178 riders left the gatehouse today, but one did not finish. It's an overall sad story. Jean-Christophe Peraud went out before the race to reconnoiter the course. This is often done, in fact. He crashed, went to the hospital, and learned he had a broken collarbone. They taped him up and he decided to race anyway. But he crashed agan (wet roads) with only about 2k to go and fell on the same side. He left the race.
The weather was a bit of a factor today, but didn't affect the overall race or the leaders. Froome, the last to race, wins the day, with Contador back only 9 seconds. The lead switched only infrequently. For a bit it looked like Contador would win, but lost time in the last third of the race.
This was a time trial, but most of the riders started out on standard bikes because of the hills. Contador used a hybrid of a TT bike and a standard. Froome started out on a standard, but switched to a TT with about 12k to go. Quite a number of riders switched bikes, which is legal under certain conditions. Switching, however costs you 5-10 seconds while the new bike is unloaded from the team car. Contador didn't switch, save the switching time, but lost his then advantage as Froome had the more efficient, aerodynamic bike, with bigger gears, on the way down from the last climb. Contador led Froome at every intermediate time check. Contador raced like he was in a standard stage, out of the saddle, attacking imaginary opponents. Froome, on the other hand, tried to ride in a aero tuck as much as possible, even before switchin bikes.
However, Contador moves up to second place and his teammate Roman Kreuziger up to third. The best place US rider is Andy Talansky in 13th at 15'13". Mollema, who was in second place in the GC this morning, drops back to fourth, with a 6'23" deficit. Not his day.
Saxo-Tinkoff took back the lead in the team competition. Quintana increased his lead over Kwiatkowski by 22 seconds in the white jersey (youth) competition. US riders Talansky and Van Garderen hold third and fourth in that competition. There is no fighting spirit award in a TT, but I'd have given it to Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM), though he didn't finish and has left the tour. Incredible grit.