On the start line in Bordeaux

The 52km time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac will give the final verdict on who wins this year's Tour de France. Alberto Contador will start last and is in the yellow jersey. He leads Andy Schleck by just eight seconds but that advantage is expected to grow as the Spaniard rides through the vineyards close to the Gironde river. If Contador wins this year, it will be his third Tour e France victory after also winning in 2007 and 2009.

However Schleck has yet to concede victory to Contador. He is not a world class time trialist but has been working with Bradley McGee and Bobby Julich this year and could cause a surprise by how little time he loses.

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) are also locked in a duel for third place on the podium. Like Contador, Menchov is the favourite to dominate and take third on the podium in Paris. Behind them, most of the other placings in the top ten are unlikely to change.

At the start in Bordeaux, most other riders were relaxed before the start. For them the 52km will be a recovery day before the celebrations and high-speed racing on the Champs Elysees on Sunday.

Only the time trial experts like Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) will be racing flat out. They will have no time to enjoy the views across the vineyards to the Chateau. But whoever wins the time trial, will probably raise a glass to celebrate.



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