Tour de France 2012

June 30 - July 22, 2012, Liège (ITT), Fra, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

The first major time trial of the Tour -- will our race leader dominate, as expected?

  1. 12:58:36 CEST

    Things continue today with a time trial -- 41.5km for the riders to cover. Who will be the best today?

  2. 13:02:05 CEST

    World Champion Tony Martin is currently our leader. He covered the course in 53:40, which is nearly half a minute faster than Lieuwe Westra of Vacansoleil, who is in second place.

  3. 13:04:13 CEST

    Riders are taking to the start in reverse order of the GC. There is a two minute gap for the first 182 riders, and thereafter a three minute gap. 

  4. 13:08:24 CEST

    You can check out all the start times here.

  5. 13:12:53 CEST

    Check out @cyclingthealps preview of stage 9 from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon . Explore the route on a Google Map, with a Google Earth Tour or cycle it virtually! Click here.

  6. 13:18:07 CEST

    As you can see, there is so far a fairly clear pattern as to who his strongest. Martin set the best times all along the way. Not bad considering he has a broken bone in his hand!

  7. 13:21:50 CEST

    Here is the CN preview of today's stage, complete with Chris Boardman video.

  8. 13:24:09 CEST

    Mick Rogers has won a few World time trial titles himself, and yesterday he told our Pete Cossins, "We’ll go full bore in the time trial that’s for sure. If we can move up a couple of positions overall leading into the stages after the rest day then it’s all the better for us. It gives us a few more cards to play. We’ll go as fast as we can and see where it takes us."

  9. 13:26:21 CEST

    Jeremy Roy has put on a big show today, as well.  He set good times all along the way and is currently third at the end, only 36 seconds slower than Martin.

  10. 13:29:15 CEST

    80 riders have crossed the finish line so far, and the slowest has been Anders Lund of Saxo Bank-Tinkof Bank, at 1:00:56, more than seven minutes slower than Tony Martin.

  11. 13:30:54 CEST

    Looks like "oldie" Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) is determined to make his mark! He is only nine seconds down at the first time check.

  12. 13:36:08 CEST

    Here is what Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) tweeted about today's time trial: “I remember a couple years ago I had a crazy idea of riding national 40k TT champs. Watch me go 10mins slower today and 100w less. Hahaha.”

  13. 13:39:19 CEST

    Peter Velits tweeted: “Very interesting TT course. It won't be boring today.

  14. 13:41:28 CEST

    Voigt is also second at the second time check, now 14 seconds back.

  15. 13:43:46 CEST

    As of now the riders will go off at three minute intervals.

  16. 13:44:56 CEST

    And Richie Porte had this to tweet: “After a day like yesterday I'm looking forward to a bit of a cruisy TT today. Will be a great gc battle #allezwiggo”

  17. 13:49:45 CEST

    There are 11 national time trial champions here today: Gustav Erik Larsson of Sweden; Luis Leon Sanchez, Spain; Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands), David Zabriskie (USA); Tony Martin (Germany), Phiilppe Gilbert (Belgium); Andriy Grivko (Ukraine), Fabian Cancellara (Swizterland), Sylvain Chavanel (France); Peter Velits (Slovakia) and Denis Menchov (Russia

  18. 13:52:18 CEST

    We have had a number of changes in the various rankings over the last few stages, so let's take a look at them all.

    In GC, Bradley Wiggins now leads Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali.

    1     Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling     38:17:56      
    2     Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team     0:00:10      
    3     Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale     0:00:16      
    4     Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team     0:00:54      
    5     Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan     0:00:59      
    6     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:01:32      
    7     Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan     0:02:08      
    8     Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team     0:02:11      
    9     Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     0:02:21      
    10     Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne     0:02:27

  19. 13:55:34 CEST

    Voigt cruises into second place at the finish! He crosses it in a time of 54:08, which is 28 seconds slower than Martin, and one second faster than Westra.

  20. 13:59:07 CEST

    Peter Sagan of Liquigas continues to lead the points classification.

    1     Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale     217      pts
    2     Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team     185      
    3     André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team     172      
    4     Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling     129      
    5     Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD     109     

  21. 14:01:22 CEST

    • Pro Team Astana's 2012 Jersey

    Alexandre Vinokourov of Astana is the next to go. This is his last Tour, he has said. After seeing his horrible crash in last year's Tour, who would have expected to see him here again?

  22. 14:05:16 CEST

    Astana's Fredrik Kessiakoff is the new King of the Mountains.

    1     Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team     21      pts
    2     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     20      
    3     Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team     18      
    4     Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat     16      
    5     Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling     12    

  23. 14:08:16 CEST

    Another popular rider is about to take off: Thomas Voeckler of Europcar. This race has not yet gone the way he would have liked, due to knee problems.

  24. 14:12:14 CEST

    A good ride for Belgian national champion Philippe Gilbert, who is now eigthth at the finish.

  25. 14:14:51 CEST

    With his fine performance Sunday, Rein Taaramae of Cofidis moved into the lead in the best young rider rankings.

    1     Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne     38:20:23      
    2     Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan     0:00:46      
    3     Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat     0:01:14      
    4     Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team     0:01:41      
    5     Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi     0:03:38

  26. 14:16:12 CEST

    Tony Martin put in his ride today without a brace or splint on his hand. And he said it was not easy.

  27. 14:16:55 CEST

    Not only that, he punctured only 5km away! Which all just goes to show what a great TTer he is.

  28. 14:18:24 CEST

    This course seems to be more difficult than one might thing. There are three climbs along the way, not ranked one, but not easy either. Manuel Quinziato of BMC called it "technically very challenging".

  29. 14:20:21 CEST

    Sky has finally been bumped down in the teams ranking, with RadioShack-Nissan now the top cats.

    1     RadioShack-Nissan     114:56:52      
    2     Sky Procycling     0:02:51      
    3     Liquigas-Cannondale     0:10:06      
    4     Katusha Team     0:10:40      
    5     Omega Pharma-Quickstep     0:13:07    

  30. 14:21:06 CEST

    Vino grinds his way up one of the climbs, which is literally lined with fans. There is a great turnout this year.

  31. 14:28:23 CEST

    Bradley Wiggins had a few words to say about his critics, most of which we can't repeat here.

  32. 14:29:44 CEST

    Voeckler is 16th at the first time check.

  33. 14:34:18 CEST

    Who would have thought that Fränk Schleck and Andreas Klöden would both have already been dropped as RadioShack-Nissan captains?  The team is now looking to Haimar Zubeldia and Maxime Monfort.

  34. 14:40:59 CEST

    Yesterday's stage winner, young Thibault Pinot climbs on his bike to warm up. He has a large admiring throng of fans watching him.

  35. 14:42:55 CEST

    Peter Sagan of Liquigas has just taken to the course. And hasn't he had an incredible Tour so far!

  36. 14:47:55 CEST

    Fredrik Kessiakoff was happy to put on polka dots after his long hard ride on Sunday, and he hopes to keep the jersey until the end of the race.

  37. 14:54:09 CEST

    Robert Gesink of Rabobank finishes the stage 2:59 slower than Tony Martin.

  38. 14:55:27 CEST

    Former world champion Fabian Cancellara is now on the road. Will he take this time trial, too?

  39. 14:55:52 CEST

    Eighth place at the moment for Vinokourov.

  40. 15:00:03 CEST

    RadioShack is now leading the teams ranking, but they are not wearing the yelllow helmets. That probably wouldn't have been too practical in a time trial. But they do have yellow numbers.

  41. 15:02:45 CEST

    Vinokourov, interviewed on Eurosport, says he thinks Evans will win today.

  42. 15:04:11 CEST

    Voeckler finishes the day 3:06 down on leader Tony Martin.

  43. 15:07:34 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali would like to win this Tour, but of course he is not the only one. He knows he has a tough battle ahead of him.

  44. 15:08:07 CEST

    Sandy Casar puts in a new second-best time at the first time check.

  45. 15:09:33 CEST

    George HIncapie of BMC finishes the day in just over 56 minutes.

  46. 15:10:24 CEST

    Cancellara is looking very smooth and powerful.

  47. 15:12:11 CEST

    A very good time for Laurens Ten Dam of Rabobank, who is 15th at the finish.

    At the other end of the course, Sylvain Chavanel is getting ready to start.

  48. 15:13:34 CEST

    The many fans are not only lining the road, they are on the road. So far all is going well, but we have all too often seen what can happen when the fans don't clear the road.

  49. 15:15:19 CEST

    Cancellara is approaching the first time check. Let's see how he does - or shall we say, by how much he will set a new best time?

  50. 15:16:20 CEST

    21:37 is his time, more than 38 seconds faster than Martin.

  51. 15:17:56 CEST

    Kesiakoff comes into the finish now. The King of the Mountains puts in a good time as well.

  52. 15:21:46 CEST

    One of the Velits twins is on the road now. This one is Peter.

  53. 15:26:02 CEST

    The only question is this point is how Wiggins and Evans will do against Cancellara. We wouldn't want to count either of them out.

  54. 15:27:03 CEST

    Is Cancellara fast? Well, he has just caught and passed his three minute man, Bauke Mollema of Rabobank.

  55. 15:28:23 CEST

    Peraud and an Astana rider come in pretty much togehter. Peraud of AG2R is currently eighth.

  56. 15:31:00 CEST

    Casar has now passed Sagan. Well, this is one stage the young Liquigas rider won't win.

  57. 15:35:01 CEST

    The fans along (and in) the road are going crazy for their national champion Chavanel.

  58. 15:37:16 CEST

    Cancellara has also put in a new best time at the second time check, over a minute faster than Martin.

    Chavanel can't top that time, but is second, between Cancellara and Martin.

  59. 15:40:01 CEST

    Sandy Casar comes to the finish line. He has a time of 54:33, which makes him currently eighth.

  60. 15:44:40 CEST

    Peter Sagan has finished, over four minutes back.

  61. 15:45:33 CEST

    Not much further for Cancellara, who will absolutely blast Martin's time.

  62. 15:47:11 CEST

    And the Swiss rider indeed does it, crossing tHE finish line with a time of 52:21!

    That is 1:19 faster than Martin.

  63. 15:48:58 CEST

    Chavanel is the next best bet to put in a top time. Not that we think he will beat Canceallara, though.

  64. 15:50:05 CEST

    Levi Leipheimer of OPQS is now underway. He has had a tough year.

  65. 15:51:33 CEST

    Andreas Klöden is also on the road, and now Tejay Van Garderen takes off.

  66. 15:54:45 CEST

    If you want to see again what happened in yesterday's stage, you can take a look here at the video highlights.

  67. 15:56:35 CEST

    The next rider to go is Fränk Schleck.

  68. 15:58:18 CEST

    And speaking of Schlecks, his brother Andy has had some bad news. His fracture is healing very slowly, and he miss not only the Olympics but also the rest of this season.

  69. 16:01:06 CEST

    Tony Martin has now fallen out of the top five at the first time check, by the way. Peter Velits, Jerome Coppel and Mick Rogers have all topped his time.

  70. 16:03:10 CEST

    Chavanel has lost a bit of time. He is 26 seconds down at the second time check, whereas he was only 7 seconds down at the first one.

  71. 16:04:14 CEST

    Pinot takes to the course. He can expect extra cheers and support in thanks for bringing in the first French win yesterday.

  72. 16:04:42 CEST

    Froome and Wiggins are now warming up.

  73. 16:05:41 CEST

    Chavanel zips right past Katusha's Eduard Vorganov.

  74. 16:07:39 CEST

    Klöden is at the first time check, and he puts in the fourth best time, 28 seconds slower than Cancellara.

  75. 16:08:54 CEST

    Chavanel is now in second place. His time was 52.48, and he is 27.73 seconds behind Cancellara.

  76. 16:10:11 CEST

    Tony Gallopin has started. That leaves us with only 10 more riders to go.

  77. 16:13:17 CEST

    Rein Taarame put in a strong effort yesterday to gain the young rider's jersey, and he is determined to hang on to it.

    And he has just taken off.

  78. 16:14:10 CEST

    Now here's a surprise -- Tejay Van Garderen has just topped Cancellara's best time at the first time check, by more than three seconds.

  79. 16:15:31 CEST

    Peter Velits of OPQS knocks teammate Martin off the day's podium, moving into third place. Their teammate Chavanel is second, so the Belgian team is currnently second,third and fourth.

  80. 16:18:30 CEST

    Nicolas Roche has been underway for three minutes, and now Lotto Beilsol's Jurgen Van Den Broeck is on the road as well.

  81. 16:18:51 CEST

    Mick Rogers finishes outside the top ten.

  82. 16:20:36 CEST

    Schleck 24th at the first time check.

  83. 16:22:16 CEST

    Wiggins alone now warming up.

  84. 16:24:20 CEST

    His Sky teammate Froome is now on the start ramp. And he is off!

  85. 16:26:08 CEST

    Five more riders to go: Zubeldia, Menchov, Nibali, Evans and Wiggins.

  86. 16:27:44 CEST

    Coppel reaches the finish line and is currently eighth.

  87. 16:30:28 CEST

    Zubeldia has gone, and now we see Denis Menchov. He is all in white, as the Russian national champion.

  88. 16:32:09 CEST

    Gallopin is seventh at the first time check. And Van GArderen has passed Ivan Basso.

  89. 16:33:19 CEST

    Wiggins now rolling his way to the start, as third-placed Nibali takes off.

  90. 16:34:33 CEST

    Leiphimer comes in as 17th at the finish.

  91. 16:35:45 CEST

    Cadel Evans is 10 seconds behind race leader Bradley Wiggins, but BMC team leader Jim Ochowicz is confident that the Australian will do well in today's time trial.

  92. 16:36:05 CEST

    And there is the Australian, ready for the first major time trial test.

  93. 16:36:34 CEST

    In three minutes the last rider will take off, race leader Bradley Wiggins of Sky.

  94. 16:38:49 CEST

    Wiggins all in yellow and ready to roll.

  95. 16:39:32 CEST

    Andreas Klöden finishes with a great time, making him currently fourth.

    And Wiggins takes off!

  96. 16:42:20 CEST

    Van Garderen also with the best time at the second time check, by two seconds.

  97. 16:42:42 CEST

    Van Garderen has passed under the flamme rouge.

  98. 16:44:10 CEST

    Van Garderen has lost time in the end, and can't to Cancellara's time. He is second by nine seconds.

  99. 16:45:50 CEST

    Froome at the first time check,and he too is fast. In fat he sets a new best time, an astonishing 23 seconds faster than Van Garderen.

  100. 16:47:48 CEST

    Wiggins is also flying along, holding his upper body perfectly still while the legs work hard.

  101. 16:52:33 CEST

    Not such a good time for Menchov, only seventh at the first time check.

  102. 16:53:17 CEST

    Schleck comes to the finish line, 3:35 down.

  103. 16:55:37 CEST

    Nibali is riding, too, remember. He is at the frist time check, and is currently 10th.

  104. 16:56:48 CEST

    Letour informs us that Wiggins is now over one minute ahead of Evans in GC.

  105. 16:57:46 CEST

    I could have sworn I just saw a giant pink bunny cheering the riders along....

  106. 16:58:37 CEST

    Evans at the first time check: 22.07, only the 12th best time!

  107. 16:59:52 CEST

    Are we looking at a Wiggins-Froome one-two not only in this stage but also in the final GC?

  108. 17:00:31 CEST

    Wiggins at the time check and he takes the lead, by 4.72 seconds.

  109. 17:03:41 CEST

    Gallopin is at the finish now, with a time of 54:10, making him momentarily eleventh.

  110. 17:06:07 CEST

    20km left for Wiggins.

  111. 17:07:25 CEST

    Phillipe Gilbert calls this a technical course abnd the wind is favourable on a couple of quite testing ascents.

    He's also been confirmed for the time trial at the Olympic.

  112. 17:08:52 CEST

    According to Richie Porte, it's not a super technical , but very nice, course one for the specialists. He was told to take it easy and he enjoyed it. Great crowds.

  113. 17:10:31 CEST

    Tony Martin: This course is more for Wiggins than for Evans.I had a rearwheel puncture so I was unlucky again.
  114. 17:11:53 CEST

    15km for Evans.

  115. 17:12:51 CEST

    Van Den Broeck is at the finish, and at the moment only 19th.

  116. 17:13:24 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler: "There are a lot of changes of rhythm on the course so the non-specialists should have a chance to limit their losses."

  117. 17:15:30 CEST

    George Hincapie called it a technical course, with not many straightaways. He was surprised by short ough hills and tight descents. He said it  suit Evans.

  118. 17:15:58 CEST

    Froome comes to the finish and will take the lead.

  119. 17:16:32 CEST

    He even breaks the 52 minute mark, but just barely: 51:59.59.

  120. 17:18:04 CEST

    Cancellara says he lost his radio early on Fbut felt like he gave his all and did as well as he could do. He thought he's done enough to win. He couldn't give any more. 

  121. 17:19:32 CEST

    Wiggins with the best time at the second time check, 16 seconds over Froome. Evans falling further back with every kilometer.

  122. 17:21:12 CEST

    Mick Rogers said he went flat out at the first check to see how he placed, then eased off a bit. He called it a hard course especially after all the work done yesterday and that he is looking forward to big mountains where can set a fast tempo.

  123. 17:21:49 CEST

    Zubeldia has finished as well. Only four riders left now: Menchov, Nibali, Evans and Wiggins.

  124. 17:22:54 CEST

    In the virtual GC, Wiggins now has 1:46 over Evans.

  125. 17:23:55 CEST

    Menchov with a time of 53:32, making him momentarily sixth.

  126. 17:24:20 CEST

    Only 5km left for Wiggins.

  127. 17:26:56 CEST

    The third to last rider is in. Nibali has a time of 53:31, making him sixth.

  128. 17:27:30 CEST

    Evans is not far behind. What will his time be like?

  129. 17:28:35 CEST

    Evans goes under the flamme rouge.

  130. 17:29:43 CEST

    Evans' time is 53:07, and is fifth.

  131. 17:30:06 CEST

    Wiggins in the last 500 metres.

  132. 17:30:19 CEST

    He too will blast the best time.

  133. 17:30:54 CEST

    And he wins the stage with a time of 51:24, 35 seconds faster than his teammate Froome.

  134. 17:31:31 CEST

    What a show by the team Sky riders!

  135. 17:32:18 CEST

    The top three are still Wiggins, Evans and Froome, but Wiggins has nearly two minutes now on the Australian.

  136. 17:34:27 CEST

    "I'm very happy with my performance," Froome says.

  137. 17:36:30 CEST

    Of course we did not mean to say that the top three remains Wiggins, Evans and Froome.

    We meant to say that Froome has now moved up from sixth to third.

  138. 17:43:22 CEST

    Here the top ten for the stage:

    1  Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling)  0:51:24  
    2  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling  0:00:35  
    3  Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan  0:00:57  
    4  Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team  0:01:06  
    5  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  0:01:24  
    6  Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team  0:01:43  
    7  Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep  0:01:59  
    8  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  0:02:07  
    9  Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team  0:02:08  
    10  Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan  0:02:09

  139. 17:43:57 CEST

    And the new GC:

    1  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling  39:09:20  
    2  Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team  0:01:53  
    3  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling  0:02:07  
    4  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  0:02:23  
    5  Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team  0:03:02  
    6  Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan  0:03:19  
    7  Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan  0:04:23  
    8  Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team  0:05:14  
    9  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  0:05:20  
    10  Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale  0:05:29

  140. 17:45:06 CEST

    Van Garderen reclaims the best young rider jersey.

  141. 17:46:14 CEST

    That will do us for today. Thanks for reading along.

    Tomorrow is a rest day but of course we will be back full strength on Wednesday, as things start up again. See you then!

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