Friday, July 20, 2012

Tour Preview - Stage 19

Some might say that the last stage into Paris is the real parade stage in the Tour de France, but with the overall classification already set, this stage is kind of a parade too. A parade for the strong time trialists and in case you missed it, the two very best (left) in the race are also the two first riders in the GC.

It seems redundant to mention it, especially after the first time trial in the race, but of course Bradley Wiggins is the big favorite for this time trial. Wiggins has murdered any sign of competition in the time trials so far this year and there is absolutely nothing that points in any other direction than him doing it again this time. The biggest threat to Bradley Wiggins is his team mate Chris Froome, who would have won this Tour (easily…) hasn’t been for the time loss on the one of the first stages and his baby sitting duties in the mountains.

Personally I hope Chris Froome will win this stage and I’m sure he is eager to give a real try as well, but it won’t be easy against Wiggins. These two guys will most likely end 1st and 2nd on the stage so the rest of the peloton is actually only fighting for 3rd place - very much like in the overall classification too.

If I should mention a joker for the stage it would be Tejay Van Garderen. The young American did extremely well in the first time trial and he says he is very motivated for give it full gas this time too. TJ is 2:37 minutes after Jurgen Van den Broeck in 4th place and if he has the right day it’s not very unlikely that he can take all that time back on the Dutchman who had a very poor first time trial. “I'll empty the tank and see where I end up. I had a good one last time. Maybe I can go even better”, Tejay Van Garderen said looking ahead to the final fight against the clock.

Winner pick: Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome
Joker: Tejay Van Garderen

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