Current Olympic and World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) put his stamp on the 2010 Tour de France today with his win in the 52 kilometer individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac.
For Swiss rider Cancellara, who finished the stage in 1 hour 56 seconds, it was his second stage win of this year’s Tour as he won the Prologue in Rotterdam on the opening day of the race. “Today I really wanted to win but I am also very tired. It was a long day for me and a very long three weeks,” he said. “But I’m happy, that’s for sure. I’ve added another win to my big list.
“Thankfully there’s only 100 kilometers ’til Paris, and then it’s over. It was nice to get this win in such a nice place. I think tonight we will sit down and celebrate with a nice big bottle of wine.”
It was the German Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia who would finish second just 17 seconds off the pace.
As the day wore on, the winds picked up on the leaders in the overall standings in the race. None of the top 10 in the overall standings of the race finished the time trial in the top 10 on the stage.
The big upset of the day was handed out by Denis Menchov (Rabobank) who bested Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) and moved himself into 3rd in the overall and a podium position in Paris.
For the Americans it was Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions), winner of the 2005 Tour de France Prologue, who had the best finish in 5th, 3 minutes behind Cancellara.
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) was the biggest surprise on the day as he proved to the world he has been working on his time trial. Schleck finished just 31 seconds behind Alberto Contador (Astana)- leaving Contador with a slim 39 second advantage in the overall standings. While Contador will keep the yellow jersey in Paris, it was not without a scare on a stage where he had always been considered superior.
“I always said I was going to give it everything till the end and I think I did that,” said Schleck. “I’ve made some progress in the time trial in the past year, but to beat Contador is not easy.” Before the first time check, Schleck was unofficially ahead of Contador by 4 seconds.
Contador, Tour de France winner in 2007 and 2009, climbed onto the podium to receive his yellow jersey overtaken by emotion.
“It was a very hard day. I’ve worked so hard for so many years but today it really came right down to the wire. That’s why I’m so emotional,” said Contador, who is on his way to his third Tour de France victory. “In fact, I think it’s the first Tour I’ve won where I’ve been so emotional. I want to thank all the people who have been there for me these last years.”
Stage 19 Results:
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Saxo Bank in 52km in 1h00’56’
2. Tony Martin (GER) HTC-Coliumbia at 17′
3. Bert Grabsch (GER) HTC-Columbia at 1’48’
4. Ignatas Konovalovas (LTH) Cervelo TestTeam at 2’34’
5. Dave Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Transitions at 3’00’
6. Koos Moerenhout (NED) Rabobank at 3’03’
7. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) Caisse d’Epargne at 3’10’
8. Maartijn Tjallinghii (NED) Rabobank at 3’21’
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky at 3’33’
10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky at 3’38’
Overall after Stage 19:
1. Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana in 89 hours 16 minutes and 27 seconds
2. Andy Schleck (LUX) Saxo Bank at 39″
3. Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobnk at 2’01”
4. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) Euskatel-Euskadi at 3’40”
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 6’54”
6. Robert Gesink (NED) Rabobank at 9’31”
7. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin-Transitions at 10’15”
8. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha at 11’37”
9. Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Liquigas at 11’54”
10. Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack at 12’02”
Stage 20 Preview
Longjumeau – Paris, Champs-Elysees 102.5 km
The final stage of the Tour de France is a parade of sorts as the riders present themselves to the grandest street in the world, the Champs-Elysees. Like warriors returning from battle they will drink champagne and ride arm in arm. Except for the sprinters.
On this 102.5 kilometer stage all has been decided except for the green jersey of the sprinters. It may be a battle to the finish as Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) looks to snag his 15th Tour de France stage win, and his 5th in 2010- and in so doing possibly taking the green jersey from Alessandro Petacchi (Lamre-Farnese-Vini).