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Tour de France 2022 stage 20 preview - Van Aert seeks to continue Jumbo-Visma dominance
Tour de France 2022 opening time trial: Lampaert stuns favourites to take yellow jersey
-Stage 20 was a 40.7 kilometre individual time from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour
-First rider off was Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) at 1305 local time.
-Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) claimed the stage win, his third of this year's Tour, with yellow jersey and teammate Jonas Vingegaard in second and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) taking third.
-Overall there was no change in the top four, with Vingegaard set to claim the overall victory on Sunday ahead of Pogacar and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).
Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 20 of the 2022 Tour de France.
139 riders are left in the race, and the first down the start ramp in about 20 minutes (at 1305 local time) will be sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal). Ewan will likely be aiming to save his strength for Sunday, though, and what he hopes would be a repeat win on the Champs-Élysées.
The weather looks sunny and dry for the umpteenth day on the Tour this year and according to the Tour website, a very gentle 4kmh northwesterly wind is blowing. So close to flat calm.
Here are the results from yesterday's stage 19, won by Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and the overall standings
For an insightful preview of stage 20, have a look at Barry Ryan's expert analysis at the link here: Tour de France 2022 stage 20 preview - Van Aert seeks to continue Jumbo-Visma dominance
Ewan is rolling up to the start ramp, just a minute to go before stage 20 of the Tour de France is underway.
Ewan is away. The course the Australian and the 138 riders left in the race has no classified climbs, but it isn't pancake flat, either. Rather we're looking at rolling, mainly rural roads with some technical sections.
Stage 20, a fairly lengthy 40.7 kilometre TT, has three intermediate checkpoints: at Aynac at km 10.5; at Grammat at km 22; and at Couzou at km 32.5.
Temperatures throughout are at somewhere between 22 and 23 degrees celsius, by the way, so nowhere near the oven-like heat that was previously blasting the Tour in much of its second and third weeks.
News of a DNS: according to his team, for family reasons Nathan van Hooydonck, a key support worker for Jumbo-Visma and Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard, will not be taking part in today's time trial. Van Hooydonck was due to start today's TT at 1400 local time.
Current best rider at the first intermediate checkpoint (Aynac km 10.5) is Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal), leading with a time of 13:14 over France's Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) who's two seconds behind.
And the Tour de France stage 1 time trial winner in Copenhagen, Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) has just started today's race against the clock. If you're interested in how he managed to do that just over three weeks ago, you can read our full report here:
Tour de France: Lampaert stuns favourites to take yellow jersey
Mikkel Berg (UAE Team Emirates) has clocked the best time in checkpoint 1 at km 10.5 in Aynac of 12:37, a full minute faster than Frison. Tadej Pogačar is, incidentally, following Berg from the co-pilot's seat in the following team car, presumably to see how best to tackle the course 'live', a few hours hence.
At km 22 at Grammat, Berg once again clocks the best time, 1:35 ahead of second placed Christopher Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco)
And here are the start times for the next hour. Worth noting that Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) is off at 1405 and he'll be a serious challenger for the rider currently looking to set the best time, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates).
39 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 14:02:00
40 Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 14:03:30
41 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 14:05:00
42 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 14:06:30
43 Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) Astana Qazaqstan Team 14:08:00
44 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 14:09:30
45 Owain Doull (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost 14:11:00
46 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 14:12:30
47 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 14:14:00
48 Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-EasyPost 14:15:30
49 Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 14:17:00
50 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 14:18:30
51 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 14:20:00
52 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-EasyPost 14:21:30
53 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic 14:23:00
54 Marco Haller (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 14:24:30
55 Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis 14:26:00
56 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 14:27:30
57 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 14:29:00
58 Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 14:30:30
59 Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco 14:32:00
60 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel-Premier Tech 14:33:30
61 Guy Niv (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech 14:35:00
62 Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 14:36:30
63 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma 14:38:00
64 Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 14:39:30
65 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal 14:41:00
66 Connor Swift (GBr) Arkea-Samsic 14:42:30
67 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix 14:44:00
68 Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies 14:45:30
69 Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 14:47:00
70 Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 14:48:30
71 Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team 14:50:00
72 Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo 14:51:30
73 Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 14:53:00
74 Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM 14:54:30
75 Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis 14:56:00
76 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo 14:57:30
77 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ 14:59:00
78 Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix 15:00:30
Four riders have now made it to the finish, and the best time so far is Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Lotto-Soudal) with a time of 53:54, a full 63 seconds clear of his teammate Frederik Frison. Frison was 20 seconds up on Van Rensburg at the first checkpoint, by the way, so clearly Van Rensburg turned in a very strong rider in the second part of the course.
Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) clocks the provisional best time at the finish in Rocamadour, a remarkable time of 50:22. That's 2:31 faster than his closest pursuer, Christophe Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), and 3:32 up on Van Rensburg. Big gaps.
Meanwhile Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) has just sliced 14 seconds off Mikkel Bjerg's first intermediate time at kilometre 10.5. But it's worth noting, too, that the second half has already seen some fast starters pay a price later on. The final has a grinding little uphill in the last kilometre that is going to be hard to manage over such a long time trial.
Swiss time trial star Stefan Bisseger (EF Education-Easy Post) is not going to remember this year's TTs in the Tour at all fondly. Having crashed twice in the opening race against the clock in Copenhagen, Bisseger has now just needed a bike change in this one.
At the second checkpoint in Grammat at km 22, Ganna continues to reign supreme in the provisional best times. But he's now 13 seconds faster than fellow Italian Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl), with Bjerg 36 seconds down.
Spare a thought for stage 1 winner Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) by the way. Victorious in the opening time trial in Copenhagen, Lampaert has completed this one 5:01 down on the current best time set by Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates).
He was playing down his chances prior to today's time trial, but Ganna is a man on a mission today. In the much lumpier final third of the TT, which includes two nasty little drags in quick succession, by the third checkpoint Ganna has nearly doubled his margin on compatriot Cattaneo from 13 to 27 seconds.
And Ganna has smashed Bjerg's provisional best time at the finish by a whopping 1:41 seconds. The defending World TT champion has clocked a time of 48:41.
Meantime we're almost into the third hour of the time trial, and here are the start times from here to 1600 local time.
78 Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix 15:00:30
79 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 15:02:00
80 Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies 15:03:30
81 Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies 15:05:00
82 Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 15:06:30
83 Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 15:08:00
84 Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis 15:10:00
85 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 15:12:00
86 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 15:14:00
87 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 15:16:00
88 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 15:18:00
89 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 15:20:00
90 Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ 15:22:00
91 Kobe Goossens (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 15:24:00
92 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 15:26:00
93 Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 15:28:00
94 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost 15:30:00
95 Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis 15:32:00
96 Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Arkea-Samsic 15:34:00
97 Joe Dombrowski (USA) Astana Qazaqstan Team 15:36:00
98 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis 15:38:00
99 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 15:40:00
100 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team 15:42:00
101 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 15:44:00
102 Michael Storer (Aus) Groupama-FDJ 15:46:00
103 Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM 15:48:00
104 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 15:50:00
105 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers 15:52:00
106 Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech 15:54:00
107 Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-KTM 15:56:00
108 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 15:58:00
109 Simone Velasco (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team 16:00:00
Ganna's compatriot Cattaneo has paid a high price in the very lumpy second half of the time trial and slides to 43 seconds down on the Ineos Grenadiers rider. He's still got second provisional best time, though.
And an interesting piece of data courtesy of our colleagues over at the Tour's official website: at 40.7 kilometres this is the longest time trial in the Tour since the 54 kilometre time trial on stage 20 in 2014. That year (rather like this one), the overall lead was almost completely decided, with Vincenzo Nibali heading towards Italy's first victory since Marco Pantani in 1998. There were some significant changes further down the GC, though, as Jean-Christophe Peraud ousted Thibaut Pinot from the third place, Tejay van Garderen pushed Romain Bardet down to sixth, and Laurens Ten Dam and Bauke Mollema slumped down a spot to ninth and tenth respectively.
This time round, barring major, major upsets the biggest GC questionmark hangs around Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) and whether he can hang onto fifth place. We'll know the answer a little over a couple of hours from now...
And here's an image of Filippo Ganna mid-way through today's stage
Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) has just chipped a second off Ganna's best time at the first checkpoint (km 10.5). Wright, let's not forget, was in the thick of the late action on stage 19 in a three-rider late break before being swept up in the finale, but he's clearly got some energy left for today, too.
After a strong start, Wright is fading slightly in the much lumpier middle section. A second faster than Ganna at checkpoint 1, the Bahrain Victorious racer has now gone through checkpoint 2 (km 22), 21 seconds down on the Italian.
Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) starts his time trial. He'll likely be one of Ganna's biggest challengers today for the stage win, together with a certain Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
And here's the start list for the final hour of racing
109 Simone Velasco (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team 16:00:00
110 Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 16:02:00
111 Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM 16:04:00
112 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Movistar Team 16:06:00
113 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 16:08:00
114 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-EasyPost 16:10:00
115 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 16:12:00
116 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco 16:14:00
117 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 16:16:00
118 Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech 16:18:00
119 Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team 16:20:00
120 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 16:22:00
121 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 16:24:00
122 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 16:26:00
123 Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 16:28:00
124 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 16:30:00
125 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 16:32:00
126 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 16:34:00
127 Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost 16:36:00
128 Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroen Team 16:38:00
129 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 16:40:00
130 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 16:42:00
131 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team 16:44:00
132 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 16:46:00
133 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-Hansgrohe 16:48:00
134 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 16:50:00
135 Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic 16:52:00
136 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 16:54:00
137 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 16:56:00
138 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 16:58:00
139 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 17:00:00
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), the winner of last year's Tour de France stage 20 time trial, is off at 1616 local time. Last year's time trial was 10 kilometres shorter and notably flatter, but given Van Aert's all-round talents that won't automatically be a problem for the Belgian.
Küng is 5 seconds off Fred Wright's best time at the first checkpoint at km 10.5 and 4 down on Ganna.
Compared to the start of the afternoon and when Caleb Ewan, the first rider off, rolled down the start line more than three hours ago, the temperatures, by the way, have now risen to a very tolerable 27 degrees celsius. Slightly stronger wind at the start, 11kmh tailwind, but nothing dramatic.
And seconds before Wout Van Aert rolls down the start ramp and begins his quest for a third stage win in this year's Tour and the third in succession for Jumbo-Visma, double German road champ Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) crosses the finish line with a very decent time of 49:36, less than a minute down on Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), and fourth in the provisional standings.
At the second intermediate checkpoint at km 22, Küng has lost a little more time on Ganna and is now in third spot, 14 seconds down on Ganna and a second slower than Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl).
Kung goes through the third checkpoint of stage 20 nearly 50 seconds down on Ganna, his hopes of a victory today all but gone.
Jumbo-Visma promised that Van Aert would go for today's stage, and he has staked a serious claim from the word go, powering through the first checkpoint 14 seconds faster than Ganna.
And a third party has now joined the battle for the stage win. Recently crowned Dutch TT champion Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is currently racing the course in the same time, give or take a second, as Ganna.
And here's a picture of European Champ Stefan Kung during today's TT
French TV shows the first images of yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) warming up on the rollers for the TV. Meanwhile there's a rider in Jumbo-Visma kit and a green jersey already out on the TT course who's looking well en route to a top placing, if not the win, for the stage.
And Van Aert goes through the second checkpoint at km 22 a whopping 25 seconds faster than Ganna.
Kung finishes the course 1:13 down on Ganna. Not his day.
Romain Bardet (DSM), eighth on GC, adjusts his helmet prior to taking the start of the day's time trial. With an advantage of over four minutes on Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) the French climber's main task today will be to stay upright and out of trouble.
Van Aert, meanwhile, thunders on and is about to overtake his two-minute man, Nicholas Schultz (BikeExchange-Jayco).
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) continues to forget a very solid performance, even if he has now dropped away from Ganna's times, and is 28 seconds down on the Italian at the third checkpoint (km 32.5)
Van Aert continues to blast his path towards a provisional best time for the stage, 23 seconds ahead of Ganna at checkpoint 3. It's worth remembering though, that Ganna did an excellent final quarter of the TT with its two tough climbs, so the battle may not be quite decided yet.
A serious-looking Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) rolls down the ramps. Currently fifth overall, Quintana has Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) at 8 seconds behind and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 35 seconds, meaning the battle for fifth is one of the big outstanding issues this TT will resolve.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), second overall, rolls down the start ramp. He's the only starter today with two Tour de France TT stage wins in his palmares, one in 2020 (which netted him the entire Tour) and one in 2021 (which netted him a fair chunk of it).
Bauke Mollema crosses the line 40 seconds down and in second place on Filippo Ganna's provisional best time. All 138 riders have now started.
Wout van Aert grinds his way up the final, very draggy, little climb to the finish. Will Filippo Ganna's longstanding provisional best time soon be beaten?
And the answer is a resounding yes. Van Aert crosses the line 41 seconds ahead of Ganna. New best time.
So having clocked the fastest times at all the intermediate checkpoints, Van Aert now leads the provisional stage standings by 42 seconds over Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and 1:22 over Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
With the green jersey home and dry, attention now switches to Jumbo-Visma teammate and yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard and his defence of the overall lead. Memories of Tadej Pogacar's heist on yellow in 2020 are still fresh in the mind of the Dutch team, but for now the difference between the two on the stage is roughly one second, and Vingegaard has an advantage of 3:26 overall in his favour.
And things are hotting up for the stage win as well: Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) has taken a 7 second advantage over Pogacar in the opening segment of the time trial and 8 seconds over Wout Van Aert. Meanwhile at the same checkpoint of km 10.5, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) is only a second further adrift.
Vingegaard, let's not forget, finished third in last year's final TT behind Van Aert, as well as third in the first week TT as well.
All eyes are on the second checkpoint times at km 22, where Van Aert currently defends a 25 lead over Ganna. But with Pogacar, Vingegaard and Thomas all on the rampage out there, that could change very soon.
Thomas goes through checkpoint 2 just six seconds down on Van Aert.
Best time at checkpoint 2 for Vingegaard, 7 seconds faster than Van Aert, 13 seconds on Thomas and 20 on Pogačar.
It can't be underlined strongly enough, though, that the second half has proved crucial in this time trial so far: that was where Ganna really made the biggest gains and where Van Aert then opened up the throttle the most strongly. A lot could yet happen, in other words.
Thomas shoots past David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), fourth overall. But Thomas is not the only one of the top three overall riding to try to win this time trial.
Thomas flies through the third checkpoint with a disadvantage of just three seconds on Van Aert's provisional best time. The Welshman is closing the gap, but Vingegaard and Pogacar are still to come through the checkpoint.
Pogacar is 20 seconds down on Van Aert at checkpoint 3, shedding another seven seconds on the Belgian compared to checkpoint 2.
At checkpoint 3, Vingegaard is only 1.3 seconds faster than Van Aert, meaning that although the Dane has the fastest time, the gaps are narrowing again. Thomas is also closing the gap, as he's now only five seconds back on Vingegaard. Pogacar, though, has drifted to 22 seconds. With eight kilometres to go, the stage seems to be between Thomas, Van Aert and Vingegaard.
Two very nasty, draggy climbs in quick succession, the second leading to the finish, now will decide the final TT of the 2022 Tour de France.
Vingegaard is incidentally, tearing up the script that a yellow jersey with a cushion of three minutes overall rides defensively on the last time trial.
And Vingegaard has just had a narrow squeak on a downhill, staying upright but fighting to control his bike on a shallow lefthander.
Thomas crosses the line 31 seconds down on Van Aert. Those last climbs were seemingly critical in the outcome at least in terms of this particular duel for the stgae.
Pogacar crosses the line five seconds up on Thomas but 27 down on Van Aert. Only one rider can take away the win from Van Aert now.
Vingegaard takes the last few corners carefully, finishing second and Van Aert takes the stage win.
Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 20 of the Tour de France, teammate Jonas Vingegaard retains the overall lead with one stage remaining.
Van Aert gave Vingegaard a friendly slap on the shoulder as he pedalled by close to the line, the stage winner simultaneously celebrating both his own victory and Vingegaard's imminent overall win.
And here we have a photo of Vingegaard during the time trial en route to an almost certain first overall win in the Tour.