It would be presumptuous to even suggest that Chris Froome (Team Sky) will have the Tour de France wrapped up within the next 24 hours, but the stark reality is that he may well be over four minutes ahead of his nearest rival by the time he comes to a halt in the Mont-Saint-Michel time trial on Wednesday.
"We can laugh about it, but it's possible, isn't it?" Richie Porte told Cyclingnews when asked if his teammate and the yellow jersey could four minutes clear by the end of the stage.
"Not everything goes to according to plan, and we've seen that time and time again, but it would be a nice position for us to be in," he said.
During last month's Criterium du Dauphine, Froome and Porte wiped the floor with Alberto Contador, who finished nearly two minutes down on Froome over a 32-kilometre individual test. The Spaniard blamed his performance that day on his allergies, but he wasn't the only GC rider in this year's Tour to also suffer that day. Alejandro Valverde and Laurens Ten Dam also lost substantial time.
The road to Mont-Saint-Michel is well suited to Froome, who has improved his time trialing enormously since joining Team Sky, and even though Bradley Wiggins overshadowed his rides against the clock last year, he has become one of the best time trialists on the planet.
"I don't want to be too blasé about it, but I think it's going to suit Chris more than it suits those other guys, and I think tomorrow is going to be a crucial stage on GC. Some guys are going to lose a lot of time," Porte predicted.
The Australian, who dropped out of GC contention on stage 9, added that he would like to use the Mont-Saint-Michel as a ride of redemption after being blown away by the aggression volleyed over from the Spanish armada at Movistar on the road to Bagnères-de-Bigorre.
"I'd like to have a go at it still. I've done a lot of work on my position so I need to have a good hit out and also for the morale a bit. I did a time trial the other day behind the peloton, but I'd like to have another go tomorrow."
"I'm not really sure of the course. There looks like there might be some wind and that might change a bit and for Chris. It might be good for someone to have a go at it and post some good time markers as well."
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