Skip to main content
Live coverage

Tour de France 2017: Stage 20


Good afternoon to you from Marseille. It's time trial day today in the Tour de France and the general classification will be finalised before tomorrow's stage into Paris. 

Before the men start racing, we have the La Course time trial. The top 19 riders from the race to the top of the Izoard are competing, starting at intervals determined by their finishing gaps on the Izoard. 

All the riders have rolled down the start ramp and we've got several riders in groups now. This is not a true time trial, but more a handicap road race. The first rider to cross the line will win. Annemiek van Vleuten was the first off due to her win and Lizzie Deignan started almost a minute behind. 

We had the interesting situation of Deignan waiting up for her teammate Megan Guarnier after she started. That allowed Elisa Longo Borghini to catch her too and the three are now doing a three-up time trial. Annemiek van Vleuten is out on her own with 1:42 over the three chasers. 

All the riders are on their road bikes today rather than time trial bikes. 

The men's race will start about 15 minutes after the women finish Team Sky bookending the start list. Luke Rowe will be first with yellow jersey Chris Froome off last. You can find the full start list here

Deignan, Guarnier and Longo Borghini waited around to form an alliance. The wait allowed Van Vleuten to build up a sizeable gap and even with the three riders working together they are not making a serious dent in the Dutchwoman's lead. 

Earlier in the course it was possible to see some of the male riders finishing their practice efforts and watching the women's race go by. The course is the same but format is a bit different so they won't be able to take too much from this. 

Van Vleuten is out on the seafront and will soon be doubling back to make her way to the Orange Velodrome. 

On the way back towards the stadium where they set off, the riders will have to tackle a short, but steep climb. It shouldn't trouble these riders too much and Van Vleuten has such a comfortable lead that it's unlikely she will be caught. 

Behind the group of Longo Borghini, Guarnier and Deignan, there is another three-rider group with Gillow, Stephens and Spratt. We don't have a time gap but it looks like they're not too far behind the second group. The fight for the podium could get very interesting towards the end.

Van Vleuten is on the climb. She loses a few seconds to her chasers but nothing major. 

If you missed the news earlier on, Warren Barguil could leave the Team Sunweb after his Tour de France success. The polka-dot jersey winner would like to target the Tour de France next season but he will face some stiff competition from his teammates. He could move to a French team if they can buy him out of his contract. Read the full story here

As it was on the Izoard, Guarnier is struggling to keep the pace on the climb and she is distanced by a surge from Longo Borghini. Deignan is on her wheel and they've cut the gap to Van Vleuten to 1:29 but that's still a sizeable gap. 

Longo Borghini really needs to get rid of Deignan. The British champion has a much better sprint than the Italian champion and, if they come to the line together, Longo Borghini is likely to lose out. 

In the third group on the road, Spratt has distanced Stephens and Gillow, in that order. Spratt looked very strong on Thursday on the Izoard. 

That initial push from Longo Borghini trimmed down the lead Van Vleuten but the Orica-Scott rider is increasing her lead again. With four kilometres remaining she has 1:40 again. She's not resting on her laurels and she is giving this last stretch everything she has. 

Longo Borghini and Deignan are 1.5 kilometres behind Van Vleuten on the road as she continues to stretch her lead. Van Vleuten has been so strong over these two days. 

Van Vleuten blows a kiss to the camera. She knows that she's won and she can enjoy these last 1,200 metres. 

She now waves to the fans before she enters the stadium to claim victory. A huge cheer for Van Vleuten as she wins the La Course pursuit. 

Deignan and Longo Borghini will be the next in. Who will take the sprint for second? My money is on Deignan. 

Deignan launches a move as they enter the stadium and takes second place ahead of Longo Borghini. 

Riders coming in dribs and drabs. That climb did some damage to the small groups. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Kasia Niewiadoma sprinting for minor places with the Polish rider looking like she pipped it. 

This was how things ended in the La Course pursuit. 

We now turn our focus to the Tour de France time trial, which is about to get started. You can read our preview of the stage here

The women's race showed just how steep that climb is and it could really do some damage to riders who have gone out too fast. 

The first few riders are now out on the road, including Taylor Phinney. It will be interesting to see how the American can go after a few tough days in the mountains. He'll find it difficult to take the victory but he could set a serious benchmark time early on. 

Rigoberto Uran will be paying keen attention to Phinney's performance too. He will need to pull out his best time trial performance in years if he wants to overtake Romain Bardet in the overall standings. Patrick Fletcher wrote about the battle for second between Uran and Bardet, here

While his teammates will be using the Castelli 'vortex' skinsuits, Chris Froome will not be. The race leader will be wearing the skinsuit designed by Tour de France sponsor Le Coq Sportif. For several years now, the company has been working with the favourites to ensure they have form fitting suits. Read the story from our own Stephen Farrand here

Five riders have passed through the first time check at 10.2km. Unsurprisingly, Phinney is the quickest at this point. He's gone 19 seconds quicker than Robert Wagner with a time of 12:26.

The GC contenders will obviously be ones to watch as we will see the final placings decided. They often feature highly in the later time trials too, where freshness plays a big factor. Other riders to keep an eye on will be Tony Martin, Vasil Kiryienka, Jonathan Castroviejo, Jack Bauer, Andrew Talansky and Primoz Roglic. 

Phinney is on the climb and he's rocking and rolling but he can see his minute man Robert Wagner. He gets out of the saddle and tries to chase down the Dutchman. 

In fact, as he passes the Notre Dame de la Garde, Phinney can see his two-minute man. Mercifully, he is on the descent. It wasn't pretty but it appeared effective. 

That descent is very technical and some tired riders could get caught out. The GC guys will have to take risks if they don't want to lose time on their rivals though. 

Meanwhile, Phinney has passed Leezer and is now after Selig. He's extended his lead at the second check to 55 seconds with his time of 21:13. 

Stephen Cummings has set off and while he wasn't on my original list of ones to watch, it will be very interesting to see how he goes. He won the national time trial title in emphatic style. He's had a crash in the last week, so that could hamper him today. 

By nature of setting off first, Luke Rowe is the first rider to post a time. He sets a time of 31:09. He should keep his Lantern rouge over Tom Leezer. 

And Phinney comes to the line with his two-minute man Rudiger Selig. Unsurprisingly, he goes fastest at the finish line with a time of 29:21. That's over a minute faster than Robert Wagner in second. 

Cummings is approaching the first check and he's passed his minute-man Nacer Bouhanni. He's going well on this flatter section. 

Cummings goes second fastest at the time check. He's just 16 seconds behind Phinney with the climb to come. 

This was Taylor Phinney just after he finished his effort. One might think that he's a little more nervous having seen Cummings' time. 

After going close at the opening check, Cummings has blown apart on the climb. He's not even hit the second check and he's almost three minutes behind the American. This is brutal to watch. 

Meanwhile, Vasil Kiryienka is out on the road. He's been doing a hard job for Team Sky, but he is a former time trial champion and it would be remiss to count him out for stage success. 

The time trial starts and finishes in the Orange Velodrome in Marseille. There are huge crowds in there and each rider is getting a huge cheer as they depart and enter the stadium. This is Fabio Sabatini finishing a little earlier on. 

Tony Martin is sitting on the floow as the riders huddle near the start ramp ahead of their efforts. (who said cycling was glamorous?) The World Champion starts at 15:56 local time.

Markel Irizar goes fifth fastest at the finish. Taylor Phinney is well ahead of the rest of the pack at the moment. His closest challenger at the moment is Alberto Timmer at 50 seconds back. 

This is the top 5 as it stands right now. 

Tony Martin has started his effort. How well will he manage with that climb? We wait eagerly to see how he goes. Here he was waiting his turn a little earlier on. 

At the first check, Maciej Bodnar is the new fastest ride with his time of 11:59. Kiryienka is 24 seconds back, but that is likely to close on the climb, with Kiryienka a much better climber. Phinney still holding out at the second check, but this pair is yet to go through. 

Bodnar destroys the time set by Phinney at the second check. He is 51 seconds quicker than the Cannondale-Drapac rider and he looks set to post the fastest time in a few kilometres time. 

Lars Bak is over the line and he goes second fastest at 21 seconds to Phinney. 

Taylor Phinney looking chill in the hotseat. He's unlikely to be there for much longer. 

The new-look top 5 after Bak's solid time. 

A strong time from Jack Bauer at the first check. He's just six seconds slower than Bodnar. Meanwhile, Bodnar sprints to the line in the stadium to beat the time Phinney set by 1:06. The new fastest time is 28:15. 

That really was an impressive ride from Bodnar. This is the new top 5. 

Tony Martin is a single second behind Bodnar at the first time check. He's going to have to give it everything, and a little bit more, on the climb to beat Bodnar. 

Kiryienka comes into the stadium in provisional third place. 

Tony Martin stays in the saddle all the way up the climb. He passes Stybar and then Bennati. He's in strong form. Bennati almost pauses to watch Martin go past him. 

It's ever changing, this is how the top 5 is shaping up now. 

Jack Bauer comes to the line with an impressive ride. He goes really close to the barriers as he comes through into the stadium. The New Zealand time trial champion goes second, 41 seconds slower than Bodnar. 

Bodnar's time is looking increasingly strong and is going to be a hard one to beat. Bodnar hasn't got any individual time trial wins in Grand Tours, but he has a team time trial win in his pocket from the 2010 Giro d'Italia. 

Stefan Kung is out on course and approaching the first check. He'll want a really good time to finish this Tour with a bit of a flourish. 

Martin wrestles with his bike as he goes into the velodrome. He gets a massive cheer but he can only manage second, 14 seconds back on Bodnar. 

The new top 5

Michael Matthews sets off. In the form that he's in, he could do a very decent time on this course. It all depends on if he's saving his legs for tomorrow's sprint stage. 

That time trial took everything out of Tony Martin.

Here is what Martin had to say after missing out by 14 seconds. 

Wow, what a performance from Nikias Arndt. He finished second yesterday and he goes third fastest with a time of 28:43. He beats some very good time triallists with that performance. 

Jonathan Castroviejo has just started and his time trial has already been derailed. He could be out of contention already. It looks like he crashed but we wait for a replay, if there is one. 

Jack Bauer is fourth fastest at the moment. A little bit later, his teammate Dan Martin will be out on course trying to defend his GC position. Bauer had this to say after finishing. 

Stefan Kung is giving it beans and comes home in fourth place. There is a big cheer in the stadium but it is not for Kung, but for Voeckler. The Frenchman is riding his final Tour de France and will end his career after the stage tomorrow. 

Bodnar still sitting pretty atop the standings with 87 riders having clocked their times. 

Thomas Voeckler was surrounded by the press as soon as he finished. This is what he had to say. 

Michal Kwiatkowski is on a flyer at the moment. He goes six seconds quicker than his compatriot Bodnar at the first time check. 

Kwiatkowski is a solid time triallist and is the current Polish national champion. He has been doing a lot of work in the Tour de France. He went so deep on the Col d'Izoard that he had to stop briefly after pulling off the front of the peloton. 

Michael Matthews is taking it relatively easy as he rides towards the finish. He waves to the crowd and sticks his tongue out at the camera. He gets a massive cheer as he crosses the line. Tomorrow is the big one for him. 

Primoz Roglic warming up a little while ago. He's just started his effort and will be one to watch. 

Kwiatkowski actually lost some time at the second time check. He's now nine seconds slower than Bodnar as he sets off towards the finish line. 

Scratch that, the timing was wrong and has been update, putting Kwiatkowski to the top of the standings at the second check. He's just a single second quicker than Bodnar. It's going to be very close on the line. 

If you look to the right of your screen (if you're on desktop you can see the updated intermediate splits. Mobile users need to click on "skip to situation."

Michal Kwiatkowski comes over the line. He sprints to the line but he's beaten by a single second by Bodnar. How close was that!

Kwiatkowski was wearing the special Castelli 'vortex' skinsuit during his effort. His team leader Chris Froome will not be. 

Chris Froome arrives at the team bus. He'll be off in just under an hour. 

Froome followed Kwiatkowski on his time trial. He followed the Polish rider in the opening time trial too and that worked well on that occasion. 

A good ride from Daryl Impey. He made up a lot of time on the climb and he finishes with the fourth fastest time of 28:35. 

Fabio Aru is warming up already. He has been battling with illness the last few days. What can he do today?

A problem for Roglic on the climb and he needs a push from his mechanic. He is ninth fastest at the second check. 

Jonathan Castroviejo crashed at the start of his effort. He told Eurosport television that he hit a bit of cement that he hadn't seen and crashed. He had set his sights on this stage and had reportedly been saving himself for a few days ahead of it. 

Despite his mishap, Roglic is about to catch his minute-man Diego Ulissi and he's approaching the stadium. 

He's well off what he would have liked to do and he stops the clock with the 10th fastest time. 

Meanwhile, Warren Barguil has been named the super combatif for the Tour de France. An interesting decision considering Thomas De Gendt spent almost a third of the race in the breakaway. That is not to take anything away from Barguil's performance in this year's Tour de France. It has been a brilliant run for the Frenchman with two stage wins and the polka-dot jersey. He is also likely to finish in the top 10. 

Primoz Roglic does his best to articulate his thoughts after going deep in that time trial. A provisional top 10, but he's likely to drop down a little further. 

Pictures show that Jarlinson Pantano crashed during his time trial. He's got a few holes in the arms of his skinsuit. 

The top 10 at the moment, not long before the GC favourites roll down the ramp. 

Sylvain Chavanel goes sixth fastest at the second check. He's getting huge cheers the whole way round the course. Like Voeckler, he's a household favourite among the home crowd. 

Nairo Quintana sets off. This is a little different to the Giro d'Italia time trial. He's not racing for overall victory this time, he just wants to get through it. 

Romain Bardet warming up with a ice jacket on. It's very hot in Marseille this afternoon and they don't want to heat up too much before they start. 

PIerre Latour finished his time trial with a lot of damage to his tricolore skinsuit. He's obviously been down on the ground. Sylvain Chavanel follows him in to set the 7th fastest time at 37 seconds back. 

Warren Barguil is on the start ramp and he's got a huge grin on his face. The crowd roars. It's the loudest they've been all afternoon. 

There were hopes of a full house in the stadium today but the attendance has been a little disappointing with only about 15,000 turning up compared to the more than 60,000 capacity. 

Rigoberto Uran has the same idea as Barguil with the ice vest. These two will be battling it for second place, and maybe first if something goes wrong for Froome. 

There is two minutes between each of the riders now and Simon Yates was the most recent to head off. He just needs a straightforward time trial because he's not really at risk from Meintjes behind and he's unlikely to catch Martin ahead. 

Dan Martin is the latest to start. He's a minute behind Fabio Aru in the standings. Aru has been ill but that's a tough ask to jump that gap. 

Aru is off and just four more riders to come. Mikel Landa will be next. 

Froome makes his way to the stadium. Four minutes until he starts. 

Uran gets a courteous bonjour from the UCI official as he arrives on the start ramp. He's now on his way. It will be interesting to see how he goes. Can he pull out a time trial of old to jump above Bardet in the standings?

Next off the ramp is Bardet. The crowd erupts. If they could drive him to victory by noise they would certainly try. 

Unfortunately, there are some boos coming from the crowds as Froome gets ready to start his effort. He's going to have to block it out as he heads out into Marseille. 

It's not the first time that Froome has been booed by the crowds. It seems less about him and more about wanting Bardet to beat him. 

Alberto Contador going well. He is 13 seconds behind Kwiatkowski's effort at the first time check. 

A superb ride from Contador in that second section. He's less than a second behind Kwiatkowski's time at the second check. Can he hold this all the way to the finish though?

Barguil is on the climb and he's 46 seconds down at the second check. 

Meanwhile, Dan Martin is not having a good day out there at the moment. He's 46 seconds down at the first check. Martin's time trialling style is certainly not pretty. It looks a little like he's grappling with an eel. 

Aru is "only" 38 seconds down. If he can keep this up then his fifth place should be safe from Martin. 

Mikel Landa going well with a time just 26 seconds slower than his teammate. Landa is not the greatest time triallist so that is a decent effort from him. 

Alberto Contador finishes his time trial. He's lost some time in the final section but he goes fifth fastest at 21 seconds. That is a handy performance from the Spaniard. 

Uran posts the same time as Landa at the first time check. 

Bardet is giving it his all and he goes very close to the bollards on a corner. This is tense stuff, but he knows he's got Uran hot on his heels (metaphorically speaking). 

Meanwhile, Froome goes second fastest at the first time check. He's just two seconds down on Kwiatkowski's time and miles ahead of his rivals. 

Bardet went 45 seconds down at the first split, so Uran is in virtual second position overall. 

Uran goes through the second intermediate split and he has closed the gap to 21 seconds behind Kwiatkowski. Let's see how he does in this run in. 

Simon Yates finishes his time trial 1:34 down. He matches the time of his white jersey rival Louis Meintjes. That secures that jersey for him and he'll ride into Paris with it. 

Romain Bardet is in a lot of trouble as he struggles to the second intermediate split. He's in and out of the saddle like it's on fire. He is 1:17 down on Kwiatkowski's time and he could be at risk of losing out on the podium altogether if he can't get it together. 

Bardet is currently 45 seconds slower than Landa at that second check. 

Fabio Aru finishes his time trial 1:16 down on Bodnar. Meanwhile, Froome is just three seconds down at the second check. 

Landa is across the line to stop the clock at 29:06, that's just 51 seconds back. A strong ride. 

Uran hits the barriers as he enters the final section into the stadium. 

He stays on the bike but unclips to stop himself going down. He gets up and running pretty quickly and finishes 30 seconds down. Wow. 

Bardet is at 28 minutes and he's still got a kilometre to go. He is going to struggle to hold off Landa. 

Froome can see Bardet and he's through the flamme rouge not long after the Frenchman. 

This could help Froome in terms of getting the stage win. Nothing like a rider in front of you to help you push. 

Bardet keeps ahead of Froome as he enters the stadium. 

Bardet stops the clock at 30:18. We'll have to wait and see what that does to the overall standings. 

Froome crosses the line but there is no time given. 

Chris Froome finishes third in the end, six seconds slower than Maciej Bodnar, but that secures him the Tour de France. 

Bardet holds onto the podium by a single second. That is skin of your teeth sort of stuff. 

Bardet really looked in trouble out there. Up the climb he was up and down, up and down in the saddle, a sure sign he was right on his limit. He had to pull it out of the bag to stop himself from falling off the podium. 

We can't not mention that performance from Bodnar. He's known as a time triallist, but that was the performance of his career to pull that one out of the bad. Perhaps helped by not having to work for Rafal Majka or Peter Sagan for much of the Tour de France. 

This is how the stage ended.

And this is what it did to the overall standings. A few movers such as Uran above Bardet and Contador moves back above Barguil. 

Hugs all around from Chris Froome, he's all-but won his fourth Tour de France - his third in a row. 

He won't be too worried, having just securing the race overall, but this is the first time that Chris Froome has taken the Tour de France title without winning a stage. He won two stages last year, one mountain finish and a time trial, a mountain stage the year before and three in 2013. Of course, he also won a stage when Wiggins took the 2012 title. 

Team Sky DS Nicolas Portal spoke to the media after the stage and this is what he said. 

Roman Bardet talks to the media about his ride today. We will have his thoughts a little later. 

Rigoberto Uran checking the results, making sure that he really has stepped up to second place. 

While the Tour de France seemed almost certain before today's stage, it was a dramatic finale to the race. It has been one of the closest Tours de France, but Team Sky rarely seemed out of control. Peyragudes almost unseated him, when Fabio Aru moved into yellow but some poor positioning handed the jersey back a few days later. 

AG2R La Mondiale and Romain Bardet has been probably the biggest challenger to the yellow jersey throughout the Tour de France. They time and again to break Froome and there were moments of weakness, but they alone were not able to do it. Had we seen a stronger Movistar or a stronger Alberto Contador, alongside AG2R, then maybe it could have been different. We'll never know. 

Stage winner Maciej Bodnar:

This is what Chris Froome had to say after shoring up yellow. 

Simon Yates is another rider that has secured himself a jersey. He beat Louis Meintjes in the white jersey competition by over two minutes. He had this to say after the stage. 

Chris Froome signs a few more yellow jerseys. He'll be collecting the most important one tomorrow. 

You can find full results and a gallery along with our report here

We've assembled the reactions of the top riders from the stage today in our stage 20 finish line quotes story.

Poor Bardet gave it his all, that one second margin will likely stand as the gentleman's agreement prohibits attacks on the final stage.

Marseille looks pretty great in the photos from today's stage.

Earlier today, the women raced the exhibition La Course by Le Tour 'chase' - a new format for racing that involved the quickest rider on the Izoard being pursued by the other riders. Read what winner Annemiek van Vleuten had to say about the racing and more here.

Over at the Tour de Wallonie, Benjamin Thomas (Armee de Terre) won the opening stage with a solo attack.

In case you missed it, our tech editors took a close look at the various hacks carried out by team mechanics in the Tour de France in "Tour de tape and glue".

Don't miss our full report, results and gallery of images from today's Tour de France stage.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1