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95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/26/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 2
Fabian Cancellara has set the time to beat - 50 riders to finish... in the final duel against the clock.

Stage 20 Cérilly - Saint Amand Montrond ITT 53 km
Stage 20 Profile
1538 CEST - Here are the provisional top-five. Bear in mind, there are still over 50 men to finish:
Current top 5
1. Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC-Saxo Bank) 1h 04m 12s
2. David Millar (Garmin-Chipotle) 1.16
3. Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) 1.58
4. Danny Pate (Garmin-Chipotle) 2.33
5. Chris Froome (Barloworld) 2.39

1540 CEST - Schumacher is going through the 18km check... AND he's equal with Cancellara. Dead on, same time of 21.30. Meanwhile, at the 36km check, Hincapie passes through in 5th place. The American was 1'41" behind the fastest time set by Cancellara. Lovkvist at the finish... and he crosses for 4th place, 2.08.

Francaise des Jeux's Sandy Casar Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1546 CEST - Sandy Casar (FDJ) sets off to begin his ride; he is currently the highest ranked Frenchman in the race. Canadian, Ryder Hesjedal has infiltrated the provisional top-five too, coming in fifth 2.15 down on Cancellara to beat his friend Danny Pate.

Young jersey rivals Roman Kreuziger (22, Liquigas) and Andy Schleck (23, CSC) leave Cérilly. Can Kreuziger make up the two minutes he needs to take the prestigious maillot? It'll be very tight. Now former maillot jaune Kim Kirchen (High Road) gets going - he only has to make up 25 seconds to leapfrog Ag2r pair Efimkin and Valjavec into ninth. He could even move higher, if Sammy Sanchez has a bad ride.

1600 CEST - Schumacher is approaching the 36km check; he's lost 12.77seconds on Cancellara. Schumi has had quite a tour. Indeed, nobody could quite have foreseen his time-trial performances. That's not withstanding the maillot jaune, the dramatic relinquishing of that garment and his various attacks. Someone I know thinks he could be a GC rider if he changes his focus, however I refute that. Regardless, his Time Trial abilities are clear for all to see.

George "Hink" Hincapie finishes strong. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Hincapie coming home for a top-five finish. Fourth for Hincapie on the line, 2.07 behind Cancellara and a second ahead of team-mate Lovkvist. Good stuff from the wizened High Road man. Sammy Sanchez launches out of the start house... Seven riders left to start.

Andy Schleck has legs that Kate Moss would be proud of... well, almost. The white jersey would be a good reward for all his mountain endeavors. Markus Fothen crosses the line 23rd, over four minutes down. Disappointing race for him.

1610 CEST - Garmin's Vandevelde sets off. Can he make the Podium in Paris? What a race he has had. That jour sans in Jauniers put paid to his victory hopes, but fourth is within his sights if Schleck and Kohl don't give everything. The podium... not sure about that. He could come close. After Armstrong, Leipheimer, Hamilton, Landis... Vandevelde is the next in a long line of ex-US Postal American yellow jersey challengers.

Denis Menchov leaves now. He'll want a podium place, but an incredible ride could even bag him the 2009 Tour victory. He's had some bad luck and bad descending too - that early crash, then kissing tarmac uphill on Hautacam, and timidity descending into Jauniers. Those combined should mean he misses out on the chance of triumph.

Current top ten and time gaps:
1. Sastre Carlos 11 Team CSC Saxo Bank
2. Schleck Frank 17 Team CSC Saxo Bank - 01:24
3. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner  - 01:33
4. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto - 01:34
5. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank  - 02:39
6. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle  - 04:41
7. Valverde Alejandro 31 Caisse d'Epargne - 05:35
8. Sanchez Samuel 27 Euskaltel - Euskadi - 05:52
9. Valjavec Tadej 109 Ag2r-La Mondiale - 08:10
10. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale  - 08:24

Vandevelde is apparently doing about 65km/h. He looks uber-smooth on that Felt.

1616 CEST - Evans begins his biggest test of the Tour. He could win the 2008 race in the next 75 minutes. Ok Kangaroos give a shout for Cadel... Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!

Bernhard Kohl's falls off the start ramp. He's been another revelation; I tipped him as a King of the Mountain outsider who needed to show more of the talent exhibited in the 2005 Dauphiné. He's done that, and then some. He looked rather nervous, it has to be said. The Gerolsteiner rider is a minute from beginning his ride. By the way, he fell off BEFORE starting. We don't want to see a Rasmussen today. To be honest, there are few tricky corners to crash on.

1628 CEST - Schumacher is 14 seconds ahead of Cancellara at the 47km point! He's turned it round. Unbelievable. Is he going to double up on time-trial wins á-la-Honchar in 06? Here he comes to the finish line... a new fastest time: 1.03.50 - 21.4 seconds faster than Cancellara.

Very impressive. Another surprise from Schumacher. Now Frank Schleck leaves the start-house. He needs to consolidate, try as hard as he can to hold on to a podium place.

Efimkin rolls through the final kilometer. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Just one man to go. The yellow jersey, Carlos Sastre. 53 kilometres separate him from a maiden Tour triumph. If Cadel Evans beats him by 95 seconds or more, he has lost it. A roar from the crowd greets him as he sets off down the start ramp. Stay calm, Carlos!

1626 CEST - Sastre begins his Time Trial. He looks focused, ready and no doubt slightly nervous. David Millar: 'It's a decepitvely hard course...' 'It's a great course for Evans, a great course for Christian...' '...and I have a feeling Menchov will have an off day today.'

1636 CEST - Menchov 3rd at the first time check. Vandevelde 5th, 28' behind the fastest time. Sastre looking very smooth in his effort. Evans looks to be flying.

A reminder you can join other fans around the world and discuss the race in progress in the Daily Peloton Chat Room.

Evans nearing the finish... Australian fans show the flag in the background.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1644 CEST - Evans has lost 38 seconds on the fastest time at the first time check. Sastre will be passing through the check in around a minute and a half. Thus far, Menchov has only gained 16 seconds on Evans.

1647 CEST - Sastre has lost 46 seconds on Cancellara - So only TWELVE seconds behind Evans. Chapeau ! Frank Schleck, who we shouldn't forget about, has lost 1'31", so he will be slipping down the GC.

Our live coverage continues: Stage 20 Live Part 3

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