The general classification men will be required to show themselves as the riders tackle a 23.5-kilometre individual time trial on Stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine.
After the previous two days being for the pure sprinters, the time trial and general classification specialists will get their chance to shine on the roads around Bourgoin – Jailleu.
The course is fairly flat, with the only real difficulty being a two-kilometre climb at around five per cent at the 15.5 kilometre completed mark. The riders then descend along technical roads into the final few kilometres, where the roads turn flat once again before the final push to the line.
The poor time trial riders that are contending for the general classification, like AG2R LA Mondiale’s Romain Bardet and Quick Step Floors, Daniel Martin could potentially lose up to or over a minute on today’s stage, which could greatly impact on their chances for overall success come the final stage on Sunday.
Current leader Thomas de Gendt should hold onto the jersey, as he is a fairly solid time trial rider, however, he will most likely lose the majority of his lead as the general classification contenders stamp their authority on the race.
In terms of the riders vying for the stage win, there are not many time trial specialists in the race startlist this year, however the current World Time Trial champion Tony Martin (Katusha Alpecin) is here, alongside Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), fresh off the Giro D Italia, where he placed fourth on the Stage 10 time trial.
Don’t discount Orica Scott’s Damien Howson from potentially nabbing a top five on the stage if he is on form.
The main battle though will be with the general classification contenders, with Christopher Froome (Sky) and Richie Porte (BMC) looking to put time into the weaker time trial GC riders including Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Valverde (Movistar), Yates (Orica-Scott) and Talansky (Cannondale Drapac).
Any time taken here will be to the advantage of these riders heading into the final four difficult stages.