Thursday, May 26, 2022

Second Big Test

-

After a quiet day where the big swinging cats of the peloton were all nice to each other, the fireworks are set to ignite. It’s the Second Big Test.

Hilltop finishes are always a risk for time gaps, and considering Cadel is currently the only contender who would be happy with how things sit on the overall with a 41km individual TT still to come, there are lads who will be sure to attack madly tonight.

All protestations of there still being a lot of opportunities to make up time, and “one good day will be enough” aside, Contador needs a good one, and he needs it soon.

He now has about two minutes to find on the Schlecks and Cadel, and realistically has three more stages to do it on, this being one of them.

Second Big Test
The profile shows some tough early climbs that may take the sting out of some legs, but nothing close enough to the final ascent of Plateau de Beille for it to be anything but a final climb shootout.

The final climb is a brute though! The first 5km up is particularly savage, with about 450m of vertical gain.

This will be where we see just how good a chance Cadel is as he is better suited to today’s stage than the two Alpine epics in the final week, and if he drops much time here, it’s goodnight Irene next week!

The Schleck one-two punch will again be on display, and if Frank again takes time, it may work to the advantage of the others as they need to be less focused on Andy. Or maybe not!

It’s going to be a huge one. I am officially very excited.

Toby Watson
Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

More Questions

More Questions. Ahh the first mountain stage! You’ve just got to love the first chance to have a look at how everyone’s legs are going. Last night showed that Frank has very good legs, Andy may not have legs that are quite so good, Cadel is in very good form, and crucially, Contador is currently not showing great form at all.

Big Hitters’ Playground

Big Hitters' Playground. Gaaaaaame on! It has finally become time for the big swinging cats to unsheathe their claws. It feels like forever since the race started - I reckon the first big climbs don't normally come quite so late-so I reckon there'll be a few lads (and their teams) wondering what their form is like and hoping that they earn the big bucks that they're paid.

Talking About The Green

Talking About The Green. We're into the final couple of days prior to the big show starting, and I reckon it's time to throw my two cents into the prediction ring. I'll start with the green (or points) jersey-a jersey that two of the boys from Garmin have worn in the past two seasons, but which neither actually held. Wiggo and Millar both rode in the green jersey the day after the Prologue, yet neither was leading the points competition, which was lead by Fabian Cancellara, who happened to also be holding the yellow jersey, and so of course wore that on the day.

Slim To None

Slim To None. The chances of Cav getting beaten two days running in a sprint. Today is a guaranteed bunchie. It's a flat stage heading to the base of the Pyrenees, and the third last opportunity for the sprinters to shine. There's nary a categorised climb to be seen, so everyone's favourite caraccident victim Johnny "Breakaway" Hoogerland will remain in the King of the Mountains jersey for one more stage, although how much longer he can survive in the race itself is anyone's guess.

Ah, the First Time!

Ah, the First Time. Everyone remembers their first time. And after many years of flirtation and "everything but," last night was JV's. Garmin have finally managed to break their cherry to win a stage at the Tour. Now that the hoodoo has been cleared, I'm expecting multiple wins throughout the race, with Tyler Farrar being first cab off the rank tonight with the Stage 3 Bunch Sprint.

Our ’09 TdF Team Time Trial

So I'm back after a 2 night lay-off with a bit of a 'lergy-talk about bad timing! Last night sounded like a brilliant finale (although Gilbert winning is hardly a surprise). I can't wait to see what happens next in this race - the Team Time Trial is on tonight, and consequently there are a bunch of teams who are riding for a chance to hold the yellow jersey. Gilbert holding on by 3s over Cadel, and 6s over at least one bloke from every other team that can put together a decent TT means that the boys will be putting it all on the line in the hope of holding the yellow jersey at the end of the day.

At Random

Marc Anderson – Tour of the Meldons Winner

Congratulations to Marc Anderson of GTR Return to Life p/b Streamline on winning the CTT Scottish District Olympic Time Trial Championship which was incorporated in the classic Tour of the Meldons. We caught up with this year’s winner a few days after his ride:

The ‘Tour Series’ Edinburgh Criterium, 2016 Goes to Graham Briggs

The thing with riders like JLT Condor's Graham Briggs is that they are very good at what they do, training specifically for these one hour efforts and riding bikes adapted to crit racing with high brackets – it’s hard for English road pros to beat them never mind Scottish riders used to slogging across the moors in wind and rain. But for a crit to be spectacular it needs to be gutter to gutter, handlebar to handlebar – the circuit used for this year's Edinburgh Tour Series event does not produce that kind of race. And like Willard says to the GI in the movie ‘Apocalypse Now !’ – ‘do you know who’s in charge here, soldier?’

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 9; Vielha Val d’Aran – Andorre Arcalis. Dumoulin Solos to Victory

Tom Dumoulin tests to solo glory in Andorra; Pinot goes poids; Froome consolidates jaune; Porte confuses; Martin rises to another level; Yates confirms; Aru and Tejay slide whilst Quintana waits – but it’s over for Alberto. But all that said - no real changes from yesterday and the Bigs only race the last few kilometres...

Bad Day Of Racing – Johnny Hoogerland forced into barbed wire fence!

Ouch. What a tough day in the saddle for the boys, particularly Johnny Hoogerland. Everything was under control, with the break only a couple of minutes out in front, Thor getting over the climbs comfortably, and plenty of time to reel the break back in when BOOM! Zabriskie hit the deck, a couple of big hitters also went down from other teams (Kloden, Vino and VDB in particular) and there is a decision made to wait for everyone affected in the crash to catch back up.

World Road Championships – Mads Pederson surprises to win the Elite Mens’ Road Race

Denmark’s Mads Pederson drops to the wet Yorkshire tarmac, a hundred metres past the finish line, he can’t take in what he’s just accomplished. He has out-sprinted one of the foxiest and fastest men around, Matteo Trentin of Italy - the hot pre-race favourites for the title on this horror of a day.

Dean Woods – Part 1; The Aussie World Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist whilst still a Junior!

When we asked Aussie pursuit star of the 1980’s and 90’s, Dean Woods if we had his palmarès correct; he got back to us with his own list. It rather speaks for itself. Without further ado let’s hear what one of the finest pursuit riders of his generation had to say to VeloVeritas, recently ...