France Day 7 - Part 2 - The Race of Truth

After arriving in St Amand-Montrond for the TT finish, I packed up my bike for its transfer to Paris. I scoped a spot opposite a big screen just a few hundred metres shy of the finish line and soaked up the sun and atmosphere.

In cycling the time trial is known of "The Race of Truth" because, well, there isn't anywhere to hide. Each cyclist is let off individually, and they race against the clock in their race against one another.

Today, like never before, would be truth time for Cadel Evans. He was in 4th place overall; 1:34 down on the yellow jersey of Carlos Sastre. Frank Schleck and Bernard Kohl were only seconds ahead of him on the standings. Sastre was the one he had to reel in.

All of us in the tour group were hopeful, some even confident, that Cadel could do it. Sastre had never been known as a strong time triallist...

One by one, the cyclists started, and came through the finish. Finally, after what seemed like hours, we saw on the big screen that Cadel was being counted down and waved off by the starting official. He put in a solid ride, unfortunately today needed to be more than "solid". It needed to be the time trial of his life.

Even more unfortunately, the man who was having the time trial of his life was Carlos Sastre. Phil Liggett was once again being proven right in his theory that the yellow jersey somehow allows men to ride themselves into some confidence. Or ride like two men. Or like men with three legs.

Yes, Phil Liggett sure has a unique way with words...

Before we knew it, though, Sastre and his yellow jersey had ridden himself to a Tour de France victory. Cadel Evans had ridden himself out of the one thing that had haunted him since this time last year.

It was a sombre group that returned to the bus for transit to our hotel. At least when we got there, we enjoyed one of the best meals of the trip.

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