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TDF Stage 7: TT O'Clock

TDF Stage 7: TT O'Clock

9th Jul 2024

It’s Remco versus Pogi versus Vingegaard versus Roglic. All former Grand Tour winners know how to get it over the line, but only two of them have a yellow jersey hanging at home.

They all have an asterisk too: Vingegaard’s injury. Pogacar won the Giro, is he tired? Roglic seemingly can’t finish it off at the Tour and Remco always has a bad day.

Not since 1989 have we had a Tour de France that could hinge this closely on a time-trial. The final stage is in Nice, not Paris. And it will be a time-trial, not a sprint. We’re all dreaming of a final showdown in Nice, is that too much to ask?

From Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin the Tour headed through the stunning Burgundy vineyards and it made for stunning viewing. It was a typical Tour de France TT. It was slightly technical, and there was a small hill in the middle.

How it Played Out

Remco went in as favourite. The rainbow accents of his World Champion bike were resplendent, but he was wearing white as the best young rider. He’s an aero-bullet and rumour has it that his skin is faster than any material Castelli gives to him.

He went out fast, quickly setting the new time to beat at the first checkpoint. The main question of the day was whether Pogacar could do the same as the Giro and take time back on the climb.

Pogacar could not. Remco took the stage by 12-seconds over Pogacar. Roglic finished in 3rd and Vingegaard in 4th.

The Tech

Everywhere that we looked, there’s fancy tech on display. Many teams use smaller races to trial the new gear, and then introduce it to the whole team at the Tour. It’s the year of the helmet with Ekoi bringing a new lid to market, on par with MET, KASK, Limar and Rudy Project who all have updates.

The Giant Trinity broke out of hiding this week once again. The disc brake bike has been rumoured for a while and spotted with Luke Plapp. It was seen once again with Jayco-Alula, and we’ll bring you more information as soon as it launches.

In line with our new Driveline Ecosystem, 1x chainrings dominated the top of the standings. 

The Other Story Lines

While the headlines will rightly go to the top four riders, there are plenty of other stories scattered around the race.

Stefan Kung finished a minute back, but his eternal bad luck struck once again as his chain became tangled in his front mech.

Matteo Jorgenson proved he’s a man for General Classification, and probably Visma-Lease a Bike’s second strongest rider. He’s gone from strength to strength since joining the killer bees.

Then there’s Derek Gee, everyone’s favourite Canadian. He finished 3rd overall at the Dauphine, and came into the Tour with GC dreams. He finished 1:17 back on the day with an aero package that leaves much to be desired.

My Thoughts

I always love a Tour de France TT. It’s the pinnacle of performance, both for equipment and as an athlete. It’s fascinating racing too. There’s the GC battle, then there’s the stage battle. Sometimes they crossover, sometimes there’s a surprise winner.

Looking across the paddock, you can tell who’s spent time in the R&D lab too. For some teams, it must feel like they’re bringing a knife to a nuclear war. It’s hard for those with a lower budget to combat the big spending teams. With product development and windtunnel time, a TT day can feel like an arms race.

About the Author

Joe Laverick’s cycling introduction was via the British time-trial scene, since starting the sport, he has been all about speed. He’s a freelance writer and privateer racer who mixes road, time trial and gravel racing. To this day, he remains one of the only riders on the planet to have beat Remco Evenepoel in a time trial.