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Tour de France 2012: Stage 19

Hello and welcome to today's penultimate stage from the Tour de France, a 53.5 kilometre stage from Bonneval to Chartres.

Sean Yates:

 

"For the first 38km it’s super-fast and nice roads, then it does get trickier. It’s a big distance and it will obviously play a decisive role in the final results. It’s the last chance for a reversal of any positions and it’s going to be interesting."

 

You can find a complete preview of today's stage right here, along with a video in which Chris Boardman takes us through the stage.

And here's today's vital start order: As is customary riders leave  the start house in reverse GC order at set intervals.

Here's where we stand on GC:

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 83:22:18
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:53
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:30
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:57
7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:11
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:17
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:11:00
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:11:46
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:12:54

Van Garderen may fancy his chances at overhauling Jurgen van den Broeck for fourth but he's up against it, such is the current deficit. One thing though, the US will be kicking themselves that they only have one spot for the men's tt in London. Van Garderen and Phinney would both be medal possibilities.

Brajkovic could jump Rolland in GC, while there's also an opportunity for Roche, although his chances of getting into the top ten are slim.

Right now Gretch, is the fast rider of the day, completing the course in 1:06 but Dave Zabriskie has set a time 37 seconds faster at the penultimate time check. The US national time trial champion is looking to close out his Tour with a decent result.

David Millar, Zabriskie's teammate and roommate in this year's Tour, has gone through the first time check at 14km almost a full minute down on Gretsch.

Yaroslav Popovych, once tipped as a grand tour leader, is the latest rider to start the time trial.

Correction: Zabriskie was in fact down on Gretsch at the 30km check point. So the German lead there, and at the finish.

RT @dnlbenson: Tour De France Stage 19 Time Trial Start Order | http://t.co/EzkStD50 http://t.co/82fyfHbP

@laurenetrim Sat, 21st Jul 2012 10:32:56

Millar is 2:11 down on Gretsch at the second time check.

Bert Grabsch, who had been targeting today's final stage has  finished 1:15 behind the current stage leader. Grabsch, a former world time trial champion, won't be happy with that.

So far 42 riders have completed the course.

Luis Leon Sanchez, a stage winner in Foix this year, is the next rider to start the time trial.

With Cancellara at home, Tony Martin too, today should be an all-out-battle between Wiggins and Froome for the stage.

And Zabriskie finishes, 44 seconds down on Gretsch.

And Zabriskie finishes, 44 seconds down on Gretsch.

Christian Vande Velde is out on the course now, as Sanchez, in his Spanish national tt kit, heads towards the first time check.

Sanchez catches Stortoni, who started two minutes ahead of him.

Stortoni isn't very subtle, is he, just drafting along less than a bike length behind the Spaniard.

Jens Voigt who has performed well in the time trials so far in this year's race, rolls out from the start house. Once followed Voigt in a time trial (in a car obviously) at the end of the 2008 Tour. The German will like this course though.

Luis Leon, 3 seconds faster than Gretsch at  the first time check.

Boasson Hagen begins his time trial. In his normal Sky kit as he's not the national TT champ of Norway. He's been an integral part of Sky's Tour de France bid.

Karpets has started his time trial as Devenyns comes to the second time check.

Vasili Kiryienka comes over the line 18 seconds down on Gretsch, as Sanchez goes through the second check point 15 seconds faster than everyone.

Fedrigo has just started his TT. Sagan is off in less than 10 minutes.

Sagan in the start house, about to set out on his time trial. The Liquigas rider, just 22, has won three stages and taken the green jersey. It's only his first  ever Tour de France to boot.

Meanwhile Vande Velde has gone through the second time check in 7th, 59 seconds down.

George Hincapie, riding his final Tour de France time trial is now out on the road.

Voigt comes through second time check in 8th place.

Sanchez is still out on the course, he struggles around one corner, looking down at his gears but then settles back into his tucked position.

Sanchez is closing in on the finish. Even when he's right on the rivet the Spanish rider looks good on the bike.

1km to go for Sanchez as Roy finishes in 3rd. 37 seconds down on Gretsch.

A reminder of where we stand on GC before today's stage:

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 83:22:18
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:53
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:30
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:57
7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:11
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:17
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:11:00
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:11:46
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:12:54

Vino out on the course, wearing that faded Astana skin suit. This is the rider's final Tour de France. He tried to go out with a bang in yesterday's stage but just came up short despite some aggressive riding.

1:06:03 for Sanchez, he now leads by 38 seconds at the finish.

And Vande Velde comes to the finish in 10th place.

3 muscles make up the buttocks: Gluteus minimus, gluteus medius & gluteus maximus. After today's TT, I have none. Ripped them to shreds.

@MarkCavendish Sat, 21st Jul 2012 14:01:40

Voeckler is making his way to the start house for his time trial. The KOM champion has a special polka dot Colnago for today's stage.

Velits is out on the road now as well. He's had a subdued Tour but today's a chance for him to redeem himself, as Voeckler receives cheers from the home grounds as he riders up the start ramp.

that Astana TT kit makes the riders look like tetra fish.

@Samdansie Sat, 21st Jul 2012 14:26:03

Neighbour I'd not spoken to before pulled up next to me this morning and asked "Can Wiggins win the Tour?" Britain has gone mad for Wiggo

@petercossins Sat, 21st Jul 2012 14:26:19

Scarponi is now out on the course, his three week French vacation almost over.

Bouet comes to the line with a respectable time of 1:08:45, 17th place.

Vino meanwhile goes through the first check point in 72 place. He'll attack tomorrow, I'm sure, and having won in Paris before he'll want to spoil the party for the sprinters' teams.

Here's some news on Flecha possibly leaving Sky.

As Valverde, who sits in 20th overall, starts his time time trial.

Hincapie in his 17th Tour, is in the top 30 at the second time check.

Taaramae is putting in a decent time though and he's probably going to catch Hincapie before the finish.

Boasson Hagen comes to the line in 1:12:10 off the pace but he's done his work - and more - in this year's  Tour as Froome is on the rollers warming up.

Monfort, from Belgium, is starting his time trial. Former national champion back in 2009,  he was.

Denis Menchov, another national tt champ in this year's Tour, is out on the road as Velits goes through the first time check 1 second down on Luis Leon Sanchez.

Nibali, like Froome is on the rollers warming up before the time trial.

And Velits comes to the second check point, 3rd, 17 seconds down, so he's losing time.

And now Wiggins is warming up as well.

Roche, in 11th place, will be going all out to bring back the 1:12 on Pinot in order to break into the top ten. Out of contract in the winter,  Roche will know that his value will increase if he can add the tag 'top ten Tour finisher' to his negotiations.

Pinot starts, what a prospect he is for French cycling:  a stage and a possible top ten place in his first Tour de France.

Brajkovic has started as well. He's not had a bad Tour at all, top ten with his first real opportunity to lead a team in his own right. If Nibali does indeed go to Astana next year, the pair could work very well together.

Rolland, who won white last year, begins his time trial. Another top ten place for him, good, considering the route and his inconsistency in the first part of the season.

Taaramae has indeed caught and passed Hincapie and finishes in 4th, 1:07:03, a fine performance from the Cofidis man.

Pinot looks pretty good has he heads to the first time check.

Back at the start Evans and Van Garderen share a few words. The American has out-performed Evans in the race this year but even so he can still learn an awful lot from the experienced Australian.

Zubeldia rolls down the start ramp, heading to his 4th ever top ten in the Tour.

Evans starts. A brave and spirited performance from the defending champion but his Tour chances unravelled in the mountains. Last year he used the final TT to take yellow and the Tour, that won't obviously happen today.

1:06:03 for Porte, into second place.
As Van Garderen, the white jersey holder, starts.

Kloden, 4th at the first time check, 13 seconds down.

Nibali is about to start, Froome and Wiggins both lining up in the start house behind him...

And the Italian begins his time trial. Can he hold off Froome until the finish?

Out on the course Velits comes to the line and he's second 1:06:15,     12 seconds behind Sanchez.

And Froome starts his TT.

As Menchov reaches the second time check, 38:38 , and 10th place.

Wiggins settles in the start house. One final test away from sealing the Tour de France win. There's the possible stage win too.

And he's off, to huge cheers, and quickly settles  into his tucked TT position

Evans is 1:10 off Sanchez at the first  time check. That's a bit of a surprise. Horner 2:05 down at the first check.

Kloden has lost time, 1:04 at the second time check

Van Garderen is the fastest rider at the first time check. He need 2:37 on Van den Broeck to move into 4th. It could happen.

17:24 for Van Garderen, 3 seconds faster than Sanchez.

 

Van den Broeck has lost 26 seconds to the American at the first time check.

@dnlbenson do you expect any non-GC contenders to contend the win today?

@Weir85 Sat, 21st Jul 2012 15:30:36

No, it's between Froome, Wiggins, and Van Garderen. Sachez maybe if a headwind picks up.

Nibali 5th, 6 seconds down at the first checkpoint . That's a great time for the Italian. He was good in both individual tests in this race but that's an even better start.

Froome 23 seconds faster than Van Garderen at the first time check. Wiggins still to come.

And Wiggins goes 12 seconds faster than Froome.

That's 35 seconds faster than van Garderen as well. All on course for a 1,2 for Sky both in today's stage and the overall.

That's interesting, BMC's main DS is following Van Garderen and not Evans. The American rider is certainly giving it everything though, as he looks to try and overhaul Van Den Broeck.

At the finish Sanchez is just waiting for the inevitable so he can head back to the team bus.

Evans 76th, over 3 minutes down on the second time check and Van Garderen looks to catch him, 4th best time at the second time check.

Van Garderen has slowed a bit though. He was the fastest at the first time check.

Menchov finishes in 22 place, just over 2 minutes down.

Van Garderen is closing in on Evans. Evans deserves a lot of respect but that's a 3 minute gap wiped out already.

Jalabert: 'Van Garderen is the future.'

@friebos Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:03:34

Froome fastest by 4 seconds at the second time check.

Wiggins 53 seconds faster than Froome, and Sanchez at least can break a smile. He knows it's over.

Nibali is busy consolidating his 3rd, 15th at the second time check for the Italian.

Van Garderen takes the corners well, closing in on a possible 4th place in just his second Tour de France, his 3rd GT.

Wiggins just has 20km to go.

Roche comes  to the finish, 1:10:52. A top ten place  looks over but we'll have to check for Pinot's time.

And Pinot is coming to the line, well ahead of Roche and he holds his top ten finish.

Pinot clearly no mug as a time triallist. Looks a better GC prospect than Rolland for the French

@petercossins Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:16:41

Also, Van Garderen's initials are just slightly transposed from TGV, French acronym for high-speed train (train a grande vitesse). #TDF12

@Bonnie_D_Ford Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:14:20

Brajkovic comes home, 1:09: 51

Wiggins is doing 60kph now on a slightly downhill section.

I love @janibrajkovic 's space suit! Shiny.

@Laura_Weislo Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:19:34

Rolland is digging in to keep his 8th place.

I think he's done it. Just.

Zubeldia almost cooks it on a corner, he could be on for overtaking Evans in the GC.

1:09: for Zubelida, with Evans still to finish. The Australian has been poor so far though so the Shack man may have 6th.

Evans is down in 9th on GC provisionally.

Van den Broeck seems to have enough on Van Garderen at the moment but it's going to  be very close.

Tejay successfully negotiates Zubeldia corner.

@nyvelocity Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:26:15

Van Garderen finishes. A time of 1:06:47, 43 seconds down on Sanchez and Evans comes up to the line too: 1:10:07,  over 4 minutes down.

Froome best time so far and heading for second place  on the stage.

Wiggins is 1:15 up on Froome at the moment.

It looks like van den Broeck has kept 4th. With Evans finishing the Tour in 7th.

Van den Broeck finishes with 1:08:35

Nibali will be the next rider to finish. He's put in a very respectable time trial so far. He's more than done enough to secure 3rd: 1:07:51

Froome almost puts 3 minutes into the Italian: finishing with 1:05:29, over 40 seconds faster than Sanchez.

And here comes Wiggins. The Tour champion elect, on his way to his second stage win in this year's race.

1:04:13 and he punches the Sky as he crosses the line. He's won the stage, he's won the Tour.

Wiggins 1:16 faster than Froome, 1:50 up on Sanchez.

Van Garderen 7th, Porte 5th.

Bravo @bradwiggins ... The Tour is in the pocket.....!!!! Chapeau @TeamSky

@cedvasseur Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:34:49

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 1:04:13
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:16
3 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:50
4 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:02:02
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:02:25
6 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano 0:02:28
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:34
8 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 0:02:46
9 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:02:50
10 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:05

Wiggins leads the GC, 3:21 on Froome, Nibali at 6:19, VBD 10:15.

Colo.-based Van Garderen dedicates his #TDF12 finish in Paris to victims of #ColoradoShooting.

@Bonnie_D_Ford Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:49:50

Congratulations @bradwiggins. That's been an inspirational display of athleticism & ambition. You are one of the greats of cycling.

@millarmind Sat, 21st Jul 2012 16:50:01

And here's the race GC:

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 84:26:31
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:19
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:10:15
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:11:04
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:15:43
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:15:51
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:16:31
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:16:38
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:17:17

Thanks for joining us today. You can find results, pix, and a report here. And we'll be here tomorrow for full live coverage for the final stage to Paris.

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