Tour de France 2011 Stage 20
By Ben, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Ben Bexpert
It took 19 stages for France to have something to celebrate in this year’s Tour de France 2011, Pierre Rolland winning the long-awaited first stage win at stage 19 on Alpe d’Huez. This victory is partly thanks to compatriot Thomas Voeckler letting him go to take his chance to win on Galibier.
Stage 19 Recap
Pierre Rolland of Team Europcar out-wheeled the three-time defending champion Alberto Contador to win stage 19 on Alpe d’Huez. In regards to his fellow Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, it was bound for him to loosen his grip on the malliot jaune as soon as the peloton hit the strenuous three-day stages in the Alps. But the Team Europcar rider did not give it up without a fight, defying the odds, he hanged on up to the third day. Voeckler cracked on the first demanding stage of Col du Telegraph. As the 2011 Tour de France resumes for the climax leading to Champ-Elysees on Sunday, the yellow jersey will now be worn by Andy Schleck after Voeckler wearing it for 10 continuous days.
The Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck who was put to the test when the defending champion Alberto Contador went on at the first stage of the climb, however, Contador failed to keep up the phase. Failing to become a threat at any stages of the Tour and losing his ground in stage 19, the 28-year-old Spaniard’s hope of winning his fourth yellow jersey has now diminished in the horizon with Andy Schleck waiting on the other side to capture it. Before the younger Shleck brother get hold of the title this year, he needs to tightly protect his leads against his own brother Frank Shleck by 53 sec and his 57-sec lead over the Australian Cadel Evans during Saturday’s race. Although Andy is considered to be one of the best climbers, the time trial is his weakness. On the other hand, Evans' is strong in this discipline. Nevertheless, Andy remains positive on Saturday's Tour as everybody is telling the younger Schleck that it is a time trial that suits him.
On the other hand, Mark Cavendish could be the first British rider to win the Tour de France in a decade despite being docked 20 points in the classification for the second time in a row, failing to finish the time limit set by the organizer. But the good news is, the Manx missile remains 15 points ahead of his rival Jose Jaoquin Rojas as they were both penalized on Tour’s stage 19.
Tour de France Stage 20
Putting behind the epic Alpine stage battle that the riders endured for the past three days, they are not going to face anymore demanding climb but before they head to the final climax of the Tour in Paris, Champ-Elysees on Sunday, the peloton will have to race for the only individual time trial of this year's Tour on Saturday. With only one day to go, stage 20 will be a 42.5 km pursuit from Grenoble to the finishing line which is back to where they started.
The favourites to win the penultimate stage decider for the Paris podium are world time trial champion Leopard-Trek rider Fabian Cancellara (8/11) and HTC-Highroad Tony Martin (7/2), the winner of TT and overall at Volta ao Algarve. On the other hand, Cadel Evans is at 10/1 in stage 20 of 2011 Tour de France.
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