Four Tour de France leaders' jerseys all but sewn up

Latour and Thomas set to defend their 'time' jerseys in Saturday's TT

With both the points and mountains competitions mathematically sewn up courtesy of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step), respectively, only the two 'time' jerseys – the yellow leader's jersey and the white best young rider's jersey – are still to be decided at this year's Tour de France.

While Sky's Geraint Thomas has a comfortable lead of 2:05 over Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin in the overall classification and looks likely to wear the maillot jaune into Paris on Sunday as the winner of this year's Tour, Pierre Latour's lead in the best young rider's competition looks even more assured.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider has been in the white jersey since the end of stage 10, and goes into Saturday's stage 20 time trial with a 5:47 buffer over Team Sky's Egan Bernal.

Bernal would argue that the white jersey was never his goal, with his job being to work for his Sky team leaders Thomas and Chris Froome in the mountains, which the Colombian climber has done with aplomb – all the more so when you consider that this is the 21-year-old's first Tour de France.

Latour, however, had the same task when it came to working for his team leader Romain Bardet, although as it steadily became clear over recent days that the Frenchman didn't have the legs to stay with the very best at this year's Tour, Latour was given the extra freedom to defend his lead as best young rider while Bardet tried to salvage something from the race.

"Romain wanted to try to win the stage, which is why he attacked on the Tourmalet," Latour told L'Equipe regarding Bardet's attacking riding on Friday's stage 19 to Laruns, where he finished third behind winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Thomas.

"He has good legs at the moment, and yet again he wasn't far away," said Latour. "As for me, it was about defending my white jersey. It went well, and I've now got a good cushion for the time trial on Saturday. It's not going to be easy, but I do get to wear my French time trial champion's jersey."

In fact, Latour is likely to wear the white skinsuit provided by the Tour organisation to denote him as the leader of the white-jersey competition, but the fact that he proved himself to be France's best rider against the clock for the second year in a row at the French championships in June should be enough in Saturday's test.

Bernal, meanwhile, will wear a skinsuit in his Colombian national champion's colours having won the time trial in February, but the slight climber is likely to shed more time to Latour during the 31km stage from Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette.

Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Guillaume Martin sits in third place in the white jersey competition going into Saturday's time trial, 19:39 down on Latour and 13:52 behind Bernal.

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