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As it happened: GC favourites battle out win in first Tour de France time trial


Bonjour and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 6 of the 2024 Tour de France!

Here we go then, one of the most important days at the 2024 Tour de France - the first individual time trial. The solo race against the clock has long been known as the 'race of truth', with nowhere to hide in the bunch throughout the painful effort.

With just over an hour and a half to the first rider Mark Cavendish rolling off the ramp, it's the perfect chance to catch up on the TT start times for today (CEST):

To get a full understanding of what's in store for the day's action, read one of our team on the ground in France Dani Ostanek's pre-race preview which sets the scene for stage 7:

It's set to be a huge day for Evenepoel who is on debut at the Tour de France. With favourite status for today's stage, can he live up to the billing as the time trial World Champion?

Race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has also been calling Evenepoel the out-and-out favourite for the day, despite his incredible duo of performances in the two time trials at the Giro d'Italia. He heads into the day with a 45-second advantage on Evenepoel who sits second on GC after 6 stages.

An awful lot of prep goes into ensuring the skinsuit setup is perfect for those in classification jerseys, with the yellow jersey holder forced not into wearing what would have been a custom setup from his team's kit manufacturer. Here's Santini getting Pogačar ready for stage 7:

There will be lots of national champions kits on show, here's Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) in the Swiss jersey.

You can also read the report from yesterday's sprint stage to catch up with how Dylan Groenewegen won into Dijon:

The bigger story of yesterday's sprint, however, was Jasper Philipsen being relegated for deviating in his sprint. Read about how and why he got declassified down to 107th and the other ways the UCI are cracking down on sprints at the Tour de France in 2024:

Van Aert hit back at Philipsen's actions, calling it a "habit of his" when speaking to Sporza, but Philipsen apologised this morning, stating that he "would never consciously ride in such a way that it endangered another rider". Read both stories below:

Jonas Vingegaard has been out on his recon of the course this morning. He'll be the in his Visma-Lease a Bike team skinsuit while Pogačar and Evenepoel are forced to wear that of the race organiser due to their classification leads. How much of an advantage will that give the Dane and how will his body respond to the first ITT back from injury? Not long left until we find out.

Expect to see some new equipment being used by Vingegaard and the Visma-Lease a Bike squad as Cervélo unveils their new TT bike. Whether you'll be able to tell the difference after the subtle changes, however, is a different question:

Mark Cavendish will be the first off the start rap in just over twenty minutes. The Manxman is last place on GC after his troubles during the first few days of the race - not that he will care in the slightest having won his historic 35th stage win. 

With so many quality time trialists among the GC candidates, it's going to be tough for specialists against the clock to be in the mix for a stage win, but they will give it a go. Stefan Küng stands out as a man who could challenge them. He was denied a time trial stage win in 2021 only by Tadej Pogačar, and missed out on World gold medal by a mere two seconds to Tobias Foss the year after. 

For other riders, today will be a stage of trepidation. There are some GC riders who will fear this stage more than any other. Carlos Rodríguez, for instence, last year lost time to all four of the riders who ultimatley finished above him on GC, and is vulnerable to more losses today. 

Cavendish is at the start ramp now. He's got a big smile on his face - this will be a nice, leisurely day for him.

And we're off! Cav rolls down the start ramp to get this time trial started.

Fabio Jakobsen has just set off. He's suffered alongside the Manxman in the opening days of the Tour, albeit to less attention, but has looked better in the sprints, finishing seventh and fifth on Monday and Wednesday respectively.

Yevgeniy Fedorov is the latest rider to roll down the start ramp. That means five of the seven riders currently out on the road are from Astana - they’re all rooted at the bottom of the GC, having held back to help and support Cavendish during his difficult opening days.

Now Lenny Martinez starts for Groupama FDJ. It really is a surprise to see him this far down on GC. He did a very good ride at the Tour de Suisse, where he placed sixth overall, so could do a good ride if he's ridden himself into some form these past few days. 

Now comes Søren Wærenskjold, wearing the Norwegian national champions jersey. He won a time trial at the Belgium Tour recently, so could set an early benchmark.

Back with Cavendish, who's on the route's climb. It's quite a steep one, with the gradient hovering around 7 - 8%, but not especially long. 

Yesterday's winner Dylan Groenewegen is next off. That victorious ride means he’s now won in five different Tours de France.

Yevgeniy Fedorov is comfortably the fastest of the nine riders to have come through so far the first checkpoint. He posted a time of 11-02, 8 seconds quicker than Dan McClay.

Jasper Philipsen has begun his ride. He’ll be seething after his relegation yesterday, and won’t make up any ground in the points classification he fell further behind in as a result of that relegation.

Martinez has just gone through the first checkpoint, one second slower than Fedorov. 

It doesn't seem as if  Wærenskjold is fussed about riding a good time. He moves out of his aero position on the climb to wave at the crowd.

Happy birthday to Alexander Kristoff, who's just set off! He seriously impressed two days ago to place third in the sprint the day Cavendish won - he might have just turned 37, but has still got it.

Lenny Martinez looks committed as he goes through the second checkpoint. Having been one second behind Fedorov at the first, he's now over 30 seconds quicker.

Biniam Girmay is out on the road, resplendent in the green jersey. He’s enjoyed a terrific Tour so far, and this will be one of the few days he isn’t obliged to chase green jersey points. 

Cav's just been interviewed at the finish, and sounds in good spirits. He said he had to go hard to make sure the time limit won't be a problem, but still had some fun with his Astana teammates as they raced to try and beat each other. 

Martinez has just arrived at the finish, and sets the fastest time of the day so far, just under a minute faster than Davide Ballerini. 

Mark Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The times are getting faster at the first check point. Sébastien Grignard, Yves Lampaert, Axel Zingle and Marijn van den Berg have all reached it faster than Martinez. 

Lampaert is on the climb now. The Frenchman is one of the few here with the distinction of having won a time trial at the Tour de France, from two years ago when he won the opening stage - the greatest day of his career. He doesn't seem so fully committed today, however. 

It seems Martinez flew up the climb ahead of the second checkpoint. Though Zingle, Van den Berg and Lampaert were quicker than him at the first, his time has held their challenge at the second. 

One of the proper time trial specialists has just started his ride - Stefan Bissegger. While most riders have been taking it relatively easy, the Swiss will be all in for this.

Axel Zingle arrives at the finish, in second place. He's 22 seconds slower than Martinez. 

Lenny Martinez

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martinez's time might be coming under threat, though. Luke Durbdridge has just made it to the top of the climb at the second checkpoint, a whole 20 seconds quicker than the Frenchman. 

Bissegger has set the fastest time at the first time check, a fraction of a second quicker than Durbridge. 

Here comes Durbridge towards the finish...

...and he sets the fastest time so far. He'll replace Martinez in the hot seat. 

It doesn't seem like Durbridge will be there for long, however. Bissegger has beaten his time at the second intermediate check by 14 seconds. 

Not long now until Bissegger arrives on the finishing straight, having set the fastest time again at the third checkpoint.

Ahead of him, Nils Politt has just ousted Durbridge on the hot seat, with a time 25 seconds quicker. The German clearly isn't holding back, on one of the few days he isn't tasked with looking after Pogacar.

Politt's not even going to have time to get to the hot seat, however, as Bissegger is arriving now...

And he arrives 42 seconds faster!

There was a dodgy moment at he nearly lost his balence around the final corner, but that's a very fast time by Bissegger. It could be a while until somebody challenges him. 

Michael Matthews has just finished, with the second fastest time, 40 seconds slower than Bissegger. He hasn't featured in any of the sprints so far, working instead for Groenewegen, but looks in good form today. 

Stefan Bissegger

Stefan Bissegger, setting the fastest time so far (Image credit: Getty Images)

A good ride by Raúl García Pierna, who has ousted Michael Matthews at the finish to set the second fastest time. That’s an eye-catching performance from the 23-year-old Tour debutant, who clearly has some talent against the clock.

The rare sight here of Mathieu van der Poel in his Alpecin colours - as this is a time trial rather than a road race, he’s not wearing his usual world champion’s jersey.

Kévin Vauquelin is on the road and going fast. He's posted the second fastest time at the first checkpoint, and could threaten Bissegger. 

Good ride by Oier Lazkano, who's come into the finish with the second fastest time. Though it's a distant second, 27 seconds behind Bissegger, it's clear he's still in good form following his excellent showing at the Dauphine, and is a good shout for a stage win sometime later in the race. 

Kévin Vauquelin is flying! She's smashed Bissegger's time at the second check by 30 seconds. 

Victor Campanaerts has just rolled off the start ramp. He said at the start of the day that he wasn't going to hold back today, so expect a good time from the former hour record holder and European time trial champion.

Vauquelin is quickest again at the third checkpoint. He should be in the hotseat soon...

A very big name at the start ramp now, as Stefan Küng starts his ride. Outside of the GC candidates, he's one of the top time trialists, and will be targetting this stage. 

Fastest time by Kévin Vauquelin! He's gone 22 seconds quicker than Bissegger. What a Tour this young Frenchman is having. 

At 29-44, Vauquelin is the first man to complete the course in under half an hour. It doesn't seem likely that many others will achieve that, and he could have a high finishing place at the end of the stage.

Mads Pedersen is next to start. If firing on all cylinders, he might have gone all in today to try and win some more points in the green jersey competition, but he’ll likely take it easy and he continues to recover from his crash injuries.

Stefan Küng is on a mission. He's passed his minute man Jonas Abrahamsen, and the difference in speed between the two was stark.

A problem now for Küng though! He has a problem with his chain and had to stop peddling while he fixed it.

He had to slow down so much that Abrahamsen almost caught back up to him, having been passed earlier. 

Küng had also set the fastest time at the first checkpoint, by a whopping 1 seconds. It's unlikely he'll be fastest at the second.

Meanwhile Camapanaerts is going well. He's second at the second timecheck, just three seconds slower than Vauquelin. He has a chance of setting the fastest time at the finish.

Having been 12 seconds up at the first check, Küng is now 18 seconds down at the second. He still has time to speed up in the final phase of the course, but that mechanical was a massive setback.

A big moment now, as Wout van Aert starts his ride. He hasn't won a Tour de France stage since 2022 - could this be the day?

Campanaerts is nearing the finish now, and it's going to be close between him and Vauquelin

Camapanaerts does it! By less than a second.

Vauquelin has his head in his hands in the hot seat - but in the grand scheme of things he's probably just lost a place in the final stage rankings, rather than the stage win itself. 

Küng will be at the finish soon, too. He's getting himself back in contention, and was only 5 seconds down at the third timecheck.

Küng arrives...and he won't be on the hot seat. He posts the 3rd fastest time, 8 seconds down. 

That mechanical won't have done much to rid Küng of his reputation as one of the peloton's unluckiest riders. 

Victor Campanaerts

Victor Campanaerts, leader at the clubhouse (Image credit: Getty Images)

Van Aert hasn't started especially fast. He's down in fifth at the first timecheck, 18 seconds down. That'a s lot of ground to make up already.

Things still not looking good for Van Aert. He's sixth at the second time check. The Belgian still isn't himelf at this Tour. 

Pedersen arrives at the finish a lowly 91st place. He clearly took it easy out there - figners crossed he can get back up to full fitness in the coming days.

Interesting insight from Camapanaerts at the finish, who says he power metre lost connection until halfway up the climb. That makes his performance even more impressive. 

Stefan Küng

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert arrives at the finish in sixth place, 59 seconds down. He looked like he was giving his all, too. It's sad to see the great Belgian so far from his best form. 

Romain Grégoire reaches the second timecheck with the fifth fastest time. That's very impressive for a rider not noted as a time trial specialist. 

Another conender a high finish is about to start: Bruno Armirail. The Frenchman will hear lots of support on the road, wearing the colours of national champion. 

Fifth place for Nelson Oliveira at the finish, a good ride by the Portuguese time trial specialist. 

A big cheer greets Romain Bardet as he starts his ride. His stage win on the opening day was the first of what has already been many emotional stories this Tour de France.

Sixth place at the finish for Romain Grégoire, a further sign of the 21-year-old's considerable talent. 

Julian Bernard is having a great time on his ride, waving to the crowd and high fiving some as he ambles up the climb. 

His family are here, and he even got off for a moment to give them a hug! A very nice moment at the Tour. 

Geraint Thomas if off the start ramp. It'll be interesting to see how he goes - normally he'd be right up there in a time trial, but how fresh will he be after the Giro d'Italia?

Richard Carapaz is next off the start ramp. Will he sit up today, having already fallen 6-08 behind on GC, or dig deep with a long view of targetting a high GC finish still?

Wout van Aert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bruno Armirail is seventh fastest at the second timecheck. That's not bad, but he might have hoped for better. 

It's been a while since we last saw the leading times threatened, but that might be chaning now as Ben Healy passes through the first time check second behind Küng. Though not a noted time trialist, we all know how big an engine he has when riding on solo attacks. This could be a very good time. 

Back at the start ramp, we're about to have a flurry of big names go off: Simon Yates, Enric Mas, Jai Hindley and Pello Bilbao. All are currently outside of the top 15 on GC, 4-40 down on Tadej Pogačar. How they perform today may dictate if they continue to ride for GC, or switch to focussing on chasing stages, or domestique duties within their teams. 

Pidcock seems to be tacking it easy, as he arrives at the second timecheck 2 minutes down. His GC hopes are over: he'll be chasing stage wins from now.

Ben Healy sets a new fastest time at the second timecheck! This is a revelatory ride by the Irishman. 

Armirail finishes his ride, with the 8th fastest time so far.

An update on Carapaz: he certainly doesn't seem to be sitting up. He's the ninth fastest man at the second timecheck.

We're getting into the serious GC contenders now, as Matteo Jorgenson starts his ride. Only ten more men to come after him. 

Ben Healy is approaching the finish...but he's slowed down. 

It's still a good ride though by the Irishman, who posts the third fastest time, behind only Campanaerts and Vauquelin.

15th place for Thomas at the finish - not a bad ride, but certainly not at his best. 

Derek Gee is going very well. He's just arrived at the second timecheck with the 4th fastest time.

João Almeida rolls off the start ramp. He might be super-domestique to Pogačar, but will be gunning for a strong time himself to keep up there on GC.

Seventh for Simon Yates at the second check. He's limiting his losses well. 

Carapaz finishes his ride, in 14th.

A very good start for Aleksandr Vlasov, who's arrived at the first check with the third fastest time. At this rate, he'll move up from his current place of 14th on GC.

Carlos Rodríguez, meaning there are just five riders to come, starting with Primož Roglič.

And off goes Roglič! This is a very big day for the Slovenian. He's had to ride on the defensive so far in the GC race - is this the day he strikes back?

Jorgenson is a second quicker than Vlasov at the first check, the third fastest so far.

Juan Ayuso is off. He has licence to ride entirely for himself today.

Vlasov is still ging quick - he's fourth fastest at the second check.

Derek Gee reaches the finish, with the 7th fastest time.

Vingegaard is off! We all remember what happened the last time he rode a time trial at the Tour - could he have something similar up his sleeve today?

9th place at the finish for Simon Yates.

Evenepoel is now on the course. This is his terrain - he's world champion after all - could a career first Tour de France stage be on the cards? And maybe even the yellow jersey?

Not if Tadej Pogačar can help it. He's waiting at the start ramp now. 

And Tadej Pogačar is off! He's earing a very serious expression, and means business. 

That's it then, everyone is out on the road. We'll know the outcome of the stage in about half an hour's time. 

Jorgenson reaches the 2nd check with the fourth fastest time. 

Almeida is going pretty well - 6th fastest at the first check. He's a man who knows how to meaure an effort, so could speed up. 

Fastest time for Roglič at the first timecheck! The big question though is how he compares with the riders to come after him.

Vlasov finishes with the 5th best time, 12 seconds slower than Camapanaerts.

Vingegaard is through the first check...and he's flying! 9 seconds faster than Roglič.

Adam Yates finishes in 15, just under a minute down. He'll lose more time on GC today.

Jorgenson finishes, with the third best time. That's a very good time by the American. 

Evenepoel has set the new fastest time at the first timecheck! 

Further ahead, Roglič smashes the best time at the second check - but at this rate his time will be beaten by Vingegaard, Evenepoel and Pogačar.

Pogačar is second at the first timecheck, just seconds down on Evenepoel.

So the big four are rising to the fore - at the first check, Evenepoel is quickest, from Pogačar at 2 seconds, Vingegaard at 10 seconds and Roglič at 20 seconds. 

Bernal finishes, and he's a long way down - in 28th place, at 1-24.

Vingegaard again smashes Roglič's time at the second check, just as he did at the first. He's now 15 seconds ahead.

Almeida finishes his ride, and he's in fourth-place.

Here comes Evenepoel at the second check..and it's rapid! He's put yet more time into Vingegaard, and is now 22 seconds up!

Pogačar was only 2 seconds behind Evenepoel at the first check - how has the climb changed that?

Evenepoel's extended his lead over Pogačar too! He's 10 seconds adrift at the 2nd check.

So here's how it stands at the 2nd check:

That does mean Pogačar is on course to keep yellow

Carlos Rodríguez reaches the finish with the 12th best time. He's going to lose substantial time on the big four. 

Here comes Roglič...

..and it's the fastest time for the Slovenian. He's 18 seconds quicker than Campanaerts - expect the other three to be much more quicker, though

The third time check does suggest that Roglič is making ground on Vingegaard - he was only 4 seconds slower. We'll find out soon if that trend has continued to the finish.

Pogačar is six seconds down on Evenepoel at the 3rd check - he's limiting his losses, but the stage win is creeping away from him.

Or is it? A worry for Evenepoel as a problem shifting gears seems to cost him a few seconds. Might that cost him a stage win?

Now Vingegaard arrives to the finish.

And he has indeed slowed down. He finishes the line behind Roglič, three seconds down.

Ayuso finshed before Vingegaard, down in 13th. He'll fall from 4th place on GC.

Here comes Remco...

He's destroyed Roglič's time! Over 30 seconds quicker.

But could Pogačar challenge him?

He's closed the gap from 10 seconds to 6 in between the last two checks, so don't write him off.

Here he comes...

..and it's slower than Evenepoel.


Pogačar crossed the line with the second fastest time, 12 seconds behind Evenepoel, and 22 seconds ahead of Roglič.

Evenepoel reveals in his post-race interview that the mechanical he appeared to have was him falsely believing that he had a puncture, based on a noise he heard. He realised after a few seconds that the noise must have come from somewhere else. 

He might not have won the stage, but Pogačar holds onto the yellow jersey, by 33 seconds.

Here's today's top ten in full:

And here's the new-look GC:

Remco Evenepoel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar

Tadej Pogačar, having successfully defended yellow. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Victory for Evenepoel means he completes the Grand Tour full-set, following his two at the Giro and five at the Vuelta. Whatever happens from here, his Tor debut can, at least in one sense, be considered a success.

As for Pogačar, putting 25 seconds into Vingegaard will be a big psychological boost. The last time the two great rivals faced off against the clock was in Combloux last year, when Vingegaard produced his sensational ride to win by 1-38. There was no such gulf between them this time, and Pogačar now has a buffer of 1-15 over him on GC.

GEVREYCHAMBERTIN FRANCE JULY 05 Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Yellow Leader Jersey reacts after the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 7 a 253km individual time trial stage from NuitsSaintGeorges to GevreyChambertin UCIWT on July 05 2024 in GevreyChambertin France Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Guillaume Horcajuelo / Pool / Getty Images)

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