Yellow on Sunday?

2008-07-23, , Comments

Race favourite Cadel Evans looked a bit shaky in yesterday’s mountain stage, so no surprise to see the Spanish climber Carlos Sastre attack today from the foot of Alpe-d’Huez.

Alpe d'Huez

A magnificent climb saw him finish almost two minutes clear from his rivals. He’s now in yellow. Assuming there’s no major change amongst the leaders in tomorrow’s relatively tame stage he will start the time trial on Saturday with a lead of 94 seconds.

At the previous time trial, stage 4, Evans gained 76 seconds over Sastre over a distance of 29.5km. Saturday’s penultimate stage is 53km, so if Evans and Sastre perform similarly Evans might expect to be leading the race on Sunday by (76 × 53 ÷ 23.5) − 94 seconds, which comes out at around 76 seconds.

Sastre looked exhausted by the finish today but the maillot jaune will surely revive him. Evans wasn’t exactly taking it easy. Others remain in contention.

As J-F. Pescheux, race director (3 Tours de France as a rider, 27 as an organizer) puts it:

This final individual time trial along rolling roads in the Allier and the Cher will fine-tune the individual and team overall placings. A last battle between the top riders could still take place here