Tour de France 2014

July 5-27, 2014, Leeds, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 20 of the Tour de France. The stage is a 54km individual time trial from Bergerac to Perigueux.

  1. 14:24:10 CEST

    As the Cyclingnews blimp heads to the skies, we join the stage after 76 riders of the 164 rider left in the race have begin their ride.

  2. 14:24:46 CEST

    It's a pleasant 24C with only light winds.

  3. 14:25:43 CEST

    China's Ji Cheng (Giant-Shimano) was the first rider to start and he is set to become the first ever Chinese rider to finish the Tour de France.

  4. 14:28:44 CEST

    The USA's Danny Pate (Team Sky) is currently the fastest rider to have finished. He set a good time of 1:09:22.

  5. 14:29:40 CEST

    He was 22 faster than Canada's Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge), who set 1:09:44, and his teammate Luke Durbridge, who set a time of 1:9:59.

  6. 14:34:02 CEST

    Pate's time might not remain the best for very long. Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale) was faster at the first intermediate time split after 19km and the second after 39km.

  7. 14:34:46 CEST

    However the Pole seems to be suffering. He was 11 seconds slower than Pate at the third split at 48km.

  8. 14:41:48 CEST

    As ever, the final time trial stage is several races in one. World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and the other time trial experts are fighting for the stage victory. 

  9. 14:42:37 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is looking to crown his Tour de France and work for the future by riding a good time trial before celebrating overall victory in Paris.

  10. 14:43:24 CEST

    Other riders are fighting for the final places on the podium with Nibali. 

  11. 14:45:29 CEST

    Thibaut Pinot ( starts the TT in second place but leads fellow Frenchman Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) by just 13 seconds. Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is just 15 seconds behind Pinot.

  12. 14:46:49 CEST

    France seems assured a place on the podium but Valverde is expected to move up too, with Pinot likely to slip to fourth. As ever, the race of truth will tell the final story. 

  13. 14:47:39 CEST

    As expected, Bodnar failed to beat Pate and so the hugely respected and hard working American domestique remains fastest so far.

  14. 14:57:54 CEST

    Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) is the latest rider to finish, in a time of 1:10:27. he takes fifth place so far after 57 riders have finished.

  15. 15:00:26 CEST

    Read what Pinot said about his TT hopes by clicking here.

  16. 15:10:07 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler has given his thoughts on the French battle for the podium:

    "Jean-Christophe Péraud has an advantage because time trialling is his thing but then Thibaut Pinot seems fresher than the other two. It’s hard to make a prediction because it’s very uncertain."

  17. 15:17:56 CEST

    There is a risk of thunderstorms later in the stage, with a slight, possibly increasing side wind from the west. It is a slight cross/head wind in the final 15km.

  18. 15:19:03 CEST

    The 54km route includes four climbs and lots of twisting roads. It is a course for whoever has some strength in their legs.

  19. 15:22:12 CEST

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is out on the road, riding in a green skinsuit.

  20. 15:37:13 CEST

    The sun is still shining on the riders but Danny Pate is hoping that a rain shower will help his chances. Look at his Tweet.


  21. 15:39:26 CEST

    Here we go! Tony Martin is off!

  22. 15:39:41 CEST

    Can anyone beat him? Probably not.

  23. 15:46:07 CEST

    Tony Martin has a special TT bike and is using a massive 58 tooth chainring.

  24. 15:47:55 CEST

    We could have anew leader very soon. Jan Barka (NetApp-Endura) is fastest at the second time split, 37 seconds faster than Pate.

  25. 15:50:28 CEST

     Rafal Majka has taken off, his polka-dot jersey shining in the sun. Personally, we are happy that the team decided for a solid-red lower part of the skin suit, all dots is a bit much.

  26. 15:54:35 CEST

    Vincent Lavenu sees good chances for his captain Jean Christophe Peraud today. "I don’t know if he’s the favourite but Jean-Christophe is a time trial specialist. That said, Valverde is Spanish time trial champion and has a lot of experience, so we have to be cautious. Thibaut Pinot is very young and he’s not the best time triallist, but he’s very keen to be on the podium so he will be dangerous. We’re confident, but we’re cautious, too, because it’s the Tour de France and the prize is so important."


  27. 15:55:55 CEST

    Popular rider Thomas Voeckler takes off. The crowd helped by chanting out the count-down.


  28. 15:57:57 CEST

    Mikel Irizar of Trek puts in the second best time at the second time check. And meanwhile Tony Martin is nearing the man in front of him.


  29. 16:01:53 CEST

    NetApp's Barta has just set a new best time at the finish, 1.08:08


  30. 16:05:12 CEST

    No surprise, Martin has set the best time at the first time check, by 35 seconds.


  31. 16:06:08 CEST

    Barta put in an excellent time, topping the former leader by 1:14. Also, Elmiger moved into third place. He might have placed higher if he had not lost time due to a puncture.


  32. 16:08:29 CEST

    And Lavenu's thoughts on Romain Bardet: "I think he’s got a 50-50 chance of keeping his place in the top 5. If he comes up against a very good Tejay van Garderen, then it will be difficult, but Romain is going to fight like a lion. It’s up for grabs Time trialling is not his strong point. He’s done some work on his position but he still needs to gain power. His physique is that of a climber, not a rouleur. This is an exercise that requires a lot of power, which he lacks. But it’s the end of the Tour and he’s very determined. Our role in the team management is to be optimistic and to pass this optimism on to him. "


  33. 16:11:06 CEST

    Martin continues on his steady way. He is of course wearing the rainbow stripes of the world time trial champion.


  34. 16:12:35 CEST

    Daniel Oss has done a good job and is now second at the finish.


  35. 16:13:29 CEST

    Oss is 1:11 down on Barta, and therefore 3 seconds faster than Pate.


  36. 16:16:27 CEST

    Irizar takes over the second place now.


  37. 16:22:22 CEST

    Irizar came in at 1.09 flat, so he is 52 seconds behind Barta.


  38. 16:23:21 CEST

    Martin easily slips right by Purito Rodriguez.


  39. 16:26:21 CEST

    And Martin is about to pass yet another rider!


  40. 16:30:00 CEST

    Martin is also the fastest by far at the second time split in a time of 48:03. He is 1:28 faster than Barta after 39km.

  41. 16:38:10 CEST

    Martin stays tucked on his aero bars even on the climbs, grinding up the gradient.

  42. 16:40:39 CEST

    Not surprisingly Martin is fastest at the third time split after 48km and now leads Barta by 1:38.

  43. 16:41:10 CEST

    Meanwhile back at the start, Nibali has begun his warm-up routine. He leaves in just over 30 minutes.

  44. 16:42:00 CEST

    Richie Porte (Team Sky) is already in action but it will be difficult for him to bring home a result today.

  45. 16:42:53 CEST

    The Tasmanian is just hoping to reach Paris after being hit by a virus in the final week of the Tour and so loosing any chance of a shot at the podium.

  46. 16:44:21 CEST

    Rafal Majka is riding in a polka-dot skinsuit but is not chasing an overall result.

  47. 16:44:36 CEST

    Martin is close to the finish. 

  48. 16:48:18 CEST

    Martin finishes with a last lunge to the line, setting a time of 1:06:21.

    That is the time to beat for everyone and more than likely the winning time for the stage. He rode at an average speed of 48.8 km/h on the hilly course.

  49. 16:50:08 CEST

    Martin raced with his left knee taped up but was still incredibly fast.

  50. 16:55:44 CEST

    Chris Horner is the next to start. The veteran US rider will target the Vuelta a Espana after fighting to find some form during the Tour.

    Read what he told Cyclingnews here.

  51. 16:58:42 CEST

    We are entering the final 30 minutes of the TT. Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) has just started. Pierre Rolland (Europcar) is next to go.

  52. 17:03:50 CEST

    We will soon see if Tejay van Garderen (BMC) can do a great ride and move up to fifth overall. He needs to gain two minutes on Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

  53. 17:08:04 CEST

    And ten Dams sets off. He's had another great Tour de France and is set to finish in the top ten. He is currently eighth but Konig could move past him or he could move past teammate Mollema and finish seventh. It is one of the many battles of today's time trials.

  54. 17:10:42 CEST

    Mollema starts his ride. Belkin has three riders in the top 15 overall: Mollema, ten Dam and Steven Kruijswijk, who is 15th.

  55. 17:12:00 CEST

    Van Garderen is on the start ramp.

  56. 17:12:26 CEST

    The BMC team is confident he can finish fifth overall and confirm his huge Grand Tour potential.

  57. 17:14:17 CEST

    Bardet is on the start ramps, while Valverde waits nearby for his start.

  58. 17:15:02 CEST

    Bardet has an ice pack on his neck. Will he take it off before starting?

  59. 17:16:43 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) sets the second fastest time of 1:08:00. Well behind Martin but faster than Barta.

  60. 17:19:51 CEST

    Pinot and Peraud sportingly shake hands before their time trial efforts. May the best Frenchman finish on the podium!

  61. 17:21:04 CEST

    Peraud is in the start house and is about to begin the most important TT of his life.

  62. 17:21:50 CEST

    Valverde is on the road and Peraud is also off.

  63. 17:22:26 CEST

    Pinot is next and then race leader Vicenzo Nibali sets off wearing the yellow jersey.

  64. 17:22:51 CEST

    Pinot wears a white skinsuit as best young rider.

  65. 17:23:52 CEST

    Last year you may remember that Peraud crashed while training on the TT course and then crashed again near the end of his ride. He was lying ninth then but is aiming for the podium today.

  66. 17:24:38 CEST

    Pinot gets a huge cheers as he sets off and tucks into his aero position.

  67. 17:25:39 CEST team manager Marc Madiot will no doubt be screaming at him from the team car.

  68. 17:26:54 CEST

    Nibali is on the start ramp. He looks ready to ride. Can he extend his race lead to eight minutes?

  69. 17:27:17 CEST

    3-2-1. He's off!

  70. 17:27:50 CEST

    Nibali is wearing an all-yellow skinsuit, with yellow bar tape.

  71. 17:28:51 CEST

    The first time check after 19km will give a good indication of the final result, if van Garderen can take fifth and who will finish on the final podium.

  72. 17:31:34 CEST

    French TV is calculating a virtual GC between Peraud and Pinot.

  73. 17:32:06 CEST

    Peraud has already gained 15 seconds and so is virtually second overall.

  74. 17:34:07 CEST

    French national TT champion Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) finished a strong fourth place, 2:36 slower than Martin.

  75. 17:40:35 CEST

    Van Garderen is sixth fastest at the first split in a time of 24:20.

  76. 17:43:45 CEST

    Good news for Van Garderen, Bardet is very slow and has lost 59 seconds to his rival for fifth overall.

  77. 17:44:56 CEST

    The American need just a further 1:07 to move up to fifth. He close to catching Mollema up the road, which will help him go faster.

  78. 17:46:12 CEST

    Van Garderen is flying! Sadly a bad day on stage 16 has cost him a place on the podium.

  79. 17:47:49 CEST

    Valverde is not riding well. He set a time of 25:23 at the 19km split time. Peraud is faster, much faster, gaining 1:06 on the Spaniard.

  80. 17:49:42 CEST

    Pinot is fighting for a place on the podium. He's is only 25 slower than Peraud in 24:40.

    At the finish Richie Porte (Team Sky) stops the clock with a time 58th fastest so far.

  81. 17:50:21 CEST

    The virtual podium with Nibali has Peraud in second place and Pinot in third. Valverde remains fourth.

  82. 17:52:02 CEST

    Peraud dives through the corners in a village. He does not seem worried about crashing out last year.

  83. 17:53:46 CEST

    Nibali sets a time of 24:21, an excellent time for the Italian. 

  84. 17:54:31 CEST

    The next time check is after 39km.

  85. 17:55:36 CEST

    Nibali is tucked over his aerobars. He looks comfortable and fast after working on his position with the Specialized Performance staff in the last 18 months.

  86. 17:56:23 CEST

    Valverde is riding the climb not tucked in his aero position. That will cost him further seconds.

  87. 17:59:24 CEST

    The last time two French riders finished on the Tour podium was back in 1984 with Hinault and Fignon. The French will go crazy about that and dream of winning in 2015.

  88. 18:00:53 CEST

    Ten Dem is fighting hard but Leopold Konig is having a great day and is set to move passed him and Mollema and so take seventh place overall. 

  89. 18:01:46 CEST

    Van Garderen is on the second climb of the day and still looks strong, mixing efforts out of the saddle with blasts in his aero tuck.

  90. 18:02:37 CEST

    Here comes Tejay.

  91. 18:03:25 CEST

    He sets a time of 49:27.

  92. 18:03:46 CEST

    Rear flat for Peraud. He takes a new bike.

  93. 18:04:10 CEST

    He has lost at least 20 seconds, the bike change was not very fast.

  94. 18:05:51 CEST

    Mollema is suffering and has lost a huge chunk of time. 

  95. 18:08:32 CEST

    Romain Bardet sets a time of 51:14.  He has lost close to two minutes to van Garderen and will surely loose fifth place too.

  96. 18:09:27 CEST

    Peraud and Pinot are fighting for second overall. Pinot is now only six seconds behind Peraud in the virtual overall standings.

  97. 18:11:49 CEST

    Valverde is suffering out there. He sets a time of 51:41 and now has virtually no chance of finishing third overall. 

  98. 18:14:26 CEST

    Konig finishes with a good time of 1:08:23. fourth fastest on the day. That will lift him to seventh overall.

    At the second intermediate Peraud set a time of 49:55. That's almost two minutes better than Valverde. His place on the podium is secure. But will it be second or third?

  99. 18:16:35 CEST

    Pinot sets 50:19. That is 23 seconds slower than Peraud but he is set for third overall. 

  100. 18:19:35 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibnali is last through the second time split. He continues to ride well, despite having overall victory secure. He is fourth fastest.

  101. 18:21:07 CEST

    Van Garderen finishes fast. He sets a final time of 1:08:29. If he is 2:06 faster than Bardet he will take fifth place overall.

  102. 18:21:42 CEST

    Bardet has a rear flat and so that will mean he looses more time to van Garderen.

  103. 18:23:40 CEST

    Valverde is having a terrible day. He is losing time in every kilometre.

  104. 18:25:46 CEST

    Mollema lost a massive 9:36 to Martin, slipping to ninth overall.

  105. 18:28:04 CEST

    Bardet sets a time of 1:10:38 so Van Garderen takes fifth by two seconds. 

  106. 18:28:56 CEST

    Bardet's flat cost him dearly.

  107. 18:29:36 CEST

    Valverde finishes in a time of 1:10:49. That will leave him fourth overall in Paris.

  108. 18:30:30 CEST

    Jean-Christophe Peraud finishes much faster in 1:08:48 and so is set to take second overall behind Nibali.

  109. 18:31:28 CEST

    Pinot is next to finish, followed by Nibali but nobody can stop Tony Martin from winning the time trial.

  110. 18:34:08 CEST

    Pinot sets a time of 1:09:33. That means he slips to third overall but will put him on the podium in Paris with Nibali and Peraud.

  111. 18:34:42 CEST

    Here comes Nibali. He's also done a good ride today to enforce his overall lead.

  112. 18:35:08 CEST

    Nibali will join the exclusive club of winners of all three Grand Tours.

  113. 18:36:04 CEST

    Nibali sets a time of 1:08:19 to finish the stage fourth behind Martin.

  114. 18:36:27 CEST

    That's a great ride by the Italian.

  115. 18:36:56 CEST

    He can be a Tour contender in years to come as well as winner in 2014.

  116. 18:38:16 CEST

    Tony Martin celebrates his stage win. He's ridden a long way awaiting today but confirms he's the best time trialist in the world.

  117. 18:41:26 CEST

    Provisional results show Nibali now leads Peraud by 7:52, Pinot is third at 8:24.

  118. 18:42:23 CEST

    Valverde is fourth overall at 9:55. Van Garderen moves up to fifth overall at 11:44.

  119. 18:42:58 CEST

    Peraud is in tears after hearing he is second overall.

  120. 18:47:09 CEST

    After the important time trial stage, only the final road stage to Paris remains before Vincenzo Nibali is crowned as the winner of the 2014 Tour de France. 

  121. 18:50:18 CEST

    Nibali will be joined by Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Thibaut Pinot (

  122. 18:52:04 CEST

    Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of the time trial. Join us tomorrow to celebrate the end of the Tour de France.

    There will be a full stage report, photo gallery and exclusive news and interviews on Cyclingnews very soon.

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