2012 Tour de France - One Week Down, Two Remaining
Now things are starting to get interesting. Roadcycling.com's 2012 Tour de France analysis continues.
at any suggestion of doping.
And to people out there looking for legitimate news from Twitter - know your source. People who make a career from journalism use their name or an identifying moniker. Yes like I said earlier, you can get legitimate news from a Twitter account that is written by persons unknown, but again, know your source. This additional caveat applies to both known and unknown Twitter accounts: both can have an agenda - pro or con for a certain rider or rule or whatever. If you follow me on Twitter (@neilroad) know that in between cycling tweets I mention my cats. That's just how I roll.
Okay, back to the big bike race in France.
This was the first real test of the 2012 Tour de France - stage 9's individual time trial. Crushing his rivals was Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins - not really that much of a surprise. Or was it?
Fabian Cancellara was the first true contender for the stage to roll down the ramp and he smashed Tony Martin's time by over a minute. This put the Swiss time trial champ in the hot seat. However, there still were Evans and Wiggins to roll off the ramp. Before the two favorites hit the road Team BMC's American Tejay van Garderen was rolling fast and actually surpassed Fabs' time at the first check point. Hands grabbing the aerobars, Van Garderen was the picture of speed. However in the final section of the course van Garderen slowed ever so slightly and crossed the line just nine seconds slower than Cancellara. Regardless, it was impressive.
Chris Froome was next. He was fastest through all the check points and when he stopped the clock at the finish line he bested Cancellara's time by 22 seconds!
Evans was down the ramp, but it quickly became evident that it wasn't his day. The Australian was off the back through all the time checks. In contrast Wiggo was slashing through the time checks like a serial killer.
Evans stopped the clock with the sixth fastest time and was almost two minutes slower than Wiggins. Ouch!
Before we start saying that the Tour is over there is still plenty of racing remaining. Sure, BMC will have to return to the drawing board with the goal of trying to put Sky on the ropes. That means attacking throughout the mountains. BMC's van Garderen will have to glue himself to Evans' wheel on the slopes and assist.
During the post-stage media scrum team director John Lelangue said that the team would look for cooperation with other teams - that's an invitation to Liquigas-Cannondale to join the party. If Nibali wants a shot at the podium he needs to be aggressive not only on the climbs, but descends as well. Froome is not one for the downhills and that might be a crack in the Sky rider's armor.
Tomorrow is a rest day. The riders will conduct press conferences and suit up for an easy spin to keep the legs moving. While those who still consider themselves