Today was Stage 20 – Individual Time Trial, and deciding factor forthe 2011 Tour de France! Cadel Evans not only got the second fastest time in today’s Time Trial, he became the virtual leader of the Tour de France before the halfway mark of the 42.5 km time trial of stage 20. By the 27.5 km mark, he had more than double the time he needed to win the title. Tony Martin was the fastest in the race that started and finished in Grenoble.
The final true challenge for the riders vying for overall honours in the 2011 Tour de France was a 42.5 km time trial that started and finished in Grenoble. There were 166 riders still in the race. Riders departed at two-minute intervals until the final 21, when the racers were separated by three minutes. The roads were wet at the start, it was overcast but it had stopped raining by the time the action actually got underway.
The first to start the 20th stage began the penultimate stage of the 98th edition at 10.26am. The 121st rider to start the stage was Tony Martin (THR). He won the TT of the Criterium du Dauphiné on the same course as the one used for stage 20 of the Tour and he set the best time at every check and riding a perfect stage on dry roads. It appeared that the stage was decided early in the day, the battle for the victory of the Tour was on right to the end. Cadel Evans (BMC) became the virtual leader of the Tour with 20km to go in the time trial when he made up the 57 seconds he lagged behind Andy Schleck after 3,292.5km of race. Then, at the 27.5km mark, Evans was only seven seconds shy of Martin’s time.
Cadel Evans will ride to Paris, wearing the yellow jersey, with a lead of 1 minute and 3seconds over the former race leader thanks to his second place in the stage! 🙂