Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Seeing Rainbow’s: Tony Martin Wins Authoritatively

            Tony Martin (OPQS) won stage 20 of the 101st Tour de France from Bergerac to Perigueux. Today’s stage being an individual time trail, Martin got to wear the rainbow bands as Champion of the World in the discipline. Martin scorched the 54km hilly course in a blistering time of 1h06’21”. That was good enough to win by 1’39” over Giant-Shimano’s Tom Dumoulin with Jan Barta (Netapp-Endura) rounding out the top 3 1’47” back.

            Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) came into the stage with over a 7’ minute advantage, but the race for the podium was heated with places 2-4 separated by a mere 15”. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who started the day in 4th overall had a disastrous ride, which saw him never even challenge for the podium. The two Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) battled throughout the course for supremacy as the best Frenchmen in the race. Peraud won out, reversing his 7” deficit to Pinot and turning it into a 32” advantage.

American Leads Early

            American Danny Pate (Sky) was the 6th rider off of the start ramp, and set the quickest time at all of the time checks out on course before finishing in 1h09’22”. Pate would sit in the hot seat for over two and a half hours before finally being unseated by Barta. Pate would ultimately finish the stage in 11th place 3’01” down on Martin. Pate was Sky’s best finish on the day. For team Sky the end of the Tour could not come sooner. After the loss of their leader and Tour defending champion Chris Froome on stage 5, the team has limped through the Tour getting in some breakaways, but never really making a mark on the race.

            Jan Barta sat in the hot seat for just under an hour before the Rainbow streak of Tony Martin stormed across the line with an absurdly fast time. Martin beat out Barta by 35” crushing everyone at the 3 intermediate time checks out on course. After the race Martin declared that the only one he believed could threaten his time was race leader Vincenzo Nibali. Tom Dumoulin came across the finish about 20 minutes after Martin and unseated Barta for second by a mere 2”.

Podium Battle

            There were only two spots on the podium left, but three riders were pretty much even on time. The epic battle for the podium was not to be for one rider though, Alejandro Valverde. Valverde had declared before the Tour his dream would to be on the podium at the Tour de France before he retired. This year appeared to be his best shot at achieving that dream. Valverde was clearly fatigued though as he faltered the final two days in the Pyrenees. His legs did not respond well during the TT either, as he conceded over two minutes to Pinot and Peraud and has to now settle for 4th place.

            Thibaut Pinot had a tall task in front of him entering the day. He only led 3rd place overall Jean-Christophe Peraud by 7”. Peraud was definitely the better time trialist, but do not underestimate the pride of a rider. Pinot rode the time trial of his life battling Peraud all of the hilly 54kms. Midway through his ride Peraud had to make a bike change due to a rear puncture, which definitely cost him time and made the race for second closer in the end. Pinot ultimately conceded his second place, but at just 24 years of age he has a lot more Tour’s in him and give the French hope that they can someday win the Tour again.
            Race leader Vincenzo Nibali again showed he was the superior rider in this year’s race. Nibali got faster and faster over the course and finished the stage in 4th place. The important thing is he beat all of the other overall contenders. He will ride into Paris with a 7’52” advantage over second place Peraud.


·Tejay van Garderen moved up to 5th overall by 2”, Bardet’s puncture in the last 3km cost him his 5th overall
·Bauke Mollema (Belkin) had a terrible ride finishing in 140th place and sliding to 10th overall
· Leopold Konig had a great ride finishing the stage in 5th place and moving up to 7th overall
· Haimar Zubeldia moved up two places to 8th overall
· Both of AG2R’s GC leaders suffered punctures. I think its time to change the tyre sponsor

Stage 20 Results:

Stage Winner: Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Yellow Jersey: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
Green Jersey: Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
White Jersey: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

Polka Dot Jersey: Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)

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