A bad TT for Belkin but good for NetApp
Nibali's yellow Specialized bike
Vincenzo Nibali will ride into to Paris on a special yellow Specialized bike to celebrate his success at the Tour de France.
Nibali has avoided wearing yellow shorts and other accessories, even wearing the same yellow jersey whenever possible during the race to avoid any bad luck.
However the special bike for the final stage has special yellow graphics, yellow lever hoods and yellow bar tape.
Bad day for Belkin
The time trial certainly didn't go the way that Team Belkin had hoped but they still managed to salvage top ten placing overall for Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema.
Mollema had gone into the stage in seventh overall but made the mistake of using a bike he had not sufficiently trained on. "The bike is great, but I didn't use the TT bike in training too often this year and so I just wasn't really used to the position. After ten kilometres, I started to feel cramps and after that, I couldn't really put enough power on my pedals," he said on the team’s website.
He finished 140th on the stage, losing 9:26. It dropped him to 10th overall. Ten Dam dropped only one position, from eighth to ninth.
"Perhaps I started a little bit too cautious," he said. He still did significantly better than his teammate, coming in 55th at 6:03.
NetApp's very good day
It was a great time trial for NetApp-Endura. The German Professional Continental team once more proved that its wildcard invitation to the Tour de France was justified as it placed two riders in the day’s top five, was the best team on the day, and moved Leo König up to seventh place overall.
"Leo's time trial was perfect," said sport director Enrico Poitschke. "He maintained a good rhythm from start to finish – there wasn't a single mistake. He exceeded our expectations with his fifth place, because we rather fancied a top-ten finish."
Even better on the stage was teammate Jan Barta. "Jan has been looking forward to this time trial for weeks. He scored a top result in every time trial this year and that was also one reason for considering him in our Tour de France squad. Today he proved that he can hold his own even at the front of a world-class field."
Eating like a winner
How did Tony Martin and Omega Pharma-QuickStep celebrate his time trial victory on Saturday? With a lot of food that is usually off-limits to the pro peloton: hamburgers, french fries, pizza and ice cream.
The big party will be Sunday evening in Paris but he wrote on his personal website, "We will have some good eats today – and exactly that what we want. We have of course our own cook with us and traditionally we riders order the meal for the evening after the penultimate stage. Our meeting to decide what to order didn't take long. We decided quickly on burgers, pizza and fries. And of course ice cream for dessert."
What does one drink with that? What else? "And like after every stage win there will be a glass of wine or champagne."
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