TdF 2012 - Part II
24 Jul 2012
A scarcity of emotions in the second part of the Grande Boucle: too evident the superiority of Wiggins, Froome and the whole of team Sky over their opponents.
As if the lack of a really challenging uphill finish was not enough, even the weather has not proposed a single day of rain or the stifling heat typical of many past editions of the TdF.
The only time that there was a partly wet descent, the stage was "neutralized" due to the nails on the road.
Two hours of individual time trial compared to the sixteen minutes of climbing to Beille Filles (8.5% average gradient) and thirty minutes going up to Peyragudes (9 + 3 km at 7.7%) definitely favored the British couple, who also proved to be the strongest uphill, not conceding anything to rivals.
Tall and skinny seems to be the prototype of the upcoming generation of riders, all around 190 cm, very performing but also probably rather weak when confronted with the many contingencies that may arise in a three-week stage race.
No rival then, but above all, no team has really succeeded in trying to move the challenge towards a the endurance side, by attacking far from the finish line, mainly because of the utter dominance of team Sky, which has literally outperformed the competition.
Among the potential competitors Evans came out surprisingly lacking, whereas only Nibali and Van den Broeck tried something.
In the final time trial of 53.5 km, assuming an equal aerodynamic efficiency (which is not), Wiggins expressed 4.1% more power than Froome, 8.2% more of the good Van Garderen, 11.9% more than Nibali...