Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stage 19 - Le Tour 2006 - the TT decides

Gonchar wins the TT from Kloden but Landis lands the big prize.

Floyd Landis (Phonak) is poised to take his first ever Tour de France win overall, after finishing third in the time trial between Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines. Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile) was first and it was 41 seconds back to Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile). Maillot jaune Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) fought on but couldn't hold back the charging Landis, ultimately finishing a disappointing but otherwise unexpectedly great fourth on the day, 2m40s behind Gonchar and 1m29s behind Landis.

Barring the utterly amazing (who could deny the possibility though!) Landis is unbeatable at 59 seconds up on Pereiro and 1m29s on Kloden. CSC's Carlos Sastre is now in fourth, 3m13s behind Landis. If the cruise to Paris is as cruisy as usual Floyd will win. It is unlikely that the usual last day true will be broken, and intermediate and stage-winning points are insufficient to change the order. We've swapped one US winner for another!

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