Saturday, 22 May 2010

Tony Martin takes the day, but Rogers seems set to win the Tour that HTC-Columbia have dominated with finesse

Yesterday's colossal climb at Big Bear Lake saw 11 riders fail to come home within the time limit, many of whom where the sprinters such as HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish, and a further 17 abandon the Tour. Today's penultimatestage was a 2 circuit time-trial of Los Angeles. The route itself, while taking in some of L.A's landmarks, seemed clumsy with many switchbacks and tight corners and riders sent out in reverse GC order, with time gaps that seemingly failed to take into account riders capabilities. Many riders found themselves being caught by other riders who were on their second lap as they themselves were on their first.

With the final four starters on the course, defending Tour champion, Levi Leipheimer rode fantastically, with a high cadence that saw him tear up the course, picking off his 1 minute man very early on. Garmin-transitions ride, Dave Zabriski, caught Jens Voight of Saxo-bank, who was on his second lap, as HTC-Columbia rider, Tony Martin, came home 1.06 mins up on those who'd already come home. Back on the road, however, Leipheimer battled on with current race leader Mick Rogers hot on his wheels.

The high haze meant for a humid day once again, sure to affect some riders. As Leipheimer hit the intermediate time check, Martins was holding his time, 12 seconds quicker. A little way down the road, Zabriski was only 5 seconds down on Martins, ahead of Leipheimer. But Mick Rogers stormed down to have 4 seconds off Martins split time at the checkpoint. Despite Leipheimer's work, he came in 33 seconds down on Martins, as Zabriski came home 27seconds behind Martins time, forcing Leipheimer into 4th place as Rogers Came in 22 seconds down on his team mate to secure his lead in the overal classification.

With one stage remaining, it seems unlikely that Leipheimer will win his fourth title, as Team HTC-Columbia dominated the Tour, despite failing to secure the green points jersey Cavendish so greatly coverts. Tomorrows final stage sees the peloton move from Thousand Oaks, through Westlake Village and into the Agoura Hills for the final stage.

No comments :

Post a Comment