By Brecht Decaluwé in Angoulême
Predictor-Lotto manager Marc Sergeant talked with Cyclingnews about the time trial that will decide the outcome of the Tour de France.
Yellow jersey Alberto Contador's Discovery Team director Johan Bruyneel, had made a comment pointing to the mostly flat prologue in London where Cadel Evans had lost a second on Contador.
"Then Contador will win the Tour," Sergeant laughed in response. He didn't want to argue with Bruyneel's comment. Instead, the Belgian pointed out that his own rider, Tour contender Evans, was clearly fresher than Contador.
"Evans is fresh and Contador, who couldn't hold his wheel a few moments ago. That's what I saw, he just lost three seconds [in stage 18]," said Sergeant. "Before that, we were very lucky because Evans almost hit a spectator who wanted to take a picture with only three kilometres to go. We're happy with what we have now."
Sergeant said he prefers that Evans stay in his current position rather than crash out. "Anyhow every time trial is different, especially after three weeks. Contador showed he wasn't going that strong anymore in the last mountains stage while Evans saved his Tour there, so we're not giving up. It will be decided on who's the most fresh rider," Sergeant predicted.
"We gain three seconds now," Sergeant said, expressing his hope that these seconds could decide the final winner. When reminded of the smallest gap ever (only eight seconds) that separated winner Greg Lemond from Laurent Fignon in 1989, the Belgian team manager was humble. "We don't need anything more tomorrow," Sergeant laughed.