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Sunday, July 24, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France stage 20 team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here’s the report from Team Jumbo Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma had not held back in the time trial of the Tour de France. Green jersey wearer Wout van Aert was the fastest over forty kilometres. In his wake, yellow jersey carrier Jonas Vingegaard finished second. With the third consecutive victory, the Dutch team now has six stage victories in this Tour.

Wout van Aert finishing the time trial. Sirotti photo

Vingegaard made the fight for the stage win exciting, but in the finish lane, the Dane deliberately left the victory to his Belgian teammate.

"This is unbelievable", a visibly emotional Van Aert said after his eighth win of the season. "These three weeks are beyond comprehension. We are riding with a powerful team. I thank the whole team and the entire staff from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot to me. We are making our dreams come true. Dreams for which we have been working very hard for so long. Today in the time trial, another dream scenario took place. I gave everything to achieve this. I think I organised my time trial perfectly. I live to win races. Jonas can bring the yellow to Paris tomorrow. It's really very special to be part of this team."

Vingegaard's leading position in the general classification was never jeopardised in the forty-kilometre time trial. If all goes well, the 25-year-old rider will be on the top step of the final podium in Paris tomorrow. "We wanted to go for it again today. This team is incredibly strong and hungry. Wout's victory is beautiful and moves me. Afterwards, we looked for each other and shared our emotions. It shows that we are very attached to each other within the team. We have always had the feeling that we are working on something extraordinary. Everyone is super happy for each other. They are not only my colleagues but, above all, my friends."

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman, who saw his team record its thirty-second win of the season, confirms that sense of unity. "On a day like today, everything comes together. This is, in a word, bizarre. Team Jumbo-Visma is such a beautiful team, with so many fantastic people. A fantastic group of riders empowered by an equally passionate staff. The tension was unbearable today. You always keep a battle on your hands. We were in a good focus. The work of the past few weeks is paying off. Jonas and Wout kept their cool and, to top it off, rode to first and second place in this time trial. Only the very best athletes in the world perform like this."

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Here's the report from Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates:

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) celebrated success on the 20th stage of the Tour de France with the Belgian clocking a time of 47’59 ” over 40.7 km from Lacapelle Marival to Rocamadour (average of 50.877 km / h).

At UAE Team Emirates, the best performance was recorded by Tadej Pogačar, an excellent third 27” off the winner.

Tadej Pogacar just after finishing his ride. Sirotti photo

In the general classification, the situation remains unchanged, with Tadej Pogačar arriving tomorrow in Paris (last stage starting from Paris La Défense and arriving on the Champs Élysées, 115.6 km) in the white jersey (third consecutive for the Slovenian in the Grande Boucle) and will stand on the second step of the podium (+ 3’34”from Jonas Vingegaard).

Pogačar: “It was an intense three weeks of competition with Vingegaard as an opponent, with ups and downs and with the bad luck that hit the respective teams.

Jonas has made a big improvement over the last year, so congrats to him, he was the stronger man. For sure it gives me more motivation to come back stronger in the future.”

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Here's the report from Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Geraint Thomas put in a superb ride in the stage 20 time trial, setting the fourth fastest time and all but securing third place overall at the Tour de France.

The Welshman extended his general classification advantage with an assured ride across the rolling 40.7-kilometre course, and just needs to cross the line with the peloton on Sunday to be assured of a third podium finish at the Tour.

Geraint Thomas at the end of his ride. Sirotti photo

Thomas used his experience to get stronger as the course went on, eventually finishing 32 seconds back on stage winner Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The yellow jersey of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) was second on the day to secure his first Tour victory, with Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) taking third, and set to occupy the second step of the Paris podium.

Filippo Ganna laid down a brilliant marker and sat in the hot seat for much of the day until Van Aert put in a superb time. The world champion’s benchmark still held up for fifth place on the stage. Adam Yates was able to secure himself 10th overall with a battling ride, while Dylan van Baarle (15th) and Dani Martinez (20th) put in strong rides on the day.

The three-week Grand Tour concludes on Sunday afternoon in Paris with laps of the famous Champs-Elysees. At 36, a podium finish will represent an incredible achievement for Thomas, who won the race in 2018 and took second a year later in 2019.

Geraint Thomas:
"After catching Gaudu I thought I've got third place wrapped up here. I didn't want to deck it. It was a decent TT in the end. It was a case of putting my head down and just going for it.

"I've always been pretty consistent, but to turn it around from last year [is good]. I didn't really know where I'd be. To be on the podium is going to be really special.

"It's still good to be strong at the end and performing. But you always want more. I just want to win. 30 seconds to Van Aert - we've all seen how he's been this race - it's not bad."

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And here's the report from Aleksandr Vlasov's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The penultimate day of the Tour de France brought some changes in the top ten of the general classification. Today’s fastest time on a 40-kilometer-long time trial did set Wout Van Aert, but also Max Schachman rode a strong race and finished 9th in the end. Aleks Vlasov showed a solid performance and overtook Louis Meintjes and Nairo Quintana in the GC to move up to fifth place.

Aleskandr Vlasov racing in stage 7. Sirotti photo

“I suffered so much during this Tour, it is nice to have only one day left to Paris. Today, like the last days, I felt a lot better than last week. I think the TT was ok, not my best, but ok. We achieved our goal to get into the top 5 and I am really happy about that. After all those setbacks starting with Covid after Tour de Suisse, the crash in the first week and the cold I had in the Alps, it’s a relieve and I think we really deserve this result.” – Aleksandr Vlasov

“Actually, I didn’t feel really good this morning. I had a nap in the bus from 1pm to 2pm and after that I felt a lot better. I was able to push from start to finish and also managed the temperatures really well today. After my crash I suffered until the second rest day, from there on I got better again day by day. I am really happy with my performance today and this also makes me confident for my next races like San Sebastian next weekend.” – Maximilian Schachmann

“Max did a really strong TT today. I am happy for him as he suffered a lot the last days. Regarding Aleks, he was absolutely solid today. We paced in a way to always have something left for the final and without taking any risk. The goal was just to move up to 5th place in GC and we are happy to have that achieved. We saw already a positive trend in the Pyrenees stages, and he was able to maintain that trend also today. To sit now 5th in GC makes us all very happy and it feels like a little relieve after all the suffering and bad luck we experienced this Tour. When we look back now, I just can say that I am really proud of the whole team.

"We rode an active race, missed almost no break, and always had the spirit to support each other. The crash of Aleks was a pity, but we really struggled from illnesses as well during these three weeks. Lenni had to leave the race, but also the others had some issues especially during the stages in the Alps and it is difficult to recover from that during the hardest bike race in the world. I think there is not a lot we could have done better or different. Sometimes someone else was just a little stronger and that’s sports. Even we didn’t win a stage, we always have been a force in the race, we have been present and we represented BORA – hansgrohe absolutely well.

"Most of all the boys would have deserved to get rewarded for their effort with a win. Lenni was really close on Planche des Belle Filles after a great race from the whole squad. And also, to miss the Yellow Jersey to Megève was a pity. But we never gave up. The stage to Mendes was a great day for us and like I said, to finish the Tour now 5th in GC shows that we never stopped fighting and that tells us a lot about the spirit we have in this team. Tomorrow we’ll support Danny again and maybe he can surprise on the Champs-Elysées.” – Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

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