Tour de France Stage 9 - Arc-et-Senans to Besancon
Stage 9 from Arc-et-Senans to Bescancon is the first real race of truth in the 2012 Tour de France. The 41.5 km or 25.7 mile individual time trial will invite the top time trialists at the Tour to come forward and show their mettle. The course is undulating and features several short climbs that will challenge the legs of the Tour contenders.
With Bradley Wiggins in the Yellow Jersey with only :10 on Cadel Evans, :16 on Vincenzo Nibali, and :54 on Denis Menchov, the battle between the Tour de France 2012 contenders is really taking shape. All of the GC contenders in the top 4 positons know how to race against the clock. The first time trial of the Tour will demonstrate whether or not the first week of racing has contenders in their rightful position or if a reshuffing is necessary. Likewise riders like Levi Leipheimer, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Rein Taaremae will be seeking to make up for lost time. May the strong men come to the front!
In addition to the battle between the general classification contenders, top time trial specialists like Fabian Cancellera, Tony Martin (who has ridden the week with a broken wrist), Dave Zabriski, Michael Rogers, David Millar and Maxine Montfort will be battling for stage glory.
Stage 9 Time Trial Results
Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky put in another commanding cycling performance, winning the first long individual time trial of the Tour de France. Over the 41.5 hilly and technical course, Wiggins was the only rider to ride in excess of 30mph, finishing with a time of 51:24 (48.44 km per hour or 30.08 mph). His teammate, Chris Froome was a close second with a time of 51:59 and was the only other rider to go under 52 minutes from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon. Meanwhile, Cadel Evans, Wiggins primary general classification rival and last year's winner of the Tour de France, lost 1:43 to the Brit and now remains second overall. But instead of being only 10 seconds down to Wiggins, Evan is now almost two minutes behind with Froome a close third at 2:07.
The big question everyone should be asking is why or how did Bradley Wiggins go so much better on the time trial than Evans and the rest of the GC contenders?
As the last two days in the medium mountains illustrate, Wiggins and Evans climb at about the same rate. Since both riders are similar in weight (Evans at 67kg and Wiggins at 69kg), they push a similar amount of power. Wiggins 2kg actually suggests that he pushes about 3% more power than Wiggins on a climb. Assuming that Evans pushes about 440 watts at threshold (6.5 watts per kg), Wiggins probably pushes closer to 450 watts. Do those 10 extra watts actually translate into 3% more speed? Maybe. But bicycle aerodynamics aslo comes into play here. Just compare the positions of Wiggins and Evans. Wiggins back is flatter and his arms form less of an air scoop, which creates additional front area friction. Likely, Evans has optimized his position to favor power over aerodynamics, but the trade off is not working for him.
Stage 9 Time Trial Results (Top 15)
|1||Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling)||0:51:24|
|2||Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling||0:00:35|
|3||Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan||0:00:57|
|4||Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:01:06|
|5||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:01:24|
|6||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:43|
|7||Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:01:59|
|8||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:02:07|
|9||Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team||0:02:08|
|10||Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan||0:02:09|
|11||Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan||0:02:15|
|12||Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:02:16|
|13||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan||0:02:20|
|14||Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team||0:02:22|
|15||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team||0:02:26|
General Classification after Stage 9 (Top 10 and Favorites)
|1||Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling||39:09:20|
|2||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:53|
|3||Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling||0:02:07|
|4||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:02:23|
|5||Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team||0:03:02|
|6||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan||0:03:19|
|7||Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan||0:04:23|
|8||Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:05:14|
|9||Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team||0:05:20|
|10||Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale||0:05:29|
|11||Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team||0:05:46|
|14||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team||0:06:29|
|15||Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan||0:06:33|
|16||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:08:18|
|17||Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan||0:08:19|
|19||Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:08:34|
|22||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:09:06|
|23||Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan||0:09:07|
|25||Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar||0:10:00|
|28||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team||0:10:46|
|29||Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team||0:12:16|
|52||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar||0:26:07|
|58||Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||0:28:27|