'Tour de France'

Annecy, Time Trial



The photos below were taken by Grant Baird/TriathlonShots.com





This page starts with a few images of the guys from the back of the field and works to the the top 10 of 'Le Tour de France' thus far.







3rd Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha

Not the best image but it shows his position







Who will win this drag race ?






Hayden Roulstan from New Zealand






















2nd Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank








5th David Millar (GB) Garmin - Slipstream








George Hincapie (USA) shown above and below

Team Columbia - HTC









70th Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team







Christophe Le Mevel (FdJ) was the leading Frenchman going into today.






26th Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas








6th Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream







9th Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana







16th Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana










Lance Armstrong (USA) above and below











35th Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank








21st Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank







Alberto Contador Velasco

I am told the prize for 1st is 450,000 euros but that really goes to the team.

The winner will make more from sponsor endorsements.

Also the starting pay for the lowest level team members is about 80,000 euros.






Contador did look to move a bit in his seat, but it worked well.









Looking across the crowd to a view of the old jail in the town centre.

It is old like 1000 years ; to be confirmed.








Oh yeah that is the biggest hill they climbed today shown in the distance.







The next photo of Alberto Contador was taken about 100meters from the finish line.

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana




2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank




3 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha




4 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank




5 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream




6 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream




7 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne




8 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel




9 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana




10 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Slipstream




11 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 0:01:04
12 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto 0:01:14
13 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC 0:01:18
14 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0:01:19
15 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:27
16 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 0:01:29
17 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank 0:01:37
18 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 0:01:38
19 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - HTC
20 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - HTC 0:01:41
21 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:44
22 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:47
23 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre - NGC 0:01:59
24 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream 0:02:00
25 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 0:02:05
26 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
27 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram 0:02:10
28 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram 0:02:13
29 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram 0:02:14
30 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Silence - Lotto 0:02:17
31 Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas 0:02:18
32 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0:02:25
33 Marcus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram 0:02:31
34 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - HTC 0:02:33
35 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:02:34
36 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:02:35
37 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:36
38 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
39 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana 0:02:39
40 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 0:02:44
41 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:02:45
42 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 0:02:49
43 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Slipstream 0:02:50
44 Juan Manuel Garate Cepa (Spa) Rabobank 0:02:52
45 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 0:02:57
46 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream 0:02:59
47 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:03:03
48 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank 0:03:06
49 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Quick Step 0:03:08
50 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:10
51 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Astana
52 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas 0:03:11
53 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0:03:16
54 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:21
55 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux
56 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 0:03:23
57 Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0:03:27
58 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Agritubel 0:03:29
59 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team 0:03:31
60 William Bonnet (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 0:03:32
61 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:35
62 Marcin Sapa (Pol) Lampre - NGC
63 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram
64 Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil-Shimano 0:03:36
65 Mickael Delage (Fra) Silence - Lotto 0:03:37
66 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:38
67 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - NGC 0:03:40
68 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 0:03:43
69 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel 0:03:44
70 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:03:47
71 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
72 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:49
73 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux 0:03:53
74 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:03:59
75 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram 0:04:06
76 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quick Step 0:04:07
77 Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
78 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano 0:04:10
79 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:04:11
80 Nikolai Troussov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:15
81 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence - Lotto 0:04:16
82 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:18
83 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux 0:04:20
84 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram 0:04:24
85 Iñigo Cuesta Lopez De Castro (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:04:25
86 Steven de Jongh (Ned) Quick Step 0:04:28
87 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:04:31
88 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:32
89 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervelo Test Team
90 José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:35
91 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 0:04:36
92 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:38
93 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano
94 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - NGC 0:04:40
95 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
96 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
97 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:04:42
98 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 0:04:44
99 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Skil-Shimano 0:04:45
100 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:04:46











Alberto Contador Velasco looking fit after his continuing top form today.









Andy Schleck




Lance Armstrong after the race







This was my ride.








Many previous Tours have contained more than 100 kilometres of individual time trials. This year, there are only 55.

But after the ride of the maillot jaune Thursday in Annecy, around a 40.5-kilometre lakeside route hardly made for a 62-kilo featherweight like Contador, it seems the 26-year-old would not have cared if there were 1,000 kilometres of racing against the clock.

The 2009 Tour de France can no longer be called a race for climbers. It has become a race for Alberto Contador. Because in this specialised discipline the French call contre-la-montre , he beat all the time trial specialists, all the rouleurs , all the climbers… He beat everyone.

Out of all the favourites on the previous stage to Le Grand-Bornand, the Spaniard hurt himself least; his adversaries were either forced to attack or chase. In Annecy, capital of the Haute-Savoie region and birthplace of the Winter Olympics, Contador's fresher legs showed in spades as he ripped around the edge of the most pristine lake in Europe and bested each of the four intermediate checks, finishing bang-on forty-eight-and-a-half minutes.

Eclipsing Fabian Cancellara, winner of the opening 15.5-kilometre-long Monaco time trial, by three seconds, Contador and the Swiss rider were the only men to set a speed over fifty kilometres an hour, both recording a 50.1 km/h average.

"It's an honour to be compared to [Miguel] Indurain, but he was something else, he was a great time trialist and had other qualities," said Contador of the five-time Tour champion, despite repeatedly demonstrating he's a level above the rest.

"Yesterday [Stage 17], I took it easy in the final two kilometres with my mind already on today's time trial. That was an important factor in today's win. When I saw the time [split] at the top of the hill [Côte de Bluffy, km. 28.5], I really wanted to beat Cancellara. I knew that Cancellara also gained [time] on the descent, so from the top, I really focused on the descent and went as fast as possible on the downhill. That is why I won by a few seconds," he said.

Cancellara, however, wasn't so sure, believing Contador received undue help from race motorbikes following the Spaniard: "On TV it looked like his bike was too close. My bike was very far away. For me the day is over and I'm looking forward to helping my teammates as much as possible until we get to Paris. Everybody was cracking, but those small details count and maybe [Contador] had the small details on his side. Both physically and mentally it would have helped him."

Contador first, daylight second on GC

By consequence, Contador has extended his advantage to Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck in the classement générale to a massive 4 minutes, 11 seconds; with three stages remaining, an abyss in Grand Tour parlance. Predictably, Lance Armstrong (Astana) has slotted into third, 5:25 off Contador, although Thursday was far from an Armstrong at his best.

Having clearly hurt himself on Wednesday's monstrous mountain stage to Le Grand-Bornand, the American was never on a flyer, his face writhed in pain virtually the whole way. Neither was Saxo's Fränk Schleck, the man Armstrong displaced, who dropped to sixth by the day's end. The 37-year-old Texan arrived on the Avenue d'Albigny right on the 50-minute mark to set a 48.6 km/h average, his 16th place not great, but good enough to move up a notch to third on GC.

Slotted in between Armstrong and Fränk Schleck on the leaderboard is Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) and Andréas Klöden (Astana), just 11 and 13 seconds behind on the overall classification. And with the elder Schleck 34 seconds adrift of the seven-time Tour champion, Saturday's romp to Mont Ventoux has taken on an even greater importance. Barring disaster for Contador, it therefore leaves five riders with a chance of filling the final two podium spots.

Is Contador sending Armstrong a message?

Fastest at the first, third and fourth time-checks by 18, 30 and 15 seconds, respectively, Contador's rip-roaring ride around Lake Annecy was 15 seconds quicker than early leader Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha, 3rd), 33 seconds faster than Beijing Games silver medallist Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank, 4th), and 41 and 43 seconds better than Garmin-Slispstream's British pairing of David Millar (5th) and Wiggins (6th).

Only three other riders finished within a minute of Contador: Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne, 7th), Christophe Moreau (Agritubel, 8th) and Klöden (Astana, 9th).

Being the first Tour de France where a mountain stage follows an individual time trial, Thursday's race against the clock appeared to be tackled with an air of caution. Rather than being a flat-out test of strength and power, no holds barred, it developed into a more strategic stage than usual, with the knowledge there's a need to keep a little in reserve for the Ventoux. By the day's end, the ten-best riders were separated by 1:02.

It seems Contador is attempting to force a changing of the guards at Astana. Doing his own thing, attacking when he wants – even if it involves his own team-mates being dropped – and occasionally disobeying orders. The last occasion the winner of final individual time trial won the Tour de France was 2005 in St Etienne, when Lance Armstrong beat Jan Ullrich and Alexandre Vinokourov en route to his seventh Tour victory.

By virtue of Thursday's performance, is Contador telling the American to step aside?

No need to do that, Alberto – Lance has already indicated he's jumping ship at the end of the year, US consumer electronics company Radio Shack set to be the primary sponsor of what will be America's third ProTour team in 2010.

"To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the world's top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff – I couldn't be happier to partner with RadioShack, a truly iconic American brand," said Armstrong in a press release.

"I heard about the news," Contador said. "My thoughts are focused on keeping this jersey to Paris, not on my future team. I need to give all my concentration to that."

Above from 'CyclingNews.com'



Some want the Winter olympics here in 2018 but I did see a protester against this also.





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