03 July 2011

Bernie solos the Team Time Trial

Wearing dossard #173 Bernhard Eisel is in 173rd today

Sure Garmin-Cervelo rode to victory, but they picked their tour team based on winning the Team Time Trial in Stage 2 of the Tour de France. Still it was an impressively fast race covering 23km in just 24'48". The next three teams (BMC, Sky, Leopard Trek) came in 4 seconds behind them. So close, but not good enough to win. Count 1 2 3 4 - loser. That is the story of most time trials.
Almost more heart tugging was seeing Bernhard Eisel hit the deck early as his team had just began the race. What happens in the mind of a racer when they crash and realize I now have to race the team time trial alone. And I have to ride it fast or I will be disqualified on day 2 of the Tour de France. Well what happens is both in their mind and in their body. 
Bernie Eisel decided he was not going home today. He road his heart out and is now 173rd overall. Most of Bernie's teammates finished 14th-19th in the race overall. They were able to ride together, Bernie was alone out on the road, beating himself up for not being there for his team. His Team HTC-Highroad finished with a time of 24'53" in 5th place. Bernhard Eisel finished 5'54" later, solo. Perhaps Bernie found his inner time trialist today out on the road in Les Essarts, most certainly he did not wake up expecting to race an individual time trial today, but no doubt he gave it his all with adrenaline pumping.
Thor Hushovd's team Garmin-Cervelo won the race today putting him into the yellow jersey. Bernhard Eisel came in minutes later, thank goodness he made it, and he was not last. He is now 5'59" down in the overall classification. Vincent Jerome of Europcar is now the Lanterne Rouge in last place at 13'11" behind the leader.

Bernhard Eisel would have been eliminated if he had ridden outside of the 30% rule. The rule for the cut off time for the Tour de France Team Time Trial: riders exceeding 30% of the leaders (leading team's) time are cut off and disqualified from the race. The winning time was 24"48" (1488"), the cut off was > 7'44". Bernie's time was 5'54, making the cut-off by 1'50". Easy peasy.

Quote: “something strange happens in every bike race you do” ~ Bernhard Eisel.
Bernie stays in the Tour de France, read more at: Bernhard Eisel at the Tour de France
See the full standings from Stage 2 TDF today: LeTour
 Bernhard Eisel TTT Crash (01:04 English) — nbcsports (via Steephill.TV)  play button is at the lower left
Bernie Eisel  Photo by PedalDancer.com

Bernie  Photo by PedalDancer.com