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There’s nowhere to hide in a time trial. It’s a pure, measured effort of man and machine and, on the Tour’s penultimate stage, had the potential to shake and rattle the final standings.
Heading into stage 20, Geraint Thomas carried a seemingly unassailable lead, but Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) threw the cat among the pigeons the day before to springboard into third. At stage’s start, placings 2-4 were separated by just 32 seconds; given Roglic’s dangerous record against the clock, Chris Froome appeared likely to miss out on a podium position. And further down the standings, there was plenty to fight for as the likes of Romain Bardet, Ilnur Zakarin and Team Movistar looked to salvage their Tours and elevate their placings in the top 10.
In the end, over a demanding 31km route through the French Basque Country, it was the reigning World Time Trial Champion Tom Dumoulin who had the answers, perfectly metering his performance to claim the win by a single second over an ascendant Chris Froome. Geraint Thomas, resplendent in the maillot jaune and one day from the win in Paris, put in a stomping ride to finish third. Outside of the top three, Bardet and Zakarin improved their positions at the expense of Landa and Quintana.
Enjoy our gallery from the time trial, courtesy of photographers Jered & Ashley Gruber, Kristof Ramon and Cor Vos.