Dampierre-en-Burly > Dampierre-en-Burly 32.1km TTT
It’s time trial day.
Grey, cold, but it should stay dry. The wind should be consistent for all as there’s only 1h3m between the first and last team setting off.
Very few corners to deal with, that makes life so much easier for the riders.
Much has been made of the change of rules for this TTT, but I don’t think it will change how most teams go about the race. The team gets the time of the first rider across the line, but all riders will get their own time, in terms of GC. Some teams might experiment with gradually using up their riders throughout the stage, leaving just the “leader” for the final 2km, but I doubt it.
Jumbo-Visma – almost every one of their squad is excellent in this discipline, this is a huge day in the GC battle. Can they take enough time on Pogačar to make Vingegaard safe in yellow? They have TT specialists in Dennis, Affini, Tratnik and Foss, which is a quite ridiculous group of individuals, and then Kooij, Van Hooydonck and Vingegaard ain’t too bad either. With this team, the goal shouldn’t be just to win, it should be to win with a big gap.
EF – after a very impressive result in the UAE Tour, the team will be hoping for more of the same here. With Scully, Powless, Bissegger and Cort they have a strong core group of riders for this discipline, they’ll hope to finish on the podium.
Jayco – another team with a strong group of riders for a TTT. They have Sobrero, O’Brien, Matthews, Harper, Durbridge and Yates, only Hamilton looks on the weak side. I really like the look of this team; they could push Jumbo-Visma closer than most think.
QuickStep – without a serious GC contender, they don’t have to go full gas, but they will. With pride on the line, they’ll give it their best shot, I would expect the top 5.
UAE – they won’t win, but how much will they lose to Jumbo-Visma? They have a decent team with several strong rouleurs and then they have Pogačar. They’ll be delighted if they can finish within 30 seconds of the winners, even 45 seconds wouldn’t be a disaster.
Ineos – strong but not spectacular.
I’ll go Jumbo-Visma, Jayco, EF as my top 3.
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