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BATTLEGROUND FIVE: THE TIME TRIAL

SALIES DE BEARN-PARIS, STAGES 18-20

All that remains is one time trial, sandwiched between the two classic sprints of the Tour — Bordeaux and the Champs-Elysées. Although his one previous experience of defending the yellow jersey in a time trial of this length

— in 2007 — almost ended in disaster, Contador will go into the Pauillac time trial as the favourite. He's more experienced—last year he beat Fabian Cancellara in the final time trial around Lake Annecy to demonstrate it

— and after the mountains he will most likely be significantly ahead of the few riders who would hope to take time back on him here — Wiggins, Menchov and Evans. However, in a mountainous Tour de France like this one, it would be entertaining to see the race come down to the final time trial.

ADVANTAGE: Contador, Wiggins, Menchov, Evans, Vande Velde, Nibali, Leipheimer

VULNERABLE: Armstrong, Kreuziger, Sastre, Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Basso

Staff forecast

Cycle Sports experts predict the race

Pickering

Deputy editor_ jjJEJ^

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