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July 08, 2008

Stage 4 ITT underway

Today's stage is a 29.5 kilometer time trial. That's shortish for Tour TTs.

The big favorite for the stage is Fabian Cancellara, reigning world champion in the discipline. He's our current leader among riders who have finished.

David Millar and Cadel Evans are among the riders still to start who might challenge Cancellara's time. Stefan Schumacher has scorched all the early time checks, and he comes in with a 35:44!

Current standings: 1. Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, 35:44
2. Kim Kirchen, Team Columbia, 36:01
3. David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle, 36:02.53
4. Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, 36:11
5. Fabian Cancellara, CSC-Saxo Bank 36:17.22
6. Denis Menchov, Rabobank 36:18.01
7. Jens Voigt, CSC-Saxo Bank 36:19
8. Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle 36:21
9. George Hincapie, Columbia 36:25
10. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas 36:31
11. Thomas Lövkvist, Columbia 36:31
12. Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne 36:34
13. Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis 36:53
14. Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle 36:54

Christian Vande Velde of Garmin-Chipotle hit times right in line with the leaders at the intermediate time checks: He was 4th at TC1, and tied Cancellara for 3rd at time check 2. He finishes at 36:21, 4th so far, with teammate Millar just out on the course.

Stefan Schumacher of Gerolsteiner has set a much faster time at Time Check 2, a full 23 seconds than Jens Voigt. Schumacher is the first (so far only) rider to go under 36 minutes.

George Hincapie of Team Columbia came through with the 2nd fastest time so far at Time Check 1, behind Schumacher but ahead of Voigt. He faded late, but finished with the 6th-best time so far.

Cadel Evans started slow, but moved up at each time check, finishing with a 36:11, 2nd at that time, iwth a few finishers to ride.

Millar has been a little behind Schumacher at the time checks. He's got 6 seconds on Schumacher in the overall, so he needs to finish in 35:50 or better. He comes in in 36:02, not quite fast enough!

Kim Kirchen is going fast, 2nd at all the intermediate checks, and here he comes to the line ... He's in with a 2nd, 36:01! It looks like Schumacher will take the race lead.

Alejandro Valverde is suffering, and will be nowhere near the leaders: 37:18.38! That's more than a minute lost for the Spanish champion.

For realtime updates, check out my Twitter feed.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2008 | Permalink

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