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95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 3
By Staff
Date: 7/26/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 3

95th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 3
Stefan Schumacher has set the time to beat: 1.03.50... Evans and Sastre have launched their efforts as the final duel starts... will Carlos or Cadel wear yellow in the next hour?   Cadel leads Sastre through the first time check by 12 seconds...

Stage 20 Cérilly - Saint Amand Montrond ITT 53 km
Stage 20 Profile
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.

Sastre has lost 12 seconds to Evans, 24 to Menchov, 18 to Vandevelde. The GC, at the first time check, states Sastre will win by 1'21" from Kohl and 1'26" from Evans. Valverde could also be leapfrogged by Sanchez.

1656 CEST - Kreuziger crosses the line 1:07:11, a very good time. He needs to Andy Schleck to lose 1'59" for him to take the White Jersey.

1658 CEST - Menchov had lost 1'08" to Cancellara at the second time check. I feel that the Rabobank rider won't gain a place on the Podium this year. Latest GPS time checks are saying that Evans is 1'15" Sastre in the GC as it stands right now on the road.

1700 CEST - Kirchen comes in 3rd fastest, a great time from the Colombia rider.

1701 CEST - Evans is 7th at the 36km time check. He's lost time to Menchov, 1'30" behind Cancellara's fastest time at that split. Vandevelde has only gained 33 seconds on Evans, Menchov 22'. Evans should be OK for a Podium place. Kohl is still riding brilliantly; his time check is the vital one now. I suspect the battle is now between Kohl and Evans. Though Sastre is a long way from the finish, so he needs to keep riding hard.

Kohl coming up to the 36km point... this is the race of his life. 44.11, eighth fastest and three seconds down on Evans. Only a second separating the pair on GC, but this is still remarkable. Menchov could yet challenge, but the podium might beckon for Kohl.

Kreuziger battles to the finish in his contest with Andy Schleck for the Maillot Blanc. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1705 CEST - Andy Schleck crosses the line only 40 seconds behind Kreuziger - the maillot blanc is his. Deserved reward. Sastre looks smooth and relaxed; he'll have the time checks, and some confidence after that first check. Seven seconds apparently the Kohl-Evans gap. It's just slipping away from the gutsy little Gerolsteiner man.

I'm amazed at how little damage Evans is putting into Sastre so far. This was not expected. Frank Schleck at the 36km point, he is bombing in contrast to his team-mate and brother - 53rd, 3.49 down on Cancellara. From second to sixth, most likely for lanky Frank. It looks like CSC were right to let Sastre attack on the Alpe du Heuz.

Sastre at the 36km mark, he's down on Evans but... He's only lost 23 seconds in 36 kilometres.

1710 CEST - Sastre has lost to 1'53" Cancellara, but only 23" to Evans. It could well be heartbreak again for Evans. He doesn't have long to turn things round.

Sammy Sanchez fnishes. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Samuel Sanchez is 16th at the finish, 3.14 down. Solid stuff from the Basque who just got better and better as the race wore on. It should be seventh for Sanchez, a performance which won't be noted in coming years, but he's riding solidly after a poor Pyrenees. Menchov looks like he's giving it everything. Good fella'.

1715 CEST - Menchov has lost 1'38 at the 47.5km Time Check to Schumacher. Kohl looking a bit ragged; he's really been going for it, and could pay for his exuberance in trying to beat Evans.

Vandevelde at the finish, giving it his all... If Kohl isn't careful, Menchov could easily gain the additional forty or so seconds he needs to get on the Podium

1716 CEST - Vandevelde comes home in fourth. Fourth place, 1.04.55 The Stage into Jausiers has cost him a well-deserved podium. Still only 12 seconds between Kohl and Evans. This was not the battle we were expecting. Seventh through the 47.5km check for Evans, 14 seconds down on Menchov, and 1.52 behind Schumacher. Vandevelde is proving the fastest of the top-six.

1718 CEST - 1km left for Menchov. Mouth open, he is on the rivet. 6th place for Menchov...1h05.45 1'54" down on Schumacher, so he's lost 50 seconds to Vandevelde. Can he overhaul Kohl?

Evans still has to make 1'08" to gain the Maillot Jaune Kohl is ninth at the 47km check, 15 seconds down on Evans. He's 29 behind Menchov, so barring a collapse, he will be on the podium.

1721 CEST - 1km to go for Evans - Ultimately, it hasn't been enough. His time-trial ability wasn't sufficiently reliable. Call it fatigue or whatever you will, but it hasn't been enough. Sastre could still win the race by about a minute, the way he is riding. get in...!! He can see Frank Schleck!

Schleck will be disappointed at his own failings, but barring a collapse, there is solace in the Sastre win which looks more and more likely with every pedal stroke. Perhaps Evans should have attacked to make a difference...

Three men left on the road: polka-dot Bernhard Kohl, Frank Schleck and yellow jersey Carlos Sastre. Sastre makes the pass on Schleck! Sastre looks like a TT Expert! Kohl giving it everything. He will make the podium.

1725 CEST - Kohl crosses the line...1:06:11! Kohl will be 3rd; he has lost 44 seconds to Menchov. An amazing performance this race. He has been outstanding, and tomorrow will be recognised with the polka-dot jersey and a spot on the GC rostrum. That will keep the Gerolsteiner rider on the Podium.

The commissar holds back Frank Schleck, who is using Sastre as a carrot. Schleck is the wild rabbit... or even a headless chicken. His ride today has not been very good at all

1729 CEST - Madrid-born Carlos Sastre, age 32, is barely a kilometre from the finish. He has won the 2008 Tour de France, with tomorrow's processional stage tomorrow, and with bags of time to spare. The tight Evans vs. Sastre contest predicted never materialised, after such an assured performance from the Spaniard, which belied past TT results.

Let's not forget, a third consecutive Spanish victory in le Tour, after Oscar Pereiro and Alberto Contador. All the sweeter this year with Oscar Freire in green. A case of he who dares wins? One attack at the foot of l'Alpe d'Huez and the two minutes garnered from that has provided the crucial time gap he needed over rivals.

Carlos makes the sign of the cross as he nears the finish...
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1730 CEST - 1km for Sastre and Schleck The grimace is replaced by a smile. He knows it. Sastre's time 1:06.24! He punches the air, points to the sky, and bows his head. He lost just 31 seconds to Evans. Wow, what a sensational ride. Ah, Sastre crossed himself as he crossed the line. Prayers answered.

Carlos Sastre keeps the yellow jersey and ride into Paris and the Record books tomorrow!

The Tour winner is engulfed by a huge wave of photographers and assorted media. Frank Schleck crossed the line behind, most likely for sixth place. A first Tour victory for Bjarne Rijs and his CSC team, in stark contrast to the 2007 race where he was banned. I believe in Magic and the mystique of the maillot Jaune.

and points to the sky knowing he has won the 2008 Tour.

I am so pleased for Sastre. He rode a brilliant race, attacking with such venom on L'Alpe du Heuz and with such an unexpected ride in the Time Trial today he deserves the victory. CSC rode the perfect tactical race, too, with Voigt, Cancellara, the two Schlecks, Arvesen et al.

Evans, regardless of how tired he may have been, never attacked with any vigour and any determination. He sat on the wheels as usual, and I for one am pleased he was beaten. If only Kohl, who has ridden beautifully - and aggressively - could have come second.

Over 53 kilometres, Evans only made up 29 seconds. He'll be back next year, with perhaps a new team...

Stefan Schumacher Wins the Stage!

In all this, we forget that Stefan Schumacher has done a time-trial double. Chapeau Schumi. Another big surprise. Phew. Gerolsteiner must have found a new sponsor after the race they've had. Discovery didn't do it last year, after winning the race, although the Rasmussen/Vino affair didn't help.

Tenth placed man, Valjavec is only 9'12" down - in previous years that would be good enough for fourth/fifth place. This really was a close race, and let's hope this continues in future years.

White jersey for Andy Schleck. Will he be in yellow in the next five years?  So that means we will have the parade lap in Paris without a change of jerseys.

Thanks for joining us for the live report today. This concludes our coverage. Thanks to our commentators Andy McGrath and Nick Bull in London. Join us and the fans in the chat room for the parade lap into Paris tomorrow.

Stage 20 Results
Individual Time Trial - 53 km

1. Schumacher Stefan 111 Gerolsteiner 1:03:50
2. Cancellara Fabian 13 Team Csc Saxo Bank 1:04:11 - 00:21
3. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 1:04:51 - 01:01

4. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 1:04:55 - 01:05
5. Millar David 198 Garmin Chipotle 1:05:27 - 01:37
6. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank 1:05:45 - 01:55
7. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 1:05:55 - 02:05
8. Lang Sebastian 117 Gerolsteiner 1:06:09 - 02:19
9. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner 1:06:11 - 02:21
10. Hincapie George 47 Team Columbia 1:06:18 - 02:28
11. Lövkvist Thomas 48 Team Columbia 1:06:19 - 02:29
12. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank 1:06:24 - 02:34
13. Hesjedal Ryder 195 Garmin Chipotle 1:06:26 - 02:36
14. Pate Danny 199 Garmin Chipotle 1:06:44 - 02:54
15. Voigt Jens 19 Team Csc Saxo Bank 1:06:48 - 02:58

General Classification After Stage 20
1. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank 84:01:00
2. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 84:02:05 - 01:05
3. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner 84:02:20 - 01:20

4. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank 84:03:00 - 02:00
5. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 84:04:12 - 03:12
6. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank 84:05:28 - 04:28
7. Sanchez Samuel 27 Euskaltel - Euskadi 84:07:32 - 06:32
8. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 84:08:02 - 07:02
9. Valverde Alejandro 31 Caisse D’epargne 84:08:26 - 07:26
10. Valjavec Tadej 109 Ag2r-La Mondiale 84:10:12 - 09:12

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