Friday, July 27, 2007

TdF Stage 19 preview

This year's Tour de France will be decided tomorrow. Stage 19 is a 55.5 km time trial from Cognac to Angoulême (the finish of Stage 18). Let's have a look at the current GC:

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel 86.04.16
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 1.50
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel 2.49
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 6.02
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 6.29
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 10.18
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 11.36
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 12.47
9 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 13.31
10 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 13.42

Provided none of these riders will crash, or the top three won't have a real bad day, the podium spots will go to Contador, Evans and Leipheimer. How did they fare in the previous two time trials ?

Prologue, London, 7.9 km:
15 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery +0.35
17 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto +0.36
26 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery +0.40

Stage 13, Albi, 54 km:
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto +1.14
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery +2.18
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery +2.39

My prediction is that there won't be a change in the GC after tomorrow's race, but with Contador losing a minute on Evans, although I really wish that Cadel Evans will take the lead, and keep it until Paris.

Start time of the first and last rider are 10:43am CEST and 16:20 CEST respectively, and the last rider is expected to finish at 17:27 CEST. So by 8:30am PDT, we'll know the results, and likely also who the new Tour champion will be.

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