Clearer picture of Tour de France's top 10 expected after Stage 9 time trial

The candidates for a win on today's Stage 9 41.5km individual time trial may be playing it down, but like it or not, a more complete picture of the Tour's top 10 will appear shortly after 5pm local time.

Brice Feillu (Saur – Sojasun) begins proceedings at 9:45am local time with overall leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) last man out of the start house at 4:39pm.

It's a time trial that's best suited for the strong men and for this reason, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) and reigning world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Lotto) should be going head-to-head for the stage win.

Martin, struggling with a fractured scaphoid since Stage 1, is cautious over what to expect.

"Today was a hard day in the mountains," Tony Martin said on Sunday. "The hand was also painful, but okay, I passed two mountain stages now. I am focused on the time trial tomorrow. Tonight I will try to fix a little my position on the bike. We will try to find a good position with the mechanics to tune things up and have a perfect set up for tomorrow. I will try to do my best tomorrow, but it won't be easy for me."

Martin's teammates, Levi Leipheimer and Sylvain Chavanel will both have the opportunity to make up some of the time lost from the first two mountain stages of the Tour.

Leipheimer however believes that Stage 19's race against the clock is slightly better suited to his abilities as it's comparatively flat.

When it comes to the battle for the yellow jersey, last month's Dauphine offering serves as perhaps the best yard-stick although Monday's drag to Besançon is more technical but not as difficult. While it's unlikely that Cadel Evans (BMC) will defeat Wiggins on this stage, the key for the Australian is staying within 30-40 seconds of his rival.

"Maybe looking at tomorrow, it will be a test of truth," said Evans. "Each with our own two legs and we'll see if there's a possibility of turning things upside down."

Wiggins was also not giving too much away.

"Anything's possible tomorrow. I try not to think too negatively, and just concentrate on my own race."

The complete list of Stage 9 start times can be found by clicking here.


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