Just as expected, the 27km individual time trial in Aix-in-Provence, finishing city of the sixth stage of the 2011 Paris-Nice, opened huge gaps into the general classification.
The big victory contender of the day, Germany’s Tony Martin, matched the odds before the race and took a convincing win and the leadership before the two closing stages in the weekend, with selective routes that leave the final outcome way open. Movistar Team’s Xavi Tondo kept himself into the fight for the top places overall in the race, as his fine performance in today’s time trial left him into the provisional top-ten -9th, 1.51 behind the new leader- of the French tour. The first of the two stages left, with a marathon course of 215km and up to five categorized climbs, will see David López, Pasamontes, Pardilla and the others certainly looking to snatch a stage victory.
In turn, the third stage of Tirreno-Adriático saw another sprint finish, this time notched by Argentina’s Juan José Haedo (SBS), while Movistar Team showed themselves up-front with two attacks by young Spaniard Ángel Madrazo in the finale. The mountains will come tomorrow, with difficult climbs in the end of the 240km run to Chieti.