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Lack of time bonuses makes no difference

Even if the time bonuses from last year's Tour de France would have been used, Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) would still lead Fränk Schleck by one second. The bonus system last year saw the winner receive 20 seconds, the second place 12 and the third place eight seconds. Evans finished third in stage six, the same placing Schleck managed up in Hautacam.

In the 2007 Tour, further time bonuses were awarded at the intermediate sprints. Six, four and two seconds for the first three, respectively. None of the top six scored in this category. The first was Kim Kirchen, currently ranked seventh. But his total bonifications of 16 seconds (second in stage 2 and second in a sprint on stage 7) would not make up for four-minute plus beating in the first HC finish in this year's Tour.

In the top 10, the only difference would be the swap of places between Riccardo Riccò and Juan José Cobo. But then again, they both ride for Saunier Duval-Scott.

Despite no time bonuses awarded in time trials, the winner of the race against the clock in stage 4, Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), would have gained a place, thanks to receiving a 12-second bonus in stage 7.

The only rider to gain more than just one spot would have been Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne). But sitting in 12th place at 4'17 is hardly a consolation for the dashed hopes of overall victory.

Only around half a dozen riders would in fact move up or down if the bonus system would be used. It wouldn't even have affected the fight for the lanterne rouge, the battle for the somewhat famous last place in the overall standings. Wim Vansevenant (Silence-Lotto) still has a commanding lead of 1'42 over Frenchman Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom). Vansevenant looks all set to defend his 2007 title.

This question was just one of many interesting ones Cyclingnews received during the Tour.

The top 10 would look like this:

The full virtual standings are also available here.

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