Cancellara Wins Stage 19, Contador Will Win the 2010 Tour de France

By James Fish, Epoch Times
July 24, 2010 Updated: August 26, 2011
Fabian Cancellara sprints on the finish line at the end of Stage 19, the 52-km individual time-trial. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)
Fabian Cancellara sprints on the finish line at the end of Stage 19, the 52-km individual time-trial. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Fabian Cancellara took advantage of calm winds to put down the fastest time of Stage 19 of the 2010 Tour de France, the Individual Time Trial.

Saxo Bank’s Cancellara, one of the first riders to start, turned in a time of 1:00:56, with HTC-Columbia’s Tony Martin 17 seconds behind.

Cancellara also won the Prologue, a much shorter time trial.

“I’m proud, happy and also really, really tired, Cancellara told LeTour.fr. “The Tour is long and there are always a lot of things going on. To start and finish with a win, that’s great."

Riders who started early had a definite advantage, as a strong headwind picked up down the final portion of the route as the afternoon progressed. While this affected the stage outcome, it really didn’t affect overall times, as all the closest competitors started near one another.

Fight for the Yellow Jersey

In this composite photo, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck cross the finish line in Stage 19's individual time trial, deciding who will win the 2010 Tour de France. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
In this composite photo, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck cross the finish line in Stage 19's individual time trial, deciding who will win the 2010 Tour de France. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The real story of the race was the contest for the overall Tour win, with Alberto Contador leading Andy Schleck by only eight seconds.

Contador had the advantage of starting last; he would know, at each stage of the race, how he was doing compared to Andy Schleck.

Alberto Contador rides on Stage Nineteen, a 52km individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Alberto Contador rides on Stage Nineteen, a 52km individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Andy Schleck came out of the box flying; he needed the best time trial of his life, and he set out to ride it. Over the first third of the course Schleck actually gained some time over Contador, but as the kilometers added up, Schlecked slowed while Contador got faster.

“This morning I woke up in shape, I had a good night. But today we can say that I suffered,” Alberto Contador told LeTour.fr. “I think Andy has also suffered a lot, for the race was very difficult."

Schleck was coming apart over the last third of the race; he missed shifts, wobbled, lost precision; he had pushed himself to the limit and just a bit beyond.

“Everybody was saying that I was beaten before today’s stage but I said I wouldn’t give up,” Andy Schleck told LeTour.fr.

“I tried everything today and I got pretty close. Until 10 kilometers from the finish, I close but in the end [Alberto] was in a position when he could have gained quite a lot of time on me.

Andy Schleck needed to ride the best time trial of his career, and he rode it; still, it wasn't enough. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Andy Schleck needed to ride the best time trial of his career, and he rode it; still, it wasn't enough. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

THREE, FOUR, FIVE: Denis Menchov, Samuel Sanchez, and Jurgen Van den Broeck will finish third through fifth in the overall. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
THREE, FOUR, FIVE: Denis Menchov, Samuel Sanchez, and Jurgen Van den Broeck will finish third through fifth in the overall. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
“At the finish, it wasn’t so much, huh? After over 3,500 kilometers 39 seconds is not a lot. Different circumstances, like having my brother there, would have been good for me.”

Meanwhile Contador was working just as hard. He constantly readjusted his position the bike, looking for more power and a more aerodynamic position.

"I had a hard time to settle down into a rhythm. But I wanted to stay completely focused on my position… on the aerodynamics. This was not my best day and I had doubts, but I won. A time trial at the Tour de France, it is never a race like any other," Contador said.

Probably due to the headwinds, Alberto Contador did not turn in the amazing time most expected. But he did ride to his limit, and he did ride fast enough. At the end of the day, Contador had a 39-second lead over Andy Schleck, guaranteeing the Astana rider his third Tour de France victory.

“I am very excited because it was a victory that was difficult to attain," Alberto Contador told LeTour.fr.  "It had not been easy in 2007 and last year, but it’s unbelievable. It’s a huge relief.”

Andy Schleck showed that, unlike predictions, he could ride a good time trial; in fact, a very good time trial. Coupled with his climbing skill, it is impossible that Andy Schleck will not top the podium soon.

Fabian Cancellara said he was very impressed by Andy Schleck’s performance. “I told him, ‘You have to believe in yourself, you have to believe in what you’ve done of these last three weeks, and in everything you do.’

“I also told him afterwards, ‘Hey, you won something today. Even if you’re second, you’ve won something more than winning here today.’

“He won respect and also the knowledge that there’s more for him to achieve in the future. He’s closer to the front. He’s closer to Alberto in the time trial. In the mountains he’s there.”

Stage Nineteen 2010 Tour de France

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Fabian Cancellara

Saxo Bank

1:00:56

2

Tony Martin

HTC-Columbia

17

3

Bert Grabsch

HTC-Columbia

1:48

4

Ignatas Konovalovas

Cervelo

2:34

5

Dave Zabriskie

Garmin-Transitions

3:00

6

Koos Moerenhout

Rabobank

3:03

7

Vasil Kiryienka

Caisse d’Epargne

3:10

8

Maartijn Tjallinghii

Rabobank

3:21

9

Bradley Wiggins

Sky

3:33

10

Geraint Thomas

Sky

3:38

 

General Classification after Stage 19

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Alberto Contador

Astana

89:06:27

2

Andy Schleck

Saxo Bank

+ 00:39

3

Denis Menchov

Rabobank

+ 02:01

4

Samuel Sanchez

Euskatel-Euskadi

+ 03:40

5

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Omega Pharma-Lotto

+ 06:54

 

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