pierre Rolland just finished – not very well.

Everyone has left the start, Andy Schleck the overall race leader was last to go. Tony Martin’s tome of 20:12 still stands, Contador just posted a great 20:33!, that puts him second, Andy and Frank and Cadel and Samuel now have a mark they must come close to, Contador is 3:55 seconds behind the race leaders so that’s the mark better than 23:55 – in other words, No ex be careful and finish the coarse like your riding a bike – no excitement here really…
It will be interesting to see how it all washes out in the GC. Has Hesjedal for example, improved his placing after a steady rise through the standings in the Alps this week?

Voeckler just came in with a 21:09. That’s 22 seconds better than Hesjedal who’s my benchmark here – being a Canadian.

Hey, here’s some news – Cadel Evans just tied Contador’s mark for second place today – 20:33!

Now it’s only Frank Schleck and his brother Andy Schleck to finish – they must bet the 24 minute mark to stay ahead of Contador

Frank is in at 22:07. Evans move past him in the GC to second place. That’s the mark Andy Schleck must beat – 21:07, a weird play of numbers here, if he ties his bothers time he stays in first place with Cadel Evans in a tie.

Andy finishes 21:09, 2 seconds behind Evans in the CG – Cadel Evans is in Yellow with one stage to go! Tomorrow is actually gong to matter! The final stage in these Tour de France races is usually perfunctory, a chance for the dignitaries to smile for the cameras and kiss babies… but tomorrow’s final stage is going to be a race between Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck and Frank Schleck.

10:57 AM EST

Re-thinking the numbers, it’s Frank in 3rd by 2 seconds and a tie for first between Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck. Perhaps we should just wait for the official word – which is not up yet – but that’s my take right now.

At the start of today’s stage:

1. SCHLECK Andy   TEAM LEOPARD-TREK   82h 48' 43"    00' 00"
2. SCHLECK Frank  TEAM LEOPARD-TREK   82h 49' 36"  + 00' 53"
3. EVANS Cadel    BMC RACING TEAM     82h 49' 40"  + 00' 57"

Finish today

Racer              Team            Time    Place      Effect on the GC
EVANS Cadel     BMC RACING TEAM    20:33   + 00' 21"       00
Frank Schleck   TEAM LEOPARD-TREK  21:07   + 00' 57"      +34
Andy Schleck    TEAM LEOPARD-TREK  21:09   + 00' 59"      +36

Ok that makes it a little easier to read. To top 3 in the GC remains in order, Evans goes from 57 second back of A. Schleck to 21 seconds back – and from 53 seconds behind Frank Schleck – to 19 seconds behind him. I think. :)


Still no official word yet…


Ok apparently my reading of the LIVE widget was full of shit, my numbers in the table above are wrong. Andy finished 2:38 behind Martin and so too were Frank’s numbers miss printed on the LIVE widget – he finished 2:48 back of Martin. Evans finished :07 behind Martin not 21 seconds. So that kicks it – the correct numbers work against a good finish on both sides of the equation.

Cadel Evans apparently, is the Tour de France 2011 Winner.

No need to race tomorrow after all.

That’s really disappointing, especially me mis-understanding all the numbers posted in the LIVE widget … and then seeing this:

Tour de France Stage 20 Finish Order – top 20

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Tour de France Stage 20 Finish Order - top 20

Tour de France General Classification after Stage 20 – top 20

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Tour de France General Classification after Stage 20 - top 20


July 24, 2011

Post script:

Looking back on my reporting 20 some hours ago, at the end of Stage 20, it is now evident that I did read the numbers being broadcast in the LIVE widget correctly, you can see it in the paragraph where I report Frank Schlecks time as “22:07″. But in the ensuing paragraphs  I seem to see 22 as 21 – and then 20.

Wishful thinking on my part perhaps, not wanting Le Tour 2011 to end – hoping for a race so close the final stage in Paris would have some meaning towards the final result of the race.


Looking back on the Tour de France 2011 here at FreeWheel, I note that I’ve made several (many) mistakes in my reporting – but last year, in my first reporting on this great race, I wasn’t aware of any.

I’m getting better at this – I was perfect – I’m younger than that now. :)


Posted: July 23rd, 2011
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