Tick tock, tick tock...
Ok who's going to win the time trial? Will it be Carlos Sastre or Cadel Evans for the final Maillot Jaune? I just finished reading an interesting article from the Guardian lambasting Cadel Evans lack of attacking and wheelsucking. Or as the French refer to, a lack of panache. He's not particularly exciting to watch as he bides his time behind other riders. Granted, but does he deserve to win without much effort? The romantic appeal is to watch him ride hard, win stages or die trying. The admiration from the fickle cycling fans would be the one of envy if he risks everything to win, again with the heroic effort.
That said, Evans mediocrity is more so as when he held a training camp in Spain. Only to find himself and his Belgian soigneur as the only attendees. His Belgium based Silence-Lotto squad has been virtually invisible and criticised for it's lack of initiative. I found it funny, that Silence is a company that specializes in... snoring. Somewhat appropriate. You can't really fault Cadel. He's more of a tactician and not the creative artist on the bike. His teammates are just as much deadpan. On the other hand, Sastre has the advantage of panache as portrayed on his epic victory to L'Alpe d'Huez. His advantage going into the time trial is that he's up 1' 34" over Evans. The downside is that the time trial is not his speciality. Cadel Evans strength is his own of a time trial monster. Last years Tour resulted with the expulsion of Team Astana and the exploits of Alexandr Vinokourov's erased victory in the Albi-Albi time trial. Thus it gave Evans his first Tour stage win. A victory nevertheless.
Most importantly, Evans remembers last years close second place finish with only 23 seconds from eternal yellow. With the time trial looming. Can he break from his calculating mould? He may just show that panache needed as he can finally show everyone that he can win the time trial and grab that final Maillot Jaune with ... gusto!