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Stage 11: The ET

10/07/2013
This is what they called Miguel Indurain after his display in the time trial in 1992 in Luxembourg and today we have seen the face of the Navarrese reflected in the face of Chris Froome who has produced a devastating blow that seems to have defined the Tour. The South Africanhas showed his power and has achieved an almost perfect time and if he has not won in the beautiful location of Saint Michel it has been because a super expert such as Tony Martin has beaten him by barely a few seconds. His times have been far better than the rest and I feel extremely happy for the German, who was still injured after his fall in Corsica.
Stage 11: The ET

 He has managed to overcome his pain and showed us with honour his yellow jersey of a champion of the world in this discipline. Incidentally, he has used a chain wheel comprising of 58 teeth (Miguel used one with 54 and rarely one with 55 teeth), which is really incredible.But the man of the day is Froome who is looking much superior to his rivals who, it seems, will need to fight for second place as Alejandro Valverde himself has admitted. The Team Sky has everything in place to mark an era but that depends on many factors and the first thing that they have to do is to finish off this Tour which they have in their pocket. The feeling in the pack is that the race is decided and what a better scenario than Saint Michel, the eighth wonder of the world in which to achieve this.

Indurain

The time trials have marked some of the most outstanding moments in the history of the Tour and together with Miguel I experienced what can be considered by some as the best history in Luxembourg. In 1992 Miguel Indurain performed the best display that can be remembered in this discipline. The Navarrese arrived at the stage after having lost just a few seconds with Lemond and Chiapucci to whom some wanted to give more importance than what they deserved. It was a very hot day and it was a long distance of 65 kilometres which meant more than an hour’s effort. The rider from Villava was much focused because he knew that it was a key day for the final result of the race. From the very first moment we realised that things were going well and helped by a favourable wind he achieved high speeds. The first reports confirmed our feelings and the commentators screamed loudly, impressed by the enormous differences that were developing. All ready to go and with great aerodynamics, Miguel started to devour riders: first, one rider who benefitted from the breakaway from the previous day, then a great expert such as Armand De las Cuevas and finally the double winner of the Tour, Laurent Fignon who had set off 6 minutes previously. The differences at the finish line were spectacular: 3 minutes for De las Cuevas, 3 minutes 41 seconds for Bugno, more than 4 minutes for Zulle and Lemond and 5 minutes 26 seconds for Chiapucci. The display was described like no other by the double world champion Gianni Bugno: "You can’t beat an ET ".

Indurain

For us it has been a day of transition in which we have tried to give the best of ourselves but it is also necessary to think about the team and to be aware that for a humble team such as the Sojasun the important days start from tomorrow. The good news is that Brice Feillu is recovering from his fall and has taken advantage of the day off on Monday having time to relax a little, although saying this considering an effort of 33 kilometres is relative. As I said yesterday, Brittany is the house of our team and every day we are being supported by our fans who are devoting themselves to the riders and that to them gives them an extra motivation to compete and search for the long‑wished victory of the stage. Today something has occurred that does not happen very often in any cycling race and that is when a rider is booed. During the route Mark Cavendish was booed by the irregular manoeuvre yesterday in the sprint in which he knocked over a fellow sprinter. He apologised but it is difficult for the public to understand these attitudes although surely when the stages are finished this will be forgotten.

Indurain

Possibly Cavendish will have his opportunity in the sprint although teams like ours will try to prevent it from happening. We are going to declare war from the start because we cannot waste even one day of competition. This stage is totally flat making it ideal for a breakaway although the logic is that the teams of riders will control the escape, but we need to fight against destiny. Incidentally, be very careful with the wind because there could be a strong crosswind as if a large fan was blowing directly at you with the risk that comes with this and although for now Aeolus has not been an important character in the outcome of the race order, maybe in one of the stages Aeolus will scare one of the favourites. We will see what happens but be clear on this point, in Sojasun’s mind there is only one dream that we want to see come true: winning a stage.

That is all folks! Greetings from Saint Michel!

 

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