Monday, July 9, 2012

Tour De France - Stage 9

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Today's time trail produced some expected results and some big surprises as well. The GC battle took shape this weekend in the mountains, and today's ITT confirmed the strength of Team Sky and it's leader, Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins rules the ITT

While it was widely expected that Wiggins would excel in the ITT, I don't think anyone picked his teammate Chris Froome to slot into second on the stage and 3rd overall after the first week of racing. Froome showed this weekend to be one of the strongest climbers in the race, but today he showed he is also one of the strongest in the time trial. The Sky pair took the top two spots on the day with my pre-race favorite, Fabian Cancellara taking 3rd. It was a very impressive show of team strength and clearly solidified the fact that this years tour is Sky's to lose.

The other big surprise was the ride of BMC teammates Cadel Evans and Tejay VanGarderen. Last years winner Evans had a poor ride, taking 6th on the stage but losing 1:43 to Wiggins. VanGarderen (who hails from Tacoma, WA!) put in a great ride, beating his team leader and taking 4th on the stage, only losing 1:06 to Wiggins. 

Tomorrow is a rest day for the tour before the Alps make their debut on Wednesday. There will be massive attacks from everyone not wearing a Sky jersey as they realize if they are going to beat Wiggins, they will have to do so in the mountains. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens if these attacks puts Wiggins into difficulty. Will Froome be given a green light to go with the attacks, or be asked to hold back and help his team leader?

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