Froome set for fourth Tour de France title following time trial
It was the Bora-Hansgrohe team that took the honors in today's stage 20 individual time trial of the Tour de France 2017. The otherwise flat 22.5 kilometer route in the architecturally beautiful streets of Marseille began and concluded in front of a huge audience in the Velodrome and included a tough hill climb after approximately 14 kilometers of intensive riding.
Bora-Hansgrohe's Maciej Bodnar (Poland) won the stage with an advantage of just one second over his fellow countryman Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky Pro Cycling - the team of defending Tour de France Champion Christopher Froome.
"I still can't believe it, because last year was close. This year was even closer, but now I've got the win I wanted. I have been waiting here for three hours since I finished. It was amazing with a really nice atmosphere here in the stadium," Bodnar told Roadcycling.com.
Froome produced the third-best time in today's individual time trial and thereby secured the general classification lead and victory before tomorrow's parade stage 21 into Paris. A grand show and big celebrations traditionally await the riders, teams and staff members in Paris. To mark tomorrow's festivities to come, the French national anthem La Marseillaise was played in the Marseille Stade Vélodrome today - the stadium that is home to the Olympique de Marseille soccer team.
"Three weeks of racing has almost come to an end and obviously we have to get to Paris tomorrow, but it’s an amazing feeling," a relieved Froome told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium inside the stadium.
"It was tough, there were just a thousand what ifs, maybes and things that potentially could go wrong and trying to be aware of all the different scenarios, so it was certainly not an easy one coming into today with it being so close. It just feels incredible," Froome added.
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Rigoberto Uran of Team Cannondale-Drapac delivered a time trial performance worthy of a Tour de France champion and moved from third into second position in the general classification despite becoming overeager in the final kilometers and therefore missing the final turn into the stadium and almost crashing - a procedure that cost him valuable seconds. Uran finished 8th in the time trial and is now 54 seconds behind Froome in the overall rankings.
"In that moment of almost crashing I was risking a lot, but sometimes you have to do everything you possibly can. Sometimes you crash, but fortunately I came out of it well and didn’t hit the deck," Uran explained to Roadcycling.com.
"It's a very important second place and on top of that it was very tight coming down to the last time trial. Everything was up for grabs. The Tour general classification was wide open right up until the final time trial. Of course in my Cannondale-Drapac team we knew it would be complicated with the rival we were up against, but not impossible, so we gave it everything. It’s been a great Tour de France."
Previous GC second place holder Romain Bardet, whose AG2R-La Mondiale team has animated many stages in this year's Tour de France with its strong and dominant team performances at the front of the peloton, struggled in today's time trial challenge and lost valuable time, thereby dropping to third in the general classification, just one second ahead of Froome's teammate Mikel Landa in fourth.
Having recovered several minutes after today's struggle, Bardet explained he had not been feeling well since the Col d'Izoard finish and felt unwell when he woke up this morning. Bardet is known for his poor time trial performances and usually excels only in mountain stages.
Team Cannondale-Drapac's American time trial expert Taylor Phinney finished 17th in today's time trial after having contested his first Tour de France following a long period of injuries and bad luck.
"I felt good out there in the time trial, but that hill was a bit oooof. I did the best ride I could and am very excited to get to Paris demain," Phinney said.
2017 Tour de France - Stage 20 results:
1 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:28:15
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:00:01
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:00:06
4 Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:14
5 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott 0:00:20
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:21
7 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:28
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:31
9 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:34
10 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:37
11 Jack Bauer (NZl) QuickStep Floors 0:00:41
12 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 0:00:42
13 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:43
14 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Lotto NL-Jumbo 0:00:49
15 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:00:51
16 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal 0:00:56
17 Taylor Phinney (USA) Team Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:06
18 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:01:07
19 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 0:01:09
20 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:11
2017 Tour de France - General Classification:
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky Pro Cycling 83:55:16
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:54
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:20
4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:02:21
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:05
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team QuickStep Floors 0:04:42
7 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:06:14
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:20
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:08:49
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 0:09:25
11 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:14:48
12 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:15:28
13 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:24:38
14 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:25:28
15 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:33:21
16 Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro 0:36:46
17 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:37:43
18 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team 0:37:47
19 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data 0:39:36
20 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal 0:42:04
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