Carapaz is currently third in the overall standings, 31 seconds behind the yellow and ahead of Pogačar and last year’s runner-up Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma). The winner of the 2019 Giro d’Italia entered the Tour as one of four possible cards for Ineos to play in the battle for the yellow jersey, but after the crashes and lost time that derailed Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart is the Ecuadorian rider who is currently at the top of the hierarchy within the British team.All of that could change during the hilly 27.2 km route. Thomas is, on paper, the best time trial, but he did not achieve a top flight in the time trial of the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, and there are question marks about his condition after his fall and dislocated shoulder on stage 4. The Welshman is still a threat but according to team manager Gabriel Rasch, it is Carapaz who could surprise people on the road to Laval.
“I think the time trial is really good for our guys,” Rasch said Tuesday night.
“It’s a rolling time trial and it’s not super technical. It’s a good course and we are ready for tomorrow. It’s a good route for Richie [Carapaz]. He also prepared very well before this year for the time trial and he took a step forward. I think he can surprise people tomorrow.
According to the Norwegian and former Team Sky rider, the team went on reconnaissance for the time trial before the Tour de France. The riders completed the course twice, while all staff and entourage were also present to fully prepare for the first of two time trials in this year’s race.
“We went to see the course before the Tour because we knew it was going to be very important for us. We went with all the team directors, the staff, the mechanics, the caregivers, everyone. We have ridden the course twice and we have looked well so we are very well prepared, ”added Rasch.
As for Thomas – the best time trial on paper – stage 4 was devoted to recovery after a murderous day in the saddle on Monday. His race was almost over after he crashed in the same crash as Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), and as the Dutchman left in an ambulance, Thomas was able to climb back up and reconnect with the peloton.
In Stage 4, he came through without incident, although he admitted that he was still in pain after his accident.
“It was actually good. It was better than I expected but it’s just painful. It went the best I could, and then once we got into the final I was like, fuck it, stay with the boys and don’t drop that wheel, and focus on that Thomas said on arrival. .
“I feel worse now to be honest. I look forward to a massage, I get ready and all this jazz with the physiotherapist will serve me.
Thomas also praised his ex-teammate Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after the British rider won his first Tour de France stage in five years.
“Good old Cav. It’s great to see him win. I was a little surprised. I hope he doesn’t hear me say that. I thought he had a chance but winning today is great for him. It’s awesome to see.