Domenico Pozzovivo does an okay time trial

Better than okday, actually. This is big news. This is big, big news. Time trialling is most definitely not on the list of things that Domenico Pozzovivo does well.

That list again:

  1. Climbing

Somehow, the man they call Dr Pozzovivo winched his minuscule 53kg frame around the course faster than everyone bar Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin – riders so physically different from our man, they could almost be considered a different species.

Pozzovivo is now up to sixth overall, just 11 seconds behind Joaquim Rodriguez, who had the kind of horror ride Pozzovivo would usually pride himself on matching. He may be 2m44s down overall, but if he can do this on a time trial, what might he achieve on his own terrain?

The winner

Fabian Cancellara. The four-times world time trial winner beat Tony Martin, the current champion and both should be competing for the title again this year along with the Olympic champion, Bradley Wiggins. It’s hard to pick a favourite, so I’m not going to bother.

The overall

A decent day for Nicolas Roche, who was second-quickest of the top five overall. However, he still ceded 23 seconds to Nibali, who finished just a second behind Pozzovivo in fourth, 1m25s behind Cancellara.

Valverde was four seconds behind Roche, despite having to have a wheel changed, so he’s looking pretty decent too. Ivan Basso was 2m43s down; Chris Horner was 2m54s down and was forced to hand the red jersey to Nibali (via an intermediary); Rodriguez was 3m01s down; and his team-mate, Dan Moreno, was four minutes down and is now tenth having led the race just a few days ago.

That’s it for time trials though. It’s mountains now and they get bigger and bigger.

Stage 12

But not today. Today’s a flat finish. Here’s the profile.

It’s staggering to think we’re barely halfway through this race, considering all that’s happened so far. For this reason, I think the Vuelta’s my favourite race. Plus it’s something to enjoy at what is pretty much the most maudlin time of year.