Italy’s Vicenzo Nibali (Astana) will be the new Tour de France champion on Sunday in Paris. He finished today’s 33-mile time trial two minutes behind stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), but kept his overall lead.
But the real excitement was the battle for second place between two Frenchmen. Jean-Christophe Péraud and Thibaut Pinot traded places in the overall standings after today’s intense time trial. Péraud is 37 and Pinot is 24. The older Frenchman was riding well but then got a flat tire halfway through the race. His mechanic was slow getting him a replacement wheel. For a moment, it looked like he might lose his place on the podium, but he regained his momentum and recovered the lost time. After today’s results Péraud moved up to second place overall and pushed Pinot to third. It has been 30 years since two Frenchmen finished on the podium at the Tour de France. Vive la France!