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Robbie Hunter’s Stage 9 Diary Post…… “Paris is a long way away”

July 9, 2012

If a time trial specialist does win this year’s Tour, it’s a fair bet that he will be among the top three or four finishers today.

Initially announced as 38km, this stage is now another 3.5km longer. It’s a test of two halves, with the first 20 kilometres much more rolling than those near to the finish. However, there is not much here that will worry the stronger time trialists, such as Wiggins, Martin and Cancellara. They will power up the climbs and should gain three to four seconds a kilometre on Frank Schleck and the other climbers – some two and three minutes by the end. If it’s any less than that, the RadioShack-Nissan leader will be very happy.

Today’s TT showed a few riders that were way above the rest and a few- that seem not to be as strong as they should be.

The Froome-Wiggins Duo again seems to be the invincible but it is early days yet. Paris is a long way away.

I think Froome is showing the world what he is really made of. In my opinion he is really a 3 week stage racer and will be better in the 3rd week than his team-mate Wiggins.

The TT was always going to be a day when a few people had a chance of winning. Cancellara, Martin, Wiggins were by far the favourites and the biggest surprise was the order they finished.

Even I had said Cancellara was going to possibly win even by a small margin but I was backing him. Especially since he has made it his major goal to win the London Olympics this year….when he makes specific races his goals- he very rarely misses.

In thinking of the games, today was a great practice run to see where the condition was at and who would be the big competition in London.

Fabian gave it everything and blew most people away. When he crossed the line with best time ahead of Martin, I don’t think he was thinking of ending up where he did and almost 1 minute down on Wiggens.

Both Sky Riders literally blew everybody away today!

Sky is definitely doing something right in the training and preparation with the guys going into big races. I think they planning around it all, including making sure that all the riders are at the best weight possible, which in cycling normally means looking sick and almost anorexic. The power to weight ratio is more power and no weight 🙂 They have done training camps on the TDF stages before the race even begins, basically trying to leave nothing to chance.

Really, right now the most professional team around it seems.

Cadel had a shocker- it seems. Don’t get me wrong he is still brilliant but for his standards (he was talking about wining the tour again), you can’t end up 2 minutes down after the first TT. That is time that is not easy to get back. Knowing that there is another TT coming in the last week, it’s a hard mental blow to Cadel. He is definitely imagining the same thing could happen, and more time lost?

The GC is really taking shape and the only problem with Wiggins taking the Jersey so early is that his team now has 2 weeks of full-time riding and chasing ahead of them. (And 2 weeks In the TDF is a hell of a long time.)

I for sure wouldn’t want to be in that posting that’s for sure. (Talking about specifically being a worker- the yellow I would take 😉 )

Tomorrow is a rest day and with a really stressful first week; a lot of injuries and crashes- all the riders are happy to take a day off of racing. I for one, if I was still there that is, think I would probably sleep for the next 48 hours or try to at least.


p.s Don’t forget to follow my #TDF12 tweets live during each stage using the @helivacems twitter account!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2012 6:50 pm


    you keep spelling Wiggins’ name incorrectly. 🙂


    as an aside, I asked on twitter who/when do you think Froome will be snapped up and by whom? I think that RSNT will lose (probably a blessing for all) the Schlecks end of the season and Bryneel will want a genuine GC contender to work with. I reckon Froomey is just such a rider. Maybe a bit too soon for him to be the leader of a team?

    • Rob permalink
      July 10, 2012 5:44 am

      Hi there. He will stay with Team Sky as he is in the first year of a 3 year deal.

  2. July 9, 2012 6:51 pm

    PPS: as a SAfrican, its crazy sad to not see you in the tour. You and your boys have just had awful luck. Much respect and admiration out of Jozi

  3. July 9, 2012 7:00 pm

    HI there,

    We just fixed the spelling.Thanks for that, its all the excitement!

  4. Rory Harrop permalink
    July 9, 2012 7:25 pm

    Sky look really strong, Garmin totally unlucky, still think Rob a stronger sprinter than Tyler.
    It looks as if Froomester may go on to win the TDF12 if he is let off his “Sky tether”. Always a pleasure to read this blog, a thanks to all concerned.

  5. ian doveton permalink
    July 9, 2012 7:38 pm

    Robbie always enjoy your input it is of course from a man on the ground Team Sky exceptional but do have hard days ahead to me Menchov a dark horse. Great TDF so far sorry you out but we do have the IMPEY and can we claim the other African Froome cheers

  6. Paul Kearney permalink
    July 10, 2012 4:19 am

    Thanks for the update. Regardless of position we are very proud of you as S Africans. It takes a tough man to come back from those crashes.

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