Remco Evenepoel showcased his time trial capabilities with a stunning victory in the Tour de France’s first time trial, overcoming a late scare to best race leader Tadej Pogacar by 12 seconds. The 25.3km course from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin through Burgundy’s vineyards proved to be a formidable challenge.

Evenepoel, racing in the best young rider’s white jersey, maintained the fastest times at all three intermediate checkpoints. Despite fearing a puncture with 2.5km to go, he quickly realised his bike was fine and continued his effort, finishing in 28 minutes and 52 seconds.

Reflecting on his victory, Evenepoel said, “Today was a super high level, the gaps were small, and so this is a great victory. All my family are here too, so it’s even more special. I’ll never forget this victory.”

Pogacar and Vingegaard’s Positions

Pogacar, who came in second, remains in the yellow jersey, 33 seconds ahead of Evenepoel in the general classification. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard finished 37 seconds behind Evenepoel, dropping to fourth in the stage but holding third overall, 1:15 off the lead.

Vingegaard, satisfied with his performance, remarked, “To be honest, I think it was a good time trial for me. I’m happy with my performance and to only lose 37 seconds to Remco on a time trial that suits him really well is pretty good for me.”

Evenepoel’s excitement about his Tour de France debut was evident. “I’m loving every minute of the Tour. I’m second overall after a week of racing. I’m enjoying it, I’m relaxed and winning a stage is pretty special. I’m pleased and honoured to be here and up there with the biggest and best.”

Matteo Jorgenson of Visma-Lease a Bike, recovering from a crash earlier in the race, finished seventh, 54 seconds behind Evenepoel. Reflecting on his result, Jorgenson said, “The last three days my body had a really not good reaction to the crash. But I’m happy that I’m past that now. Seventh is a pretty respectable ride for me. And yeah, top 10 in a Tour de France TT is not so bad.”

Remco Evenepoel

Looking Ahead

Saturday’s Stage 8 will see the peloton take on a hilly ride to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, with sprinters expected to control the attacks. Evenepoel is looking forward to a quiet day in the peloton before the gravel stage on Sunday, which he has often criticised but is ready to tackle due to his growing affection for the Tour de France.

“It’s going to be a tough stage. The gravel sectors are not that dangerous compared to, say, Strade Bianche or the 2021 Giro d’Italia. It’ll be important to be in a good position all day. It’s arguable not a stage that can win you the Tour, but if you have bad luck in the wrong moment, it could make you lose the Tour.”

The stage concluded with Evenepoel solidifying his place as a serious contender in the general classification while Pogacar retained his lead. The race continues with anticipation building towards the gravel stage and beyond.

2024 Tour de France Stage 7 result

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Photo Credits: ASO – Charly Lopez + Billy Ceusters