Tour de France stage 16: Jonas Vingegaard decimates time trial

Yellow jersey puts over a minute into Tadej Pogačar and pulls clear of all other rivals

Clock16:22, Tuesday 18th July 2023
Jonas Vingegaard, the two-time Tour de France champion in waiting?

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Jonas Vingegaard, the two-time Tour de France champion in waiting?

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) produced the best time trial performance of his career to annihilate the competition on stage 16 of the Tour de France and deal what appears to be a fatal blow to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in the battle for the yellow jersey.

The reigning champion finished the 22.4km time trial in 32:36, a whopping 1:38 faster than second-placed Pogačar and 2:51 over teammate, Wout van Aert, putting in an effort that he said even surprised himself.

At the end of the stage, the performance produced by Vingegaard saw the gap between first and third on GC extend to an eye-watering 8:52, with Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) leapfrogging Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) into the final step of the podium. The gap between the pair sits at just five seconds heading into stage 17, promising a nail-biting final few days for the prestigious spot in Paris.

“I was feeling great today. I think it’s the best time trial I have ever done,” Vingegaard said after the finish, now holding an advantage of 1:48 over second-placed Pogačar. “I am really proud of what I did today and I am really happy about the victory. I think today I even surprised myself with the time trial I did, I didn’t expect to do so well in the time trial today, to be honest.”

“[The time trial] was divided into four parts,” he recalled. “The first was the flat part and then the climb, so you go quite hard to the climb, then go really hard on the climb and try to recover in the descent. Then you try to hold a little bit back on the flat parts and then the last climb was just full gas, but you still had to keep something for the last flatter part.”

The early benchmark time was set by Rémi Cavagna (Soudal-Quick Step), but he stood little chance of taking the stage once the race favourites went down the starting ramp. Meanwhile, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) engaged in a battle for KoM points that saw the Italian extend his lead in polka-dots by a further five points.

Racing recap

Sitting at last place in the GC, Michael Mørkøv (Soudal-Quick Step) was the first off the starting ramp in Passy. However, the Dane was never going to challenge the top of the leaderboard save for his short spell in the ‘hot seat’ at the end of his ride.
It was Mørkøv’s compatriot Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) who set the first impressive time of the day, completing the 22.4km route in 36:06 at an average speed of 37.2kph. Pedersen was unseated at the top of the standings by Rémi Cavagna (Soudal-Quick Step), whilst Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Nikias Arndt (Bahrain Victorious) and Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step) all produced notable rides within the first 50 starters.

“I think I could have done better, but on the Côte de Domancy I struggled a little bit and struggled with the last couple of kilometres,” reflected Cavagna at the finish. “It is a decent time but I will be beaten. The route was tough, and I think the favourites will go about a minute faster than me.”

As pretenders to the throne came and went throughout the afternoon, those battling for the KoM jersey tried to seize their chance on the category two Côte de Domancy. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) and Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) both took their rides easy before extending themselves on the final climb, with Ciccone coming out on top with the quickest time and ultimately extending his lead by another five points.

Wout van Aert came out with high ambitions in the Belgian national champion’s skinsuit, with Jumbo-Visma yet to win a stage in this year’s race, and he delivered an exceptional ride that saw him dispatch Cavagna from the hot seat. Finishing with a time of 35:27, Van Aert fell to the ground in exhaustion after the line, as he hoped this performance would bring him his third Tour de France time trial victory.

It was Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) who dealt the first blow in the GC battle, going through the first time check after 7.1km 16 seconds faster than Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). Vingegaard and British hopefuls, Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) and Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates), all stayed on their time trial bikes as they tackled the steep ramps to the finish, but Pogačar made the switch onto his road bike.

For Pogačar, the bike change did not prove to be a stroke of magic as the Slovenian looked visibly in trouble on the final climb and was put to the sword by a yellow jersey on the rampage. Vingegaard rode so strongly that he had Pogačar in his sights towards the end, as the time gap ballooned over the course of the 22.4km. By the end, Vingegaard crossed the line after the ride of his life to take 1:38 on Pogačar and 2:51 on eventual third-placed Wout van Aert.

Elsewhere, an impressive ride from Adam Yates saw the UAE Team Emirates co-leader move up to third having gained 24 seconds on Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers), whilst Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and Simon Yates also notched up notable rides to keep their top five ambitions alive. It was Vingegaard who will take all the headlines, however, with the Dane taking a big step towards the overall win in Paris, as only Pogačar sits within anything near of an assailable distance to him on GC.

We’ll be showing live and on-demand coverage of all 21 stages of this year’s Tour de France from Saturday, July 1 to Sunday, July 23. Head over to GCN+ now to check the start times of each broadcast so that you don’t miss out on a moment of the action! As always, territory restrictions will apply.

Race Results

1

dk flag

VINGEGAARD Jonas

Jumbo-Visma

32' 36"

2

si flag

POGACAR Tadej

UAE Team Emirates

+ 1' 38"

3

be flag

VAN AERT Wout

Jumbo-Visma

+ 2' 51"

4

es flag

BILBAO Pello

Bahrain Victorious

+ 2' 55"

5

gb flag

YATES Simon

Team Jayco-AlUla

+ 2' 58"

6

fr flag

CAVAGNA Remi

Soudal Quick-Step

+ 3' 06"

7

gb flag

YATES Adam

UAE Team Emirates

+ 3' 12"

8

dk flag

SKJELMOSE Mattias

Lidl-Trek

+ 3' 21"

9

dk flag

PEDERSEN Mads

Lidl-Trek

+ 3' 31"

10

fr flag

GAUDU David

Groupama-FDJ

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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