Revealed: How Tour de France time trial recon helped Pogacar to victory

LAVAL ESPACE MAYENNE FRANCE JUNE 30 Tadej Pogaar of Slovenia and UAETeam Emirates White Best Young Rider Jersey during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 5 a 272km Individual Time Trial stage from Chang to Laval Espace Mayenne 90m ITT LeTour TDF2021 on June 30 2021 in Laval Espace Mayenne France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) during his winning effort on the stage 5 time trial (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Five days before the Tour de France got underway, Tadej Pogačar sent his UAE Team Emirates sports director Allan Peiper a text message: “wow, it’s good we came to see this because it is important.”

Pogacar was referring to the route of Wednesday’s stage 5 time trial, where he subsequently inflicted a serious blow on his maillot jaune rivals’ chances with a stage win that has propelled him into second place on GC, just eight seconds behind Alpecin-Fenix's Mathieu van der Poel.

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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.