Tour preview: Stage 20

I find most time trials snoozeville but not this one. Vincenzo Nibali has enough of a cushion to be unreachable if he doesn’t crash or have a horrific mechanical, but the rest of the podium and the top 10 could (and probably will) change all around with this stage, so every man will be riding the TT of his life. 

Saturday 26th July: Stage 20 – Bergerac to Perigueux, 54km individual time trial

Let’s get this out of the way first: expect Tony Martin to set the best time early on and win the stage after an afternoon in the hot seat. Now that that’s said, what about the real battle?

The word for this profile is undulating so the guys will be going up and down from the get-go. The fact that it’s not completely flat – in fact, there’s hardly anything flat about it at all – will give the climbers a bit of help.

Of the three guys separated by just 15 seconds who are vying for a place on the podium, it’s Jean-Christophe Peraud and Alejandro Valverde who are the superior time-trialists compared to Thibaut Pinot, so expect this battle to be hard-fought and, in all likelihood, Pinot to struggle compared to the other two. As none of them have ever been on a Tour podium and each has a good chance of realising their dream, it’ll be full gas the whole way.

TdF 2014 St 20 profile

Link: Official website

Header image: Perigueux cathedral

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