Tour de France GC favourites take on tough middle-distance time trial - Preview

Tadej Pogacar
Tadej Pogacar (Image credit: Getty Images)

After two stages where they have been skirmishing on the hilltops followed by two stages where they have been fighting to stay out of trouble, the 2021 Tour de France general classification challengers face their first major ‘test of truth’ on Wednesday.

The 27.2-kilometre time trial from Changé to Laval, a nearly circular, lumpy course with no classified climbs but plenty of false flats and grinding ascents, is sure to establish some crucial differences in the overall ranking. And that prediction was valid even before the crashes and injuries of the early part of this year’s race had taken their toll among many of the favourites.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.