26 Jul 2014

Tour podium decided tonight

1:40 pm on 26 July 2014

After almost three weeks of action-packed racing the minor podium places in the Tour de France are likely to be decided in tonight's final time trial.

The 54-km solo effort against the clock between Bergerac and Perigueux should be won by German Tony Martin, triple world champion in the discipline, but most eyes will be on a couple of Frenchmen and Spain's Alejandro Valverde.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali is expected to wrap up the Tour title as he leads Thibaut Pinot by more than 7 minutes - a virtually unassailable lead if the Astana rider avoids crashes on a straightforward course.

Pinot, who is not a time trial specialist but has dramatically improved in the discipline this season, holds a 13-second lead over compatriot Jean-Christophe Peraud while Valverde lies fourth overall, two seconds further back.

French FDJ.fr rider Pinot could drop to fourth while Peraud and Valverde, who both have national time trial titles, may be battling for second.

The only New Zealander in the field, Jack Bauer is 143rd, 4 and a half hours behind Nibali.