By Cameron Henderson
Jonas Vingegaard landed a blow to Tadej Pogacar’s ambitions of winning a third Tour de France title with a crushing performance in the stage 16 time trial from Passy to Combloux.
Vingegaard, who started the day just 10sec ahead of Pogacar after over two weeks of racing, extended his lead to 1min 48sec with a dominant performance on the hilly test against the clock to claim to the first WorldTour time trial of his career.
After much speculation over tactics, Pogacar chose to change bikes midway through the stage, getting on to his regular road bike for the final climb to the finish while Vingegaard stuck to his time trial machine.
Pogacar was already more than 30 seconds down on Vingegaard at that point, and the bike change brought no benefits as Vingegaard only continued to make up time, his final margin of victory 1min 38sec from Pogacar over the 22.4km distance.
Having started his effort two minutes behind Pogacar, Vingegaard could see his rival up the road by the time they neared the finish, knowing he now has him where he wants him with five days still to go.
Vingegaard’s team-mate Wout van Aert was third on the stage, with Simon Yates fifth and Adam Yates seventh. That result for Adam Yates was enough to move him up to third overall, five seconds ahead of Carlos Rodriguez.
It was only a second career time trial win for Vingegaard, and one with massively more significance than the one he took at the Gran Camino at the start of the season.
“I was feeling great today,” Vingegaard said. “I think it’s the best time trial I’ve ever done. I’m really proud of what I did today and 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.”
Asked if the Tour was now over, Vingegaard added: “No. There’s still a lot of hard stages to come. We have to keep fighting the next days and we’re looking forward to it.”
Tour de France, stage 16: As it happened . . .
05:56 PM BST
Stage 16 time trial round-up:
A breathtaking day of cycling in the Tour that keeps on giving.
The stage 16 time trial commenced with strong rides from Rémi Cavagna – who held the top spot on the leaderboard for over an hour – and Wout van Aert – Jumbo-Visma’s swiss army knife.
But the story of the day is Jonas Vingegaard. The tour leader won an astonishing victory, blowing away the rest of the field, and crucially his rival Tadej Pogacar, to go 1min 48sec ahead in the general classification with five stages to go.
In doing so, he earned his first time trial victory on the Tour, and won Jumbo-Visma’s first stage win of this year’s competition.
Pojacar has a mountain to climb tomorrow – quite literally – if he is to remain in the competition. Although Vingegaard’s lead is substantial, it would be risky to write off the two-time champion Pojacar just yet.
Elsewhere, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) took the points for the fastest ascent of the Côte de Domancy, extending his lead in the King of the Mountains competition over Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) to five points.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) moved up to third after stealing time off of previous incumbent Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers).
With a two-minute gap in the general classification to fifth place rider Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), it will be a close race for the final podium spot.
05:23 PM BST
Britain’s Adam Yates moves up to third
Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) has moved ahead of Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) to put him in with a chance of winning a podium position.
The British rider gained 24 seconds on the Spaniard in today’s time trial, leaving him five seconds ahead in the general classification.
Keeping things in the family, Simon Yates also performed well, coming fifth in the stage. But it wasn’t enough to beat Pello Bilbao, who extended his lead in seventh place over the Jayco-Alula rider.
Elsewhere, British rider Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) finished 19th in today’s stage, while Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) finished 48th.
05:06 PM BST
Jonas Vingegaard interview:
Speaking after the time trial, the race leader said: “I was feeling great today. I think it was the best time trial I’ve ever done. I’m really proud of what I did today and I’m 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.”
Yet despite his efforts, he explained the Tour is still not over. “There’s still a lot of hard stages to come so no, we have to keep fighting the next stage,” he said.
Describing his approach to the stage today, he said: “It was divided in four parts – first was the flat part and then the climb.
“You go quite hard until the climb, you go really hard on the climb, you try to recover in the descent, try to hold a little back on the flat part and then the last climb was just full gas. But you have to keep something for the last flatter part.”
04:53 PM BST
Wout van Aert describes Vingegaard win as “extraordinary”
Speaking after the race, third-place finisher Wout van Aert said: “Finally it’s a stage win for our team. I’m really happy. It’s been an unbelievable effort. Jonas was amazing. After the last few stages, I didn’t think a really big gap like this was possible.
”[Jonas] has been very strong and he’s really improved in the time trial in the last few years. It was a tough course and he still had something in the legs towards the end.
“It’s hard to understand what happened because it was extraordinary. But we’ve seen it throughout the whole Tour – those two are just so much stronger than the rest. In the end, I’m happy to make it into the top three.
“It’s a positive step forwards to secure yellow. We’re looking really good and we won last year but a few years ago we lost the Tour late on so we need to stay really focused until Paris. The stages in the next few days will be tough and crucial. Now we need to recover and make sure we’re ready for tomorrow.”
04:49 PM BST
Vingegaard’s win in perspective
Jonas Vingegaard was only 22 seconds shy of catching Pogacar today…
He would have caught and passed every other rider on the course, had they started when Pogacar did. Truly magnificent.
04:43 PM BST
Jonas Vingegaard crosses the line
04:36 PM BST
Vingegaard beats Pogacar by 1min 38sec
In the performance of his career, Jonas Vingegaard has surely secured a consecutive Tour de France victory.
The Jumbo-Visma team leader has produced a time trial win for the ages, pulverising his rival Pogacar, and indeed the rest of the competition.
The ‘race of truth is over’ – and the only name that matters is Jonas Vingegaard. Truly incredible riding.
The Dane has stretched his lead in the Tour to 1min 48sec with five stages to go.
04:32 PM BST
Vingegaard stretches lead to over 1min 30sec
With 3.4km, Vingegaard is 1min 32sec ahead of Pogacar and shows no sign of fading.
The race leader may soon be able to see his rival ahead of him on the road.
Surely that is it for the UAE Team Emirates rider?
04:28 PM BST
Pello Bilbao beats Simon Yates
The Spanish rider crossed the line three seconds quicker than Simon Yates, adding further drama to the hunt for top-five positions.
Bahrain Victorious rider started the day in seventh position – one place ahead of Yates, and with a 37sec advantage.
04:22 PM BST
Bike change for Pogacar!
After days of speculation, Pogacar has opted for the bike change in the hope to gain back around 25sec on Vingegaard.
It wasn’t the smoothest of bike changes, but will it make the difference?
It’s yet to be seen if Vingegaard will also be changing bikes.
04:17 PM BST
Vingegaard steals 30 seconds on Pogacar
After less than 10km of racing, Vingegaard has steamed to a massive 30sec lead on Pogacar.
The Slovenian has a huge amount of work to do in the climb if he is to make up the gap and stay in the running for the yellow jersey.
04:14 PM BST
Vingegaard steals 16 seconds on Pogacar
Vingegaard has a lead of 16sec on his UAE Team Emirates rival at the first time split. That’s after Pogacar stole 26sec on next-best Stefan Küng at the same point in the race.
Incredible riding from the defending Tour champion.
04:08 PM BST
British rider Simon Yates looking strong
As expected, Simon Yates started well and, at the first time check was 2sec quicker than Stefan Küng.
Back with the big dogs of the day, Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, according to race graphics, are absolutely flying.
Both were over 20sec faster than Wout van Aert after just a few kilometres, but we will need to wait for confirmation at the first time split.
04:06 PM BST
Vingegaard or Pogacar?
Both of the leading riders have rolled off the ramp. The race is on.
Just 10 seconds separate the two riders. Pogacar is a two-time time trial winner in the tour, but Vingegaard is no slouch.
Vingegaard’s team said on the radio: “Today you show the world who’s strongest.”
Could a bike change be the difference?
Vingegaard starts his TT:
04:02 PM BST
Rodríguez ready to rock and roll
Carlos Rodríguez, who has impressed everybody at this year’s Tour de France with a stage win, rolled down the ramp a few minutes ago.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider, still just 22, is the only man at this year’s race to have ridden Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar off his wheel. . . .but how will he fare in the ‘race of truth’?
04:00 PM BST
Domestiques ready for day in the sun
Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard’s loyal mountain domestique, has rolled down the starting ramp.
The talented American started the day sixth on general classification. While the Jumbo-Visma rider’s main focus will be helping the defending champion to keep hold of his maillot jaune, one suspects he would not be averse on cementing a place in the top 10 – or possibly even moving up to fifth – with a decent ride this afternoon.
Likewise, Adam Yates who starts fourth overall is out on the road and looks hungry… he starts 21sec behind third-placed Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers).
03:53 PM BST
Guillaume Martin is out on the course now
The former philosophy student who rides like he is playing snakes and ladders – one day he climbs up the standings, the next he slides down.
Nobody expects the Cofidis rider to challenge today, but who knows?
Meanwhile, news is coming in from the course where there have been sightings of a UAE Team Emirates road bike on the top of one of their team cars. It very much sound like Tadej Pogacar may be planning on taking a bike change in a short while.
03:51 PM BST
British hopefuls out on the road: Simon Yates and Tom Pidcock
The first of the Yates brothers, Simon, has rolled down the ramp. Meanwhile, Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) is also underway.
Yates (Jayco-Alula) won the time trial at the Giro d’Italia last year and is a strong time trialist considering his physique.
This short course could suit the Briton, who really needs to make up some time in the general classification today if he is to push for a top five finish.
03:45 PM BST
Ciccone beats Powless in battle for King of the Mountains
Giulio Ciccone, the current leader in the king of the mountains and dressed head to to in his race-issued polka-dot skinsuit, has just finished his race.
He was faster than Neilson Powless to the top of Domancy by 40sec despite his questionable wardrobe – in his defence he had no choice today.
As a leader in one of the four major classifications, the Italian has to wear whatever Tour de France organisers hand him, and they (and their sponsors) wanted to go big on the polka-dots.
Whatever, his team clearly thought he looked good. “Come on, you look so good in this jersey, you need to keep it on,” a Lidl-Trek directeur sportif barked at him over team radio. “Come on man!”
03:36 PM BST
Wout van Aert is underway!
Wout van Aert could be a real contender in today’s stage.
Known as the doméstique de luxe, the Belgian rider is the swiss army knife of Jumbo-Visma’s team.
Despite playing second fiddle to Vingegaard in the general classification, he is a strong time trialist who won a stage in the Champagne region in the 2022 Tour, as well as a sprint on the Champs Elysée.
He also proved he has the legs for bigger climbs in his flying ascent of the col de Joux Plane on Saturday.
Could he bring home Jumbo-Visma’s first stage win of the Tour?
Van Aert sets fastest time:
03:16 PM BST
Is the bike change helping?
A lot of debate about whether a bike change is a good idea on a ride this short (22.4km).
After getting off to a flying start, Küng dropped off Cavagna’s lead despite changing bikes, crossing the line 53 seconds behind.
The Groupama-FDJ rider gave it everything, and the effort was written all over his face – replete with spittle dripping from his chin.
03:06 PM BST
Julian Alaphillipe underway
The French favourite and two-time world champion gets a huge cheer from the crowds as he sets off down the ramp.
The Soudal-Quick Step rider wore the yellow jersey for two weeks in 2019, when he won a crucial stage 13 time trial.
His Tour this year hasn’t be so illustrious.
02:56 PM BST
Küng flies past Campenaerts
Stefan Küng looks a man on a mission here.
Having reeled in Lotto-Dstny team-mates Maxim van Gils and Victor Campenaerts, the Groupama-FDJ rider is now homing in on Clément Champoussin (Arkéa-Samsic).
Having switched to a road bike for the climb, the Swiss is neck and neck with Cavagna.
Could this be a new time on the leaderboard?
02:43 PM BST
Big names on the road – van der Poel, Campenaerts, Stefan Küng
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) is on his way. The Dutchman finished fifth in his two previous Tour de France individual time trials.
He successfully defended his Maillot Jaune in Laval in 2021 and in Copenhagen on day one last year, but has spent much of this year gritting his teeth as Jasper Philipsen’s lead-out man.
Also on the road are Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny), the former Hour record-holder, and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), who won the opening time trial of the Tour de Suisse earlier this summer.
02:31 PM BST
Pogacar reportedly set for bike change
UAE Team Emirates directeur sportif Andrej Hauptman has reportedly confirmed that Pogacar will change to a road bike for the Côte de Domancy climb today.
Speaking about the logic behind the decision, UAE boss Mauro Gianetti told Eurosport: “We do our tests and in the end we realise that changing the bike takes some time but in terms of time it gives some benefit.
“Maybe not so much, two-three-five seconds maybe. In our calculation it gives an advantage.”
02:25 PM BST
Victor Lafay crashes
Victor Lafay (Cofidis) has gone down – it looks as if his chain jumped off.
The Frenchman won stage two of the tour after surging off the front with 900m to go, beating Wout van Aert in the sprint.
He becomes the fourth rider to come off his bike in today’s time trial.
02:22 PM BST
Rémi Cavagna: “My time will be beaten by almost one minute”
Current race leader Rémi Cavagna told Eurosport: “I had a nice race. I struggled a bit at the top of the Domancy climb where I lost about twenty seconds but I finished strongly.
“I’m satisfied with my time trial even though the course didn’t suit me very well but I wanted to post a good result because it’s a pleasure to ride with the blue-white-red jersey.
“My time will be beaten by almost one minute by the favourites. I hope for a top 10 or 15 but I won’t make the top five. For the win, I believe in Pogacar.”
02:08 PM BST
Rain forecast this afternoon!
Rain is forecast out on the roads this afternoon and the black clouds are looking pretty ominous!
This could play in favour of Rémi Cavagna in terms gaining a top-10 finish.
Questions remain as to how potentially slippery roads could affect the tactics of the general classification riders.
01:50 PM BST
Cavagna to the top of the leaderboard!
Current French national time trial champion Rémi Cavagna has soared to the top of the leaderboard.
The TGV of Clermont Ferrand crossed the checkered flag in a time of 27min 44 sec.
He goes ahead of 2019 world road race champion Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Treck).
01:14 PM BST
Devenyns completes final Tour de France time trial as quickest rider so far
Dries Devenyns has jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the time trial so far in this, his final final Grand Tour.
The Belgian, 39, crossed the line in 37min 37.57sec, making him the fastest of the 47 riders who have set off so far.
The Soudal-Quick Step rider yesterday announced his retirement at the end of the year, after 17 seasons in pro cycling.
01:04 PM BST
Pogacar team-mate changes bike
Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates team-mate Mikkel Bjerg has opted for a bike change, albeit a slow one, at the start of the ascent.
Could this be a trial run for a Pogacar bike change, or is it just mind games?
12:56 PM BST
First bike change by Uno-X Pro
Soren Waerenskjold becomes the first rider of the day to switch bikes before the Côte de Domancy climb.
Will Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates follow suit?
12:39 PM BST
Two riders crash already!
As the time trial gets underway, two riders have already crashed while one got off to a late start.
John Degenkolb (DSM-Firmenich) and Alexis Renard (Cofidis) both slipped in the first curve after the starting ramp. They were both soon back up and running.
Australian rider Sam Welsford (DSM-Firmenich) missed his start time and left ramp with a slight delay. Meanwhile experienced rider Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro) climbed the start ramp too early and had to give way to Lotto-Dstny’s Florian Vermeersch.
It’s all action on stage 16 of the Tour so far.
11:03 AM BST
Hello and welcome to our coverage of today’s crucial Stage 16 Time Trial
Just 10 second separate Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar going into today, the start of the third week of the Tour.
Both previous victors, the pair have gone to-to-toe for the past two weeks, showing little sign of fatigue despite the intensity of the closely-fought competition.
Today’s time trial – the only one to feature in this year’s tour – will prove decisive in deciding which team has the upper hand going into the final week of the Tour. Indeed, if the pair are matched for time on the final day in Paris on Sunday, it will go down to their times in the time trial to decide the overall winner.
As the holder of the yellow jersey, Jumbo-Visma’s Vingegaard, 26, will ride last, giving him a slight advantage over his UAE Team Emirates rival. This could give him the mental edge to reel in the 25-year old Slovenian. It will also allow him to compare his split times at the three intermediate time checks.
Today’s 22.4km ride from Passy to Combloux in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a hilly course that will suit both riders. It finishes with with the Côte de Domancy – a 2.5km category two climb made famous by the triumph of Bernard Hinault in Sallanches at the 1980 world championship.
The race also follows a similar route to the individual time trial from 2016, in which Chris Froome stormed to victory before going on to win the overall Tour.
Questions remain over whether a potential bike change at the start of the climb could be the difference. Pogacar famously used this tactic in the final time trial stage of the 2020 Tour, which led to his ultimate Tour victory. Only time will tell.
Michael Morkov (Soudal-Quickstep) will be the first man down the ramp as the lanterne rouge. Meanwhile, Pogacar’s team-mate Mikkel Bjerg could be one of the quickest of the early starters, having won the hilly time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. The Dane will be looking to set the benchmark for Pogacar.
Another rider to watch is Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost). The American is tied on points for the polka dot jersey with Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and will look to set the fastest time up the Côte de Domancy to get the five points for the category 2 ascent between 16.1km and 18.9km.
The general classification contender riders set off much later with 10th-placed Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) heading down the start ramp at 4.42pm. Pogacar begins his bid to claim the maillot jaune at 4.48pm – two minutes before Vingegaard.
Whatever happens, Telegraph Sport will be here to guide you through all of the key moments, from start to finish. Racing starts at 12.05pm (BST).