Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Froome secures yellow jersey as Maciej Bodnar takes time trial win on Tour de France 2017 Stage 20

Peter Stuart
22 Jul 2017

Maciej Bodnar of Bora Hansgrohe takes the TT win, while Froome shows his fantastic time trial form in nearly catching Bardet

Chris Froome of Team Sky has thrilled fans by clinching the yellow jersey with a fanastic third place finish on the final time trial before the return to Paris on the final stage tomorrow. Excusing an highy unusual turn of events or severe crash in tomorrow's stage, Froome has secured his fourth Tour de France victory.

Froome took third place, 6 seconds off the impressive Maciej Bodnar, showing strength from the first split where he was only 2 seconds off Kwiatkowski's fastest time, and with a likely negative split already looked strong for the overall win. 

He didn't quite clinch it, but put considerable time into Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet. Bardet just held onto his podium spot in the GC but was bested to his 2nd place overall finish by a strong TT performance by Uran.

The top 10 finishers of the 22.5km time trial stage were as follows:

1. Maciej Bodnar (Bora Hansgrohe) 28:15
2. Michal Kwiatowski (Team Sky) 28:16
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 28:21
4.Tony Martin (Team Katusha) 28:29
5. Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) 28:35
6. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) 28:36
7. Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) 28:43
8. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) 28:46
9. Stefan Küng (BMC) 28:49
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Dimension Data) 28:52

How the stage unfolded

It looked like a stage for the time trial specialists, with a flat city profile interupted only by one short steep ramp of Notre-Dame de la Garde, around 11% for 780m.

With Tony Martin (Team Katusha) setting off early in the order on account of his low General Classifiction positon, expectation was for him to set the time to beat. Ahead of him were serious contenders Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac) and Maciej Bodnar of Team Bora Hansgrohe.

Taylor Phinney pleased fans with an early strong time of 29 minutes and 21 seconds to make the first serious target of the day for subsequent riders.

It didn't take long, though, for Maciej Bodnar to take over a minute out of Phinney to set what looked like the time to beat, of 28.15 – an impressive 47.8kmh average.

Tony Martin couldn't best it. He came in only 10 minutes later with a time of 28.29, 14 seconds off Bodnar's time, good enough for second place.

Michal Kwiatowski offered some serious excitement when he took the fastest time at the first of the stage's three time checks, but came in a crushing 1 second slower than Bodnar.

So too was there disappointment for favourite for the day Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) who needed to change bikes ahead of the main climb, meaning he came in 10th place, sure to be displaced by the big names yet to start.

With that, the BC contenders began to take to the road, just as Warren Barguil was awarded the combatitivity award for the overall Tour, and the excitement began.

Against the clock

Hopes were high from a showing from Alberto Contador, and he impressed with a fast intermediate time only 13 seconds off Kwiatkowski's fastest. 

When Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondial) began just after 5pm, the roar from the Orange Velodrome was deafening, sadly when Froome began minutes later, boos were more audible. With 23 seconds between the riders, passions were running high.

Froome settled into an impressive cruising speed of 53kmh, and looked comfortable in his aerodynamic position just as Quintana, quite at odds, finished in a disappointing 27th position. Aru, similarly was in trouble at the first time check, 38 seconds off Kwiatkowski.

Contador held his margin, taking 5th place in 28.36 at 21 seconds off Bodnar, an impressive showing but not enough to push him up the GC significantly.

Bardet went through the first time check unfortunately off the pace, 42 seconds off Kwiatkowski, and already losing his 2nd place overall. Froome by contrast came over the first check only 2 seconds down off the lead, putting a hefty margin into the Frenchman.

On the main climb of Notre-Dame de la Garde, Bardet looked disorientated and unstable, with Froome following closely within sight. Bardet crossed the 2nd check in 42nd place, with Froome only 3 seconds off the quickest time of the day – 43 seconds ahead of Bardet.

Shortly after, Aru came into the finish 1.16 off Bodnar, as Rigoberto Uran had hearts pacing with a minor crash into the barriers, which he impressively recovered from to take 8th place and move up in the overall GC.

On the final straight toward the stadium, Froome looked fully capable of catching Bardet, with the Frenchman fading into the final kilometre.

Froome didn't quite catch the Frenchman, but was subjected to tasteless boos from the stadium on his finish. 

Bardet was struggling to the line, and held onto the podium for the GC by just one second, as Uran's strong performance pushed him off second place.

Tour de France 2017: Stage 20, Marseille to Marseille (22.5km, ITT), result

1. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 28:15
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 0:01 
3. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 0:06 
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin, at 0:14 
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott, at 0:20 
6. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 0:21 
7. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb, at 0:28 
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 0:31 
9. Stefan Küng (Sui) BMC Racing, at 0:34 
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie, at 0:37 

Tour de France 2017: General classification top 10 after Stage 20

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 83-55-16
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 0:54 
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 2:20
4. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, at 2:21
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 3:05
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 4:42
7. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 6:14
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates, at 8:20
9. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 8:49
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb, at 9:25