Alberto Contador Increases Overall Lead in Decisive 2010 Tour de France Time Trial
Alberto Contador leads the race by 39 seconds to Andy Schleck; Fabian Cancellara powers to time trial win ahead of Tony Martin, Bert Grabsch and Ignatas Konovalovas.
finished fourth in today's time trial. "It was very hard today. I was suffering all the time. You cannot give yourself a rest. I got caught by Cancellara after 20 kilometer, then I kept the same gap for 20 kilometer, so it helped me a lot. Then I cracked in the last eight kilometers. He started sprinting and then I couldn't hold his tempo anymore," Konovalovas told Roadcycling.com after the finish.
Konovalovas added "It was a good time trial, because I can see that I can keep the speed of Cancellara. OK, not for 50 kilometer, but if I can keep that for 20 kilometer, that's a good sign for me. I am more tired in the head. The legs are OK. I feel stronger, more experienced. The Tour de France is a great experience."
Team BMC Racing's World Champion Cadel Evans finished 10:57 behind stage winner Cancellara. Evans said he battled severe fatigue. "Your body has to put so much work into recovering bones and injury, it doesn't have the energy to specifically recover from the work every day," Evans told Roadcycling.com and added "I'm feeling a bit sapped of strength, that's for sure. I had a good group of people around me. An optimistic attitude I think is the biggest change in the environment that I'm in now. That goes a long way especially when things aren't going well."
Barring catastrophe AKA the famous dog across the road, Contador is all but certain to win the race in the 20th and final stage on Sunday - a 102.5-kilometer (63.7-mile) trek from Longjumeau to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France.
By tradition, the last stage has become a largely ceremonial ride - and any attempt at attacks would likely be quashed by Contador and his Astana teammates.
In the other race categories - assuming the riders and teams finish on Sunday - France's Anthony Charteau (Team BBox) has locked up the polka-dot jersey for the race's best climber; 25-year-old Schleck will take home the white jersey for being the best young Tour rider for a third straight year and Team RadioShack is set to win the team competition.
The last remaining question lingers over the fate of the green jersey, given to the best rider - typically a sprinter - based on a points system, because Sunday's stage is likely to end in a sprint. Alessandro Petacchi - a 36-year-old Italian - currently looks likely to win that competition unless Thor Hushovd regains the powers he's posessed in past Tours.
Click here for full 2010 Tour de France stage 19 results.
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