Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tour Teams’ moment of truth - Stage 4: Start times etc

Start list I swiped from – I changed the times to AEST.

10:30 pm: Caisse d'Epargne
10:37: Team Katusha
10:44: Rabobank
10:51: Lampre
10:58: Bbox Bouygues Telecom
11:05: AG2R-La Mondiale
11:12: Skil-Shimano
11:19: Française des Jeux
11:26: Agritubel
11:33: Silence-Lotto
11:40: Quick Step
11:47: Cervélo Test Team
11:54: Team Milram
12:16: Liquigas
12:08: Euskaltel-Euskadi
12:15: Cofidis
12:22: Garmin-Slipstream
12:29: Team Saxo Bank
12:36: Team Columbia-HTC
12:43: Astana

I won’t linger over talking about the profile but I will say that some think the shortness of the route, the technical first section and the jagged roads could see some traditional time trialling teams struggle.

Who knows how teams will have recovered from yesterday? Some are saying Columbia-HTC might be tired from its brilliance, but it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t have practiced and prepared for such a scenario – it IS their job after all. AND, if they’re tired, then so are those who went with them and those who ate their dust.
For the win - Astana on paper after Stage 1’s TT would be a safe bet, but you can’t discount Columbia, Garmin and SaxoBank. According to Twitter Lance didn’t get to bed until 11pmish…so hopefully he’s tired.
Possible outcomes for yellow:

1 - Cancellara will keep it. Cancellara is 33 secs up on Martin, 40 on Armstrong. Can Astana beat Saxobank by 40secs in the time trial? Saxobank do have mountain goats Schleck 1 and Schleck 2 on their team, but they also have Cancellera and the other workhorses that will do their best to limit the loss.

2 - if Columbia doesn’t win the stage, it gains 33 seconds over Saxobank, Martin’s wearing yellow.

3 - Astana will live up to their own hyperbole and cane Saxobank by 40 seconds.
Eek – watch it! Time checks at 9km, 19.5kms and 30.7kms.

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