A legendary place for an epic duel: Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar, two inseparable names in the 2023 Tour de France, will live a distance duel this Tuesday in the Alpine time trial, with the climb to Domancy, which could have its weight in the general.
Honor reserved for the Danish yellow jersey, Vingegaard will be the last rider to start, at 10 in the morning (ESPN and Caracol TV), just after his Slovenian rival, who will start 120 seconds earlier to face nearly 36 minutes of effort on a route as short (22.4 kilometres) as it is demanding between Passy and Combloux.
The profile of this stage 16, with the terrible climb of Domancy (2.5km at 9.4 percent) on the menu, suits both champions well, separated by just 10 seconds in the general classification.
Start the third week 🔥
📝 Stage 16 of the 2023 Tour de France with the 22.4 individual time trial that will take place from Passy to Combloux.
— Yencer Barona (@YencerBarona13) July 18, 2023
“The changes of pace work perfectly for me”, says Vingegaard in the anteroom. «He is the type of time trial that I adore,» Pogacar replies. «He is a time trial for mountaineers,» the layout’s architect, Thierry Gouvenou, told the French agency AFP.
“There’s Domancy, but also the climb up the Cascade du Coeur just after the start. And after Domancy there are still three or four kilometers uphill to the finish line. And it is also the day after the rest day”, adds Gouvenou.
Vingegaard looks at the time trial: “Before the Tour de France, I thought that a time trial later in the Tour would be better for me, whereas earlier would benefit Pogacar. But given the last few stages, we’re so close that I’m not sure anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re very close.»
Pogacar looks to the future: “After the time trial we will take stock of the situation. In any case, the two remaining mountain stages will be tough, all decisive for the final score”.
Without options, the Colombians Rigoberto Urán, Egan Bernal and Harold Tejada will start the time trial at 7:57, 9:06 and 9:12 am, respectively.