Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tony Martin Wins Stage 20 Time Trial at the Tour de France

July 26, Stage 20: Bergerac - Périgueux (ITT) 54km

Nibali keeps yellow leader's jersey with one stage remaining

World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) did what he does best by winning the stage 20 individual time trial at the Tour de France on Saturday. The penultimate race of this year’s Grand Tour was held along a 54km course from Bergerac to Périgueux, which Martin won in 1:06:21, beating Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) by 1:39 in second and Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) by 1:47 in third.

Yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished the time trial 1:58 behind Martin in fourth place. The result was more than enough to keep him safely in the overall lead as the race heads into Paris for the stage 21 finale along the Champs-Élysées on Sunday.

The time trial was a key stage in the race for the remaining two overall podium positions between Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) and Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who were separated by 13 seconds. Despite having a rear puncture on course, Péraud put forth a strong performance on the day, finishing 2:27 behind Martin, that pushed him up into second place overall, 7:52 behind Nibali. Pinot slipped into third place overall 8:24 back.

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished the time trial 4:28 down, enough to hold onto his fourth place in the overall 9:55 down from Nibali.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) started the time trial in fifth place overall and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was in sixth place, 2:07 behind the Frenchman. However, Bardet’s slower start and a puncture in the time trial, contrasted with van Garderen’s strong performance, was enough to boost the American up into fifth place overall.

"It feels good to move up one place," van Garderen said. "I feel like I worked hard for this fifth place. I know he [Bardet] had a problem on course and I feel bad for him about that."

Article Source: Cycling News 

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