Tour de France stage 19 – Contador clinches Tour in close battle as Cancellara wins TT

World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara proved once again that he is still the best there is. The Swiss Saxo Bank rider covered the 52 kilometres from Bordeaux to Pauillac in 1:00:56. He bested up-and-coming time trial talent Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) by 17 seconds and former world champion Bert Grabsch, also HTC-Columbia, by 1:48.

Alberto Contador (Astana) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) once again delivered an exciting duel for the overall win in the Tour de France, with the Spaniard narrowly holding on to his lead in the final time trial of this year’s race. In the end, Contador had increased his lead over his younger rival from 8 seconds to 39 seconds, going into Sunday’s final stage. At one point though Contador’s lead was down to just a handful of seconds.

Fabian Cancellara wins -Courtesy AFP

In the battle for third place, Denis Menchov (Rabobank) used his superior time trial skills to overtake Euskaltel’s Samuel Sanchez. Trailing by 31 seconds coming into the stage, the Russian rode to a large enough lead to knock the Spaniard off the final podium.

Other big names finished further down than expected. RadioShack’s Lance Armstrong, who for so many years dominated the Tour time trials, finished more than seven minutes slower than the winning time. Bradley Wiggins of Sky was 3:33 down, and Garmin-Transition’s David Millar was at 4:20.

Lance Armstrong waits to start - Courtesy AFP

Cancellara took to the course as the 39th of 170 riders at 11:21, and arrived at the finish almost exactly one hour later. That gave him a long wait in the “hot seat” until the end of the race, although no one came close to his time.


1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 1:00:56
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia 0:00:17
3 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia 0:01:48
4 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Cervelo Test Team 0:02:34
5 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Transitions 0:03:00
6 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank 0:03:03
7 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d’Epargne 0:03:10
8 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank 0:03:21
9 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:03:33
10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:03:38
11 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:03:51
12 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 0:04:00
13 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0:04:06
14 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC – Columbia 0:04:14
15 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:15
16 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
17 David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Transitions 0:04:20
18 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:33
19 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Team Radioshack 0:04:38
20 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:39
35 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:05:43
44 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:06:14

GC after stage 19:

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 89:16:27
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:39
3 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:01
4 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:03:40
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:06:54
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:09:31
7 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Transitions 0:10:15
8 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:11:37
9 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:11:54
10 Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack 0:12:02
11 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:14:21
12 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:14:29
13 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:14:40
14 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack 0:16:36
15 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:16:59
16 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:17:46
17 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:20:46
18 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step 0:21:54
19 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:24:04
20 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:26:37

Courtesy AFP