Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 7 July 2012

2012 Tour de France: Sky blows field apart to put Wiggins in Yellow

Chris Froome wins stage plus Mountain Jersey with Bradley Wiggins into Yellow

The 5.9K La Planche des Belles Filles lived up to its billing today as a fearsome climb made all the more fearsome by the stunning pace set up by Team Sky, who gradually shed almost all the favourites off the leading bunch. At the end only Cadel Evans, who attacked just before the last ramp could stay with Sky but he could not stay with Froome when he kicked in the steepest section. Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins finished at 2 seconds with Vincenzo Nibali, who had told L'Equipe in an interview published today that he wasn't impressed by Wiggins, at 7 seconds. Rein Taaramae came in fifth at 19 seconds.  

Sky detonated the field on the first serious climb of this Tour de France and there were some big time losses:

Janez Brakovic:           46 secs
Denis Menchov:          50
Frank Schleck:          1.09
Daniel Martin:          1.39
Fabian Cancellara:    1.52  (Although he lost the Yellow this was a good ride from Fabian)
Jurgen Van den Broeck: 1.52 (crucially had mechanical problem just before climb)
Chris Horner:            2.19
Andreas Kloden:       2.19
Sylvain Chavanel:     2.24
Robert Gesink:           2.53
Ivan Basso:                2.53
Levi Leipheimer:       3.11
Peter Sagan:             12.01 (Green Jersey holder)

Overall leaders:
   1. Bradley Wiggins 
   2. Cadel Evans 10 secs
   3. Vincenzo Nibali 16
   4. Rein Taaramae 32
   5. Denis Menchov 54
   6. Haimar Zubeldia 59 
  7. Maxime Monfort 1.09
  8. Nicolas Roche 1.22
  9. Chris Froome 1.32
10. Michael Rogers 1.40

Overall race standings here.

Short of something happening to either Bradley Wiggins or Cadel Evans it is difficult to see anyone else winning this year's Tour. In the 53.5K time trial in the Dauphine Nibali was 3.30 behind Wiggins, while Evans lost 1.43 minutes.  

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