Orica GreenEdge tipping podium for Tuft in ITT

Canadian to go 100%, saysWhite

It's the second man on course during today's Stage 11 time trial who is looming as most likely to keep the hot seat warm, Orica GreenEdge's Svein Tuft.

The 33km reasonably flat parcours is likely to play to Tuft's strengths and as he did during Orica GreenEdge's first Tour de France win in last week's team time trial, the Canadian's 1.8 metre 77kg frame should stand up to the buffeting coastal winds. The quietly-spoken five-time national time trial champion is even being tipped to finish on the podium by the team's sports director Lorenzo Lapage.

"A place in the top three should be possible," Lapage told nieuwsblad.be.

Tuft is riding his debut Tour de France this year at age 36. There had been some hope for Orica GreenEdge's other strong rider against the clock, Cameron Meyer, but after a tough day in the wind racing across Brittany on Tuesday, Tuft will be carrying the hopes of the Australian-registered outfit.

Tuft recovered from the minor crash with Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) 18km from the finish but did not end up having to assist positioning sprinter Matt Goss for the Stage 10 finale, which saved some energy for the time trial.

"Svein is completely fine," sports director Matt White said in Saint-Malo. "We could have used his horsepower in the final, so in terms of our objectives today, it wasn't ideal to have lost him like that. On the other hand, he was able to sit up and roll in once he lost contact with the field and that saves his legs a bit before the time trial. He'll be going 100% tomorrow."

Tuft has so far claimed two individual time trial victories this season, at the Tour de San Luis and at the Tour de Slovénie, his last race before the Tour de France.

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