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Tour de France

First time trial in Mayenne

After four nervous days in Brittany, the peloton of Tour de France faced a 27-kilometer individual time trial between Changé and Laval, in Mayenne. The first of the two time trial events of this 108th edition was intended for rouleurs, as it was devoid of any major difficulties. The course alternated between slight climbs and long straights, especially between Louverné and Bonchamp-lès-Laval, and included a technical final in Laval with a dozen corners.

The first riders to start, including Georg Zimmermann at 12:42, could briefly enjoy good weather conditions. But the rain then hit the course, making the road wet for the riders who started within the first two hours. South African Louis Meintjes recorded the best time for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, completing the course in 34:56. The stage victory went to outgoing Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE).

We were aiming for the best possible result for Louis Meintjes and Jan Bakelants in this time trial. We prepared it well because it was a technical and hilly course. We can see, in view of the performance of our two climbers against this world-class field, that we have done our homework. If we compare Louis' time to his competitors with a similar profile, he showed a good level. From a technical point of view, I saw an excellent handling of the corners from Louis, who also perfectly calibrated his acceleration in the hills. Both he and Jan still had some juice on the last climb, two kilometers from the finish. Their condition is improving day by day, which is a positive factor for the coming stages.


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