Tour de France Men | Stage 20
Wow, Wout !
And the Belgian phenomenon set the new best time at the first intermediate time control! It is 8’58 ”, the first time less than 9 minutes of the stage.
“You just absorbed it” – Mark Cavendish on the time trial
3 HOURS AGO
Here are the men of the GC
We are now starting to reach the top of the overall standings, with the top 20 overall riders coming off the ramp. Can someone surprise today and improve their position? There is a huge gap between first and twentieth in this year’s overall standings, almost an hour in fact, but inside there are a lot of riders grouped together. They all hope to go from thirteenth to the top ten, or go from the top ten to the top five. Indeed, the most intriguing contest could be between places two and three, Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz. Only six seconds separate them!
Maybe I spoke too soon …
Looks like Thomas and Porte aren’t going to come close to the best times today. Neither driver is going to disturb the top ten, I don’t think so.
Kung misses the mark
As this second intermediate time somehow indicated, the great man from Switzerland really slowed down in the second half of the course. He still holds a provisional podium, but crossed the finish line 17 seconds slower than Asgreen.
Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte are on the road at night now. They probably represent Ineos’ best chances of winning a stage in this Tour de France which, we must admit, was a bit disappointing for them. Thomas is heading to Tokyo next week for the time trial. he should therefore be close to his best today if he is to hope to win a medal in Japan.
A quarter of a second
That first middleman advantage has evaporated for Kung now. He is barely 0.25 of a second faster than Asgreen in stopwatch number two.
Ambulance in progress!
There appears to be an ambulance on the side of the road and it is obstructing about 60% of the tarmac. Kung just sailed it safely with only a small deviation from its line. Hopefully others will manage to do the same, and the person for whom the ambulance is there is also OK.
Here is King Kung
The European champion is now in the race and he could be one of the only runners able to knock Kasper Asgreen off his perch. He has already reached an intermediate and runs 10 seconds faster than Asgreen! It is really accelerating now.
Kasper does kaboom!
It’s a good race for the man Deceuninck-QuickStep, who could well add another stage victory to this race for his Belgian team of superstars with a time of 36’14 ”. He erased Bisseger’s time by over 20 seconds!
Hat off, Kasper.
Asgreen tears it up
Kasper Asgreen is another Dane who is doing well today. The three-time national champion has just established the best intermediate time at the first control, and could set a new best time on the stage if he can maintain this effort until the end.
Something of a lull
These times of Bjerg and Bisseger really separated the wheat from the chaff. Nobody really comes close, although we did have a Briton on the podium briefly in the form of Fred Wright. He is now supplanted by the French Bruno Armirail, of Groupama-FDJ.
Bjerg’s teammate Brandon McNutly is on hand against the clock and is currently halfway through the course. Will he be able to topple Bisseger, or will we have to wait a bit longer?
Bisseger contre Bjerg
These two specialists lit up the first part of this time trial, the Swiss just ahead of the Dane for the provisional lead of the stage. Second-best runner Max Walscheid was over a minute behind each of them, which really underlines how good a pair of times it was. Bisseger leads with 36’37 ”, while Bjerg’s last time was 36’45”. It will be very interesting now to see who can disturb them – and if Tadej Pogacar can come and blow them both up, like he did in the first time trial of the race almost three weeks ago. .
Cav cheered up …
After his outburst yesterday and his subsequent apologies, it looks like Mark Cavendish cheered up a bit today.
Whether it’s Pantani climbing like an angel, Indurain monster TT, LeMond and Fignon descend to the line, or Pogacar running away with it, the face of the race always changes, but some things in the Tour de France are immutable.
Declercq’s time in the hot seat is brief
El Tractor probably didn’t even make it to the luxury lounge where the leader sits before his time is beaten. The provisional head of the stage remains however within the Deceuninck team, Dries Devenyns now occupying the first place.
We have some real hitters on the course right now, with Mikkel Bjerg of UAE and Stefan Bisseger of EF heading towards the finish line in St Emillion.
We have our first finisher!
Tim Declercq stops the clock with a time of 40’20 ”. I would characterize his way of crossing the line as “unhurried”.
Interestingly, contrary to what Froome said after his recognition, Sir Bradley Wiggins has just told us that the course is much more technical than it first appears, and could be a challenge for the specialists of the energy like Stefan Kung. I guess only time will tell which of the two former champions read this course correctly.
No more gorillas in the peloton
Not a heartbreaking announcement, but poignant for sure. Andre Greipel today announced his retirement at the end of this current season. Today is his penultimate stage of the Tour de France, a race where he won 11 stages and was one of the very few who could beat Mark Cavendish in his splendor. Goodbye Gorilla!
Froome: “It’s a really powerful time trial. “
Interviewed before the start, the four-time Tour de France champion told Bernie Eisel that today’s victory will almost certainly go to a powerful guy, suggesting that there was “Pogacar written all over the place”.
Froome has just left the departure house to the sound of boos from some members of the crowd. Seems weird to me that you’re attending a stage of the Tour de France and booing a guy who, let’s be honest, is about to cling to his status as a professional cyclist at the highest level. Yet there is no accounting for taste.
Hello and welcome to wine country!
It is then the last competitive stage of the Tour de France 2021. What a crazy journey it was to get there. Today it’s an individual time trial around the vines outside Saint Emillion.
The first rider has already come off the ramp, and that honor goes to Tim ‘El Tractor’ Declercq as red lantern of the race (the man in last position in the general classification). Declercq experienced many challenges on his route through France and battled the time cut for the final mountain stages, alongside the green jersey Mark Cavendish. Who, moreover, has also just started its effort against the clock.
Summary of step 19
A day that started with a tender embrace between Eddy Merckx and Mark Cavendish – the two cycling greats of yesterday and today locked together on 34 Tour stage wins each – ended with a challenging outsider an upheaval and moving within 32 stage wins from the current record.
Two weeks after his debut, Matej Mohoric’s second victory on this Tour of many surprises came after what seemed like an incredible chance for Cavendish to break the record.
Part of a six-man breakaway that formed shortly after the start of the 207km race from Mourenx, Mohoric launched his decisive attack with 25km to go after a thrilling countermove midway through. who saw a stellar group of 20 runners form up front. before a gaping gap established between them and the peloton.
With fast finishers Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) all in the mix, Mohoric was leaving nothing to chance by stepping away to avoid having to compete in a sprint. With no Bahraini teammate Victorious to fall back on, Mohoric pushed a big gear as he let down his escaped comrades once the attacks came in a dense and swift fashion in the rolling vineyards outside of Bordeaux. .
Mohoric celebrated his second stage victory – a third on the rebound for Slovenia and a fifth overall for the small Central European nation – by putting a finger to his mouth followed by a zipper motion. It was a response to foul play rumors that surfaced after the Bahrain Victorious team hotel was raided by police in the early hours of Thursday morning ahead of Stage 18 – a step in which Mohoric was also doing part of the morning break before being picked up. the Col du Tourmalet.
Nine riders in the pursuit could not ride with any cohesion, with a resigned Laporte who finally passed the Dane Casper Pedersen (Team DSM) for second place at 58 seconds. The Dutchman Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) and the German Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), winner of stage 12, completed the top five before the rest of the breakaway trickled down.
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