The time trial specialists have waited a long time for this Tour de France, but on the penultimate day, the first and only race against the clock. And what a race. The riders climb La Planche des Belles Filles.
Todays climbing time trial is the last chance for the general classification riders to make up for time on watchtime rider Primoz Roglic. Tadej Pogacar is still within a minute of his nine year older compatriot.
The only big round in which the Slovenes competed against each other in an individual time trial was the Vuelta of 2019. Roglic won, Pogacar finished eleventh in almost a minute and a half.
After that, the two only met again in a time trial at the Slovenian national championship last June. The 21-year-old Pogacar was nine seconds faster than Roglic on a 16 kilometre mountainous course.
Roglic will sign for that result today. That means that tomorrow the leader of Jumbo-Visma will ride up the Champs-Elysées in the yellow jersey.
The Planche des Belles Filles
The time trial leads the riders after thirty wavy kilometres one by one to the top of La Planche des Belles Filles, a famous finish in the Tour de France. Four times before, the finish line had been drawn here, but the mountain of the first category has never been the stage for a time trial.
View the finishes at La Planche des Belles Filles in the Tour here:
Big names have been able to raise their arms on this mountain. Chris Froome was just ahead of Cadel Evans and his teammate Bradley Wiggins in 2012. Two years later Italian Vincenzo Nibali was the strongest on La Planche des Belles Filles and in 2017 Fabio Aru triumphed on top of the mountain.
Last year it was a Belgian party on the mountain in the Vosges. Dylan Teuns was the fastest of the leading group, which also included his compatriot Xandro Meurisse.