The The 27.2 kilometer time trial that Changé and Laval will join today will become a new test for the men of the general classification, since the roads of Brittany did not leave a breath since the Tour left Brest. Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic, touched by their falls on matchday three, will measure their recovery. Meanwhile, Mathieu van der Poel assumes that he will lose the coveted leadership in memory of his grandfather, Raymond Poulidor: “Against Julian (Alaphilippe), surely, because he has a lot of motivation to recover this garment and take time out of others in the first week”. The Frenchman is eight seconds behind the Dutchman and he does not hide his ambitions either: “I would love to grab the yellow again. Racing with the Tour leader’s jersey gives wings.”
Yes indeed, Alaphilippe never clarifies his intentions. Despite being considered one of the favorites in the squad, he always responds evasively: “We will see how far I go. I hold the 2019 classification (fifth) with special affection, and I think I can achieve a similar performance” Richard Carapaz does not hide his letters. Third, 31 ” behind Van der Poel, he has a 36 ” advantage over Thomas, with whom he shares stripes at Ineos: “I worked a lot during the winter to improve my performance on the clock. I try to minimize differences with my opponents. If Geraint feels good from his shots he will probably do better than me.”
Wout van Aert, fourth to 31 ”, also appears as a potential candidate to wear yellow in Laval. Wilco Kelderman is fifth, at 38 ”, with defending champion Tadej Pogacar, sixth at 39 ”. For the Slovenian, it is “a fundamental day to achieve a good result”: “In this edition the fight against the clock, with 58 km in total, will determine how the mountain is faced”. Enric But, very attentive to the traps of Brittany, I march seventh, 40 ”from the first place:” Fortunately I saved the mishaps. Now, to make a time trial that allows me to continue in the privileged positions “.
Thomas, at 1:07, and Roglic, at 1:35, are further than expected from the top spots. The Welshman gave way at the Wall of Brittany and dislocated his shoulder on the way to Pontivy. The Slovenian also fell in the third stage and resembles “a mummy” due to the amount of bandages that his erosions require: “At least I didn’t break anything, so I have to put a good face on the problems. Luckily, there is a lot of Tour and favorable terrain to cut the disadvantage little by little. As I saw in 2020 (Pogacar ousted him on the penultimate day, in La Planche), it was not until Paris that the competition ended “.