Velominati Super Prestige: Le Tour de France, Stage 20

Reach for your recovery drink of choice, grab a little massage if you can, load up on carbs tonight, and get ready for the ultimate showdown for final Tour glory tomorrow to be contested in 41 kilometers contra la montre. I’m talking about the fans, not the riders, obviously. Because these last two days have nearly killed us.

This is anyone’s time trial. At 41km, it’s just long enough for Cadel to pull one out, and it’s just short and hilly enough for Andy to retain enough of his lead. Sure, Evans will certainly beat the Grimplette, but by how much? In last year’s final ITT, Andy almost pulled out the upset, until the wind kicked up and the youngster’s sit up and beg TT position had him more sail that sailor. It’s hilly enough to give the climbers a chance of staying in it, and the long descent to the finish will play to the fastmen against the clock.

Will his new Maillot Juane play Redbull to Andy and give him wings? Or will the scent of Yellow drag the Cadelamonster to his prize? Both Andy and Cadel know what it’s like to stand on the second step of the podium. Neither wants to stand there again. And both riders are different men than they were the last time it happened. Both have been hardened by the bitter taste of defeat that lingers long on the tongue.

I, for one, can hardly take it any more. Vive le Tour.

You know the drill, get your picks in by 5am Pacific tomorrow morning. Good luck.

 

 

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266 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Le Tour de France, Stage 20”

  1. And in a few min, we get to hear angry stomach bitch about the dangerous descents in the TT. Great Tour little guy!

  2. Such a mix of joy for EVANS: YEEAAAAH and heartbreak for the panache Andy showed over the past couple days.

    Get on your TT bike, BOY!

  3. The Schekles just keep proving that they are not championisimos But Cadel has cemented his palmeres in Stone!

  4. This is massiVe! Tears on the podium? Odds on.

    @Ron

    Amazing that an Aussie will win & he’s not a manly bloke, just a wee fella with the dimple chin & that high voice…
    Will the blokes in their Canterbury shorts and Blundastone boots still cheer him on?

    Cantebury is a Kiwi company and its Blundstone. But we get it. And the answer is…probably not.

  5. From cycling news:
    It’s worth noting that Evans rode this course in the Criterium du Dauphine, and that may well have been telling, not just today, but throughout the three weeks of this Tour. The Australian knew that he always had a trump card waiting for him in Grenoble, and he was rightly confident that he could make up the 57 seconds on Schleck today.

  6. And, completely unrelated, I’m sure, why do I find myself wanting a BMC even more now? Dunno…weird.

  7. Wow – how good was he?!? Aldo Sassi told him years ago that 10/11 was his peak. I didn’t believe in him after last year. But he did it. So pleased for him.

    @Ron Love you pal -but Canterbury is a Kiwi company!

  8. Good on Cadel, man. He doesn’t look like he believes it.

    Did I just hear that Oz is thinking of making this a national holiday? Really?

  9. Sorry ’bout that. I couldn’t think of the make of shorts the Aussie blokes prefer. A lot more Canterbury stuff in NZed than over there on that big island to the left.

    Thanks for the correction, Marcus & harminator.

    Nice win, Cadel! Enjoy the celebration all you Aussies!

  10. And @Sgt takes the Le Tour VSP. Rockin’ race, incredible TT by Evans, who rode a perfect Tour from start to finish. Amazing that he was as strong on day one as the second last. Un be fuckin’ leivable.

    [vsp_results id=”8758″]
    [/vsp_results]

  11. Just woke up at 3am to watch, and missed Cadel’s ride! But AWESOME!

    Congrats to a deserving winner, and a great battle from the Swivels over the 3 weeks, and Tommy 5! Amazing Tour…

  12. @frank
    Our PM tried it when we won the Americas Cup!

    What a gutsy effort from cadel not to give up on grand tours after the last few years. Such belief in himself in the face of so many doubters (me included.)

    30 years ago the first non- euro put on a yellow jersey. His name was phil Anderson

    Massive Sunday on the piss coming up!

  13. I’m gonna say it one more time: the Tour is for the best rider on all terrain. You can have one weakness if you’re good enough at another discipline. But you can’t have two.

    Andy, Fränk: if you want to win the Tour ever, you’re going to have to learn to descend and/or TT. All it takes is practice.

  14. Sweet – podium!

    Oh, yeah, CADEL WON IT!!! I”M ACTUALLY SHOUTING THIS OUT LOUD AS I WRITE THIS IN CAPS!!!

    Hooray! I haven’t felt this happy since I was a kid on Christmas morning!

  15. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YESSSSSS!
    Wow, I’m actually speechless I’m so excited.
    WOW
    (yes I’m from Australia and have cheered Cadel for years, I thought he’d get Carlos but the wait has been worth it)

  16. You little ripper Cadel! Talk about an iron will, that was an astonishingly strong mental effort, forget about the TT’ing.

    Still chances to win his bike (raced in the Worlds and Lombardy) and help kids with Cerebral Palsy at the same time – check out Cyclingtipsblig.com entry on 21 June.

    Yeeeaaahhh!!! See you up on the mountain at Kingkake this summer Cadel…

  17. @Marcus

    @frank
    Our PM tried it when we won the Americas Cup!
    What a gutsy effort from cadel not to give up on grand tours after the last few years. Such belief in himself in the face of so many doubters (me included.)
    30 years ago the first non- euro put on a yellow jersey. His name was phil Anderson
    Massive Sunday on the piss coming up!

    Good call Marcus – Phil was the beginning of the Anglo invasion.
    Big celebration time.

  18. I don’t want to be too charitable to the Schleck fellas here after a less than stellar time trial, but give credit where credit is due and don’t take away too much from the brothers Grimp. 16th and 17th at 2 minutes out in the final TdF TT obviously didn’t cut it, but it’s also not terrible in the way folks are making it out to be. Should they work on the TT skills (and mental approach)? Yes. Does it stand in stark contrast to other yellow Jersey TTs of the recent past? Yes. But as this a horrible display of te anti-V? I don’t think so.

    The bottom line here is that the Schlecks didn’t lose the tour as much as Cadel simply won it. He won it in the time trial, sure, but he also won it yesterday on Alps D’Huez and especially the previous day in his one-man assault on the final climb. Reclaimed 2 full minutes from Andy, with a full host of favorites in tow. Pure V. Yes the Schlecks are weaker in the TT, but the real difference here was how Cadel was able to hang with their strength in the mountains, then recover and dominate contre le montre. Chapeau to Good Cadel.

  19. sgt just blew up the overall VSP with those 30 points! Big shake up in the VSP due to Le Tour.

    I’m slipping away, better work on my TTing skills…

  20. @harminator
    Surely it’s Khe Sanh?

    For any Aussies reading this who were watching SBS, can anyone tell me if Tomo had a boner while he was talking to Matt White? Man that guy was overexcited..

  21. Who is this chap? Showing up at Alpe d’Huez in white bibs?! Unless my eyes are so bleary from all the racing, that is not in fact Thor (in an Italy jersey!).

  22. @Abdu Whereareyou

    @harminator
    Surely it’s Khe Sanh?
    For any Aussies reading this who were watching SBS, can anyone tell me if Tomo had a boner while he was talking to Matt White? Man that guy was overexcited..

    Mate, Don’t mention the war! This internet thing is international.

    And Tomo won’t have to renew his viagra script for years!

  23. Remember the Death of the Grand Tour? Yeah, well, Cuddles can do it all. Frandy can climb, they have a great team…they can’t TT or get their asses down a mountain. Yes, this is hard, hard stuff. Dangerous even. But you just got the feeling that Cuddles was licking his chops in the start house, and Frandy were both just looking over their shoulders. Like they did all race, one move on the Galibier notwithstanding.

    But hay, Cuddles sure made that BMC Time Machine look good today, hunh? That image should supplant his difficulty yesterday. I sure would like to see what broke.

  24. @frank

    I’m gonna say it one more time: the Tour is for the best rider on all terrain. You can have one weakness if you’re good enough at another discipline. But you can’t have two.
    Andy, Fränk: if you want to win the Tour ever, you’re going to have to learn to descend and/or TT. All it takes is practice.

  25. 2 HOURS AGO NEAR GRENOBLE;;;

    FIRST PHOTOS ARE COMING SOON ;;;

    WAIT FOR IT §§§ !!!

  26. @Ron
    Outside of the bibs, I’m not seeing too many violations.

    On another note, Levi just needs to hang it up. Pretty sad showing from the Eggtimer.

    I’m already feeling a TDF hangover creeping on and we are not even to Paris. Have to admit, today was a flagrant Rule #62 violation during my AM ride. I had to have the live stream going in one ear as I rode my favorite climb. It gets you pretty pumped hearing Phil and Paul shouting out the time gaps for Cadel and Andy. What a way to start my Saturday.

    Now, time to turn Netflix, settle in with a cold Fosters and wach a little Crocodile Dundee. May have to even throw a few shrimp on the bbq later just to celebrate. (Am I missing any stereotypes?)

  27. Amazing pictures – and what great luck to be able to be there to take them!

    For the record, Pierre Rolland will end France’s TdF drought. Not next year, but he looks to have what it takes to be the first Frenchman since Hinault to win the home tour.

  28. Sorry for the quality ! Most photos are mostly bluuuury ( my old Pentax isn’ TT compliant ..at 40km/h , it just stops going… it does like myself and stay in foetal position , detached from reality, ignoring the fact that i suck on the flat).. a french-japanese guy next to me was really doing amazing “professionnal” shots with proper gear..well, i do what i can !

    However, it was really nice to be there !!!!

    Quel beau tour, n’est-ce pas?

  29. I need a cigarette and a nap after watching that. Damn good job Cadel.
    @alpin – Thanks for the pics. Lucky you to be there.

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