Stage 20 – Grenoble Grenoble 42.5 km
After yesterdays thrilling race, today had a lot to live up to. Could Andy Schleck finally stop being the bridesmaid of the tour and could Cadel Evans top his dramatic comeback from a couple of years of injuries to win the maillot jaune. What about Contador. Would he have enough still left in his legs to make a dramatic last dash to hold onto his title?
Tony Martin of HCT-Highroad stamped into the lead clocking a time of 55′ 33″ but all eyes were on Evans and Schleck. Today they could either win or loose the coveted yellow.
Contador got off to a shaky start with his foot slipping out of his left peddle as he tried to power away from the starting line to eventually finish third 1’06″ behind Martin.
The main focus now was on the Andy and Cadel clash for the maillot jaune with Evans slowly but surely eating into the 57 second advantage Andy Schleck had over him. By the halfway mark he was the virtual leader of the tour. At the finish he was 2’31″ in front of Andy Schleck.
On the ride into Paris Cadel Evans, Australia’s first ever tour de France winner, will be 1’34″ ahead of Andy Schleck who will be second overall for the for the third year in a row. With brother Frank third. The first time ever in the tours history that two brothers have been on the podium together at the end of a tour.
Cadel Evans summed it up when being interviewed after the race “20 years of hard work have been put into this performance”.
A great rider and a man worth to wear the maillot jaune.
The final stage of this year tour in Paris has a chance to be another classic with Mark Cavendish aiming to win for the third time and keep the green jersey as best sprinter.
Steven. A. Barlow, Co founder www.spartan-warriors.co.uk , founder of Spartan Runners ” because we don`t just run” © 2011