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Tour de France - Cycling: Stage 20 preview

The penultimate day's time-trial at the Tour de France has often proved decisive but with the race all but settled, this could be one for the specialists.

Yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard ticked off another day towards Paris as he arrived safely into Cahors on Friday and currently sits three minutes and 21 seconds ahead of Tadej Pogacar and will, barring a colossal disaster, win the 109th Tour.

Saturday is unlikely to be a day for the Dane who can almost afford to cruise around but it could suit his teammate Wout van Aert.

The Belgian took last year's stage 20 time-trial before incredibly winning the final day's sprint along the Champs-Elysees.

That completed a remarkable treble, having also won atop Mont Ventoux and he has enjoyed another magnificent Tour.

Van Aert is sure to be amongst the contenders and pulled up early on Friday to rest. However, in true 'Wonderwout' style, he had by then put eventual stage winner Christophe Laporte exactly where he needed to be.

Yves Lampaert was the surprise winner of the opening day's time-trial in Copenhagen but the 40.7km route from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour is likely to belong to a man with more pedigree.

The 2022 Tour de France at bet365

What

Tour de France, Stage 20

Where

Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour

When

12:05 UK Time, Saturday 23rd July

How to watch

Live on ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+ & GCN+

OddsWout van Aert 8/11, Filippo Ganna 11/4, Jonas Vingegaard 7/1, Tadej Pogacar 8/1

Stage 20 route details

There will be two firsts on Saturday as the Tour has never visited either the start town of Lacapelle-Marival or the finish point of Rocamadour.

The riders will race on an undulating 40.7km route set to be decided by a couple of awkward climbs toward the finish line, which is situated in a gorge above the River Alzou.

As cliche as it sounds, the race of truth doesn't lie and Saturday's unusually long route will expose any rider who is teetering on the edge of fatigue after three weeks of punishment.

There is something poetic about such a barbaric Tour route all but finishing in the heart of a medieval town.

In truth, those at the top of the general classification might be relieved that the race is almost settled.

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Three to follow

Filippo Ganna @ 10/3

The two-time world time-trial champion couldn't quite get it going in  Copenhagen, eventually finishing fourth.

Like many of the favourites, Ganna's shortcomings stemmed from the widespread misreading of the inclement weather but the forecast suggests that should not be an issue on Saturday.

The Italian has had a relatively quiet Tour debut but was sixth on stage 13 and has become more visible in the breakaway as the race has gone on.

Ganna is likely to have earmarked Saturday's stage as one of his goals for the season and this is an excellent chance for him to break his duck.

The Ineos-Grenadiers' rider has been beaten just twice in time-trials this year and won on a similar route at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Stefan Bissegger @ 22/1

One of only two riders to have beaten Ganna against the clock in 2022 is Bissegger, who did so by seven seconds on stage  three of February's UAE Tour.

The Swiss went out hard in Copenhagen and his positivity cost him as he crashed early, ending any hopes of taking the yellow jersey.

Bissegger is another who has appeared in the break in recent days and his team have looked to use his vast engine to propel their climbers, albeit with limited success.

Saturday is all about the 23-year-old and while he'd rather not have those lumps and bumps at the end, winning races at the Tour is all about riding out of your comfort zone.

Wout van Aert @ 5/6

He couldn't, could he? Van Aert has been one of the stars of the Tour and everything he does seems to be touched by genius.

The Belgian's exploits mean he could again do the stage 20 and 21 double. However, this year's stage 20 TT route is a bit longer than in 2021 and his extra efforts in the Alps and Pyrenees might start to sting the green jersey as his ride goes on.

That said, Van Aert was second in Copenhagen and while he is an outstanding bike-handler, the more bruising nature of this route may well be better suited to his characteristics.

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