Jonas Vingegaard with half a Tour in his pocket after the time trial

Road 18/07/23 18:16 Migue A.

1 minute and 48 seconds separate Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar in the general classification of the Tour de France after the only time trial of the race, in which the Danish Jumbo-Visma rider set a stratospheric time that, given the small differences that have occurred in the mountains, leave the final victory within the reach of an uncontested Jonas Vingegaard.

Vingegaard gives Tadej Pogacar a severe blow

First of all, we have to eat our words, although we already predicted that what we saw today in the only time trial of the Tour de France 2023 could happen, although not in such a forceful way. We have to eat what we said when the Tour de France was presented where we all criticized the short length, just 22.4 km, of the time trial.

However, it was not an ordinary time trial, mainly because it came in the third week and just after the rest day, a situation in which the fatigue of the previous two weeks is combined with the drop in muscle tone after the rest day. On the other hand, because of the very hard route, with a small hill in the first third and 6 final kilometers in constant ascent with the first two marked by the tremendous ramps, above 10% of the Cote de Domancy.

The peculiarity of the final part put on the table the option of changing bikes or not, although, finally most of the riders chose not to do so given the short length of the climb and that despite continuing the uphill terrain it was a few ramps where you could ride coupled taking advantage of the aerodynamics.

A time trial in which most of the peloton, except for those who had an assigned role to play in getting references for their leaders, were not racing competitively, with their minds set on tomorrow's queen stage. It wasn't until Remi Cavagna's performance that we finally saw a reference time with his time of 35 minutes and 42 seconds.

We had to wait a long time, until the participation of Wout van Aert, whose time would not be beaten. The Belgian rode the time trial as a simulacrum for what the race leader could do later, in a very tactical way, measuring in the first half to give everything in the last 6 kilometers. An excellent time, 15 seconds better than Cavagna's, which allowed Van Aert to dream of that stage victory that has eluded him during this Tour de France 2023.

The joy would not last long for the Belgian as the big favorites, from the first references, were sweeping all records. Pogacar and Vingegaard went out at full speed and, as expected, in view of their way of riding, the Slovenian set the best time in the first part. But, without time to enjoy it, Jonas Vingegaard, who visually had come out more restrained, gave a blow on the table from the first kilometers by no less than 16 seconds to the UAE Team Emirates rider.

A difference that shot up to 48 seconds with Carlos Rodriguez, who barely gave a second to Adam Yates in the fight for third place. Huge differences right from the start.

These gaps increased in the following timing points, where Vingegaard was already 31 seconds ahead, with the aggravating factor that Pogacar decided to change bikes for the climb, which, at a guess, made him lose about 14 extra seconds. At the top of the climb, the change of machine had no effect and not only did he not recover time but the gap was already more than a minute, in fact, in the last kilometers Vingegaard could see in the background the cars following Tadej.

And it is not that Pogacar was doing a bad time trial. On the contrary, since at each point he continued to set the best records and even managed to cross the finish line behind Carlos Rodriguez, who had cut the two minutes of difference that mark the start between riders, marking of course the best time at the finish.

However, it took just 22 seconds for a superhuman Jonas Vingegaard to make an appearance at the finish line, stopping the time bleeding at 1 minute and 38 seconds. For his part, Carlos Rodriguez went down to 13th place in the stage, losing 3 minutes 36, a time that meant he lost third place overall by just 5 seconds to Adam Yates. Differences from another era, from when the time trials were 60 kilometers long and that, if we listen to the head, leave the race sentenced although, surely, Tadej Pogacar will already be licking his wounds and planning the tactics for the alpine stage that awaits them tomorrow.

Stage 16 Classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 32’36’’
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +1’38’’
  3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +2’51’’
  4. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) +2’55’’
  5. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) +2’58’’
  6. Remi Cavagna (Soudal-QuickStep) +3’06’’
  7. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +3’12’’
  8. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) +3’21’’
  9. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) +3’31’’
  10. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +3’31’’

Overall Classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 63h06’53’’
  2. Tadej Pocagar (UAE Team Emirates) +01’48’’
  3. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +08’52’’
  4. Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +08’57’’
  5. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +11’15’’
  6. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +12’56’’
  7. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) +13’06’’
  8. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) +13’46’’
  9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +17’38’’
  10. Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) +18’19’’



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Jonas Vingegaard con medio Tour en el bolsillo tras la crono