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July 23, 2011

Stage 20 as it happens

Cancellara unsurprisingly set the best early time with a 57:15. First to top his time was Saxo Bank's Australian Richie Porte, taking the lead with his 57:03.

Edvald Boasson Hagen and Vacansoleil's Thomas de Gendt both flirted with the stage lead at their intermediate time checks, with Boasson Hagen setting the best time at Time Check 1, and de Gendt hitting Time Check 2 24 seconds faster than Cancellara.

Saxo Bank's Richie Porte came through in 57:03 to take the stage lead.

De Gendt finished in 57:02, taking the stage lead.

Tony Martin, who won an identical stage at the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré in June, set the new best time at Time Check 1 in 20:12, :22 faster than Boasson Hagen. Boasson Hagen broke an aerobar extension, and finished in 57:43, 4th at that point.

Tony Martin looks like he could repeat his Criterium du Dauphiné victory, hitting Time Check 2 in 40:26, 37 seconds faster than anyone else so far, and Time Check 3 in 49:53, more than a minute faster than any other rider so far. At the finish, it's Martin in 55:33 taking the lead of the stage.

When the GC men took the course, it didn't take long to see that Cadel Evans was putting a serious hurt on the times of both Schleck brothers.

At the first time check, Evans and Contador were even, :21 behind Martin, :34 ahead of Frank Schleck and :36 ahead of Andy Schleck.

At TC2, Contador faded, but Evans closed on Martin's time with a 40:33, just :07 behind HTC's German. GPS put Evans into the virtual lead of the race, with his lead growing steadily. The Schlecks hit TC2 more than 1:40 down on Evans.

By the third time check, it was clear all Evans had to do was stay upright to the finish to take the yellow jersey and very likely the overall Tour victory. The big question was whether his scorching time would be enough to bring him the stage win, as well. At the finish, Evans clocked a 55:40, seven seconds off Martin's stage-winning time. When the Schlecks finally arrived, they clocked almost identical times, in 58:14 for Frank and 58:12 for Andy.

Pierre Rolland held a 1:36 lead over Estonian time trial champion Rein Taaramae in the white jersey competition, but ceded just :48 on the day to hold the jersey, and a place on the final podium for himself and his Europcar team.

Notable times:
Tony Martin, HTC-Highroad, 55:33
Cadel Evans, BMC, 55:40
Thomas de Gendt, Vacansoleil, 57:02
Richie Porte, Saxo Bank, 57:03
Fabian Cancellara, Leopard Trek, 57:15
Peter Velits, HTC-Highroad, 57:36
Tom Danielson, Garmin-Cervelo, 57:41
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky, 57:43
Andy Schleck, Leopard Trek, 58:12
Frank Schleck, Leopard Trek, 58:14
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Cervelo, 58:33
Danny Pate, HTC-Highroad, 59:03
David Millar, Garmin-Cervelo, 59:14
George Hincapie, 1:00:22
Brent Bookwalter, BMC, 1:01:24
Mark Cavendish, HTC-Highroad, 1:04:08

Posted by Frank Steele on July 23, 2011 | Permalink

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