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Tour de France Stage 19: Bradley Wiggins wins the ITT
 
By Heath Langle
Date: 7/21/2012
Tour de France Stage 19: Bradley Wiggins wins the ITT
 
Ever wonder why an individual time trial is called "the race of truth?" It’s because it reveals ones own character and ability. You win because you were the strongest rider with the most endurance, not because teammates or a peloton are cutting your wind resistance by 40%. Or perhaps it’s because, even when you know overall victory is unattainable and you’re racing for fourth, you still hammer as hard as you can because you respect yourself, your team and the Tour.

Much of the pre-race chatter was about whether Chris Froome (Sky) would be allowed to race for a stage win, or whether yellow jersey wearer, and Froome’s team leader, Bradley Wiggins’ (Sky) lead should remained unchallenged. Another compelling story was the battle for fourth place between Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC). Van Garderen was down 2:77 to Van Den Broeck and needed a herculean effort to overtake fourth place overall.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) set the early mark to beat completing the 53.5-kilometer course in 1:06:03. Van Garderen was fantastic and finished 1:06.47, and Van Den Broeck 1:08.35, and while Van Garderen took a huge chunk of time back, Van Den Broeck defended his fourth place position with an outstanding effort. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas Cannondale) also maintained his position at third overall finishing 1:07.51.

However, today’s big story was Wiggins who won today’s stage finishing at 1:04.13. If there was any doubt about Bradley Wiggins let it be gone. Wiggins showed the true character of a champion today as he absolutely flattened today’s race of truth, and solidified his first Tour de France victory. His stage win and margin of victory of a minute and sixteen seconds over Froome should silence any speculation about whether Froome could have won this year’s Tour. Wiggins will ride into Paris, and then back to Great Britain donning the yellow jersey.

The final day of the 99th Tour de France has the peloton traveling 120 kilometers from Rambouillet to Paris and onto the Champs-Elysees. If tradition upholds the stage will be a relative formality, and fairly uneventful until the race enters Paris. Once on the streets of Paris tensions will raise, muscles will twitch, and the riders will go flat out for eight circuits for a chance to win the final sprint. Will Mark Cavendish (Sky) record his fourth victory on the Champs-Elysees and his third stage win of this year’s Tour, or will Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) claim bragging rights? Look for Tour rookie, Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) to finish the race and confirm why he wears the green jersey by going shoulder-to-shoulder with Cavendish, Greipel and the Tour’s other high-speed specialists for a final stage win.

RESULTS

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 1:04:13
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:16
3 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:50
4 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:02:02
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:02:25
6 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano 0:02:28
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:34
8 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 0:02:46
9 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:02:50
10 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:05
11 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:03:12
12 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos - Shimano 0:03:20
13 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:24
14 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:27
15 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:34
16 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:38
17 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:03:40
18 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:03:43
19 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:49
20 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan

General classification after stage 19

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 84:26:31
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:19
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:10:15
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:11:04
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:15:43
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:15:51
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:16:31
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:16:38
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:17:17

About the author: A trial attorney by trade, Heath Langle returned to bicycle racing after a 12-year hiatus in order to achieve his lifetime goal of becoming a failed Masters category racer. He is a member of the Sacramento Golden Wheelmen Bicycle Racing Team, and a former college basketball player. He is a native Californian, who also earned a Masters Degree in Business, and is a freelance writer and contributor to The Daily Peloton.

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