2012 Tour de France-Stage 19

21 Jul

wiggins stage 19 joel sagetToday’s time-trial, the third and longest of this Tour, ended the way most of us thought it would. The soon-to-be anointed 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins won today finishing 1:29 ahead of his closest rival – no surprise here either – Chris Froome, his Sky teammate and 2nd place finisher overall.

As impressive as Cavendish was yesterday in his win, Wiggins was just as impressive on that black and yellow TT bike. He looked like a machine turning the cranks, completely aerodynamic, powering forward and setting the best time at every single time check. Sky has the biggest budget of all the pro ranked teams and it shows. Sky claimed 3 of the top 5 spots in Stage 19: Richie Porte, another so-called domestique took 5th.

The biggest disappointment today was Cadel Evans who finished in 52nd place and worse than that he got passed by his teammate, Tejay Van Garderen who started the time-trial 3 minutes after Evans. Must have been a horrible moment not just for Evans but for Van Garderen too. Evans slipped from 6th overall to 7th but at least he stayed in the top 10. I hope Evans can recover and redeem himself (for himself, not fans) in the Olympic games. What we saw in this year’s Tour is not typical of Evans, hopefully he’s okay. He was a great Tour champion last year and hopefully can come back one more time and truly compete. He will not want this to be his final mark on the Tour de France.

Van Garderen had a solid time-trial finishing in 7th place for the stage. His effort wasn’t enough to move him from 5th to 4th but 5th place overall in what’s just his 2nd Tour was outstanding. Especially when you consider he wasn’t riding for himself until late in the Tour. It’s likely he would have podiumed if he had been protected instead of Evans.

Nibali, in 3rd place overall had a good time-trial for him, finishing in the top 20 and securing the 3rd spot on the final podium. Nibali didn’t race in his home country’s grand tour, the Giro in order to give himself the best shot at the Tour de France and his finishing 3rd is a victory.

Otherwise there isn’t much left to say about Stage 19. After 3 weeks of racing there were tired legs and bodies and guys just wanting to finish. The sprinters and teams (other than the top finishers like Wiggins, Froome, Nibali and Van Garderen) were saving their legs for the biggest sprint of them all – the sprint along the  Champs-Elysées tomorrow in Paris.

Tomorrow’s stage is more of a processional than a race – until they get to Paris and the real racing occurs for one last time in this year’s Tour. It is every sprinter’s dream to win on the Champs-Elysées, but with Cavendish looking for a record setting 4th win tomorrow, it’s unlikely anyone else’s dream will be realized. Stage 20 will likely be just another example of the domination in this Tour by team Sky.

I love the Tour and will enjoy the celebration by Wiggins, Froome and their teammates as they toast their success with champagne while riding their bikes – something I have yet to ever do but thinking I should. I’ll also love watching Peter Sagan, Van Garderen, and of course Voeckler on the podium claiming their jerseys – and I’ll love watching  all of the riders celebrate their victory – finishing the Tour de France.

Vive le Tour!

Stage results

  • 1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 1:04:13
  • 2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 1:16
  • 3. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, Rabobank, at 1:50
  • 4. Peter VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 2:02
  • 5. Richie PORTE, Sky, at 2:25
  • 6. Patrick GRETSCH, Argos-Shimano, at 2:28
  • 7. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 2:34
  • 8. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Movistar, at 2:46
  • 9. Rein TAARAMAE, Cofidis, at 2:50
  • 10. Jérémy ROY, FDJ-BigMat, at 3:05
  • 11. David ZABRISKIE, Garmin-Sharp, at 3:12
  • 12. Matthieu SPRICK, Argos-Shimano, at 3:20
  • 13. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, Movistar, at 3:24
  • 14. Daniel OSS, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 3:27
  • 15. Anthony ROUX, FDJ-BigMat, at 3:34
  • 16. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 3:38
  • 17. Christian VANDEVELDE, Garmin-Sharp, at 3:40
  • 18. Bert GRABSCH, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 3:43
  • 19. Jens VOIGT, RadioShack-Nissan, at 3:49
  • 19. Andreas KLÖDEN, RadioShack-Nissan, at 3:49
  • 21. Christophe KERN, Europcar, at 3:56

General classification

  • 1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 84:26:31
  • 2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 3:21
  • 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 6:19
  • 4. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 10:15
  • 5. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 11:04
  • 6. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, RadioShack-Nissan, at 15:43
  • 7. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 15:51
  • 8. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 16:31
  • 9. Janez BRAJKOVIC, Astana, at 16:38
  • 10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ-BigMat, at 17:17
  • 11. Andreas KLÖDEN, RadioShack-Nissan, at 17:54
  • 12. Nicolas ROCHE, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 19:33
  • 13. Christopher HORNER, RadioShack-Nissan, at 19:55
  • 14. Chris Anker SÖRENSEN, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, at 25:27
  • 15. Denis MENCHOV, Katusha, at 27:22
  • 16. Maxime MONFORT, RadioShack-Nissan, at 28:30
  • 17. Egoi MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 31:46
  • 18. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, Movistar, at 37:03
  • 19. Eduard VORGANOV, Katusha, at 38:16
  • 20. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 42:26

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