Post Stage Chat
Alberto Contador of Astana got a real scare from Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank today, seeing his eight second advantage nearly disappear on the road of the 53km time trial today in the early stages. But Contador had plenty left in the end and reclaimed seconds as the race wore on, resulting in Contador winning the Tour de France for the third time in four years. Schleck's performance was an upset, or maybe it was the high expectations for Contador, but either way it made for great drama on the road, and it failed to put to rest the debate over Contador's attack on stage 16 when Schleck lost 39" to a chain drop. Ultimately, though, while Schleck was inspired, Contador rode a very smart race, not panicking and riding better over the latter half of the race.
Denis Menchov was one of the day's strongest riders and easily passed Samuel Sanchez for third on General Classification, while Ryder Hesjedal moved up to sixth. Fabian Cancellara started early and won the stage, although in fairness winds later in the day completely changed the conditions and the best GC men were 3-5 minutes slower overall.
- Fabian Cancellara, Saxo Bank, 1.00.56
- Tony Martin, HTC-Columbia, at 0.17
- Bert Grabsch, HTC-Columbia, at 1.48
- Ignatias Konovalovas, Cervelo Test Team, at 2.34
- Dave Zabriskie, Garmin-Transitions, at 3.00
And what will be the final general classification...
- Alberto Contador, Astana
- Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 0.39
- Denis Menchov, Rabobank, at 2.01
- Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel, at 3.40
- Jurgen VandenBroeck, Omega Pharma, at 6.54
- Robert Gesink, Rabobank, at 9.31
- Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Transitions, at 10.15
- Joaquim Rodriguez, Katusha, at 11.37
- Roman Kreuziger, Liquigas, at 11.54
- Chris Horner, Radio Shack, at 12.02
Photos: Spencer Platt, Getty.