By Brecht Decaluwé in Albi
Fabian Cancellara went into the red zone during his time trial in Albi. The Swiss time trialing machine realized he would have to take risks to beat the top time of British Olympic pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins, who rode an excellent race on a dryer course earlier in the day.
Cancellara made an impression as he passed green jersey Tom Boonen. "After 8km, he already shot passed me. He was going forward pretty well," Boonen smiled. "I did think it was a risky in these rainy conditions. It was extremely slippery, and eventually he did go down. I was sliding away as well on a couple of occasions, and I went through the corners like an old lady," Boonen said on Sporza.
At the first intermediate point, Cancellara was already 29" down on Wiggins. About halfway, Cancellara had made a few errors on the fast corners and downhill roads towards the village of Ambialet. He was lucky to stay on his bike and even slipped a couple of times when hitting the corners at high speeds. However, luck ran out after a short tunnel at about 25km into the race. There was a sharp left turn where the time trial world champion went down.
The former yellow jersey wearer had to recover for a few seconds but after receiving minor treatment, Cancellara continued pushing on. At the second intermediate section (km 35.6), the Swiss was 2'06" down on Wiggins and from then on, he didn't push any further. At the finish line, Cancellara clocked a 107th best time, a disappointment for the Swiss, who seems to be out of contention of the overall classification.
"To be honest he probably wouldn't have won anyway, because Vinokourov was simply too fast. But Fabian had to take some risks to win, because it began to rain just before he had to start. But such is life," said CSC director sportif Kim Andersen according to the team's website, team-csc.com.
"I'm satisfied with the times from both Jens Voigt, Fränk Schleck and Carlos Sastre. Jens worked hard to maintain our position in the Team's Competition after Fabian's crash, while the two others were trying to do well in the general classification. We didn't take any chances and as far as I know, Fabian was the only Team CSC rider to crash today," said Andersen. CSC's top rider, Sastre, now sits seventh in the GC, 4:45 back.
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