Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 5: Changé – Laval Espace Mayenne, 27.2 km (ITT)

Stage 5: Changé – Laval Espace Mayenne, 27.2 km (ITT)
For the first time since 2008, the first week features a decent-length time trial. I would say it sets up the hard mountain stages nicely, but then I remembered the rest of the route, and the fact that so many GC riders are banged up. At least we should get a battle for the yellow jersey here.

Map and profile




Route details
The first section of this time trial is rolling, with the climb below just about starting immediately…



…followed by a ramp of 550 meters at 6.0%, and then this bump that was used as a KOM at Boucles de la Mayenne this year directly after the first time check.



The next 15 kilometers are basically flat, then the final stretch in Laval features 850 meters at 4.7%, made harder by a tight double left-hander at the bottom leading into the steepest bit at roughly 9%.

Final kilometers
The most technical part of the course, with the aforementioned climb.



 
Normally Roglic would take some time on a flat ITT on Pogacar however it should be the opposite given the crash. Kelderman will get a lot of attention after tomorrow. Mas needs to improve on his previous ITT results, less than 2s per km on Pogacar would be a good result.
 
This is the stage where Roglic was supposed to gain some seconds over Pogacar to have a realistic shot at the victory. Not anymore, it seems. It's about survival and limiting his loses to minimum before the mountains begin. Thomas is another question mark and his goal was to gain time here as well.
 
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Of the current top GC riders, I think Wout narrowly takes yellow over Pogacar. Look for Uran to move into the top 5, possibly just ahead of Krlderman. Alaf could go pretty well but this might not be hilly enough. Normally I agree that GT and Roglic would be among the favorites, but it’s hard to know how they’ll react to injury. I’ve had dislocated shoulders and the TT position is about the worst possible one for the healing process.
 
The favourites should be Küng and Van Aert but Asgreen is a good bet too.

For yellow Van Aert should be the favourite if Alaphilippe has 2019 legs he may well get it. I don't think Pogačar will lose significant time on any GC contender and should gain on Mas or Quintana
 
This is a middle long time trial in my book - meaning between 20 and 40 km. Long time trials (over 40 km) seem to be out of fashion, but for some climbers two middle long ITTs can still mean a lot of time loss.

Non-GC riders who might do well: Van Aert, Küng, Asgreen, Campenaerts. The Big Three might fight each other for yellow!

It's hard to foretell how the Slovenians and Ineos will fare after everything that's happened before and during the Tour. Kelderman and Buchmann will probably make the top 10. I wonder what Lutsenko and Uran will do after winning a time trial in Dauphiné/Suisse. I can't remember when a Tour time trial was this hard to predict.
 
Van Aert to take yellow.

My other candidates for the stage win: Küng and Bissegger.
Asgreen, Lutsenko, Pogacar, Cattaneo, Uran, Carapaz and maybe Alaphilippe to do well without winning.

But I guess the stage win won't be the most exciting story, I really wonder how the GC riders will fare, especially Roglic and Thomas.
 
WVA for the win, JA top 10. But here comes the shocker....

Pogacar will go berserk here, top 3 of the stage.

He can push to the limit and claim Roglic and Thomas are injured. If he can grab at least 1 minute on Roglic, it will force mid range attacks because winning 3/4 uphill sprints with bonus seconds won't be enough.

I think now Pogacar, Kelderman, Uran, Lutsenko can benefit from it. Thomas is a question mark, Roglic in the defensive mode. Carapaz is in relative good position, losing 1-1:20 to the best GC guy won't be disaster since he's ahead of them now.
 
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WVA for the win, JA top 10. But here comes the shocker....

Pogacar will go berserk here, top 3 of the stage.

He can push to the limit and claim Roglic and Thomas are injured. If he can grab at least 1 minute on Roglic, it will force mid range attacks because winning 3/4 uphill sprints with bonus seconds won't be enough.

I think now Pogacar, Uran, Lutsenko can benefit from it. Thomas is a question mark, Roglic in the defensive mode. Carapaz is in relative good position, losing 1-1:20 to the best GC guy won't be disaster since he's ahead of them now.
I think we need to remove Roglic from GC considerations entirely at this point, judging from him comments (i.e. he said today was a difficult day, he's just happy to be on the bike & has no expectation for tomorrow).
 
Or we could just wait for tomorrow. :)
As a Roglic fan, I actually feel it's a bit ghoulish tbh for people to even have expectations about his time splits tomorrow. I totally expect a motorbike camera shoved in his face for the entire ordeal & some sardonic commentary from Jalabert when the bad news hits.

I mean it looks like JV don't even know whether he can put power down on the pedals at this point.

Thomas after Giro crash was able to get 2nd place in the ITT, just 1/2 days before abandoning the race. We'll see tomorrow
Indeed. We'll see.
 

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