Friday Group Ride #76

There’s only one question we can ask on a day like today and it’s the question you’ve been waiting for:

Who will don the yellow jersey in Paris?

We didn’t ask before now because we knew that it would take this long for the question to either be worth asking or pointless in asking.

Though three riders (Schlecks 1 & 2 and Cadel Evans) are separated by less time than it takes for the average man to answer the call of nature, it seems fair to call this a two-man race: Andy and Evans. Fränk will have to pedal for all he’s worth as well to try and preserve a second place he’s likely to lose to Evans, but it seems unlikely he’ll overhaul his brother for the win. In fact, the most likely scenario for Fränk to keep his second place is if Andy has a collapse on the road (figurative rather than literal) and Evans leapfrogs the brothers into the lead.

But what do we know? We were wringing our hands at the prospect of Alberto Contador making this race less than exciting. He did precisely the opposite, though for reasons he’s probably not wild about.

Also, do you think Thomas Voeckler has any chance of ascending the podium?

And just to make this interesting, if someone can guess the top three and their final GC time gaps +/- five seconds, you’ll get an RKP cycling cap. Make sure to post your comment before the start of stage 20.

Image: John Pierce, Photosport International




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  1. fierceturtle

    Cadel looks different than in recent years. He is my pick followed VERY closely by Andy Schleck and, yes, Alberto Contador. Voeckler is finished. I have an interesting question to pose as I don’t know the etiquette for this situation and can’t think of a recent instance since LeMond’s time trial.

    Will the yellow jersey be attacked on Sunday if the gaps are in the single digits of seconds?

  2. grolby

    Okay, sure. It’s like a miss as not, but I’ve been putting my money on Cadel since the start of the Tour, so I’ll back him to the end as well. My podium:

    1. Evans
    2. A. Schleck @ 5″
    3. Voeckler @ 2’20”

    Yes, betting on the tightest finish ever, because why the F not? The way this Tour has gone, it could happen.

    I’m assuming that you won’t go -5 if that would reverse the finishing order for 1 and 2?

    1. Author

      Fierceturtle: We’re in a new age and I wouldn’t be surprised if the old etiquette went out the door.

      Grolby: Nope, you gotta get the order right; that’s even more important than the time gaps. Though it would be utterly surreal if someone got all time time gaps but none of the names. Hell, I’d at least give stickers for that!

  3. armybikerider

    A. Schleck
    Evans @ 15
    Voeckler @ 2:30

    Not my preferred outcome (I hope that Evans ascends the top step), but I don’t think that he can overcome 57 seconds in a 43 km TT. (I hope I’m wrong!)

  4. Wheels

    I’ll be the first to go out on a limb and cast a vote for maybe the impossible dream.

    A. Schleck
    Evans @ 0:06
    F Schleck @ 1:35

  5. Ben

    Honorable mention: Tommy mother-voekler.
    Contodor will attack again on the ITT and try to drop Riis in the car.
    But his knee pain will lead to Riis overtaking him in the final push to the line.

    Will frank be wearing the inverted camelback tomorrow? That thing was sexy!
    Andy/frank will attack Evans Sunday whilst he sips his champagne but Hincapie will put a cap in both of their asses.

  6. naisan

    andy @ 0:52
    frAnk @ 1:56

    I want andy to win, but rationally think that cadel will get it.
    No matter who wins, it’s been the best tour in a long time, and excellent racing!

  7. randomactsofcycling

    I am salivating and I’ve already had dinner. We have to sit up late at night to watch all this but the last couple of nights, sleep has been the last thing on my mind.
    I’m with Grolby and have been putting my money on Cadel, so here goes:
    1. Cadel
    2. Andy @ 23 seconds
    3. Alberto @ 3m50s

    Bon chance!

  8. ben

    oops. forgot those time gaps and since the top boys haven’t left the start ramp…
    Andy @ 9
    Frank @ 1:12

    1. Author

      Naisan: For having the lowest regard for the Schlecks’ abilities in the time trial, I mean, for having what was by far the closest guess, you still get stickers.

  9. naisan

    I was actually hoping Andy would win! But my first instinct was cadel would put 1:45 into them both, and frank would lose about 3-5s. And you know what they say about trusting your first instinct.

    But it was a great race to watch, and im happy to see cadel earn this victory.

    I know andy’s day will come!

  10. Phil

    Ben would have completely nailed it if he’d allowed for the Schlecks to be completely dominated by a barnstorming Cadel Evans in the time trial. It’s not that they (the Schlecks) rode a necessarily bad time trial, they just rode how they could, which, based on past results, isn’t that good.

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