Grenoble fall out

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Tony Martin Grenoble

One of the highlights of the Critérium du Dauphiné was today’s time trial stage around Grenoble. The route is identical to Stage 20 of the Tour de France, the crucial final stage before the parade in Paris. So what lessons can we take from today for July?

Here are the results, the top-10 plus a selection of others.

1 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:55:27
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:11
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:43
4 David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:58
5 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack 0:01:17
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:20
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:36
8 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:37
9 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:01:56
10 Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:02:00
12 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:02:04
13 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:02:08
14 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana 0:02:18
17 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02:39
18 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:41
21 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:45
22 Matthew Busche (USA) Team RadioShack 0:02:46
23 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:49
28 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:03:01
30 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
31 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 0:03:04
32 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:03:05
42 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:03:27
43 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:31
45 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:38
135 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:16
  • An impressive ride by Tony Martin. An obvious favourite for the win today but he’d gone backwards on the climbs earlier in the week, suggesting all wasn’t well. But word is he has actually lost a bit of weight and is biding his time for July, where he wants a solid position on the overall classification. Note he was an early starter and had to face wetter roads than those higher on GC.
  • Fabian Cancellara might be looking over his shoulder, perhaps not for the classics but certainly for time trial stages and even the Worlds.
  • Bradley Wiggins is in impressive form. For me he’s always better when he’s in the mix of things, his 2009 Tour de France breakthrough came after a season where he rode Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d’Italia. Let’s see how he climbs over the weekend but he himself says his power to weight ratio is on target.
  • Boasson-Hagen is back, proving his is a lot more than a fast finisher. When you see his third place today you realise comparisons with John Degenkolb and Peter Sagan are a bit wide of the mark, he can do a lot more.
  • As for the rest of the top-10, it’s kind of expected. Riblon is a surprise but he’s got the pedigree to do this.
  • If Jérôme Coppel will find his result ok, I’m not sure of Jurgen Van den Broeck or Robert Gesink will be too happy.
  • Christophe Kern is worth a mention. Dropped by Cofidis in the winter, he washed up chez Europcar. Today broke his bike and had no replacement time trial bike on the following car, so he finished on a normal road bike. He still beat Gesink and Vacansoleil’s TT specialist Lieuwe Westra.
  • David Moncoutié is in good shape. I’d watch for him to take a stage this week and to be ready for a good “farewell” Tour de France in July, possibly taking the King of the Mountains jersey.
  • Neither Samuel Sanchez, Luis Léon Sanchez nor Nico Roche will be happy tonight. Losing over three and half minutes today is a blow. Once this race is finished there’s a time to recover and then not that much of a window to work on improvements. Any gains between now and July will be small, improving your fitness by two minutes is a big ask. Their only hope is that this a jour sans… or that they deliberately sat up today, something I find hard to imagine.
  • Someone who can’t claim a bad day is Ivan Basso. He’s not looked in form this week at all and today he had a stinker, losing six minutes. Liquigas will now be counting on Peter Sagan in July.
  • Overall, note the time gaps. We’re talking two minutes across the top-10 alone. The tricky course with its ever varying gradients and many corners means I’d expect gaps to open up, possibly more given the fatigue of a grand tour. The overall classification could well change on the eve of the Tour de France’s final day. This is a crucial stage for the Tour de France.
  • The situation will be different in the Tour de France, it’ll be the 20th day of racing. The French say le fraîcheur counts, being fresh in the final week of the Tour de France. Indeed we often see the climbers turn in a decent performance because they can cope with the racing, it is not so much a test of raw power on the day but stamina after four Saturdays of racing.

Summary
An identical course in July… but obviously a very different race. Nevertheless, some riders will sleep well tonight knowing everything is going to plan whilst others might feel their in a race against time to get ready for July.

Starr June 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Good thing for Basso, is his proven stamina over three weeks.
I think he’ll be fine come Tour time, but still surprising he may have chosen not to use this TT as a test.
If this was his best on the day, then yikes…

natalie June 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Did Basso not have a bad crash recently? He must be well out of form. Certainly looking less lithe than he usually does too. I hope he can find something for the Tour because I (foolishly?) have hopes of it not being a Bert and Andy show again.

Re: Luis Leon. Has he done anything all season? I can only recall average performances. What’s going on there?

Watching the stage today my initial thought was that a lot of big boys are going to struggle. But you’re right, it all depends on what is left in the tank at the end of three weeks racing. That will be a major factor which may negate some of my initial worries. though for either Schleck it looks like it will be a tough ask.

Rider Council June 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Basso has gone backwards since the final TT of Tirreno this year. Something is up. Time to start thinking Vuelta? It’s a pity about Roche though, one would hope he can get better but his TT’s have always been a bit of a let down for the most part. If things don’t work out he still could be a top class one day rider and short stage race contender. Pressure is enormous on these young lads, it cant be easy to manage the stress.

Poppy June 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm

This might not be the right place to say, but, I absolutely love this blog.

Rider Council June 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm

ditto @Poppy , no better place

STB June 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Basso had a bad crash in training a couple of weeks ago which has restricted his recent training. In this context his poor performance today is not so bad, although a 6 minute deficit is a lot unless he was deliberately holding back. Basso could be back on form by July although todays performance is probably not what the Liquigas management were looking for.

Bradley Wiggins is looking in excellent shape, lets hope his climbing is as good as his time trialling and he could be in the mix for a good Tour de France performance.

paul June 9, 2011 at 12:34 am

This is a good result for GThomas as well. Sky should have a much better showing at this years tour than last year.

Busche’s rise is truly remarkable, but it’d be more heartwarming if he were on any other team.

Crommy June 9, 2011 at 1:11 am

Basso before the prologue: “I don’t have bad form, I have no form. I couldn’t train for a month after my crash”

barbara June 9, 2011 at 1:19 am

I read in a interview (think it was on CN, not sure) that Martin was glad that his weather conditions were quite good?

limonata June 9, 2011 at 3:01 am

I’ve been championing Rein Taaramae as a future GC contender in the Grand Tours for a while now… Nobody thinks a top-10 from a CLIMBER on that course is something to mention ???

Simma June 9, 2011 at 4:59 am

@limonata i’ve been talking about him for at least a year with my friends too! but after last years dauphine and the holding off of contador, all the praise is heading brajkovic’s way… then with other newer faces like sagan and geraint performing soooo well seemingly everywhere… and theres still eddy boss and gesink in the youth catagory taking headlines with some real impressive stuff.

And rein has TT predigree, not a pure climber, he got a silver in euro under-23 TT champs, and his climbing form right now is horrid… compare his results with faria da costa… a similar type of rider with the climbing/tt background… costa took 30 seconds out on rein on the prologue…. a further 1:15 up the mountain finish, and then rein pulls back 4 seconds today (odd considering he lost so much time on the prologue), but obviously everything will roll out into les gets on friday, and then repeat the next 2 days, where i reckon gesink will shine for the youth catagory. got my fingers crossed for rein though!

and he’ll get more respect with more wins (i hope :D), 2009 tour of basque mountains jersey was his first decent win really =/ hopefully taking the youth clasifications at the crit int. and paris-nice this year are the big step forward!

JustJoshinYa June 9, 2011 at 5:17 am

Regarding Basso: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8474/Ivan-Basso-needs-fifteen-stitches-in-his-face-after-Etna-crash.aspx

Roche? DOA or sandbagging? He’s not even top 3 on his team right now? Gadret’s licking his chops…

Jarvis June 9, 2011 at 7:25 am

As for Wiggins, it’s not only his performance he should be pleased with, Uran finished one place behind VDB. He should be able to provide Wiggins with great support in the Tour & take some of the pressure off him.

Nick June 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

When will Roche (or indeed his father) let the GC dream go and concentrate on Classics?

I think he would be a MUCH better, and dangerous, Classics rider than GC. Could then try and nab a stage in a GT without the worry about going for the overall.

Anth June 10, 2011 at 5:34 am

Surprisingly no commentary at all on Cadel Evans’ performance. But then again it’s the way he goes about his rinding, very much understated!

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