The final yellow jersey of the 2018 Tour de France will be decided during a challenging individual time trial on Stage 20, with Geraint Thomas looking the favourite to hold onto his lead. Join The Roar for live coverage from 10:45pm (AEST).
Thomas brings a two minutes and five second advantage coming into this time trial. That seems like a lot, until you remember who the man is behind him.
Tom Dumoulin has had an excellent Tour de France, riding brilliantly through the mountains to give himself a chance. A chance which is elevated by the fact he is the best time trialist in the world and current world champion in the discipline.
If he can live up to that name today and has anything in the tank, then he could well overthrow Thomas. Weird things happen in Stage 20 time trials. Aussie fans know that harrowingly well after Cadel Evans suffered a shock loss to Carlos Sastre in 2009.
Of course, by that token, Primoz Roglic and Chris Froome, who are also both excellent time trialists are worthy of a mention. Sitting third and fourth respectively on the general classification, they would need huge, but not impossible efforts.
The stage itself opens up to those weird situations. It’s very hilly for a time trial with barely a metre of flat over the 31 kilometres on course.
The highest point comes at the summit of the Col de Pinodieta, which ordinarly would be a Category 4 climb, made tougher by being at the end of the effort.
It does mean there is a descent to the line, but a potential to lose chunks of time on the climb after the rolling route exists.
The time trial is technical and difficult all the way though, with one mistake having the potential to end a charge at the stage of general classification.
In terms of winning the time trial itself as a stage, it’s very hard to go past Tom Dumoulin, who is without a doubt the best time trialist in the world.
The chance of him gaining enough time to take the yellow jersey though seems remarkably slim. Weirder things have happened in a Stage 20 time trial, but Thomas should win his first grand tour tomorrow in Paris.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the penultimate stage of the Tour de France from 10:45pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.