Live: 2012 Tour de France – Stage 9 – Individual Time Trial
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Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Please join us for live blogging of Stage 9, the second of three Tour time trials of the 2012 Tour de France. Live coverage will begin from 8:30PM, will full coverage from 10PM.
The race will run from Arc-et-Senans and snake its way north to Besancon, a distance of 41.5km.
It will be the 19th time the Tour will finish in Besancon, with the most recent being in 2009. Riders will depart at 2 minute intervals, with the final 20 riders being given 3 minute gaps.
After just over one week of racing I think it’s fair to say to say no one expected (or hoped) that the real decider so far, in terms of the battle for General Classification, has been crashes.
As such, what was already feared as being a ‘two horse race’ could be even more so after today’s stage.
Brad Wiggins will certainly take considerable time way from the likes of Nibali, Menchov and Zubeldia – all of which presently sit within a minute of him. The big question is, will he take time out of Cadel Evans and slip further away from the Aussie?
In the recent Dauphine Brad came close to catching Cadel (making up what was a 2 minute gap between starts), however as everyone knows the Tour is a race like no other.
In the past two days there has been signs of Wiggins not handling the pressure of the situation as well as he could. Will this affect his TT? It certainly could. Given Cadel has been avoiding the spotlight and is a lot more experienced with the ‘circus’ that is the Tour de France, you can be sure he will exploit any weaknesses Brad might show during today’s race.
It could also see Christopher Froome, winner of stage 7, move up the General Classification. Sitting in 6th place, only Cadel and Brad ahead of him have the time trial prowess to hold him off.
GC battle aside, this TT will also be an another excellent indicator for how Fabian Cancellara’s form is. With the Olympic Games beckoning and his dominating display in the Prologue, Fabain is looking more like the rider we knew and is fast putting the early season crash behind him.
As the Tour does every year, it’s able to offer redemption for a team whose season had, until then, been below par. So far this year it’s been Radioshack.
The other question is how much has Tony Martin been able to recover from his injuries sustained last week. The London Games TT is also high on his priority list, however remains to be seen if he will be able to recover enough to challenge the likes of Cancellara for the gold medal.
Whatever the case, stage 9 will be sure to significantly alter the look of the General Classification. Please, join me for live blogging of this stage of the 2012 Tour de France.