Take It From Carol: Tour de France Stage 13
The race of truth...
Today’s Stage is the only individual time trial. The circuit course is not very technical, but the first 15km is undulating —up/down/repeat with a few small steep ramps and false flats. The second half is flatter but has a bite at the end and kicks up for about 200 meters.
With the absence of Dumoulin and Froome the door is wide open for the GC contenders. Geraint Thomas is best suited to the course and looks to be in good form. Among the GC guys, Thomas is the only one who can claim to be a ITT specialist as well as a formidable climber—so all eyes will be on him.
Switching from GC to the battle for the Stage win, the rider to watch: van Aert. This young rider is a phenom and in his first Tour appearance he is proving to have greater depth than expected. He’s got the chops for today’s course as he demolished his rivals in the Dauphiné —even Dumoulin! And, without the pressure of the GC, van Aert can pick and choose which days he wants to expend energy. No doubt he wants the win today after his easy pacing yesterday.
Geraint Thomas had this to say about today’s race:
"I'll go all out and see where that puts me. It would be great to win the stage, but Wout Van Aert is my favorite."
So there is that!
Record today (unless ITT is your thing). Fast forward to riders of interest.