The 2011 Tour De France enters its shortest stage on day two as each team will take part in a 23 kilometer team time trial. The course runs a bit of an oval, starting and ending in Les Essarts, and riding a flat course all the way. The time will be taken for each team when the fifth rider passes the finish line. Thus, while it's important to get a solid time, teamwork will factor heavily into this stage as much as any other.
Levi Leipheimer's Team Radio Shack does a good job in time trials and this could allow Leipheimer and his teammates to gain some time. It should not surprise anybody to see a new leader on day two given the short distance involved. The organizers aren't looking for huge time gaps, but rather are simply looking to test the balance of each team. Radio Shack has five cyclists sitting in the pack six seconds back of leader Philippe Gilbert.
BMC Racing, based in Santa Rosa, has four riders of its own sitting just back of Gilbert. Day one second place cyclist Cadel Evans will be look for BMC to have a solid run in the team time trial on Sunday. It remains to be seen if BMC can hang with Radio Shack and the others, but however it plays out we should see some changes at the top of the leaderboard. VERSUS will have coverage of stage two starting at 5:00am pacific. NBC will re-air the stage at noon pacific while VERSUS will re-air it six times during the day.
We'll be here for the entire race providing news updates and stage previews and recaps, particularly as they relate to Bay Area cyclist Levi Leipheimer. For more in-depth discussion on the 2011 Tour De France, head over to Podium Cafe. For more general Tour coverage, head over to the SB Nation story stream.