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Tour de France Tour de France 2024, Stage 7: Nuits-Saint-Georges > Gevrey-Chambertin, 25.3 km (ITT)

OP by @Devil's Elbow: https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threa...4-stage-by-stage-analysis.39775/#post-3032421

You know your race is backloaded when a TT of this length is unquestionably the most important GC day in the first half. It’s a moderately hilly affair – I would say well suited to the specialists, but all the top time trialists here are either GC riders or Wout van Aert, so that doesn’t really fly.

The route

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Before I start, there is a hyper-detailed breakdown of the route here (in French) that deserves a shoutout. If you think my analyses are long, think again.

This is another stage straight from the Giro playbook, although this time, it’s a 2010s thing: the wine time trial that they kept including and marketing as such for years on end. It’s a good concept to copy, though – you get good scenery and solid hills included in the package by definition. This TT is a bit flatter than most of those Giro TTs, though.

The wine region in question for this TT is the Côte de Nuits, northernmost of the main French wine-producing areas. The stage connects the two centres of this region, starting in the town that gives its name to these hills: Nuits-Saint-Georges. The Tour has been here once before, when Marcel Kittel beat Edvald Boasson Hagen in a photo finish in 2017.

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Despite the length, ASO have decided it’s a good idea to have three time checks on course, so undoubtedly they will struggle to keep track of all three once the GC riders are racing. Most of the route is untechnical and never steeper than a false flat, with the exception of one real hill, Côte de Reulle-Vergy.

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That section aside, it’s a case of speeding between the pinot noir vines, speeds unquestionably picking up on the way to Gevrey-Chambertin. Nothing screams prestigious wine town like having the name of your most famous wine appended to your original town name as early as 1847, and that’s exactly what the municipality of what had been known as Gevrey did with the Chambertin wine. In fact, vines have been planted here since at least the 1st century BC – making it possibly the oldest winemaking area in Bourgogne.

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What to expect?

With all the bigger names more than capable in this discipline, big gaps in the GC battle seem a stretch until you get further down the top-10 – indeed, we could even have something along the lines of the main TT in the 2023 Giro. But then again, Planche des Belles Filles and Combloux did happen in the past four years…
 
The GC riders will start with 2 minutes between them, so likely no one will be caught.

Startlist: https://www.tissottiming.com/2024/tdf/stage-7/startlist

EDIT: Weird. Only the last 8 riders have 2 minutes up to the rider before them, whereas the 1'30" gap is between 9th and 117th rider in GC. I had expected 2' for the top-20 and then more riders in the beginning with only 1' gaps.
 
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So finally the first TT. One of two key stages of the first week. Generally fast TT but with an uphill section in the middle. Slightly under 30 minutes of effort for top guys. No holding back, a bit above the threshold all the time.

What to expect? Remco and Wout are natural candidates for victory. Remco is obviously in great form, maybe it will be his TT? The relative performance of GC guys is the most interesting thing here. I'm expecting Teddy to have a very strong performance as well, he can be close to Remco. Those two guys should IMO put time into other GC candidates but how much? Maybe 30-40 seconds to the best of the rest (Vingo, Rogla, Ayuso?). Pogacar, who looks the strongest in this part of the race, definitely needs to gain time over Vingo and stay close to Remco as well. Should be interesting.
 
So finally the first TT. One of two key stages of the first week. Generally fast TT but with an uphill section in the middle. Slightly under 30 minutes of effort for top guys. No holding back, a bit above the threshold all the time.

What to expect? Remco and Wout are natural candidates for victory. Remco is obviously in great form, maybe it will be his TT? The relative performance of GC guys is the most interesting thing here. I'm expecting Teddy to have a very strong performance as well, he can be close to Remco. Those two guys should IMO put time into other GC candidates but how much? Maybe 30-40 seconds to the best of the rest (Vingo, Rogla, Ayuso?). Pogacar, who looks the strongest in this part of the race, definitely needs to gain time over Vingo and stay close to Remco as well. Should be interesting.
Van Aert, who hasn't done a good ITT in like 2 years at this point?

For the stage win it should just be Evenepoel vs Pogacar. The profile given kinda undersells how big the hill is.
 
Pogi will win just, if it were a flat TT Evenepoel would win but the hill and it being slightly shorter swings the balance to Pogi

That hill can swing the balance to Pogi vs typically built TT specialists (i.e. maybe vs Van Aert) but Remco is very good at riding up those hills. He can power up this 1.3 km climb and lose just a few seconds to Pogi on that section.
 
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Epic disasterclass to lose 2 minutes to Rodriguez here.
Fully expect Jorgenson to catch Gall though.

I would honestly be shocked if anyone other than Remco won. I think that if anyone might be able to do it, it's Pogacar, but let's not overrate Pogacar in flat TTs too much. Ganna pretty much had his number on the flat during the Giro and I think Remco is at least on that level. He has looked phenomenal so far so I would be surprised by anything but a brilliant TT from him.