Tour de France: Wiggins in Yellow Supreme

The race of truth in the Tour de France for stage 9 saw Bradley Wiggins confirm his promise for the overall with a winning performance in the 41.5km Time Trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon with Chris Froome second after an equally stunning ride.

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Previous Stages
| Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8 |

Yellow Jersey: Bradley Wiggins | White jersey: Tejay van Garderen |
| KoM Jersey: Fredrik Kessiakoff | Green Jersey: Peter Sagan | Team: Radioshack Nissan

Another day in yellow for Wiggins and if he can continue to ride as he has done, Wiggins will end the race in yellow. Photo: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

The disappointment was the ride of the challenger to Wiggins for the title of Tour de France, last years champion, Cadel Evans of BMC who lost 1.43 to the man in yellow. Wiggins was already 20 seconds  ahead of Evans with still 30km to go on the stage which shows just how quick Wiggins was riding with his 56 eliptical chain ring and how bad a day Cadel Evans was having.

It was the Dauphine all over again from 2012 and the battle for the stage ended up coming down to a battle between Wiggins and Froome with the man in yellow managing this time to see off Froome’s challenge. Chris Froome had finished with the fastest time of 51.59 when he crossed the line prior to Wiggins, an average speed of 48 kph and eventually was a time good enough to pull him up to third place overall.

Bradley Wiggins: “It’s always difficult to say in a time trial (what is going to happen) especially when we’re nine days into the Tour now and just had two tough days. Everyone was tired last night and you never know how you’re going to recover but that’s what I do best, time trialling. I get into my zone and know the routine to go through during the day and felt great the minute I turned the first pedal stroke on the warm up. I knew I was on a good ride. Everything felt fantastic. I kept cool and that type of race is my forte. I was really focussed on it and was relaxed for most of the day so it’s good.”

Bradley Wiggins in the other time trial before he had yellow. Photo: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

“This is what we have trained for. Sean (Yates) was saying to me on the radio ‘think of all those hours, all those sacrifices, in the last 10k this is what it is all about; this is where you’re going to make the difference.’”

“That is what really motivates me , all the graft during the winter, the sacrifices of missing my kids birthdays being out here on training camps; this is what its all for – these moments.”

“I didn’t set out today for the stage win. It was about the GC and to get a stage win was a bonus and is fantastic. It’s moments like this that help you win the Tour – keeping your cool in a pressure situation. Everyone said that I cracked yesterday in the press conference – but I didn’t, I was just speaking my mind… I make no apologies except maybe for the language [I used] but I love this race, I love this sport and it’s moments like today that make all the hard work worthwhile.

“I’m just extremely confident in the work we’ve done and in what I have to do when I go out there. I don’t want to let the moment get to me. As I’ve said, the Olympics is an incredible school for all that – I’ve had all those Olympic finals on the track and in team pursuiting and stuff… but I’m very good at what I do, which is the time trials. I know how to do it. I ride my own race. I don’t get distracted by times, and time checks.”

“The goal is to wear the yellow jersey in Paris. That’s what we’ve trained to do. You can be choosey about when you take the jersey; ideally we’d take it in the last time trial one day before Paris but it’s not always possible to decide when you take the jersey. It was an incredibly proud moment to take it as well [after stage seven], so this is another day down – we’ll put it behind us and enjoy a nice rest day tomorrow and then the race goes on. It’s not going to be easy, there’s going to be a few more ups and downs in this Tour but we’re certainly well positioned.”

“I don’t expect anything in this sport. I just concentrate on what I’m doing. I try not to predict… because then you can only be disappointed or surprised. It is what it is – another day down. Today is just one day in the Tour de France and I just happened to end it in a fantastic position. This is the stuff of dreams, this is what the Tour is all about. The noise when I rolled off the ramp was incredible even compared to some of the Olympic finals I’ve been in… it’s brilliant isn’t it? It’s what every kid dreams of doing; winning the Tour.”

Chris Froome: “There were no tactics in a ride like today. It’s about by far the hardest event there is in cycling and I just went out to go as fast as I can and turn yourself inside out to get the best time.”

“It was good to get that first time check and know you are on track for a good time but then you also have to be careful that you don’t start too fast and overcook it. There is very fine line to stay on and gauge that effort. I’m really happy with today and went as hard as I could.”

Chris Froome on his way to second place and a position in the top 3 overall. Photo Thomas van Bracht.

“It’s big (the ride) but I know I haven’t won today so no big celebration but I think there a celebration with Brad later might be in order.” On the possibility of a podium , Chris replied “there is a long way to go so I’ll take it day by day from here.”

Cadel Evans (BMC) (second overall) finished sixth in the 41.5 kilometer race against the clock, conceding 1:43 to stage winner Bradley Wiggins. Evans said he didn’t know what to expect going into the second of three time trials in the three-week race. “I didn’t ride my best time trial but certainly not a bad one,” he said. “In comparison to the other time trialists like Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin and so on, it seems as though I wasn’t so far off the mark.”

“But Sky had two very, very strong riders today.”

Heading into the Tour’s first rest day Tuesday, the defending champion said his spirits remain high. “We’ll re-assess the situation day-by-day and of course we don’t give up, that’s for sure,” he said. “There’s still a lot more racing to go before Paris.”

Tejay van Garderen (BMC): Back in the white jersey — “As soon as I put this on, I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I miss this shirt.’ But the goal still remains the same: we’ve got to get Cadel in yellow. It looks like we’ve got a fight on our hands and a lot to ask to pull some time back. It was tough [to see Cadel lose time today] but, I mean, anything can happen. You’ve seen the fight with me and [Rein] Taaramae – I was three minutes down and, all of a sudden, I’m back in white. Cadel is a fighter and he’ll fight for every inch and every second. I still believe that Cadel is going to be in yellow in Paris.”

“I think we just need to remain calm and not get down. We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Cadel is still in fantastic shape and he’s going to pull back time. “It was predicted that Cadel was going to lose a bit [of time] and he lost more than he would have wanted to but, the thing is: I think nothing changes, you saw yesterday that Sky’s team got a little weakened after controlling a hard day and Cadel was able to attack Bradley and he had to pull the gap back himself. If we can isolate Sky again and Cadel can go on the attack, I think he can crack Wiggins. I’ll do the best I can to be there for Cadel.”

Two in the top ten for Omega Pharma Quickstep
Sylvain Chavanel (5th) – It was a great crono,” Chavanel said. “I finished very well. I had power on the climbs and I was really focused. In the final I had a point of reference in front of me, a Katusha rider, so it was a little bit easier. I think it was my best TT ever at the Tour and it confirms the good progression I had this year in the TT since the beginning of the season. Prior to the Olympics, this is not so bad, I have a good condition and I think I can fight for a medal at the olympics. It would be great. As concerning the Tour, I tried again a lot of times and for sure I will try again when I have the chance. Even as a team we did a great performance. We are definitely among the best in this discipline.”

Peter Velits (7th) “I think it wasn’t so bad, the ride,” he said. “I didn’t make any major mistakes. Maybe I wasn’t so fast at the end, but I guess it worked out OK. Tony is world champion, Sylvain is the French champion, and I’m Slovak champion. I guess we are all good time trialists. But unfortunately, there is no team time trial in the Tour de France. I expected something better from me in the first part of the Tour, but in the last two days it is going better and better. I hope I will have better days. I will try to fight as much as I can with the best in the next days.”

Levi Leipheimer, who was 32nd in the stage, said “it was a really tough course. I had to change rhythm a lot and the climbs were explosive. It was not my favorite kind of course and I was just trying to keep it together and do my best. It wasn’t the best time, but it wasn’t that bad. We will see the next days in the big mountains.”

THE STAGE
As Bradley Wiggins said after the stage, before the race of truth, there are unknowns and whilst most fans were expecting the Yellow jersey to be up there, many were expecting the victory to go to a rider who has been four times the world champion, Fabian Cancellera.

That didn’t happen and he ended up in third place, almost a minute behind Wiggins and half that behind Froome. The great Swiss champion said afterwards “The time trial is always the same. You have to really focus and give everything. That’s what I’ve done. I was really feeling some of the pain from yesterday’s stage.”

“It was an intense stage so I told myself today to go, start and do everything as usual. I didn’t focus on other riders, I just did my own time trial. I’m happy about my performance and that’s the most important thing for us, to give everything we have. I just went through this ‘tunnel’ by myself until I saw the light at the finish line.””

The course over 26 miles or so (41.4km) was a tough one said Britain’s David Millar. “It’s not necessarily a specialist’s course… I was hoping to go a lot better than I did. I felt terrible out there. The disappointment continues. I felt good when [when I woke up] so I’m disappointed with what I did because I had nothing out there. That doesn’t happen very often – it’s not nice when you feel good but you go bad.”

On the course, he explained “it’s actually harder than the profile shows. That little climb in the middle… for the GC guys, it’s a really good course – if they can climb and time trial. I think for Froome it’s a good course and Wiggo, obviously, and Cadel.”

That was all said before Wiggins and Froome took the course apart with first and second on a day when the weather was fine, the temperature about 24 degrees Celsius and little wind. One of the early riders who was in the ‘hot seat’ for a long time, World TT Champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quickstep) punctured again which makes one wonder whether his mechanics are checking the tyres well enough or if new ones, whether they were the right choice. Martin punctured in the prologue as well. Asked whether he felt his final would be good enough, Martin predicted Cancellera would beat it and that the Swiss rider certainly did.

“At about 4 or 5km I had a flat tire again,” Martin said. “It was again a disappointment. I tried the whole race to keep on fighting even if it wasn’t so easy to maintain the concentration and motivation. I could feel the pain in my hand every hole I hit. I was lucky the roads were not too bad so I was OK. But, I still have pain and today I was riding without protection, so it was even harder. It’s unbelievable so much bad luck happens to me, but I think it’s not something we have to think about. We have to keep looking to the future. It’s not a time to be disappointed.”

The big surprise though was Tejay van Garderen of BMC. He finished 4th on the stage and was faster than the legend Cancellera at the first two time checks and failing by nine seconds at the final one to beat Cancellera.

It was enough though to put Tejay into the White jersey again. The times by the American though were first eclipsed by Froome and then Wiggins and like the Tour of Spain in 2011, the two British riders simply destroyed the field in a way we’ve never seen British riders do that to the worlds best in the past.

Victories yes, but today they were head and shoulders above the rest which bodes well for the next two weeks when the riders will face the proper mountains … what ever happens, Wiggins and Froome at least have a little time to play with over their rivals…

Stage 9 – 41.5 kilometre Time Trial

1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 00:51:24
2 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling 00:35
3 Fabian Cancellara RadioShack – Nissan 00:57
4 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team 01:06
5 Sylvain Chavanel Omega Pharma – Quickstep 01:24
6 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 01:43
7 Peter Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep 01:59
8 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale 02:07
9 Denis Menchov Katusha Team 02:08
10 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan 02:09
11 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan 02:15
12 Tony Martin Omega Pharma – Quickstep 02:16
13 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan 02:20
14 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa Movistar Team 02:22
15 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 02:26
16 Jens Voigt RadioShack – Nissan 02:44
17 Lieuwe Westra Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 02:45
18 Tony Gallopin RadioShack – Nissan 02:46
19 J̩r̩my Roy Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat 02:52
20 J̩rome Coppel Saur РSojasun 02:54
21 Gustav Erik Larsson Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 02:55
22 Andriy Grivko Astana Pro Team 02:58
23 Nicolas Roche Ag2R – La Mondiale 03:08
24 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
25 Sandy Casar Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 03:09
26 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
27 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling 03:20
28 Rein Taaramäe Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 03:29
29 Jean-christophe Peraud Ag2R – La Mondiale 03:39
30 Alexandre Vinokourov Astana Pro Team 03:47
31 Philippe Gilbert BMC Racing Team @ same time
32 Levi Leipheimer Omega Pharma – Quickstep 03:48
33 Christophe Riblon Ag2R – La Mondiale 03:57
34 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Movistar Team 04:01
35 Maxime Bouet Ag2R – La Mondiale 04:06
36 David Millar Garmin – Sharp 04:14
37 Gorka Izagirre Insausti Euskaltel – Euskadi 04:20
38 Dominik Nerz Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
39 Steven Cummings BMC Racing Team 04:23
40 Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team 04:25
41 Chris Anker Sorensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 04:26
42 Laurens Ten Dam Rabobank Cycling Team 04:30
43 Luca Paolini Katusha Team 04:31
44 Frank Schleck RadioShack – Nissan 04:32
45 Pierrick Fedrigo Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 04:34
46 Patrick Gretsch Argos-Shimano 04:35
47 Marco Marcato Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 04:38
48 Fredrik Kessiakoff Astana Pro Team 04:42
49 Michael Schar BMC Racing Team 04:44
50 Vasil Kiryienka Movistar Team @ same time
51 Daniel Martin Garmin – Sharp 04:46
52 Anthony Roux Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 04:47
53 Michele Scarponi Lampre – ISD 04:50
54 David Zabriskie Garmin – Sharp @ same time
55 Lars Ytting Bak Lotto – Belisol Team 04:51
56 Ivan Basso Liquigas – Cannondale 04:54
57 Steven Kruijswijk Rabobank Cycling Team 05:04
58 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 05:05
59 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 05:12
60 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi 05:13
61 Robert Gesink Rabobank Cycling Team 05:15
62 Cyril Gautier Europcar 05:16
63 George Hincapie BMC Racing Team @ same time
64 Vladimir Gusev Katusha Team @ same time
65 Rafael Valls Ferri Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 05:21
66 Thomas Voeckler Europcar 05:22
67 Chris Horner RadioShack – Nissan 05:24
68 Michael Morkov Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 05:30
69 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Movistar Team 05:31
70 Simon Gerrans Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
71 Marcus Burghardt BMC Racing Team 05:33
72 Danilo Hondo Lampre – ISD 05:34
73 Pierre Rolland Europcar @ same time
74 Dmitriy Fofonov Astana Pro Team 05:37
75 Kristjan Koren Liquigas – Cannondale 05:40
76 Vladimir Karpets Movistar Team 05:45
77 Davide Malacarne Europcar @ same time
78 Cyril Lemoine Saur – Sojasun 05:46
79 Bert Grabsch Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
80 Michael Albasini Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
81 Jorge Azanza Soto Euskaltel – Euskadi 05:48
82 Yaroslav Popovych RadioShack – Nissan 05:49
83 Arthur Vichot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
84 J̩rome Pineau Omega Pharma РQuickstep 05:50
85 Andrey Kashechkin Astana Pro Team 05:54
86 Christian Knees Sky Procycling 06:04
87 Stuart O’ Grady Orica – GreenEDGE 06:08
88 Brice Feillu Saur – Sojasun 06:09
89 Christian Vande Velde Garmin – Sharp 06:20
90 Martin Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep 06:22
91 S̩bastien Minard Ag2R РLa Mondiale 06:27
92 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling 06:29
93 Pieter Weening Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
94 Julien Simon Saur – Sojasun 06:31
95 Richie Porte Sky Procycling 06:33
96 Jurgen Roelandts Lotto – Belisol Team 06:34
97 Jelle Vanendert Lotto – Belisol Team 06:36
98 Brett Lancaster Orica – GreenEDGE 06:39
99 David Moncouti̩ Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne @ same time
100 Rob Ruijgh Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 06:41
101 Robert Kiserlovski Astana Pro Team 06:42
102 Albert Timmer Argos-Shimano @ same time
103 Fabrice Jeandesboz Saur – Sojasun 06:43
104 Kevin De Weert Omega Pharma – Quickstep 06:46
105 Peter Sagan Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
106 Ruben Plaza Molina Movistar Team 06:48
107 Dries Devenyns Omega Pharma – Quickstep 06:52
108 Yuri Trofimov Katusha Team 06:54
109 Matthieu Ladagnous Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
110 Bram Tankink Rabobank Cycling Team 06:55
111 Alessandro Petacchi Lampre – ISD 06:56
112 Yuriy Krivtsov Lampre – ISD 06:59
113 Yann Huguet Argos-Shimano 07:00
114 R̩my Di Gregorio Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne @ same time
115 Yohann Gène Europcar 07:02
116 Sylvester Szmyd Liquigas – Cannondale 07:05
117 Federico Canuti Liquigas – Cannondale 07:06
118 Luis Angel Mate Mardones Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
119 Julien Fouchard Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 07:07
120 Bauke Mollema Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
121 Kris Boeckmans Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 07:10
122 Simone Stortoni Lampre – ISD @ same time
123 Aleksandr Kuschynski Katusha Team 07:12
124 Daryl Impey Orica – GreenEDGE 07:14
125 Yukiya Arashiro Europcar @ same time
126 Nicki Sørensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
127 Ruben Perez Moreno Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
128 Amaël Moinard BMC Racing Team 07:16
129 Johnny Hoogerland Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 07:17
130 Matthieu Sprick Argos-Shimano 07:18
131 Francis De Greef Lotto – Belisol Team 07:22
132 Romain Zingle Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 07:23
133 Blel Kadri Ag2R – La Mondiale 07:26
134 Matthew Goss Orica – GreenEDGE 07:27
135 Sebastian Langeveld Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
136 Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
137 Gregory Henderson Lotto – Belisol Team 07:40
138 Marco Marzano Lampre – ISD 07:46
139 Adam Hansen Lotto – Belisol Team 07:53
140 Giampaolo Caruso Katusha Team 07:56
141 Alessandro Vanotti Liquigas – Cannondale 07:58
142 Vincent Jerome Europcar @ same time
143 Joan Horrach Rippoll Katusha Team 07:59
144 Kenny Van Hummel Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 08:04
145 Tom Veelers Argos-Shimano 08:06
146 Pablo Urtasun Perez Euskaltel – Euskadi 08:07
147 Guillaume Levarlet Saur – Sojasun @ same time
148 Baden Cooke Orica – GreenEDGE 08:11
149 Jan Ghyselinck Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 08:15
150 Marcel Sieberg Lotto – Belisol Team 08:17
151 Johan Vansummeren Garmin – Sharp @ same time
152 Jonathan Cantwell Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 08:18
153 Bernhard Eisel Sky Procycling 08:25
154 Andre Greipel Lotto – Belisol Team 08:26
155 Koen De Kort Argos-Shimano 08:27
156 Nicolas Edet Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 08:30
157 Mickael Cherel Ag2R – La Mondiale 08:31
158 S̩bastien Hinault Ag2R РLa Mondiale 08:33
159 Borut Bozic Astana Pro Team 08:36
160 C̩dric Pineau Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat 08:38
161 Mark Cavendish Sky Procycling 08:43
162 Grega Bole Lampre – ISD 08:44
163 Nick Nuyens Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 08:50
164 Roy Curvers Argos-Shimano @ same time
165 Manuel Quinziato BMC Racing Team 08:54
166 Tyler Farrar Garmin – Sharp 08:55
167 Matthew Lloyd Lampre – ISD 09:00
168 Maxim Iglinskiy Astana Pro Team 09:01
169 Mark Renshaw Rabobank Cycling Team 09:07
170 Jean-marc Marino Saur – Sojasun @ same time
171 Giovanni Bernaudeau Europcar 09:08
172 Daniel Oss Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
173 Juan Jose Haedo Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 09:15
174 Christophe Kern Europcar 09:22
175 Karsten Kroon Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 09:25
176 Anders Lund Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 09:32
177 Yauheni Hutarovich Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 09:57
178 Jimmy Engoulvent Saur – Sojasun 11:10′

OVERALL AFTER NINE STAGES
1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 39:09:20
2 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team @1:53
3 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling @2:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale @2:23
5 Denis Menchov Katusha Team @3:02
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan @3:19
7 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan @4:23
8 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team @5:14
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @5:20
10 Nicolas Roche Ag2R – La Mondiale @5:29
11 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa Movistar Team @5:46
12 Rein Taaramäe Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @5:56
13 Tony Gallopin RadioShack – Nissan @5:59
14 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team @6:29
15 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan @6:33
16 Sylvain Chavanel Omega Pharma – Quickstep @8:18
17 Frank Schleck RadioShack – Nissan @8:19
18 J̩rome Coppel Saur РSojasun @8:31
19 Levi Leipheimer Omega Pharma – Quickstep @8:34
20 Peter Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep @8:44
21 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @8:53
22 Ivan Basso Liquigas – Cannondale @9:06
23 Chris Horner RadioShack – Nissan @9:07
24 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling @9:32
25 Pierre Rolland Europcar @10:00

 

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