France —The Garmin-Slipstream squad put on an impressive display in Thursday’s time trial stage at the Tour de France. Riding their aerodynamic Felt DA TT bikes, three Garmin-Slipstream riders finished in the top-10 of Stage 18 in Annecy. Brits David Millar and Bradley Wiggins finished fifth and sixth respectively, and American David Zabriskie was tenth.
Wiggins gained time on several overall competitors, moving back into the top five overall. He now sits fourth overall with three stages remaining in the three-week race.
The 40.5km course around Lake Annecy was relatively flat, with one 3km climb. Wiggins, a track specialist with multiple Olympic medals, set a blistering pace on the early part of the course, registering the best time at the first split. In the end, Spaniard Alberto Contador won the Tour’s final time trial, strengthening his hold on the yellow jersey before Saturday’s showdown on Mont Ventoux. The race finishes the following day in Paris.
With tightly bunched GC threats in the top-10, the Garmin-Slipstream squad will have a battle to the very end as they focus on keeping Wiggins and American Christian Vande Velde (eighth overall) high in the standings.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 18 RESULTS
Annecy Time Trial
1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 48:31
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Saxo Bank, at 0:03
3. Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus), Katusha, at 0:15
4. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe), Saxo Bank, at 0:32
5. David Millar (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:40
6. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:42
10. David Zabriskie (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:01
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 18
1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 73:15:39
2. Andy Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 4:11
3. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 5:25
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 5:36
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger), Astana, at 5:38
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 10:08