Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Looking good

Wiggins rode an incredible time trial yesterday taking a lot of time out of his nearest rival Cadel Evans. His team mate Chris Froome came second and jumped up the leader board to third place. That puts Sky, Wiggins and Froome in a very good position but what have they yet to face?
The Daily Telegraph sums it up very well:
July 10: Rest day Wiggins hates rest days hates rest days with a real passion and will go for a hard three-to-four-hour ride, including a mountain climb, to stop his body from closing down and lapsing into "repair mode". And then will come the crucial set-piece yellow jersey’s press conference with the world’s press and broadcasters. Wiggins had his rant, following smears about his performances, and needs to bite his tongue from now on.
July 12: Stage 11
This is a brutal Alpine stage. featuring 91 miles of torture and three of the hardest mountain climbs of the entire Tour, including the beautiful, but heartbreaking, Col de la Madeleine and the fearsome Col de la Croix de Fer. which tops out at 2,067 metres. Vincenzo Nibali is likely to launch an attack on Wiggins here and Cadel Evans, the Sky man’s chief rival for overall victory, might go with the Italian.

July 18: Stage 16
Another crucial mountain stage in the Pyrenees starting in Pau and featuring all the classics of the region from the mighty Tourmalet (2,115m) downwards. It covers 122 miles and it is expected to be very hot, possibly over 35C. It comes after the Tour’s second rest day so Wiggins and Sky need to be on the case from the start. They will, possibly, ride out before breakfast to prepare

July 19: Stage 17
The Pyrenees punishment continues, covering almost 90 miles and featuring a truly sadistic mountain-top finish on the Peyragudes when the attacks on Wiggins will come one after another on the nine-mile climb to the summit. This is where Chris Froome, a revelation on the Tour so far, must dig deep for his Sky leader, chase down any attacks and then guide Wiggins to the summit.

July 21: Stage 19
This 32-mile time-trial from, Bonneval to Chartres, is Wiggins’s banker if things go wrong in the mountains. Ideally he will still be in the lead going to the start line but he is comfortably the best time-trial rider among the favourites and could pull back two to three minutes if necessary. The leader after this stage is effectively the Tour de France champion. The ride into Paris is just a champagne-swilling promenade.

Just to give you some idea of what these lumps of rock are like:

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