Sportcom – The riders had an appointment for a time trial on Saturday, on the occasion of the 20th and penultimate stage of the Tour de France. For the majority of them, the watchword of the day was simply not to be outmaneuvered on the rugged 40.7 kilometer course.
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It was certainly not the longest outing of this 109th edition of the Grande Boucle, but the pitfalls were still numerous until the arrival in Rocamadour.
"It was a long day, even if it was quite short in mileage," laughed Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), 97th of the day (6 min 51 s).
"We're not necessarily used to doing such long outings against the clock, and the course really didn't help," he continued. It was long, the roads were grainy, there were a lot of holes, turns and, on top of that, it was still very hot. It was hard on the body. I'm glad it's done!"
At the end, all the participants still in the race were able to complete the race without damage, starting with Quebecers Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin. The two representatives of the Israel-Premier Tech team eased off as a precaution and they respectively finished 88th (6 min 40 s) and 109th (7 min 13 s).
Some cyclists still had cards to play in the provisional general classification, the top of which remained unchanged at the end of the day on Saturday. As has often been the case since the start of the event, the members of the Jumbo-Visma team once again enlivened the show by obtaining the double.
Encore Wout van Aert!
Belgian Wout van Aert claimed his third triumph of this Tour by virtue of a time of 47:59, while his teammate and holder of the yellow jersey, the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, took second place, 19 seconds behind .
For his part, the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar fought hard to reduce the gap which separated him from the leader in the general classification, but he could not do better than the third time of the session (27 s).
Jonas Vingegaard will therefore begin the last stage scheduled for Sunday with a priority of 3 min 34 s over the double reigning champion of the Tour de France. A sprint finish is expected at the end of the 115.6 kilometer race which will take the athletes to the Champs-Élysées.
And finally, the party can begin.