MACON, France (VN) – “You put two and two together, and it’s not going to be easy for Cadel.”
Those are the words of Sky sport director Sean Yates, stating the obvious moments after Bradley Wiggins knocked it out of the park in Monday’s decisive time trial.
Wiggins surpassed expectations in the race of truth, tightening his grip on the maillot jaune to secure perhaps an insurmountable lead of 1:53 to Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
With 10 days of racing still to go, Yates knows better than to say the Tour’s already a wrap, but he’s also smart enough to know that Sky could not be in a better position.
“When you look at the course, and at Cadel taking that time back, the possibilities are relatively limited,” Yates told VeloNews. “In this day and age, especially when you have a strong team, it’s not on the climbs that you make the difference.”
The Tour’s main protagonists took stock on Tuesday’s rest day and punched the reset button on goals, ambitions and tactics going into the second half of the Tour.
Still ahead are the Tour’s hardest climbs across the Alps and Pyrénées and one long time trial, but many think the Tour is all but over.
Only Evans, second at 1:53 back, is within two minutes of Wiggins. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Denis Menchov (Katusha), fourth at 2:23 and fifth at 3:02, respectively, will now be fighting to get on the podium. Everyone else will be looking to take something out of the race to salvage a Tour thus far dominated by Sky.