TDF 2024: Stage 7: Evenepoel Wins First Time Trial


Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) won the first time trial of this year’s Tour, 25.3km from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin.

The World time trial champion was 12” quicker than second placed Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), with Primoz Roglic (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) third by 34” and Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) in fourth, 37” down on the winner.

Pogacar keeps the Yellow Jersey, but with his lead over Evenepoel now reduced to 33”, with Vingegaard third overall at +1’15”.

The Details
The man who has made history already at this year’s Tour, Mark Cavendish, was the first of the 174 riders competing in the stage to start at 1.05pm local time. Along the time trial route the riders’ differences were officially timed at three intermediate splits, in Messanges (km 8.6), Curley (km 14.4) and Morey-Saint-Denis (km 19.9).

In reverse order of the general classification the riders started at intervals of one minute for the first 58 men to go down the ramp, then at 1’30” intervals. For the leading nine riders in the general classification the gap in departures between starters was two minutes, with Pogacar logically leaving last, at 5pm.

Provisional leaders
Young French Groupama-FDJ rider Lenny Martinez set a 31’40”84 time, putting him on top in the early running, having been the 12th rider to start. Just under an hour and a half after the stage commenced, the 45th starter Luke Durbridge from Jayco-AlUla ousted the small climber from Groupama-FDJ with a time of 31’14″01, setting an average speed of 48.6 km/h.

Durbridge was then unseated from the provisional top spot himself by German TT champion Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) by a 25” margin, before Stefan Bissegger (EF Education – EasyPost) went into the lead with a 30’06”66 best time, flying over the course at an average 50.4 km/h speed.

Heating Up
An excellent performance by Kevin Vauquelin (Arkea – B&B Hotels) produced the first sub 30 second time of the day. Vauquelin finished in 29’44″94 to lead from Bissegger by 21″, before the 97th man down the ramp Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-dstny) took over from Vauquelin in the hotseat by less than a second, with just 0.72s between their times.

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) was hindered by a loose chain in the second sector and while it was difficult to accurately estimate exactly how much time that cost him, it hurt his progress, as he crossed the line in provisional third place, 8″ down on Campenaerts.

The favorites join the fray
As the favorites flew around the course later in the afternoon the provisional lead at the intermediate timing points and the finish line changed hands several times but world time trial champion Evenepoel was too fast for his rivals. The Belgian even overcame a scare with a suspected puncture which appeared to distract him for a few seconds, but he finished the job in style to take 12 vital seconds out of Pogacar’s GC lead.

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