Richard Carapaz headed into the 27.2km Tour de France time test from Changé to Laval on Wednesday as the best Ineos Grenadiers rider in the overall standings, but with last year’s winner Geraint Thomas nearly 30 seconds away. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), both riders. will look for outstanding performances
Carapaz currently sits in third place in the GC with 31 seconds of yellow card, ahead of both Pogačar and last year’s runner-up Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner, entering the tour as one of the GCs. Four possible cards for Ineos to play in the battle for the yellow jersey. But after crashes and lost time, both Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart are riders from Ecuador who It is currently at the top of the pecking order in the English team.
All of this could change over the 27.2km course. Thomas was a better time tester on paper. But he was not high-flying at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné time trials and there were questions about his condition after he fell and dislocated his shoulder 4. The Welshman remains a threat. But according to team director Gabriel Rasch Carapaz can surprise people on the road to Laval.
“I think the time trial is very good for us,” Rasch said Tuesday night.
“It̵7;s an ongoing experiment and not an advanced technique. It’s a good course and we’re ready to go tomorrow. It’s a good route for Richie. [Carapaz]He had also prepared well before this year for the test of time and he had taken it one step further. I think he will surprise others tomorrow.”
According to the Norwegian rider and ex-Team Sky, the team went and did a test ride to test the time before the Tour de France. The riders will make two trips to the track, while all the staff and followers join in in full preparation for the first of two races this year.
“We went to the course before the tour because we knew it would be very important to us. We went there with the team director, staff, mechanics, caretakers, everyone. We did this route twice and it looked good so we were well prepared,” Rasch added.
For Thomas – a better time tester on paper – Phase 4 is all about recovery after a day of bruises in the saddle on Monday. His race looked to be over but ended after he came down the same fall as Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), and as the Dutchman left the ambulance, Thomas was able to regain his footing and make contact with the Peloton. time
On the 4th stage, he passed without incident. Although he admitted that he was still in pain after his crash.
“It’s really okay. Better than expected but it hurts It went through it as best as it could. And when we got to the finals, I thought, let it go, just with the kids. and don’t let that wheel go and focus on that,” Thomas said at the end of the race.
“I feel worse now, to be honest. I’m looking forward to the massage, getting ready, and jazz music with the physiotherapist to use with me.”
Thomas also paid tribute to his former team-mate Marc Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after the English rider won the Tour de France for the first time in five years.
“Good old Cav. It’s good to see him win. I was a little surprised I hope he doesn’t hear me say that. I think he has a chance But today’s win was great for him. It was great to see.”