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Team time trial heralds yellow jersey showdown in Nice

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 2, 2013, 04:33,
Updated:
July 2, 2013, 09:47
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
Omega Pharma-QuickStep en route to world championship victory

Omega Pharma-QuickStep en route to world championship victory

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Five teams to watch on Stage 4

With just one second separating Jan Bakelant's General Classification lead from 71 other riders, the yellow jersey is certain to be resting on a new set of shoulders come Tuesday evening at the Tour de France with the completion of stage 4.

Leaving in reverse team classification order, Argos-Shimano will be the first team to leave the start house at Alpes-Maritimes. The 25km parcours is pan flat with just nine corners for the trains to negotiate on the out-and-back course meaning this stage is all about raw power.

Reigning World Champions Omega Pharma-Quick-Step may be carrying an injured Tony Martin, but the squad will head in to the stage as favourites along with TTT winners at the 2011 Tour, Garmin Sharp. Martin may still be covered in bandages following his crash on stage 1, but said following stage 3 that he was on the improve.

"Today I felt better then yesterday," Martin said. "Of course I'm still not 100 percent, but I'm feeling better than what was expected. Now I hope to get a good night's rest and tomorrow give my best effort to the team for the team time trial. I know how important it is to race hard for the team in this moment. We will do our best to get a good result."

The Belgian-based squad will be just the second to leave the start house so will have a while to wait to see if their time is good enough.

Garmin Sharp meantime carry significant firepower against the clock, piloted by yellow jersey hopeful David Millar, with Rohan Dennis, Ramunas Navardauskas and Christian Vande Velde.

Team Sky's chances took a hit with Geraint Thomas' fractured pelvis with the Welshman in for an uncomfortable ride.

"I was really looking forward to team time trial, but it's just turned into a case of survival now over these first few days," he said in Calvi.

Orica GreenEdge have been vocal over the past few days that they were zeroing in on the yellow jersey and while Simon Gerrans' victory may not have been enough to do that, the squad won't be giving up. The course is not dissimilar to that which they surprised their rivals to win at the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico, albeit slightly longer. Gerrans will be the man for the team, driven by the strength of Svein Tuft, Daryl Impey, Cameron Meyer and Brett Lancaster.

Expect BMC to also be in the mix for the podium with directeur sportif John Lelangue saying they were looking to the stage "with confidence." The penultimate team to get underway on Tuesday, they will be aiming to put Cadel Evans into the yellow jersey after a few nervous and testing days on Corsica.

"We have worked on this since the beginning of the year," said Lelangue. "We had three days on a wonderful course with a team who is in good shape and worked well to protect Cadel.

"Now we will see what happens at the team time trial and, after this, we go to the Pyrenees."

You can read Stephen Roche's thoughts plus look at the map, profile and more of Stage 4 here.

Start times - Nice team time trial

# Rider Name (Country) Team Depart
1 Argos-Shimano 15:15:00  
2 Omega Pharma–Quick Step 15:19:00  
3 Lotto-Belisol 15:23:00  
4 Cannondale 15:27:00  
5 Cofidis 15:31:00  
6 FDJ.fr 15:35:00  
7 Belkin 15:39:00  
8 Garmin-Sharp 15:43:00  
9 Euskaltel-Euskadi 15:47:00  
10 Sky 15:51:00  
11 Katusha 15:55:00  
12 Sojasun 15:59:00  
13 Astana 16:03:00  
14 Movistar Team 16:07:00  
15 Team Saxo-Tikoff 16:11:00  
16 Europcar 16:15:00  
17 AG2R La Mondiale 16:19:00  
18 Orica–GreenEdge 16:23:00  
19 Lampre-Merida 16:27:00  
20 Vacansoleil-DCM 16:31:00  
21 BMC Racing Team 16:35:00  
22 RadioShack-Leopard 16:39:00  

 

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rshimizu12 More than 1 year ago
Evans appears fairly strong. It might be enough to cause concern for Froome
João Pinheiro More than 1 year ago
Wait for the Big mountains ;)
racyrich More than 1 year ago
No mention of Movistar, who've been doing well in TTTs all season.
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
Agreed, Movistar was 2nd in Giro TTT and they smashed the TTT at last years Vuelta
unc_sammy More than 1 year ago
We can relate each team performance by the presence of at least five (5) strong team members that are good in individual pursuit or ITT. For sure, Sky will be handicapped by the injured Thomas and Stannard. Quick Step will not get the full horsepower of Tony Martin. So, it will be a toss-up between Saxo-Tinkoff, Movistar, BMC, Orica-Green Edge and Astana.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
Lots of great riders and TTT squads...bring it on! Lots of injuries though