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Tour de France to be decided over 42.5 kilometres

After nearly 3,500 kilometres on the road the outcome of the Tour de France will boil down to a 42.5 km...

Spain's Alberto Contador (R) speeds in 15th stage of the 2010 Tour de France. Picture: AFP

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After nearly 3,500 kilometres on the road the outcome of the Tour de France

will boil down to a 42.5 km time trial around Grenoble in the penultimate stage on

Saturday.

Only three men are left in contention --

yellow jersey holder Andy Schleck of Luxembourg,

his brother Frank, who trails him by 53 seconds, and Australia's Cadel Evans, 57 seconds

back.

On paper, Evans, the 2009 road world

champion, is a far better specialist against the clock but leader Schleck

believes that will not prove significant.

"Cadel is about a minute behind. It's a

lot. And after 20 days of racing, a time trial is not the same," said

Schleck, adding that the yellow jersey would give him "wings."

"I'm confident I can keep it until Paris. This is the only

stage I did not check out, I saw it on video and I will see it tomorrow. I hope

to show a good performance tomorrow," added the Tour runner-up for the

past two years.

Evans is more familiar with the course as it

was used in the Criterium du Dauphine race in June when he finished sixth In

the stage won by Germany's

Tony Martin.

"I don't know about winning the Tour.

We'll see tomorrow. I'll try to ride as fast as possible," he said.

True time trial specialists can hope to steal

the show and go for a stage victory, even if they might be worn out after some

brutal days in the mountains.

Martin, Swiss Olympic and world champion

Fabian Cancellara as well as Briton David Millar will be among the favourites for

the day's laurels.

Timeline

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