Tour de France 2013 Stage 11
Avranches to Mont-St.-Michel 33km
The individual time trial isn't always fun for spectators, it's never fun for racers, but it's a necessary component of stage racing. This 33km race against the clock from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel is worthwhile by the great scenery, as the finish is the stunning abbey that is an island at high tide and a peninsula at low tide.
Time trials are for both specialists in the discipline and those who are fighting for a high placing in the general classification. There are also points on the line for the Green Jersey. In previous years, points were awarded only to the top ten finishers; with at least the top twenty riders giving their all for the time trial along with several time trial experts, the chances of scoring a point for a sprinter isn't worth the effort expended. But this year, the points are awarded fifteen deep. And this change was one that Peter Sagan and Cannondale Pro Cycling took note of.
Sagan, 74th overall going into the day, stormed the course. At the finish, he emptied the tank, beating his teammate and time trial champion of Poland, Maciej Bodnar. When he finished, he was seventh on the day. World time trial champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-Quickstep was already sitting in the hot seat, a literal seat, as the rider with the best time.
As the riders came in, Sagan's placing largely held until the race favorites started coming in. Then, he started losing places while Martin held his position as the fastest finisher of the day.
Then Maillot Jaune Chris Froome of Team Sky started. Froome blitzed the course, taking out time on out of everyone. He was faster than Martin at the first intermediate time check. He was faster than Martin at the second intermediate time check.
The final finishers pushed Sagan's placing down. He ended the day in seventeenth place, two places out of points, but ahead of noted time trialists like 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans of BMC and two-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers of Saxo Bank.
Seventeenth place might seem like a wasted effort, but Sagan didn't look at it that way. "I wanted to do better. I was thinking when I started that I felt good and I should try something. I was a little bit lost at the end, but I had to try. The result is not bad, is not good. I wanted to take some points. For fifteenth place, I lost three seconds; it's not much for 33km. But this is a time trial and tomorrow is a road race. Tomorrow, we'll ride on the front, and try not to lose too many points to the big sprinters."
Tomorrow, the Tour returns to the open roads. Stage Twelve will travel 218km east from Avranches, today's start, to Tours. While Tours is known in bike racing circles as the finish of the Paris-Tours classic, with a long finishing straight on the Avenue de Grammont, the stage is finishing in front of the Tours exposition center. It is still very much a stage for the sprinters. Cannondale Pro Cycling and Peter Sagan will again concentrate on matching the fastest men at both the intermediate sprint and the finish line.
Tour de France 2013
Stage 11: Avranches to Mont-St.-Michel 33km (ITT)
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 0:36:29
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling at 0:00:12
3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM 0:01:01
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:01:21
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:01:31
Stage Results Cannondale Pro Cycling
17. Peter Sagan (Svk) 0:02:18
18. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) 0:02:21
72. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 0:03:48
79. Alan Marangoni (Ita) 0:03:57
87. Brian Vandborg (Den) 0:04:07
107. Kristijan Koren (Slo) 0:04:32
169. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) 0:05:42
173. Moreno Moser (Ita) 0:06:00
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 42:29:24
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:25
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:03:37
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:03:54
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:03:57
General Classification Cannondale Pro Cycling
68. Peter Sagan (Svk) 0:54:07
88. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 1:04:01
89. Kristijan Koren (Slo) 1:04:33
106. Moreno Moser (Ita) 1:18:06
110. Alan Marangoni (Ita) 1:19:45
114. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) 1:21:05
118. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) 1:23:36
154. Brian Vandborg (Den) 1:45:45
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 269 pts
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 186
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 166
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 132
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 131