The Tour unfolds in its final fold now that the mountains are behind us. What remains is a sprint stage on Friday, a time trial on Saturday and on Sunday the classic closing round through Paris. The time trial can cause many shifts in the classification, while the specialists smell their chance of a stage win.
World champions against the clock
Two world time trial champions are active in the Tour peloton. The German Tony Martin and the Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka are riders who have the 22.5 kilometer long time trial circled in red in their diary. Tony Martin drove a good opening time trial in Düsseldorf, but eventually ran off 8 seconds from yellow jersey Geraint Thomas. Kiryienka even did 1 second better and finished third in the stage result. Kiryienka has taken off a lot of jackets in the past three weeks in the service of his leader Chris Froome. On the other hand, Katyusha rider Martin was able to save himself for his specialty, so that the German might have more energy in his tank.
LottoNL-Jumbo and the new Cancellara
The Dutch team LottoNL-Jumbo also has a specialist at hand. The stage winner of stage 17 to Serre Chevalier – the Slovenian Primož Roglič – has a great time trial. The former ski jumper has appealing results in the counter-clockwise journey to his name. Last year he won the ninth stage in the Giro d’Italia, a hilly time trial in which he defeated Tom Dumoulin, among others, and this year he was the strongest in the time trial in the Tour of the Basque Country. Due to the failure of Jos van Emden, all eyes on the Dutch team management will be focused on him. Stefan Küng is perhaps the most talented time trial driver in the peloton. The BMC rider finished second in Düsseldorf, is the Swiss time trial champion and is referred to as the new Fabian Cancellara. In Marseille, he can definitely shake off the stamp of talent.
The time trial in Marseille is the determining factor for the classification. Chris Froome has by far the best time trial of the riders in the top three. On a good day, he can measure himself with the specialists. Last year, he was second in the time trial won by Tom Dumoulin to Le Caverne de Pont. For Romain Bardet it will be important to limit the damage. He must hope for a less competitive day to maintain his place on the podium. The Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran has proven in the past to have a good time trial and has the second place for him.
Gambling on the final winner:
Froome, Chris 1.03
Uran Uran, Rigoberto 7 p.m.
Bardet, Romain 101.00
Landa, Mikel 151.00
Aru, Fabio 401.00
Martin, Daniel 601.00
Yates, Simon 1001
Barguil, Warren 1501
Meintjes, Louis 2001
Contador, Alberto 2501