Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France time trial by 98 seconds over his rival Tadej Pogacar, greatly increasing his lead in what has been one of the closest Tours in recent history.
Vingegaard, the defending Tour champion, now leads Pogacar, the 2020 and 2021 Tour winner, by 1 minute, 48 seconds with five stages remaining, two of which are expected to be competitive for the overall podium (Wednesday and Saturday ).
“It’s the best time trial I’ve ever done,” Vingegaard said, adding that he thought Pogacar would be faster than him. “I even surprised myself.”
Dane Vingegaard covered the 14-mile stage 16 in 32 minutes, 36 seconds. He led the Slovenian Pogacar by 16 seconds at the first time control at 4.4 miles and increased the rest of the way, including a 1.7-mile second-category climb near the end.
Pogacar dominated the rest of the field on Tuesday, finishing 73 seconds clear of third place Wout van Aert. He was a little surprised to be so far from Vingegaard.
“I expected to be [wearing the] yellow [jersey] today,” Pogacar said. “It is not easy to gain two minutes [back]a little less, but we try”.
Vingegaard started the day with a 10-second lead over Pogacar, making it the second closest Tour going into the final week in the last 50 years.
Only the 2008 Tour, where Frank Schleck led Bernard Kohl by seven seconds and Cadel Evans by eight seconds, came closer on that stage.
The race for third place is now closer than for the yellow jersey. Briton Adam Yates leads Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez by five seconds after starting the time trial with a deficit of 19 seconds.
The Tour continues on Wednesday with stage 17, one of the last two mountain stages.
It is the most difficult of the eight mountain stages in total with more than 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) of positive elevation gain, capped by the top category Col de la Luze just before a descent to the finish.
“It’s definitely not over, especially if it rains tomorrow,” Pogacar said. “Then I can promise you it’s going to be interesting. Two more very hard stages to come, I think the two hardest of this Tour. Anything can happen.”