Tour de France Stage 20 Preview
LIBOURNE–SAINT-ÉMILION TIME TRIAL
Saturday, July 17
31 km (flat)
Second place on the line
Saint-Émilion is not only famed for some of the best wines in the world but it’s also a place that has hosted the finish of two Tour time trials. Bernard Hinault won here in 1978 and Jan Ullrich in 1996. Who will it be in 2021? With the defending champion in the yellow jersey with a five minute lead, there’s little doubt that Tadej Pogačar will win his second Tour. But with only five seconds between runner-up Jonas Vingegaard and third-placed Richard Carapaz, there’s a chance that they could switch places on the final podium. The course through the vineyards isn’t overly straight. There are frequent changes of direction and a short hill soon after passing through the Château Petrus winery. But it’s still a course for real specialists. In the third week, time trials are always a little bit biased when it comes to the riders’ intrinsic qualities, so there could be a surprise stage winner. Maybe Pogačar will repeat his TT victory of stage 5. If not, a specialist such as Stefan Küng could take the honors.
On of a flat 150m straight on the 18.6 feet wide D243.
SCHEDULE (all times EDT)
Start in Place Joffre, Libourne (0km): first rider, 7:05 a.m., last rider, 11:19 a.m.; Pomerol (time split, 7.6km, 23.2km to go), first rider, 7:14 a.m. last rider, 11:28 a.m.; Montagne (time split, 20.1km, 10.7km to go), first rider, 7:28 a.m., last rider, 11:42 a.m.; Saint-Émilion, finish (30.8km), first rider 7:41 a.m., last rider 11:55 a.m.
Analysis by Thierry Gouvenou and John Wilcockson.