Tour De France Stage 19 Boneval – Chartres

22/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 19 Boneval – Chartres  53.5km time trial.

Stage 19 was seen by many as a forgone conclusion for Bradley Wiggins to wrap up this year’s Tour de France in style. The course suited him, the first 38km were flat, smooth and fast roads and thereafter it would get a little more technical. They call this the race of truth because there is no hiding place, just one man on a bike against the clock.

Fortunately for us this is what Wiggo is known for, so when he left the starting hut I should imagine that with the knowledge he was about to become the first ever British Tour de France winner in history, the adrenaline was racing round his body ready to be unleashed like a bullet from a gun.

Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank had set the bar for riders to beat, with a time of 1 hour 6 minutes 3 seconds. Cadel Evans’ Tour went from bad to worse. He wasn’t as quick as people thought he maybe in a time trial but his tour was squashed into the road even further when his young team mate and winner of the white jersey Tejay Van Garderen overtook him. Bearing in mind they started at 3 minute intervals this was very impressive.

Chris Froome was flying round the course and at the time checks along the way was smashing everyone’s times. Then it was time for Brad to leave the start hut. There were a lot of British supporters at the start waving their flags and cheering for him. When the countdown was over, away he went. From the very start he looked like he was in a different class. Straight away he got himself into a nice settled rhythm  and he was super smooth in the way he was riding. His body was wasn’t moving at all on the bike whilst his legs were turning like pistons. He knew this was the day to open the taps and go full gas, but still with control. That is exactly what he did.

At the second check point Chris Froome was leading with a time 4 seconds under Sanchez, but with Brad coming up fast behind him all eyes were on the clock. When Brad crossed the line for the second check point you could have been forgiven for thinking there was something wrong with the timer because, yes he was even faster than Froome but he was 53 seconds faster than him. This meant his average speed to that point had been 31mph.

As he progressed further along the course the times were looking like they were getting even better. Vincenzo Nibali came home with a time of 1 hour 7 minutes 51 seconds, which was pretty good for a non-time trialer. I bet if he had the right training in certain areas he too could quite easily be a Tour winner.

Chris Froome approached the line as Sanchez watched with a smile on his face because he knew that his time was about to fall. It was just a case of by how much. As Froome crossed the line he beat him by 34 seconds, with a finish time of 1 hour 5 minutes 29 seconds. Finally it was Wiggins who was coming to the line. I think everyone knew he was going to win but I don’t think people knew just what a margin he would take it by. He crossed the line 1 minute 16 seconds ahead of his team mate, with a time of 1 hour 4 minutes 15 seconds.

As he went over the line he punched the air with his right hand, with the knowledge that victory was his. Although there is the last stage to go today, it is traditionally not contested by other riders. They normally have a glass of Champagne before setting of like an exhibition ride into Paris. However they will still all be going for the prestigious stage win on the Champs Elysees, which I am hoping will once again be taken by Mark Cavendish.

Today is the greatest day in British cycling history and we should all be very proud of what the Brits have achieved in stage racing on the continent. We are a nation of time trialers and track riders, but from the early days when riders like Brian Robinson paved the way into Europe and then the first personalities like Tommy Simpson, we have come a long way. We really do dominate the sport in many areas now. This is great news for our country and hopefully it will inspire the next generation of cyclists who as 9 or 10 year olds will have been watching this Tour with their fathers. Picking up on their enthusiasm they have for the sport to go out and pretend they are Bradley Wiggins as they race their mates down the streets.

We also have the Olympics coming up and this could really cement us as a country recognised as a true cycling nation.

 

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Bradley Wiggins

Team Sky

84hrs 26mins 31secs

2

Chris Froome

Team Sky

+3mins 21secs

3

Vincenzo Nibali

Liquigas-Cannondale

+6mins 19secs

4

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Lotto-Belisol

+10mins 15secs

5

Tejay van Garderen

BMC Racing

+11mins 04secs

6

Haimar Zubeldia

RadioShack-Nissan

+15mins 43secs

7

Cadel Evans

BMC Racing

+15mins 51secs

8

Pierre Rolland

Europcar

+16mins 31secs

9

Janez Brajkovic

Astana

+16mins 38secs

10

Thibaut Pinot

FDJ-BigMat

+17mins 17secs

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