The second to last day of the tour, and it certainly was going to be the “test of truth” for Cadel and Andy. The start-finish was in a huge park in the centre of Grenoble, and the “apparatus of the tour” managed to fill almost the entire park. It’s a long day for spectators with the first rider away at 10:30am and the last rider not home till after 5pm
The time trial is a great way to get close to the riders, and there are plenty of opportunities for photos. I found a spot that was inside the last km, but far enough from the start that the crowds had thinned a little.
Voekler was the crowd favourite, but the Schlecks also got a huge cheer.
I was surprised how many riders let it all hang out on the last km!
Contador wasn’t booed…
Robert Gesink, looked good. Carlos Barrado was the best Rabobank rider on the day, but Gesink was only 4 minutes down on the winner, Tony Martin
Basso looked good and was popular with the Italians.
Andy rode out with the weight of the yellow Jersey, and less than a minute in buffer. There was commentary on the PA, but all in French. However the tour website had a live results feed in english, and if was clear pretty early that Cadel was having a huge ride and that Andy and Frank were slipping behind.
By the time Cadel reached the Flam Rouge, he must have known on that he had done enough.
Last rider through was Andy Schleck, and he must have known by now that he was destined for second place again.
After the ITT ended, we were on a tight time schedule to return the rental car, drag our bags to the train station and get on board the TGV destined for Paris… On the way to the train station, the bars were echoing to “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi”.